20th Century Latin American Culture
Urban Cultural Geography
Office: 5324 Rolfe Hall
Phone: (310) 206-7268
UCLA Spanish & Portuguese
BOX 951532, 5324 Rolfe Hall
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1532
Link to full CV
- Ph.D., Hispanic Languages and Literatures, UCLA
- Doctoral Studies, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain
- OFINES, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Madrid, Spain
- Licenciatura, Linguistics and Literature, Universidad Nacional de Tucumán, Argentina
- Latin American Cultural Studies and Post-Colonial Criticism
- Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century
- Argentine Literature and Culture
- Cultural Geographies, Sensuous and Cognitive Geographies
- Studies of the City Sexuality and Space
- Gendered Spaces
- Consumerism, Art and Fin de Siècle
- The Quotidian
Spanish 240: Major Currents in Modern Spanish-American Literature
Modernism and Naturalism
This course examines the social imaginaries triggered by the artistic consortium of the Modernism/Art Nouveau/Art Decó, a syncretic aesthetic that responded to the violent and unprecedented socio-cultural transformations brought about by Modernity and Modernization. Spanish 240 examines Latin American modernist and naturalist texts from an interdisciplinary approach (cultural studies, gender studies, cultural geography, sensuous geography, social history). The course analyses texts from high and popular culture (folletines and melodrama), interior design, fashion discourse, painting, architectural/urban planning and manifestos, urban chronicles, journalistic discourse, commercial advertizing and popular music (tango). The reading list includes texts by Martí, Darío, del Casal, Lugones, Gutiérrez Nájera, Herrera y Reissig, Gómez Carillo, Agustini, Storni, Gálvez, Pérez Leirós, A. de Carlo, Discépolo, Le Pera, Contursi and Manzi. Films such as Modern Times (Charles Chaplin), Metropolis (Fritz Lang), The Blue Angel (Josef von Sternberg), The Devil is a Woman (Travis Banton) and Los muchachos de antes no usaban gomina (Manuel Romero) and theoreticians such as Baudelaire, Simmel, Bataille , Benjamin, Leach, Rama, Perus, Showalter, Boulen, Monteros, Ramos and Salessi are analyzed in this class, as well as paintings by pre-Raphaelites such as Burne-Jones, Leighton, Rossetti and Waterhouse and works by fashion and perfume designers such as Chanel and Schiaparelli.
Spanish 280 A & B
Argentine literature, Film, and Culture
This two-quarter seminar examines the evolution of the imaginaries forged on the topic of Argentine internal national borders throughout the nineteenth, twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Over the course of two quarters we cover a wide array of artistic and cultural production (literature, film, photography, painting, legal discourse, medical and political discourses, newsreels and journalism, movements of the civil society) bearing on how in Argentine culture different configurations of the concept of pure nationality have been paradoxically defined from the borders--in other words, from the most external marginal zones of the Nation. Part I studies the post-revolutionary period, Rivadavia’s Buenos Aires as the emblematic "lettered city" (1810-33); the Buenos Aires of Don Juan Manuel de Rosas (1833-1852); the Conquest of the Desert (1878-9) and the configurations and reconfigurations of the public and private spaces implemented by the Conservative Order (1880-1916) by the two Radicalistas goverments (Irigoyen, Alvear, 1916-1930) and Uriburu’s coup d’etat. Part II is dedicated to the study of the spectacular city of the Peronist movement (1945-1955) and the emergence of the massive city; the redefinition of the social use of the public and private space in post-Revolución Libertadora (1955) and the transformation of the quotidian after Onganía’s and Videla's coup d’états (1966-1970, 1976-1983); the re-democratization process (1983-2001), the failures and achievements of the “Memory, Truth and Justice,” the importance of Human Rights activism as well as of the cultural responses to the 2001 crisis.
Spanish 280 / 290: Special Topics
Politics of the Family: Space, Nation, Gender and Households in Argentine Culture
Starting with the unusual family model forged by the former captive Santiago Avendaño in the early nineteenth century to the unparalleled and groundbreaking models of socializations depicted in La dignidad de los nadies (Fernando Pino Solana, 2005), the course examines major representations of the family in national imaginaries within critical turning points of the Argentine history: models of social interaction inside and outside the household, ethnic, gendered and socio-economic borders; institutional rituals, configurations of the public and private spheres; family, state policies, the Law, and religion. Family representations are a product of a particular moment in history and a particular structure of society. The seminar examines how this crucial matrix of social reproduction is constantly disarranged by organic configurations of the family that fail to comply with conventional structures, thus questioning “institutional” family models while interrupting the ceremonial plays of natural/trans-historic configurations. The list of texts also includes literary, cinematic and pictorial texts from the Argentine popular theater (sainetes), and works by Avendaño, Mármol, Echeverría, Mansilla, Cambaceres, Borges, Arlt, Castelnuovo, Guido-Torre Nilson, Antonio Berni, Cortázar, Aira, Martel and Paolinelli.
Spanish 244 A/B
Contemporary Spanish-American Novel
This course is focused on Spanish-American contemporary literature and film concerning mass culture and melodrama (Boquitas pintadas/El beso de la mujer araña); women’s writing and the canon (Cola de lagartija, Me llamo Rigoberta Menchú); literature, tourism, the cultural marketplace and culture of consumerism (Afrodita or Demasiado amor); collective memory, human rights and the politics of oblivion (Estrella distante or Garage Olimpo, El espinazo del diablo); social and economic marginalization in neo-liberal politics and culture (Los vigilantes, Mano de obra); re-democratization, deregulated States and violence (La virgen de los sicarios); clonification of local spaces (Buenos Aires, viceversa); migration and displacement (Bolivia); masculinity and femininity redefined (El lado oscuro del corazón, Danzón) among other debates undertaken by Latin American fictional and cinematic works such as El entenado and Salón de belleza. Spanish 244 B examines texts which respond to the Boom’s and Post-Boom’s literary (mythologizing) portrayal of Latin America as a cornucopia of endless magic and utopian overcoming.
Spanish 120 C: Hispanic Literature since 1898
Trans-Atlantic Studies, Peninsular and Spanish American Literature and Cultures
This course highlights major sociological and cultural movements of Spain and Latin America. It analyzes Modernity and social modernization: the Generación del 98’s approach to industrialization and urban culture (Azorín, Unamuno, Machado); the 2nd Spanish Republic and the democratization of the public sphere and culture (García Lorca); the rise of middle-class and populist governments in Latin America that brought forth cultural models for the recovery of difference and cultural heterogeneity (negritud, lo real maravilloso, realismo mágico, testimonios). It also studies the culture and imaginaries associated with the attempts to slow down or stop the newly mobilized sectors by the political right wing in Spain as well as cultural resistance to Francoist economics and culture --Miguel Delibes, Gloria Fuertes. It also examines the transitional processes that brought Spain into the European Union and Latin America from dictatorships to the formation of neo-liberal democracies, the debates on human rights and the representation of critical views (Luisa Valenzuela, Pedro Almodóvar, Guillermo del Toro, Gastón Biraben).
Spanish 191 B: Variable Topics
Studies in Hispanic Culture and Civilization
This course takes an interdisciplinary approach to the Studies of the City, identifying major urban typologies in order to trace the historical, sociological and cultural evolution of relevant Latin American cities and their representations in literature, film, journalism, and photography. Examples of the pre-Columbian, the colonial, the modern, the massive and the global cities are examined through their historical agents, the spacialization of the social within the city’s spaces, gendered spaces/gendered architecture, the public and the private. Collective spaces are studies within the intersective nature of urban space. Some of the texts (and cities) analyzed in class are the following: Pre-colonial cities: Tenochtitlán, Hernán Cortés: “Carta Segunda de Relación”; Colonial cities: Lima: Simón de Ayanque (Esteban de Terralla Landa): Lima por dentro y por fuera; the merchantilist culture and urban spaces: La Havana: Juan Francisco Manzano: Autobiografía de un esclavo and Cirilo Villaverde: Cecilia Valdés. Modern cities -Buenos Aires: Jorge Luis Borges: Fervor de Buenos Aires, Luna de enfrente, Evaristo Carriego: El alma del suburbio/La canción del barrio, Roberto Arlt: Las aguafuertes porteñas. Massive cities: Carlos Fuentes: La región más transparente, Elena Poniatowska: Luz y luna, las lunitas, Luis Rafael Sánchez: La guaracha del Macho Camacho;. Neoliberal cities: Roberto Vallarino/Jaime Valverde y Juan Domingo Argüelles: El fin de la nostalgia: Nueva Crónica de la Ciudad de México, Alejandro González Inárritu: Amores Perros or Marco Bechis: Garage Olimpo; David Riker: La ciudad/The City; Víctor Gaviria: La vendedora de rosas; Diego Casaravilla: Los laberintos de la exclusión. Relatos de inmigrantes ilegales en la Argentina.
Spanish 191 A/197: Special Topics
Jorge Luis Borges’s short stories, poems and essays are read from the context of the effects of the first stage of Argentine industrial culture and the models of exemplary masculinity reinforced as the strongest identity of Modernity, the bacán (a bourgeois male model enriched by the power of money, political power and sexual assertiveness). Using an interdisciplinary approach that combines architecture and urban/social reforms, literature, journalism, photography and commercial advertizing, the course studies how Borges’ characters and speakers comment on transitional Buenos Aires –and its elusive women- from the margins of modernity. Texts such as "Un patio", "Sala vacía", "Llaneza", "Cercanías", “Las calles”(Fervor de Buenos Aires), “Jactancia de quietud” , (Luna de enfrente), “Hombre la esquina rosada” , “Milonga de Jacinto Chiclana” , “Dónde se habrán ido? (Milonga de Don Nicanor Paredes), "Buenos Aires" (Elogio de la sombra), “La señora mayor” , “La intrusa” (El Informe de Brodie), “Emma Zunz” , “El Aleph” , “El Zahir” (El Aleph), “Buenos Aires”, “Buenos Aires (El otro, el mismo), “El amenazado”(El oro de los tigres), “Elegía” (El otro, el mismo) among others will be analyzed. Cultural geographers, urban and cultural studies theoretician such as Sennet, Scobie, Romero, Gorelick, Guy, Sebrelli, Ulla, Siebel and Armuz will be studied.