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Jill Robbins, Chair 150 W 21st Street, Stop B3700, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-4936

Spring 2007

SPN 381M • Gender and the Study of Spanish and Spanish American Literature

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
47975 MW
12:00 PM-1:30 PM
BEN 1.118

Course Description

This course offers a review of the development of feminist criticism, its adaptation to the study of Spanish and Spanish American literature and of the incorporation, during the 1990s and 2000s, of newer concepts of gender into the critical examination of literature written in Spanish. Although the course is primarily on Spanish and Spanish American literary studies, Brazilian literature will come in for comparative mention and students are welcome to write a term paper on a Brazilian topic.

The course will begin with a look at an international sampling of feminist criticism from the 1970s and 1980s, when feminist thought first began to gain a significant place in literary studies. We will look at such landmark studies as Showalter's "Feminist Criticism in the Wilderness" and Kolodnys Dancing through the Minefield. From there, the course proceeds to the adaptation of feminist criticism to make it applicable to the study Spanish and Spanish American literatures. The course then looks at the evolution of feminist criticism since its early years, with particular emphasis on the impact of newer, more fluid concepts of gender. Circa 1990, many academic researchers began expressing dissatisfaction with certain aspects of existing feminist criticism, which they perceived as relying too heavily on such categories as women. From this dissatisfaction came an effort to escape overgeneralization and to take into account the changeable nature of human identity, including gender and sexual identity. Again, the course will first look at international theorists, such as Judith Butler, and then move to Spanish American and Spanish scholars who may be identified with a focus on gender, such as Raquel Olea and Marta Lamas.

Grading Policy

Detailed proposal for paper, 32% Final version of term paper, 60%; 15-20 pp. Attendance and short presentation in class, 8%


Warhol, Robyn R., and Diane Price Herndl, eds., Feminisms: An Anthology of Literary Theory and Criticism. Rev. ed. New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 1997. Plus: Course packet to be compiled by instructor.


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