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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Cynthia Steele
GWSS 590
Seattle Campus

Special Topics

Offered by visitors or resident faculty as a one-time in-depth study of special interest.

Class description

C LIT 596A / ENG 544A / GWSS 590A

Hispanic Women Writers and Directors

In addition to examining three general anthologies of short stories from Spain, Latin America, and the Hispanic US, we will read a testimonial novel by a former political prisoner in Argentina, and a novel and film by Argentine author/director Lucia Puenzo, who focuses on issues of sexual orientation and identity. Also, we will study recent films by five other women directors from these three regions, in order to map the general contours of feminist narrative discourse in the Spanish-speaking world over the past half century (and, in the case of the films, over the past decade). We will read the texts in English translation (although students who can are welcome to read them in the Spanish original) and will watch the films in Spanish with English subtitles, so no knowledge of Spanish is required. The primary texts will be complemented by Ellen Rooney's /The Cambridge Companion to Feminist Literary Theory/, as well as several essays of literary and film criticism/ as well as by several essays of literary and film criticism, which will be uploaded to our Catalyst page. Students will direct one class discussion and participate actively in the other discussions. For the final essay they will choose one or two authors for additional research and analysis and will write a final 8-10-page analytical essay, turning in their list of Works Consulted and their Introduction earlier in the quarter, and presenting their research to the seminar at the end of the quarter.


Rooney, Ellen, ed. The Cambridge Companion to Feminist Literary Theory. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2006.

Constantine, Helen and Margaret Jull Costa, eds. Madrid Tales. Oxford University Press, 2012, 344 pp. 0199583277 Correas de Zapata, Celia, ed. Short Stories by Latin American Women: The Magic and the Real. Modern Library Classics, 2003, 272 pp. 0812967070.

Stejilivich, Nora. A Single, Numberless Death. Trans. Cristina de la Torre. U of Virginia Press, 2002, 176 pp. 0813921317

Puenzo, Lucia. The Fish Child. Trans. David William Foster. Texas Tech University Press, 2010, 176 pp. 0896727149

González, Ray, ed. Mirrors beneath the Earth: Short Fiction by Chicano Writers. Curbstone Books, 1995, 331 pp. 1880684020

Films: My Life Without Me (Spain, 2003), dir. Isabel Coixet, 106 min.

The Good Herbs (Mexico, 2010), dir. Maria Novaro, 117 min.

Labyrinths of Memory (Mexico, 2007), dir. Guita Schyfter

The Prize (Argentina, 2011), dir. Paula Markovitch, 115 min.

The Fish Child (Argentina, 2009), dir. Lucía Puenzo, 96 min.

Senorita Extraviada / Missing Young Woman (US, 2001), dir. Lourdes Portillo, 103 min.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading

The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Cynthia Steele
Date: 03/18/2014