Literatura Contemporanea Hispanoamericana

Objectives: This course, held in Spanish, offers a critical reading and discussion of selected texts from the 21st Century. Although emphasis is placed on the texts themselves, an attempt is made to delineate the socio-historical and literary contexts wherein they originated. By the end of the course, students will have improved their understanding and expression of written and oral Spanish. Students will read and discuss a great variety of Spanish American short stories and novels. Students will be introduce to many great Spanish American writers, to the main literary movements and to the diversity of Spanish American culture.

The format of the course will alternate between lectures given by the professor and seminar-style discussions of the required readings. The amount of reading, writing and critical thinking required for this course will be considerable, as we will discuss major literary works, periods, styles and critical approaches. Be prepared to spend a good amount of time reading, writing and thinking.

Required texts: Gamboa, Santiago – El síndrome de Ulises (353)

Serrano, Marcela – Lo que está en mi corazón (271)

Additional readings available in Sakai

Other resources: - A good Spanish-English dictionary

- The Academic Resource Center (ARC) at Saint Anselm College offers free writing assistance and peer tutoring. To request a peer tutor, complete the online form @

- Acentos y símbolos usados en español


Attendance: Students are advised to read the attendance policies in the Student Handbook. More than two (3) unexcused absences (one week of classes) will negatively affect your final grade. Please be on time. No points are awarded for attendance; it is expected! If students miss class for any reason, they are responsible to catch up on their own. Further, students not attending class are unable to participate and thus will automatically receive a 0 for that day.

Participation in class discussions: All students will have the opportunity and the responsibility to participate in class on a regular basis. At random, students will be given the opportunity to respond to an aspect of the theme that the class is discussing. The professor will take notes regarding the relevancy of the response. Willingness to participate, preparedness and creativity will be rewarded at the beginning, but expectations will rise as students become conversant in the material and approach. Students who do not or cannot attend class are unable to participate. They will automatically receive a 0 for that day’s discussion/activity. The following criteria will be used to evaluate class participation:

A range: Very dynamic engagement in all class activities: Student is consistently prepared for class sessions, very often begins interaction, participates actively and promotes participation in partnered and group activities, collaborates keenly in the creation of the learning environment.

B range: Active engagement in all class activities: Student is generally prepared for class sessions, often begins interaction, participates actively in partnered and group activities, collaborates in the creation of the learning environment.

C range: Moderate engagement in class activities: Student is irregularly prepared for class sessions, seldom begins interaction, and participates moderately in partnered and group activities.

D range: Very little engagement in class activities: Student is seldom prepared for class sessions, never begins interaction, participates little in partnered and group activities.

E range: No visible engagement in class activities: Student is usually unprepared for class sessions, doesn’t participate in partnered and group activities, interferes with the creation of the learning environment.

Presentation: There will be one presentation for which an assignment will be given at the beginning of the semester in order to practice and prepare. Remember that you are not allowed to read during your presentation.

Papers (2): Each student will write two research papers (5 - 6 pages). The topics will be discussed in class. It should be well informed and effectively argued. The first paper will be on a literary or cultural work read in class, and the second one will be on a topic we haven’t read but related to the class (You will receive more details in class). Students are expected to incorporate the critical method outlined in class into the analysis of a novel, a short story, or a collection of short stories. Further, these papers must: 1) formulate a clear position and argument; 2) provide supporting evidence with citations from the text(s); 3) present ideas in a well-organized format; and 4) pay close attention to grammatical accuracy, spelling, format, critical thinking, etc.; 5) be turned in on time.

Quizzes (6): There will be six quizzes during the course of the semester. The quizzes will cover the material (short story/novel) studied before each quiz. The questions may include multiple choice, true or false, identifications, and short answers. I will drop the lowest quiz at the end of the semester.

Mid-term (15%) The exam is cumulative and includes literary theory as well as culture and/or literature.

Native Speakers Sessions (10%) Regular attendance and participation is mandatory. Native speakers’ sessions meet once a week. You are allowed one absence without penalty. Each absence following will lower your grade. Classes begin on the second week of the semester.

Final exam (20%) The final exam is comprehensive and cumulative and includes literary theory as well as culture and/or literature. The final exam is during final exam week.

General Policies:

Computer access: The general rule is, "never turn in a paper without running the spell check!" Please be aware that since computer use is required for many of our courses, the lab does become crowded, particularly before class. Students who stop in with minutes to spare many not find a vacant computer or printer, and thus may not be able to turn in an assignment. See the policy on Late Work.

Late Work: Late work will not be accepted. Please do not ask for extensions. There are no make-up quizzes or exams. Do not make travel arrangements until you have consulted your mid-term and final exam schedule. Exceptions to this policy will be made only in cases of serious illness, injury or other serious emergencies, of which verification must be provided.

Office hours: I enjoy the opportunity to speak with my students. Drop by whenever you wish.

Accessing and Communicating Course Information: This syllabus and other important information for this course can be found at Sakai ( Paper assignments, web links and other information will be posted there regularly throughout the semester. Students are responsible for material posted there, so please be sure that you can access the site, and that you are signed up to receive course e-mail at your CAMPUS e-mail account. I know you get a ton of e-mails. However, you are required to check and keep open your campus e-mail account for crucial campus communications. Please see the Student Handbook for details. Students should keep their e-mail accounts active by checking regularly and clearing out deleted mail. Any emergency course cancellations will be communicated by e-mail.

Cheating: Students are advised to read the academic honesty policies in the Student Handbook. If I find you cheating on an exam, you will receive a ZERO (0) on the exam and your conduct will be reported to the Academic Dean, who may impose other penalties.

Plagiarism: Students are advised to read the academic honesty policies of the Student Handbook and to reference the discussions in the Academic Integrity Tutorial ( Intentionally or unintentionally representing another's work as your own is plagiarism. This includes submitting a paper from another class, submitting someone else’s work as your own, and failure to provide a citation for any passages, information or ideas taken from a text. We will do an exercise on plagiarism in class. After that, the following penalties will apply: Turning in someone else’s essay or using significant sections of someone else’s work without attribution will result in a ZERO (not just failure) of the assignment and may result in failure of the course. All such incidents will be reported to the Dean.

Less serious plagiarism, including occasional lack of quotation marks or citation, will require rewriting of the paper with a penalty of two full grades with proof that you now understand fully the proper use of quotation and citation formats. If you use them incorrectly a second time, you will get a zero on the assignment. A third offense will mean failing the course. All second and third incidents will be reported to the Dean.

Services for Students with Disabilities: Students with appropriately documented disabilities may be eligible for reasonable accommodations. It is the student's responsibility to contact and submit documentation of a disability to the Office of Academic Advisement.

Courtesy: Please recognize that phones, food, and gum in the classroom are distracting and therefore not permitted. Be respectful of your classmates and your professor and maintain an open mind with regard to cultural and linguistic diversity. A positive attitude will enhance your classroom learning experience.

Policy on the use of electronic devices: As a member of the learning community, each student has a responsibility to other students who are members of the community. When cell phones or pagers ring and students respond in class or leave class to respond, it disrupts the class. Therefore, the Office of the Dean prohibits the use by students of cell phones, pagers, PDAs, or similar communication devices during scheduled classes. Text messaging or accessing information on these devises is likewise forbidden. All such devices must be put in a silent (vibrates) mode and ordinarily should not be taken out during class. Given the fact that these same communication devices are an integral part of the College's emergency notification system, an exception to this policy would occur when numerous devices activate simultaneously. When this occurs, students may consult their devices to determine if a college emergency exists. If that is not the case, the devices should be immediately put away. Other exceptions to this policy may be granted at the discretion of the instructor.

Note: Although every effort will be made to stick to the course syllabus, some variations are inevitable. In case of any necessary changes to the syllabus, the instructor will notify students in advance. It is the responsibility of the student to find out what modifications have been made to the syllabus, if any, and arrive for class appropriately prepared.

Grades will be based on the following scale: Please remember I don’t give grades you earn them!

Programa de clases (Subject to Changes)

Syllabus (pdf)