Cartography of Desire in Latin American and Spanish Poetry (SPA4811.01)

Lena Retamoso Urbano

This advanced Spanish course will examine the diverse literary manifestations of desire throughout a wide array of Latin American and Spanish poets that configure eroticism, the lover and the beloved in radical ways. We will discuss the varied approaches from which desire is written, from a surrealist perspective, through philosophical-poetic traditions and a Non-Western Cosmology, to an animalistic point of view. In order to develop an appropriate theoretical and contextual support, students will dive into secondary sources by critical theorists such as Roland Barthes, George Bataille, Guillermo Sucre, and Elena Castro, working with key concepts such as Eros, myth, and rite. Together, we will examine representative poetic texts by 20th century Latin American and Spanish poets including Federico García Lorca, Luis Cernuda, César Moro, and Blanca Varela, before students’ individual research questions will determine content. Thereafter, depending on student interests, there will be ample opportunity to consider examples of poetic texts that work with themes of Eroticism from any time and place in the 20th and 21st century Spanish-speaking world. Co-requisite: attendance at 2 language events. Advanced Level. In Spanish

Learning Outcomes:
1) Gain a well-rounded understanding of the diverse lyrical and cultural manifestations of the theme of desire in Spanish and Latin American poetry.
2) Gain both confidence and sophistication in the ability to speak, read and write in Spanish using academic discourse.
3) Develop critical thinking and analytical skills through discussions and close textual analysis of poetic texts from Latin America and Spain.
4) Design an academic and/or creative project associated with Latin American and Spanish poetry.

Delivery Method: Fully in-person
Prerequisites: Previous intermediate-high Spanish class at Bennington or taking a brief oral and/or written test to evaluate proficiency. Email Lena Retamoso Urbano ( by November 12 to express interest.
Corequisites: Attendance at 2 Language Series events
Course Level: 4000-level
Credits: 4
M/Th 1:40PM - 3:30PM (Full-term)
Maximum Enrollment: 15
Course Frequency: One time only

Categories: All courses , Fully In-Person , Spanish