I just discovered Hispanidades, which breaks down El espejo enterrado, which Tulane faculty already felt they were slightly … cheating … by using in the 80s, since it was already so masticado. Should I in fact be teaching at a lower-than-that evel for a culture course that is taken in the sixth semester? Or has this textbook been created for use in the case of having many graduate students, M.A. instructors and adjuncts teaching this course, and not for people like me who do not need it?
I have not used El espejo enterrado before but I had decided to relent and use it; I also ordered a series of essays on cultural studies and intend to annotate and illustrate all of this somehow. Now that seems dry and dull and too hard for the students and time consuming for me, and I am impatient with the tone of El espejo enterrado (and Fuentes is not my favorite author).
My problem is that I must cover all of Latin America and Spain, and some students may only know enough Spanish to read, say, 15 pages a week. I used to not attempt “coverage” of that kind, but simply choose five interesting topics and discuss them. I have all sorts of lists of these but what might it be interesting to discuss this time? It would serve me well to emphasize Mexico and Spain as much as possible, but what else would I like to have people have heard of before they hit Take 1 of senior year? A very rough list –
0. What is Hispanic, Maps of the Hispanic World, Spain and the Mediterranean (here we should see slides).
1. The Spanish civil war. I need them to know about this. We could talk about the present events in Spain then.
2. His- and Her- Panics. Gender, gender politics.
3. Galeano, Las venas abiertas de América Latina, and updated discussions around this. The economy and colonialism.
4. The Mexican Revolution, what came before and after it. We could talk about the present events in Mexico as we did this.
5. Afro-, Indo- and other non Hispanic Latin Americas. Is there a way to talk about this without going on about mestizaje?
Ay, but that, at this university, would be a senior level course, so round and round we go. I am highly tempted to switch to this Hispanidades book right now and supplement it, but I so dislike textbooks and it would be such a last minute change.