Undergraduate Courses 2015-2016

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German Studies   |  Hispanic Studies   |  Italian Studies |  Russian Studies  |  LLC Courses  |

German Studies

Fall 2015

GERM 197 FYS - Images of Otherness

Prof. Tove Holmes

This course examines "Images of Otherness" from 19th and 20th century German and Austrian literature and film. The fall 2015 course will focus on representations of hysteria, power, pain, the body, prostitution, and sexuality in both canonical and non-canonical works.

GERM 259 - Introduction to German Literature 1

GERM 336 - German Language, Media and Culture Topic: Berlin Vor 1989

Prof. Paul Peters

This course is intended to give a kaleidoscope-like overview of the eventful history and prehistory of the current capital and greatest German-speaking metropolis. The eras to be examined are the ruined city of 1945-1949, Expressionist Berlin and the legendary Babylon of the Twenties, the classic, romantic and Jewish Berlin of the 18th and 19th centuries, Berlin (East) as capital of East Germany, the revolutionary (1919), the rebellious (1981) and, perhaps most exquisite, the remembered Berlin of Walter Benjamin and Wim Wenders/Peter Handke (Wings of Desire). In this course, which is also intended to prepare language students for the study of literature, the greatest importance will be placed on the active participation and elaboration of the material by the participants.

GERM 368 - Fin-de-Siècle Vienna

Taught in English

Prof. Paul Peters

Ths course will examine the legendary cultural flowering of fin-de-siecle Vienna, in literature, art,  music, design, and thought. Beginning with work of the poet laureate of Viennese decadence, Hugo von Hofmannsthal and his collaboration with Richard Strauss, the course will examine the remarkable careers of Gustav Mahler and Gustav Klimt, the breakthrough discoveries of Sigmund Freud, as well as the daring and sexually explicit dramas of Arthur Schnitzler. The revolution of musical, artistic and poetic expression in the expressionist works of Alban Berg and Arnold Schönberg, Georg Trakl, Oskar Kokoschka and Egon Schiele will also be considered. Finally, the course will end in the classic texts of the Austrian apocalypse, Joseph Roth’s Radetzky March and Karl Kraus’s The Last Days of Mankind.

GERM 450 - Classical Period in German Literature

Winter 2016

GERM 260 - Introduction to German Literature 2

GERM 331 – Germany after Reunification

GERM 357 - German Culture in European Context Topic: Literature and Science

GERM 360 - German Literature 1890 to 1918 Topic: Ghosts: Spectrality in Literature

GERM 362 - 20th Century Literature Topics Topic: Literatur Der Revolte

Prof. Paul Peters

This course will examine the literature of  protest and revolt as it emerged in the momentous years between 1965 and 1975 in German literature, as well as some of the important and still controversial questions it raised. The generational shift from the postwar authors to the younger generation will be thematized, as will the emergence of a new, experimental,  provocative and engaged literature with marked social, political and feminist themes, culminating in the famous debate on the “death” – or renewal – of literature itself. Among the authors considered will be Peter Weiss, Verena Stefan, Ingeborg Bachmann, Peter Handke, Peter Schneider, Hans Magnus Enzensberger, and Erich Fried.

Language Courses

GERM 200 – Intensive Beginners

GERM 202 – Beginners

GERM 300 – Intensive Intermediate

GERM 307 – Intermediate

GERM 325 – Intensive Advanced


Hispanic Studies


Please note that there is no waitlist for HISP-210 and HISP-220; they are only available for HISP 218 and HISP 219. If the classes are full, advisors in Hispanic Studies will not be able to help you get into the course. You should continue checking Minerva to see whether a spot becomes available. If that is not the case and you need the course as part of your degree requirements, you should discuss your academic situation with the advisor of your program of study. He/she will help you find a solution. Advisors in Hispanic Studies have no authority over the degree requirements of the programs of study of other departments.


Placement Tests will be administered during the first week of class in the language class the student is registered in. If you miss the placement test, you will not be able to remain in the course.

Students with no prior or little knowledge of Spanish should register in Spanish Beginners [HISP-210 or HISP-218]. Students with prior knowledge of Spanish at the intermediate level should register in Spanish Intermediate [HISP-220 or HISP-219]. Should you be unsure as to your level, please contact the Language Program Director at lucia.chamanadjian [at] mcgill.ca

According to the results of the placement test, instructors might recommend a change in level. We do not guarantee, however, that places will be available in the suggested course/level.

Fall 2015

HISP 225 - Hispanic Civilization

Taught In English

Prof. Kay Sibbald

This course is designed to give students from all disciplines a general overview of Hispanic civilization with a particular focus on Spain and Latin America. The course is primarily a chronological study of the major historical and cultural elements that constitute what we may call the “Hispanic World”. If the immense territory and diversity encompassed make such a concept far from homogeneous, certain key moments in history and the people, events, and institutions that shaped these regions have created what is, arguably, a collective identity forged by centuries of shared experiences and realities. In order to give students a better understanding of, and greater appreciation for, the richness of Hispanic culture some use will also be made of elements from other disciplines such as geography, anthropology, music, art, literature, and film. This survey extends from earliest times up to the year 1700; it will be continued in the Winter Term in HISP 226

HISP 241 - Survey of Spanish Literature I 

Curso en español

Prof. TBA

This course provides an introduction to the evolution of Spanish (especially Castilian) literature from its origins in the twelfth century to its Golden Age in the sixteenth and seventeenth. A key concern is the relationship of literary expression to the historical, cultural and ideological contexts of Spanish society and the nation, as well as the use of literature as a forum for debate. Class discussions and essays afford students an opportunity for active learning, and to improve their oral and written language skills. Although correct expression is expected, evaluation of the essays is based primarily on the understanding of texts, themes and issues, and on the quality of the analysis and argumentation.

HISP 243 - Survey of Spanish American Literature I 

Curso en español

Prof. Fernanda Macchi

El curso ofrece una visión panorámica del desarrollo de la literatura hispanoamericana desde finales del siglo XV a principios del siglo XIX a través de la discusión de textos de autores como Cristóbal Colón, Hernán Cortés, Bartolomé de las Casas, el Inca Garcilaso de la Vega y Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, entre otros. A lo largo del semestre, los estudiantes no sólo se familiarizarán con las obras de estos autores, sino que discutirán sobre las relaciones entre literatura, historia y colonialismo. Uno de los objetivos primarios de la clase será permitir al alumno adquirir las herramientas necesarias para la escritura de textos argumentativos efectivos de nivel académico.

HISP-301 - Hispanic Literature and Culture in English 1

Taught in English

Prof. Cecily Raynor

HISP-324 - 20th Century Drama - Satirical drama and theater of social protest. Literatura compromedia.

Curso en español

Prof. Kay Sibbald

García Lorca and Casona, Buero Vallejo, Sastre, Olmo, Muñiz, Resino, Pedrero, and others.  This course is designed to give a general view of the evolution of social drama in modern Spain through the twentieth and into the twenty-first centuries by the study of certain representative authors and their writings.  In addition, students are encouraged to improve their language skills in Spanish through active class participation and the various written assignments.

HISP 341 - Spanish Cinema

Curso en español

Prof. Jesús Pérez Magallón

El cine de Pedro Almodóvar ha sabido interesar y emocionar a las personas sin fronteras nacionales, sociales o genéricas. Algunas de sus películas—Mujeres al borde de un ataque de nervios, Laberinto de pasiones, Todo sobre mi madre o Hable con ella—son un cuestionamiento de ideas hegemónicas y de las ideologías dominantes hasta entonces. Este curso dedicará una parte importante a explorar el mundo imaginario y estético de Almodóvar. También se discutirá sobre la narrativa histórica que en cierto sentido explica a Almodóvar—Le chien andalou, de Luis Buñuel; Bienvenido Mr. Marshall, de Luis García Berlanga; Ana y los lobos y Cría cuervos, de Carlos Saura; El espíritu de la colmena, de Víctor Érice—así como algunos filmes que prolongan y enriquecen la visión almodovariana: Te doy mis ojos, de Iciar Bollaín; Balada triste de trompeta, de Alex de la Iglesia; Pa negre, de Agustí Villaronga.

HISP 453 - 20th Century Spanish-American Poetry 

Curso en español

Prof. Amanda Holmes

This course explores poetry of the twentieth century from Spanish America, with a detailed look at the works of five principal poets: Gabriela Mistral, Pablo Neruda, César Vallejo, Octavio Paz and Nicolás Guillén.  Works by these authors will be complemented by secondary readings, and comparisons will be drawn with texts by other twentieth-century Spanish American poets.  Topics include both thematic and formal elements of poetry analysis, from the image of the woman, the political engagement of the poet and négritude, to the definitions of poetic forms such as hermetic and concrete poetry.

HISP 505 - Seminar in Hispanic Studies 01 Topic: Goya: Lights and Shadows in Spanish Enlightenment

Given in Spanish

Prof. Jesus Perez-Magallon

Winter 2016

HISP 226 - Hispanic Civilization 2

Taught in English

Prof. Kay Sibbald

This course is designed to give students from all academic backgrounds a general overview of the Hispanic world from the year 1700 to the present day. The aim is to introduce students to the geography, history and culture of the diverse regions which make up the Spanish-speaking world. Key historical periods and events like 18th century Spain, the transition from colonial rule to independence in the Americas, the Mexican Revolution, the Spanish Civil War and a look at present day Argentina will be highlighted through representative works of art, literature, music and film.

HISP 242 - Survey of Spanish Literature 2

Curso en español

Prof. Jesús Pérez Magallón

El curso ofrece una visión panorámica del desarrollo de la literatura y la cultura española desde finales del siglo XVIII hasta nuestros días con particular atención al uso del lenguaje a nivel intermedio-avanzado. Los estudiantes analizarán textos y materiales procedentes de diferentes géneros literarios tales como la novela, la poesía o el ensayo así como de otras formas de expresión artística. Entre los temas a los que prestaremos particular atención se encuentra la búsqueda de un lenguaje capaz de representar las contradicciones de la realidad española de los últimos dos siglos.

HISP 244 - Survey of Spanish-American Literature 2

Curso en español

Prof. Amanda Holmes

This course aims to familiarize students with general concepts in Latin American literature through a discussion of representative works from Modernism to the early twenty-first century.   Students will be exposed to a variety of literary genres from poetry and prose to historical documents, letters and essays.

HISP 327 - Literature of Ideas: Spain

Curso en español

Prof. Jesús Pérez Magallón

Este curso pondrá el énfasis en lo fragmentario, lo parcial e incompleto. Seguirá, eso sí, una cierta línea cronológica que nos llevará a leer textos que no son exclusivamente ensayísticos o filosóficos, sino que, poniendo el acento en la dimensión intelectual de las lecturas, se analizarán escritos de diverso origen y procedencia. El objetivo último será lograr una cierta familiaridad con el modo en que la diversidad del mundo de las ideas se plasma en la cultura española.

HISP 340 - Spanish-American Cinema Topic: Cine y política

Curso en español

Prof. Amanda Holmes

A study of representative films, directors and movements of the region.

HISP 356 - Spanish-American Short Story

Curso en español

Prof.Jose Jouve-Martin

HISP 437 - Viceregal Spanish America - Colonial literature / Post-Colonial Theory

Curso en español

Prof. Fernanda Macchi

Uno de los mayores desafíos que se encuentran en el estudio de los textos coloniales es evitar repetir en la lectura e interpretación las estructuras binarias propias del colonialismo.
Los estudios poscoloniales han propuesto distintas alternativas de lectura para evitar esta trampa. El propósito de este curso es explorar esas alternativas, a través de un diálogo entre textos coloniales y formulaciones poscoloniales. Los autores coloniales seleccionados conforman para su propio período un discurso oposicional y han de ser interrogados a lo largo de nuestro curso como emblemas de la discursividad poscolonial. El Inca Garcilaso de la Vega, Felipe Guamán Poma de Ayala, Bartolomé de Las Casas, Alvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca y Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz servirán como guías de nuestro recorrido, y alrededor de ellos se organizarán las lecturas teóricas correspondientes.

Language Courses

HISP 210 - Spanish Beginners

HISP 218 - Spanish Elementary Intensive

HISP 219 - Spanish Intermediate Intensive

HISP 220 - Spanish Intermediate


Italian Studies

Fall 2015

ITAL 230 - Understanding Italy

ITAL 250 - Italian Literary Composition

ITAL 290 - Commedia Dell'Arte

ITAL 360 - Contemporary Italian Prose

ITAL 375 - Cinema and Society in Modern Italy


Winter 2016

ITAL 260 - Reading Italian Literature

ITAL 310 - The Invention of Italian Literature

ITAL 395 - Interdisciplinary Seminar

ITAL 410 - Italian Modernism

ITAL 477 - Italian Cinema and Video

Language Courses

ITAL 205 - Italian for Beginners

ITAL 206 - Beginners' Italian Intensive

ITAL 210 - Elementary Italian

ITAL 215 - Intermediate Italian

ITAL 216 - Intermediate Italian Intensive


Russian Studies

Fall 2015

RUSS 217 - Russia's Eternal Questions

RUSS 223 - Russian 19th Century: Literary Giants 1

RUSS 382 - Russian Opera

Winter 2016

RUSS 224 - Russian 19th Century: Literary Giants 2

RUSS 337 - Vladimir Nabokov

RUSS 430 - High Stalinist Culture 1

Language Courses

RUSS 210 - Elementary Russian Language 1

RUSS 211 - Elementary Russian Language 2

RUSS 215 - Elementary Russian Language Intensive 1

RUSS 310 - Intermediate Russian Language 1

RUSS 311 - Intermediate Russian Language 2

RUSS 316 - Intermediate Russian Language Intense 2

RUSS 400 - Advanced Russian Language 1

RUSS 401 - Advanced Russian Language 2

RUSS 452 - Advanced Russian Language and Syntax 1


LLC Courses

Fall 2015

LLCU 201 - Literature and Culture Topics Topic: Narratives of Migration and Identity

LLCU 212 - Understanding Digital and Social Media

LLCU 230 - Environmental Imaginations

LLCU 255 - Introduction to Literary Text Mining I

Winter 2016

LLCU 210 - Introduction to European Literature & Culture

LLCU 220 - Introduction to Literary Analysis

LLCU 301 - Topics in Culture and Thought Topic: Rogues, Vagabonds, and Madmen: the Picaresque Tradition