Eduardo Lago

Undergraduate Discipline

Spanish

MA, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain. PhD, Graduate Center, City University of New York. Special interests in translation theory, the aesthetics of the Baroque, and the connections among contemporary US Latino, Iberian, Spanish American, and Luso-Brazilian fiction writers. Author of Ladrón de mapas (Map Thief), a collection of short stories published in September 2007; Cuentos disperses (Scattered Tales), a collection of short stories, and Cuaderno de Méjico (Mexican Notebook), a memoir of a trip to Chiapas, both published in 2000. First novel Llámame Brooklyn (Call Me Brooklyn) in 2006 won Spain’s Nadal Prize and the City of Barcelona Award for best novel of the year, the Fundación Lara Award for the novel with the best critical reception, the National Critics Award, and best novel of the year in Spain by El Mundo. Recipient of the 2002 Bartolomé March Award for Excellence in Literary Criticism. Currently director of Instituto Cervantes of New York. SLC, 1994–

Current undergraduate courses

Advanced Spanish: In the Newsroom

Fall

This course will operate on two main levels. First, it will serve as an introduction to journalism as it is practiced today throughout the Spanish-speaking world. We will closely monitor how the main Spanish-language online journals, newspapers, and blogs function on a daily basis, paying special attention to the coverage of culture and the arts. In the seminar, we will operate as a real newsroom, serving to consolidate the structure of Sobremesa, Sarah Lawrence’s Latino online journal founded two years ago and published once each semester. The implementation of this project will require a continuous collaboration among editors, staff writers, photographers, and at least one graphic designer. Students taking this class will have to produce original pieces covering all aspects of cultural information, including profiles, interviews, essays, general and specialized articles, and book, theatre, dance, and film reviews in addition to all forms of written, graphic, and audiovisual reportage. Those in charge of the different sections of the publication will contact outside collaborators, requesting original contributions. A second, extremely important aspect of this course is that it will serve as a translation workshop at a professional level. Since Sobremesa admits submissions in Spanish, English, and Portuguese, all texts must be translated in order to ensure that they can be accessed in all three languages. A section of the online magazine (Burnt Eyelashes) will be devoted to the publication of conference projects dealing with Latino topics. Conference work will be geared toward the consolidation of the skills required to maintain all areas of our publication (photography, design, translation, textual and visual editing, etc.) in perfect shape, but it will also result in the crystallization of a specific contribution to be featured in the issue that will be published at the end of the semester. A solid command of Spanish is required.

Faculty
Related Cross-Discipline Paths

Literature in Spanish: Contemporary Narrative Works in Spanish.

Fall

This seminar will focus on the narrative production of the Spanish-speaking world. In our approach, we will explore the multiple cultural and historical connections that have always linked the literary traditions of Latin America and Spain, also taking into consideration a few representative works by US Latino writers. Chronologically, the works under study will belong to two distinct phases. First, we will examine fictional works published by Spanish-language authors in recent years, paying special attention to the literary production of Latin America when the younger generations of writers began to move away from the legacy of magic realism and open up their works to preoccupations shared by coetaneous authors from all corners of the world. In a second phase, we will concentrate on major works written by some of the most important representatives of the Spanish language canon active during the second half of the 20th century. Works under study will include novels and short fiction by Roberto Bolaño, César Aira, Alejandro Zambra, Guadalupe Nettel, Felipe Alfau, Junot Díaz, Cristina Rivera Garza, Roberto Artl, Horacio Quiroga, Julio Cortázar, and Felisberto Hernández.

Faculty
Related Cross-Discipline Paths

Previous courses

Beginning Spanish

Year

The aim of this course is to enable students without previous knowledge of Spanish to develop the skills necessary to achieve effective levels of communication in the language. From the start, students will be immersed in a monolingual environment. In the regular class meetings, we will actively implement a wide range of techniques aimed at creating an atmosphere of dynamic oral exchange. The acquisition of grammar structures will develop from the exploitation of everyday situations through the incorporation of a wide set of functional/contextual activities. Group conferences will help hone conversational skills and focus on individual needs. Both in class and in conference, we will explore the multiple resources provided by the Internet, retrieving all sorts of textual and visual Spanish-language materials. Later, these will be collectively exploited by the group. The viewing of films, documentaries, and segments of TV series, as well as the reading of blogs and digital publications, will take place outside the seminar meetings, serving as the basis of class discussions and debates. Weekly conversation sessions with the language assistant are an integral part of the course.

Faculty

Intermediate Spanish III: Culture in the Information Age

Year

This course is the continuation of the Intermediate III class taught in the fall semester. Language work will resume at exactly the same point where it was left at the end of the previous semester. Thematically, we will focus on the multiple uses of Spanish to be found in the virtual world, with a strong emphasis on exploring the blogosphere. We will identify and follow the most important blogs from Latin America and Spain. Literature will be one of our main concerns, but not the only one. All forms of culture will be incorporated into the course of study during our exploration of the virtual space. Art, film, music, photography, theatre, science, politics, comics, video games, gastronomy—all forms and manifestations of culture, high or low, will be the object of our attention, as long as their vehicle of expression is Spanish. Nothing will be excluded, with the exception of printed matter. The class will be encouraged to make use of all sorts of resources put at our disposal on the Internet. Along with blogs, newspapers published all over the Spanish-speking world will be continuously consulted. Work with the language assistants will be crucial, since part of the coursework will be monitored by them in close coordination with the instructor. The syllabus will be jointly created by all of us on a weekly basis. Students are expected to locate materials suitable to be integrated into the syllabus, which later will be exploited in class. There will be a short admission test in order to make sure that those wishing to register for this class have the adequate level.

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Literature in Spanish: The Spanish Language Canon

Year

This seminar will focus on the study of literary works originated all over the Spanish-speaking world, paying attention not only to narrative works but also to the development of the poetic canon and the essay. In our approach, we will explore the multiple cultural and historical connections that have always linked the literary traditions of Latin America and Spain, also taking into consideration the important contributions made by US Latino writers. We will start with an examination of the current state of affairs in the Spanish-language novel and its complex relationship with other literary traditions in a context of intense transnational, trans-Atlantic, and transcontinental exchange. The second historical segment to be explored will cover the second half of the 20th century, especially the literary manifestations interested in leaving behind the once powerful legacy of magical realism. Thirdly, we will study the historical roots of the contemporary Latin American and Spanish literary traditions, reading a selection of masterpieces written between 1850 and 1936. In the spring, we will proceed in reverse chronological order, studying the convergences between the narrative and poetic manifestations of the Spanish language canon starting in 1898, with stopovers in crucial moments of the Baroque, the Renaissance, and the late Middle Ages. Authors under consideration include Neruda, Vallejo, Lorca, Manrique and the anonymous authors of the romancero (poetry), Vargas Llosa, Rulfo, Lezama, Valle-Inclán, Baroja and Cervantes (narrative), and Ortega y Gasset, Paz, and Unamuno (essay). 

Faculty

Spanish Literature

Spring

This seminar will focus on the literary production of Spain between the 1830s and today. Our journey will start in the early decades of the 20th century, when three teenagers destined to become artists of universal stature attended the same college in Madrid and became friends: Federico García Lorca, Salvador Dalí, and Luis Buñuel. After reading prose works by each of them, we will conduct a selective exploration of the Spanish poetic canon, from medieval ballads to the latest manifestations by contemporary authors. Two philosophers, José Ortega y Gasset and Miguel de Unamuno will help us map the intricacies of Spanish cultural history. The most important segment of the class will be devoted to the study of the Spanish narrative tradition, with an emphasis on women novelists. The course will acknowledge the cultural and linguistic diversity of Spain, a country with four distinct literary traditions in as many languages: Castilian, Basque, Galician, and Catalan. Authors under study will include a significant number of canonical writers from the recent and not so recent past, such as Ana María Matute, Carmen Laforet, María Zambrano, Pedro Salinas, Ramón Gómez de la Serna, and Benito Pérez Galdós. Students interested in this course must have a very solid command of the language.

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