The Border in Latin American Literature, Culture and Film
Spanish 499 (Class code: 13208 ) Section 02
Spring 2011
Tuesdays and Thursdays: 2:30 p.m.-3:45 p.m.
202 Humanities Building
Dr. Manuel F. Medina

Prerequisites:Required:Completion of Spanish 321, 322, 355 and senior standing. Intense investigation of an aspect of Hispanic culture, arts, literature, and /or linguistics.
Credit Hours: 3
Office and contact information:Humanities Building, Third Floor, 329-B
Telephone: 852-0501 (Office)
Fax: 852-8885
E-mail: medina502 at
Class URL:

Office Hours:

Tuesdays: 1:30 p.m.-2:20 p.m., Wednesday: 4:30 - 5:20 p.m.
and by appointment.

Course description, objectives & goals:

This class studies the concept of border within the connotation assigned by postmodernist critics and in the field of cultural studies. It analyzes the Contemporary Latin American cultural production and its manifestation in the study of borders.

Course objectives:

Required Texts: Available for download from the class website:
You must acquire a copy of _The House on Mango Street_ by Sandra Cisneros from a local library, an online bookstore, a local bookstore or borrow it from a friend. I have not placed a book order at the campus bookstore.

Attendance: First: If you don’t attend class, you’ll miss important information that will help you better understand the subject matter, the readings and to do well on the exams.

Second: I will deduct points from your grade for every un-excused absence, after the first two, using the following scale:

▸ Three to five: 5% deduction from the class grade
▸ Six to eight: a one letter grade reduction
▸ Nine or more: a failing grade (F) in the class

Note: Please, contact me regarding excused absences such as medical emergencies, jury duty, and other I could include in this category.

Grading policies: Assignments Percentage of Course Mark

1. Class participation & attendance 10%
2. Quizzes, and other assignments 10%
3. Two exams 50%
a. A midterm 25%
b. A final exam 25%
4. Oral Presentation 10%
5. Final paper/internet project 20%

Grading scale:
95.5%-100% A+
92.5%-95.4% A
89.5%-92.4% A-
85.5%-89.4% B+
82.5%-85.4% B
79.5%-82.4% B-
75.5%-79.4% C+
72.5%-75.4% C
69.5%-72.4% C-
65.5%-69.4% D+
62.5%-65.4% D
59.5%-62.4% D-
0%-59.4% F

Class Participation: Reading, analytical thinking, questioning, challenging old beliefs, expressing one's own opinions and writing represent the main components of this course. Please, make sure to complete all the assigned reading before class so you can participate in class discussions.

Exams:The midterm and the final exam will each consist of answering short questions, locating items in a map and writing an essay. Your answers must incorporate ideas and issues addressed in class, along with your own points of view. The exams will measure your knowledge of the assigned readings, the videos, the class lectures, and the material introduced in the oral presentations.

Papers: I will provide details about the term paper on the second week of classes

Submitting work: You must submit your paper and related assignments at the start of the class on the date stated in the assignment schedule. I will not accept late papers unless you and I have mutually agreed upon an extension before the paper's deadline. I very seldom grant extensions.

Oral Presentations: You must give an brief oral report (7-10 minutes). I will provide a list of possible topics and details on the second week of classes.

Student Academic Rights and Responsibilities:

Every student is expected to be thoroughly familiar with the University's Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities and Student Conduct which can be found in the General Information section of the Undergraduate Catalog.

p>Along with preparing for and attending class, each student has the responsibility of promoting high academic standards. Students are expected to cooperate in all classes with the instructor to achieve an optimal learning environment. The College of Arts and Sciences does not tolerate cheating, fabrication, falsification, multiple submission, plagiarism, or complicity in academic dishonesty. The College of Arts and Sciences has a statement of academic discipline for action against students who cheat or plagiarize.

University Policy on Discrimination and Sexual Harassment:

The University of Louisville strives to maintain the campus free of all forms of illegal discrimination as a place of work and study for faculty, staff, and students.
Sexual harassment is unacceptable and unlawful conduct and will not be tolerated in the workplace and the educational environment.
If an individual is shown to have violated the sexual harassment policy, the individual will be subject, depending upon the seriousness of the violation, to disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment or expulsion from the University.

Policy on Instructional Modifications or accommodations:

I encourage students who have a disability or other educational, physical or mental limitations or conditions which may impair their ability to complete assignments or otherwise satisfy course criteria to meet with me to identify, discuss and document any feasible instructional modifications or accommodations. Please notify me no later than the end of the second week of the semester or no later that the end of the second week after you get diagnosed with a disability or condition, whichever occurs first. You may contact the Disabilities Resource Center for information and auxiliary aid.

The University of Louisville is committed to providing access to programs and services for qualified students with disabilities. If you are a student with a disability and require accommodation to participate in and complete requirements for this class, contact the Disability Resource Center (Tobbins A Hall 852-6938) for verification of eligibility and determination of specific accommodations.

Policy on Mobile devices:

You cannot text, e-mail, im, connect to a social network or browse the internet in class. On a first offense, you will receive a warning. Second incidents will merit further consequences that will include confiscating devices and conflict resolutions sessions with the Dept. chair. I will also deduct points (up to 80%) of your overall class participation grade.

Note: The instructor reserves the right to make changes in the syllabus when necessary to meet learning objectives, to compensate for missed classes, or for similar reasons.