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UO Romance Languages 623: Canons, Culture, and Commodification

UO Romance Languages 623: Canons, Culture, and Commodification

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Published by davidwacks
Graduate Seminar for students in Department of Romance Languages:
The study of language and culture in an institutional setting (school, university, institute) creates market opportunities for cultural and linguistic artifacts. These products determine in large part how the target language, culture, and literature are perceived and in turn transmitted to the next generation of institutional consumer-learners. Language study materials (textbooks, multimedia) and literature textbooks, anthologies, and literary histories are not transparent representations of any given language or culture. Their production and consumption are conditioned by market considerations, by the intellectual and professional habits of their producers, and by the ideologies and administrative policies of where they are consumed.

In this class we will read and critique a variety of texts including primary sources such as language textbooks and multimedia, literary anthologies, literature and culture textbooks, and secondary texts dealing with issues of canonicity, literary history, and critical approaches to the commodification of national languages and cultures.
Graduate Seminar for students in Department of Romance Languages:
The study of language and culture in an institutional setting (school, university, institute) creates market opportunities for cultural and linguistic artifacts. These products determine in large part how the target language, culture, and literature are perceived and in turn transmitted to the next generation of institutional consumer-learners. Language study materials (textbooks, multimedia) and literature textbooks, anthologies, and literary histories are not transparent representations of any given language or culture. Their production and consumption are conditioned by market considerations, by the intellectual and professional habits of their producers, and by the ideologies and administrative policies of where they are consumed.

In this class we will read and critique a variety of texts including primary sources such as language textbooks and multimedia, literary anthologies, literature and culture textbooks, and secondary texts dealing with issues of canonicity, literary history, and critical approaches to the commodification of national languages and cultures.

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Published by: davidwacks on Dec 31, 2010
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RL623 Spring 2009Updated 31 March 2009
1
RL 623: Culture, Canon, and Commodification
Instructors: Robert Davis (rldavis@uoregon.edu) and David Wacks(wacks@uoregon.edu)Spring 2009, CRN 34907 Tuesday 2:00-5:00pm in Education 117
Description:
The study of language and culture in an institutional setting (school,university, institute) creates market opportunities for cultural and linguisticartifacts. These products determine in large part how the target language, culture,and literature are perceived and in turn transmitted to the next generation of institutional consumer-learners. Language study materials (textbooks, multimedia)and literature textbooks, anthologies, and literary histories are not transparentrepresentations of any given language or culture. Their production and consumptionare conditioned by market considerations, by the intellectual and professionalhabits of their producers, and by the ideologies and administrative policies of wherethey are consumed.In this class we will read and critique a variety of texts including primary sourcessuch as language textbooks and multimedia, literary anthologies, literature andculture textbooks, and secondary texts dealing with issues of canonicity, literaryhistory, and critical approaches to the commodification of national languages andcultures.
RL MA students:
This class will provide an excellent opportunity to begin developinga critical pedagogical portfolio. Graduate students from departments other thanRomance Languages are also strongly encouraged to enroll.
Texts:
All required readings are available in Blackboard/CourseDocuments/Readings
Textbook corpus:
Each student will select 3-5 language textbooks, literaryanthologies, and literary histories that will serve as the corpus for their weeklycritical interventions.
Requirements:2-creditcourse4-creditcourseCritical presentation:
The presentation will be a mockacademic conference paper (Please see "Guidelines forconference papers" in Blackboard/Documents/) of no more than10 double-spaced pages or 15 minutes in length. Students mustprovide the audience with some sort of visual aid (i.e.PowerPoint slides, handout, film clip, audio recordings, etc.).
---20%Weekly interventions (7, weeks 2-8):
Each week studentswill hand in a short (two-page) paper in which they apply criticalreadings to their corpus of materials. Each intervention willconsist of a paragraph of summary giving an overview of the
90%50%
 
RL623 Spring 2009Updated 31 March 2009
2
critical concepts and the materials to which they will be applied,followed by a detailed analysis supported by specific references.Students may write their weekly interventions with an eyetoward their particular literary, cultural, or pedagogical interests(period, topic, genre, etc) and in particular keeping in mind thelikely nature of their critical project.
Critical project:
 The critical project will be an article-lengthintervention exploring a problem in some aspect of languagelearning materials, literary anthologies, or literary history in oneor more Romance languages. Topics will be developed inconsultation with instructors and through weekly criticalinterventions. Projects must be submitted in MLA format.
Toreceive credit for an M.A. period requirement, the project must be written in the M.A. language and address the period in adirect way.
---30%Attendance and participation10%---Week 1 (3/31) Intro: History of FL studies in UniversityWeek 2 (4/7) Canonicity 1: The anthology
Visitor: Wadda Ríos-FontReading: Kuipers 2003; Even Zohar 1990; Ríos-Font 2001Intervention: Apply readings to primary readings in literary anthologies (2) of your choice
Week 3 (4/14) Canonicity 2: Literary History
Reading: Perkins 1992; Guillory 1993Intervention: Apply readings to primary readings in 2 literary anthologies and/orliterary histories
Week 4 (4/21) History of FL Textbook 
Reading: Richards and Rogers 2001; Musumeci 1997;Intervention: TBA
Week 5 (4/28) The Commodification of Language Learning
Visitors: Barbara Altmann, Bill Glass, Peter Suber (virtual)Reading: Wortham 1997; Sercu 2000; Maijala 2007; Suber 2004a; Suber 2004b;Intervention: Apply concepts to textbook corpus
Week 6 (5/5) Culture in the FL textbook 2
Reading: Kramsch 1993: 205-33; Osborn 2000;Intervention: Apply concepts to textbook corpus
Week 7 (5/12) New Media, Open Textbooks and the FL materials market
Visitor: Robert BlakeReading: cnx.org; Stevens 2006; Blake 2002
Tesoros
 
Week 8 (5/19) Culture in the FL textbook 3
 
RL623 Spring 2009Updated 31 March 2009
3
Reading: Herman 2007; Leeman and Martínez 2007
Week 9 (5/26) PresentationsWeek 10 (6/1) PresentationsInvited Speakers:
Wadda Ríos-Font (Barnard College):http://barnard.edu/faculty/profiles/riosfont_w.html 
Bill Glass (McGraw Hill):http://www.linkedin.com/pub/3/8a7/3a5 
Peter Suber (Earlham College):http://www.earlham.edu/~peters/hometoc.htm 
Robert Blake (U California-Davis):http://spanish.ucdavis.edu/people/faculty/Blake 
Barbara Altmann (U Oregon, Romance Languages, Humanities Center):http://rl.uoregon.edu/people/faculty/profiles/baltmann/index.php 
Required Readings:
Even-Zohar, Itamar. "Polysystem Theory."
Poetics Today 
11.1 (1990): 9-26.(see also Codde 2003 for updated overview)
Guillory, John.
Cultural Capital: The Problem of Literary Canon Formation
.Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1993.
Herman, Deborah M. "It's a small world after all: From stereotypes toinvented worlds in secondary school Spanish textbooks."
Critical Inquiry inLanguage Studies
Kramsch, Claire.
Context and Culture in Language Teaching
, Oxford: OxfordUniversity Press, 1993. 205-33.
Kuipers, Christopher M., 2003, “The Anthology / Corpus Dynamic: Towards aField Theory of the Canon,”
College Literature
30.2, 51-71.
Leeman, Jennifer, and Glenn Martínez. "From identity to commodity:Ideologies of Spanish in heritage language textbooks."
Critical Inquiry &Language Studies
4.1 (2007): 35-65.
Maijala, Minna. "Schoolbooks."
Imagology: The cultural construction andliterary representation of national characters
. Eds. Manfred Beller and JoepLeerssen. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2007. 418-21.
Musumeci, Diane (1997)
Breaking Tradition: An Exploration of the HistoricalRelationship Between Theory and Practice in Second Language Teaching
.McGraw Hill Professional Series.
Osborn, Terry A.
Critical reflection and the foreign language classroom
.Westport, Conn.: Bergin & Garvey, 2000.
Perkins, David.
Is literary history possible?
Baltimore: Johns HopkinsUniversity Press, 1992.
Richards, J., & Rodgers, T. (2001).
 Approaches and methods in languageTeaching
(2nd ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

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