Foreign Languages

Foreign Languages

Faculty Biography: Dr. Agustín Boyer
Professor: Spanish

Office: LH 122
Phone (320) 308-4121
Fax: (320) 308-2002
E mail: aboyer@stcloudstate.edu

Research Interests
Spanish Medieval & Golden Age Literature
Spanish Mysticism
20th Century Spanish Prose & Poetry
History of Colonial Spanish America
Romance Philology & History of the Spanish Language

Publications & Papers
Poema de Mio Cid ; Cervantes' Don Quixote ; San Juan de la Cruz's Cántico Espiritual; Álvaro de Luna; Jorge Manrique; Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz; Octavio Paz; José Donoso, Pablo Neruda, Juan Goytisolo; Carmen Martín Gaite; Esther Tusquets; Luis Antonio de Villena; etc.

Teaching Experience:
San Francisco State University
University of California, Berkeley
Arizona State University
Saint Cloud State University (1995)

Professional Associations
American Association of Teachers of Spanish & Portuguese
Modern Language Association of America
Asociación de Licenciados y Doctores Españoles en Estados Unidos
Asociación Internacional de Americanistas

Some Literature Courses Taught at SCSU

SPA 432 Golden Age Literature
Syllabus description: This course explores the political, intellectual, and artistic developments necessary to understand the achievements and shortcomings of the Spanish society of the 16th and 17th Centuries. The Golden Age--as these two centuries came to be known--was an age of conflict and we will look into the social and political background for racial and religious strife, corruption, cultural elitism and patriarchal dominance.

In order to give some coherence to such an ambitious program, I have organized my lectures around what I consider to be the three greatest literary achievements of this period: the mystic poetry of San Juan de la Cruz, the birth of the modern novel with the picaresque and Cervantes, and the creation of the dramatic character of the trickster, Don Juan. These themes will also serve as an introduction to the Poetry, Prose, and Drama of the Golden Age. To get a feeling for the cultural background, the readings will be supplemented with slide projections and videos of actual stage productions.

SPA 435 Generation of 1898: A Postmodern Perspective on the Centennial
Syllabus description: In order to understand and appraise the changes that have occurred in contemporary Spain after the disruptions of the Civil War, francoism, and the political transition are finally over, we need an accurate re-interpretation of the last turn-of-the-century (1898-1936). We will make an in-depth study of the political, intellectual, and spiritual changes that--one hundred years ago--started the transformation of Spanish Society. Our readings and class discussions will evolve around the writings of three members of the generation of 1898: Miguel de Unamuno, Antonio Machado, and Ramón del Valle Inclán.

Unamuno's life, his novel San Manuel Bueno, mártir, and a selection of his essays and poetry, will introduce us to his re-interpretation of Spain's historical, intellectual, and religious background.

As we read Antonio Machado's Campos de Castilla we will discuss his poetry within the aesthetic context of Modernismo and European Vanguardism.

Finally, the theatre of Ramón del Valle Inclán will give us a chance to discuss the cultural disruptions caused by military coups, dictatorship, and censorship in the literary and artistic development for most of the 20th Century.

SPA 433 Spanish Poetry: La Modernidad
Recorrido panorámico de la poesía española moderna desde sus antecedentes en el Romanticismo y el Modernismo basta las ultimas manifestaciones del Siglo XX.

Partiendo de la Vida y una Selección Representativa de la Obra de cinco poetas españoles, las conferencias irán elucidando los distintos contextos históricos, culturales y poéticos que generalmente van asociados a los conceptos de época, movimiento y escuela o generación. Paralelamente a la lectura de los textos se hará un recorrido completo de las transformaciones socio-políticas ocurridas en España durante el siglo XX.

Con las lecturas y comentarios de texto se intentará harer un estudio profundo de los mecanismos formales, ideológicos y lingüísticos implementados por cada poeta para transmutar en materia poética sus vivencias personales y su visión de la realidad objetiva. El propósito del curso será aprender a disfrutar y valorar--por medio de la poesía--las profundas dimensiones y complejidades del ser humano. La antología de textos y todos los ejercicios preparados para el curso utilizarán una metodología comparatista--por lo que el alumno establecerá constantemente relaciones con otros poemas del autor, con otras artes (pintura, música), con otros poetas de la misma generación, con la poesía de otras épocas y con algunos poetas hispanoamericanos (Darío, Huidobro, Neruda, Paz, etc).

SPA 430 Contemporary Peninsular Prose: Post-Franco Women Writers
Syllabus description: This course is an introductory inquiry into contemporary feminist issues in Spain; issues concerning writing and reading as a woman; the creation of a feminine discourse; inclusion and exclusion; representation of female spaces, gender sexuality, male/female, and mother/daughter relations. The historical context of the course will be the impact of "la Transición" the transition from dictatorship to democracy. The lectures will survey the development of the Spanish novel from Social Realism into Post-Modernism starting with an in-depth study of the Civil War (1936-39) and its effects on postwar Spanish society as manifested in the novel (the myths of francoism, the effects of wartime violence, censorship, exile, etc.)

Our readings will include six novels published between 1978 an 1997 by Carmen Martín Gaite, Rosa Montero, and Esther Tusquest; plus a selection of excerpts from Carmen Laforet, Ana María Matute, Soledad Puértolas, Belén Golpegui, etc.

All the participants in the course are required to see-in conjunction with the readings--at least three videos from a suggested list of contemporary Spanish films (Almodóvar, Saura, Trueba, etc.)

HONORS 221 (MGM): The Hispanic Legacy in the USA
Syllabus description: The main goal of this course is to assert and recover, as part of the American background, the life experiences and cultural heritage of that "fast-growing minority" of American citizens of Hispanic descent. Spain's expansion into the New World from the Caribbean and Mexico will be seen mainly through Colonial architecture (missions of Florida, Northern Sonora, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and California). We will explore the legacy of Spain and Mexico in the American Southwest: a) Conquest and Evangelization; b) Territorial changes occurred since the 19th Century. In this section of the course we will look into the patterns of colonization, North American expansion into these territories, barrioization, settlement, immigration, and interaction in the borderlands. We will proceed to explore the unfolding of a Mexican-American identity through the linguistic and literary expression of a Mexican-American consciuosness as reflected in the following texts and authors:

Tomás Rivera, ... y no se lo tragó la tierra/...and the earth did not devour him
Aristeo Brito, El diablo en Texas/The Devil in Texas
Sandra Cisneros, The House of Mango Street/La casa de Mango Street
and a selection from Luís Valdéz, Gloria Anzaldúa, and Richard Rodríguez.

When reading the texts we will focus on sociohistorical and sociolinguistic issues (seek to correct some of the prevailing misconceptions about Chicano or Mexican American Spanish; explore issues of gender, bilingualism and languages in contact, adaptive cultural systems, search for place and space through literature, etc.

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