Spanish 580: Senior/Junior Seminar

In, From and On Latin America: Contemporary Literature and Film

With the support of the Internationalization Grant of the Andrew Mellon Foundation, I was able to establish the framework for innovative and collaborative undergraduate projects grounded in new knowledge that is created in, from and on Latin America, through the implementation of  nontraditional, non-Western theoretical tools that open up inclusive, global, multilingual, and diverse perspectives designed to increase critical thinking skills in our students. I developed a new model for the senior seminar in Spanish, which I will offer in Fall 2014, and established international connections for global learning collaborations for Allegheny College students with research and teaching entities in Argentina. New connections to the Dictionary of Alternative Thought, a recent Argentinian research project, link us with international specialists who question disciplinary paradigms within the Humanities in order to create conceptualizations for new knowledge across porous borders—hence, generating interdisciplinary fields.

The first step in the seminar is a learning program that articulates a network of alternative thought categories with students’ conscious knowledge in order to expand their conceptualizations and intellectual tools with which to make critical approaches to cultural products. The course aims to provide “real world” research experiences related to contemporary Latin American literature and cinema in all its diversity and particularity, from a theoretical frame rooted in the dialogue between the Academy and new socio-historical realities and artistic artifacts.


I traveled to Buenos Aires in June 2014 for research, course development and materials search for Allegheny College classroom and Pelletier Library use related to the on-going Dictionary of Alternative Thought project conducted by scholars at the Lanús National University and other important scientific research organizations there. I interviewed a number of scholars and filmmakers: Hugo Biagini, Marcelo Velarde, Hugo Chumbita, Ricardo Maliandi, Dora Barrancos, Malena Bavino, Hugo Bauzá, Zulma Palermo, Elisa Calabresse, Dina Picotti, Martin Richter , Rocco Opedisano, María Rosa Lojo, and  Gerardo Oviedo. This established a line of communication that will allow the Senior Seminar in future years to vary its content, yet maintain real-time exchanges of knowledge with Latin American researchers.

The new Allegheny College Senior/Junior seminar  will be unique in its engagement  with these issues in the context of late Modernity in Latin America, anchored in the close analysis from new interdisciplinary standpoints of a selection of representative works from Argentina, Colombia, Puerto Rico and Mexico. This website has been created for the seminar as an integral component of the instructional materials.


Graciela Maglia, Ph.D.
Visiting Associate Professor
Allegheny College