Assistant Professor of Spanish
Luis H. Castañeda teaches courses on Spanish language at all levels and 20th/21st century Hispanic literatures and cultures from Spanish America and Spain. A native of Lima, Perú, he earned a B.A. in Hispanic literature from the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú (2006). After graduation he relocated to the United States to pursue graduate studies at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He holds an M.A. (2008) and a Ph.D (2012) in Spanish from CU-Boulder.
Professor Castañeda's academic specialization is contemporary literature (prose and poetry) from Spanish America and Spain, with a focus on the transatlantic circulation of texts. His main area of inquiry is the fictional representation of authorship, concentrating on the (para)institutional and political role of (neo)avant-garde aesthetic communities. He is currently working on an academic book project titled Ephemeral Communities in the Spanish American Novel, and has published a number of scholarly articles and presented conference papers related to these topics. As a creative writer he is the author of six books, among them El futuro de mi cuerpo (2010), La noche americana (2011), and Viaje al norte del verano (2012).
Recent publications (selected):
*"Luis Loayza y el canon de la literatura peruana: condición colonial, ética literaria y forma ensayística en El sol de Lima." (forthcoming in Revista hispánica moderna).
*"De padres e hijos: la construcción (auto)biográfica del prestigio artístico en Tiempo de vida de Marcos Giralt Torrente." Revista canadiense de estudios hispánicos 37.3 (Primavera 2013): 459-79. Print.
*"El fracaso del mal: Damas chinas de Mario Bellatin." Salón de anomalías. Diez lecturas críticas acerca de la obra de Mario Bellatin. Ed. Raggio, Salvador. Lima: Ediciones Altazor, 2013. 99-118. Print.
*"La boca de la sierpe, la quijada del león: (in)moralidad, verdad intraverbal y diseminación en los Sueños de Quevedo." Romance Quarterly 60.4 (Sept. 2013): 196-207. Print.
*"Belano, Wieder y Reiter: tres autores malditos en las novelas de Roberto Bolaño." Libros & Artes, Revista de la Biblioteca Nacional del Perú XI.60-61 (Abril de 2013): 32-35. Print.
*"Los lazos de la autoría: las novelas de Edgardo Rivera Martínez." Libros & Artes, Revista de la Biblioteca Nacional del Perú XI.54-55 (Julio de 2012): 27-29. Print.
*"Una dispersa dinastía de solitarios: la sociedad secreta en los cuentos de Borges." Variaciones Borges 32 (2011): 179-200. Print.
*"Personas fidedignas y palabras formales: estrategias de legitimación del narrador historiográfico en la cuarta parte de la Crónica del Perú de Pedro Cieza de León." Hispanic Review 79.3 (Summer 2011): 399-423. Print.
Courses offered in the past four years.
▲ indicates offered in the current term
▹ indicates offered in the upcoming term[s]
CMLT 0700 - Senior Thesis
FYSE 1403 - Open Class Learning Hisp World
Open Classrooms: Learning in the Hispanic World
What do children and teenagers need to learn—both inside and outside of the classroom—in order to become adults in Hispanic societies? How does the experience of learning in modern Spain and Latin America compare to our experience here, at Middlebury College? With these questions in mind, we will examine conflicting portrayals of young learners in Spanish-speaking contexts through literature and film. Two extreme definitions of learning will be explored and, if necessary, challenged: learning can be understood as fostering the growth of independent individuals, but also as a disciplinary process that stifles freedom and reproduces inequality. Our reflection will focus on issues of personal identity, affectivity, family relationships, class, gender, politics, and nationhood. This seminar is appropriate for native speakers of Spanish, bilingual students, and students who have scored 720 or above on the Spanish SAT II, or 5 on the Spanish AP. 3 hrs. sem.
LITS 0500 - Independent Research Project
Independent Research Project
(Approval Required) (Staff)
LITS 0701 - Independent Reading Course ▹
Independent Reading Course
Intended for majors in literary studies preparing for the senior comprehensive examinations. At the conclusion of this course, students will take a one-hour oral examination (part of the senior comprehensive examination) in a specialization of their choice. (Approval Required) (Staff)
Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2014
SPAN 0101 - Beginning Spanish I
Beginning Spanish I
This course is an introduction to the fundamentals of grammar and focuses on the development of four skills in Spanish: comprehension, speaking, reading, and writing. Emphasis will be placed on active communication aimed at the development of oral and comprehension skills. This course is for students who have not previously studied Spanish. Students are expected to continue with SPAN 0102 and SPAN 0103 after successful completion of SPAN 0101. 5 hrs. lect./disc.
SPAN 0220 / SPAN 0210 - Intermediate Spanish II ▲ ▹
Intermediate Spanish II
A course for students seeking to perfect their academic writing skills in Spanish. The course is also an introduction to literary analysis and critical writing and will include reading and oral discussion of literary texts. The course will also include a thorough review of grammar at a fairly advanced level. This course may be used to fulfill the foreign languages distribution requirement. (SPAN 0210 or placement) 3 hrs. lect./disc.
Spring 2013, Spring 2014, Fall 2014
SPAN 0310 - Otherness in Hispanic Lit.
(Intimate) Otherness in Contemporary Hispanic Fiction*
Recent Hispanic literature locates otherness in ambiguous spaces. The "other" can be excluded in order to demarcate selfhood, but also recognized as internal ("intimate") to a complex and perhaps richer self. In this course students will sharpen oral and written communication skills and build a sophisticated vocabulary to analyze the literary and cultural context of the Spanish speaking world. This goal will be accomplished through readings in late 20th/early 21st century short stories and novellas from the Iberian Peninsula and Spanish America. Race, gender, class, nationality, and health are some perspectives we will adopt in order to map the literary production/deconstruction of "others" as marginalized/embraced subjects. (SPAN 0220 or placement) 3 hrs. lect./disc.
SPAN 0350 - Los raros: Alternative Fiction ▹
Los raros: Alternative Hispanic Fiction
In this course we will analyze fiction by authors often described as “raros” (“strange”). “Los raros” is a category coined by poet Rubén Darío and later adopted by critic Angel Rama and others to designate a “secret society” of peripheral and imaginative writers who have spawned unclassifiable, experimental, sometimes dreamlike, always revolutionary texts. We will delve into the narrative worlds of “raros” (Bellatin, Hernández, Levrero, Somers, Vila-Matas, etc.) and articulate the threat that “rareza” poses to dominant notions of identity, normality, sanity, and coherence. (Two Spanish courses at the 0300-level or above, or waiver) 3 hrs. lect./disc.
SPAN 0396 - Voices Across the Atlantic
Voices Across the Atlantic: Literature of the Spanish (American) Avant-garde
The avant-garde was a cosmopolitan phenomenon that challenged fixed boundaries. The Spanish and Latin American vanguards have common roots, beginning with the European journey of Vicente Huidobro in 1918. This Transatlantic dialogue continued through Jorge Luis Borges, who became an ultraísta in Spain and established the Argentine branch of the movement. In this course we will read prose, poetry, and essays produced on both sides of the Atlantic in the Interwar years (1919-1938). We will emphasize how these works channel—and criticize—a desire for the modern, how they pursue radical experimentation, and how they contest reason to embrace irrationality and fragmentation. (At least two courses at the 0300-level or above or by waiver).
SPAN 0400 - Hispanic Postnat'l Identities ▲
Hispanic Postnational Identities
In this seminar we will discuss nationalism and postnationalism as portrayed in Hispanic literature, nonfiction, and film. Nationalism is a strong sense of belonging to a political and/or cultural community that is often compared to religious faith. Despite the centrality of the nation-state since the 18th century, some critics argue that in present times its prevalence has been eroded by local and global affiliations. This semester we will read the theory of nationalism, study the birth and development of the nation in Spain and Hispanic America, and analyze diverse textual and filmic representations of current Hispanic postnational identities. (Senior majors with at least two Spanish courses numbered 0350 or above, or by waiver.) 3 hrs. sem.
SPAN 0500 - Independent Study ▲ ▹
The department will consider requests by qualified juniors and senior majors to engage in independent work. (Approval only)
Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Winter 2014, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015
SPAN 0705 - Senior Honors Thesis ▲ ▹
Senior Honors Thesis
The department will award honors, high honors, or highest honors on the basis of a student's work in the department and performance in SPAN 0705. (Approval only)
Fall 2013, Winter 2014, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015