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Mario Higa

Associate Professor of Luso-Hispanic Studies

 
 work(802) 443-5877
 Fall 2021: Monday and Wednesday 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
 Voter Hall 203

Mario Higa holds a Ph.D. in Luso-Brazilian Literature from the University of Texas at Austin. At Middlebury, Mario teaches Portuguese language and Luso-Brazilian literature/culture courses. As a researcher, he is primarily interested in literary hermeneutics applied to modern Luso-Brazilian literature. Some of the topics Mario teaches in his courses and reflects on his scholarly works include History and its literary representation, critical methods of reading literary texts, and rhetoric and the nature of meaning.

 

Courses

Course List: 

Courses offered in the past four years.
indicates offered in the current term
indicates offered in the upcoming term[s]

IGST 0703 - LAS Senior Thesis      

Latin American Studies Senior Thesis
(Approval Required)

Fall 2019, Winter 2020, Fall 2020, Winter 2021, Fall 2021, Winter 2022

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PGSE 0115 - Accelerated Begin Portuguese      

Accelerated Beginning Portuguese
This course is an intensive and fast-paced introduction to Portuguese, covering all of the basic structures and vocabulary as well as important aspects of the cultures of Lusophone countries. Within a cultural context, emphasis will be placed on active communication aimed at the development of comprehension, speaking, reading, and writing. Students are expected to continue with PGSE 0215, after successful completion of PGSE 0115 (formerly PGSE 0210). Open to all students. 6 hrs. lect./disc. LNG

Fall 2021

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PGSE 0210 - Accelerated Begin Portuguese      

Accelerated Beginning Portuguese
This course is an intensive and fast-paced introduction to Portuguese, covering all of the basic structures and vocabulary as well as important aspects of the cultures of Lusophone countries. Within a cultural context, emphasis will be placed on active communication aimed at the development of comprehension, speaking, reading, and writing. Students are expected to continue with PGSE 0215, after successful completion of PGSE 0210. Open to all students. 6 hrs. lect./disc. LNG

Fall 2017, Spring 2019, Fall 2019

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PGSE 0215 - Advanced Portuguese      

Advanced Portuguese
This course is a continuation of PGSE 0210. It is designed to balance textual and cultural analysis with a thorough review of grammar at an intermediate/high level. Students will hone their critical thinking and linguistic skills through guided readings, oral discussions, and short written assignments on Lusophone cultural topics. (PGSE 0103 or PGSE 0210 or by waiver) 4 hrs. lect./disc. LNG

Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2022

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PGSE 0359 / SPAN 0359 - Luso-Hispanic Short Stories      

Through the Looking Glass: Short Stories from the Spanish and Portuguese Americas
This course will be taught in Spanish and Portuguese for students proficient in or who have previously studied both languages. The main goal of the course is to examine and compare key historical issues of the Hispanic and Lusophone Americas through the reading of short stories. By scrutinizing these issues in both contexts, and contrasting them, students will explore their commonalities and specificities. Critical essays will accompany the fictional texts. Authors to be read include Borges, Rulfo, and García Márquez, from the Spanish side; Rosa, Lispector, and Machado de Assis, from the Portuguese side. Topics to be analyzed are violence, love and sexuality, madness and sickness, power dynamics, otherness, and the feminine condition. (PGSE 0215 and SPAN 0350 or above, or by approval) 3hrs. lect. AMR CMP LIT LNG

Fall 2017

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PGSE 0370 - History of Brazilian Soccer      

A Cultural History of Brazilian Soccer
Brazilians usually joke that volleyball is the country’s #1 sport, because soccer in Brazil does not count as a sport, it is a religion. In this course students will learn about the history of Brazilian soccer and how it became a “religion”. This history begins in 1895 when Charles Miller, coming from England, organized in São Paulo the first soccer game ever played in Brazil. Since then, the sport has deeply permeated Brazilian culture and arts (literature, music, cinema). Topics to be examined in this historical context are race, social class, gender, politics, and national identity. Materials to be discussed include fictional and non-fictional texts, songs, videos, and movies. Depending on the number of students enrolled, the course will be scheduled to have one soccer practice and one game (against another team) during the semester. Students may opt out of the practice and/or the game if they want. (PGSE 0215, or by approval) 3hrs. lect AAL AMR LIT LNG

Spring 2018, Spring 2020, Spring 2022

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PGSE 0399 - The School of Bossa Nova      

The School of Bossa Nova
During the 1950s, Brazil left the image of an exotic country behind to emerge on the world stage as a prosperous and modern nation. The soundtrack to this historical period was Bossa Nova, a revolutionary musical genre that blends together Afro-Brazilian samba and American jazz. In this course students will explore the history of Bossa Nova, its cultural paradigms, and its global impact. As a product of samba and jazz, how did Bossa Nova deal with issues of race and gender? Is Bossa Nova a “whitened” form of samba? How are women represented in Bossa Nova’s lyrics? Also, how were Tom Jobim and Vinicius de Moraes’ songs received in countries such as Japan, France, Cape Verde, Argentina, and the U.S.? How did these songs help change the perception of Brazil from abroad? In order to reflect on these and other questions, we will combine the reading of essays on Brazilian history and culture with the analysis of a number of Bossa Nova’s classics. Moreover, we will dedicate a section of our classes to “practice” these songs. As in the movie The School of Rock, students and teacher will rehearse for a performance, open to the Middlebury community, that will take place on campus by the end of the semester. Music skills are desirable, but not required. (PGSE 0215, or by approval) 3hrs. lect. AAL AMR ART SOC

Fall 2021

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PGSE 0500 - Independent Study      

Independent Study
(Approval Required)

Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Fall 2021, Winter 2022

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SPAN 1353 - Borges' Ficciones      

Borges' /Ficciones/
The Argentinian writer Jorge Luis Borges (1899-1986) is arguably one of the most influential artists of the 20th century. In this course we will take a deep look at one of his major works: the short story collection Ficciones (1941). By using the technique of close reading, we will define Borges’ main themes in this book and analyze their connections with history and philosophy. We will also examine Borges’ literary sources and cultural legacy. This course will be taught in Spanish. (At least two Spanish courses at the 0300 level, or by waiver). AAL AMR LIT LNG WTR

Winter 2020

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Department of Luso-Hispanic Studies

Voter Hall
303 College Street
Middlebury College
Middlebury, VT 05753