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Nicolas Poppe

Associate Professor of Luso-Hispanic Studies

Track Director of Latin American Studies

 work(802) 443-5343
 Tuesday (3:30-5), Friday (8:30-10), or by appointment.
 Robert A. Jones '59 House B01

Nicolas Poppe is Associate Professor of Luso-Hispanic Studies at Middlebury College. He completed his B.A. in Philosophy and Spanish at Hendrix College and took his M.A. and Ph.D in Hispanic Literature and Culture at the University of Texas at Austin. After completing his graduate studies, Professor Poppe taught at Denison University and Ball State University. He began teaching at Middlebury in 2015.

Professor Poppe specializes in Latin American cultural studies, and researches primarily within the fields of film and media studies. His work on topics such as early Latin American sound cinema and New Argentine Cinema has been published in several edited volumes, as well as peer-reviewed journals such as Arizona Journal of Hispanic Cultural StudiesCinema Journal, and Journal of Latin American Cultural Studies. Professor Poppe has edited two special issues of videographic criticism on Latin American cinema: an issue of [in]Transition (with Michael Talbott), the first peer-reviewed journal devoted exclusively to publishing videographic scholarship, and a dossier of Vivomatografías, a journal dedicated to the study of pre-cinema and silent cinema in Latin America. He also edited (with Rielle Navitski) the volume Cosmopolitan Film Cultures in Latin America, 1896-1960 (Indiana University Press, 2017). His book Alton's Paradox: Foreign Film Workers and the Emergence of Industrial Sound Cinema in Latin America (SUNY Press, 2021) uses extensive archival research to explore the manifold contributions of foreign film workers to emerging film industries in Latin America from the 1930s to early 1940s.

At Middlebury, Professor Poppe teaches language classes at all levels, as well as courses in area studies and Latin American film and media studies.

Selected Publications + Vimeo



Course List: 

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

CMLT 0700 - Senior Thesis      

Senior Thesis
A senior thesis is normally completed over two semesters. During Fall and Winter terms, or Winter and Spring terms, students will write a 35-page (article length) comparative essay, firmly situated in literary analysis. Students are responsible for identifying and arranging to work with their primary language and secondary language readers, and consulting with the program director before completing the CMLT Thesis Declaration form. (Approval required.)

Fall 2018, Fall 2019, Fall 2020, Fall 2021

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FYSE 1530 - Global Chaplin      

Global Chaplin
“Charles Chaplin,” according to the British Film Institute, “is film history—a genius of the defining art of the 20th century and a towering figure in world culture.” In this course, we will study films like The Kid, Modern Times, and The Great Dictator and their reception from Dar es Salaam to Lima to Shanghai. We will also examine diverse ways in which Chaplin—especially his signature character, The Tramp—was later appropriated worldwide by Chaplinesque figures like Cantinflas, Raj Kapoor, and Giulietta Masina. In so doing, we will question the meanings of mass media industries and global popular culture. 3 hrs. sem. ART CMP CW

Fall 2018

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IGST 0252 - Intro Latin American Studies      

Introduction to Latin American Studies
This course is an interdisciplinary introduction to Latin America and Latin American studies. It introduces key debates on the region (and its many subregions) that will feature prominently in other courses not only at Middlebury, but also study abroad. By tracing the region’s historical development, we closely examine issues such as colonialism, economics, identity, imperialism, modes of citizenry, and nationalism, as well as explore how class, commerce, culture, ethnicity, gender, politics, race, religion, and sexuality have come to be understood in Latin America and its study. Critical, scholarly, and theoretical readings will supplement primary texts. 3 hrs. Lect./disc AAL AMR HIS SOC

Spring 2022

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IGST 0501 - LAS Independent Project      

Latin American Studies Independent Project
(Approval Required)

Fall 2020, Fall 2021

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IGST 0703 - LAS Senior Thesis      

Latin American Studies Senior Thesis
(Approval Required)

Winter 2021, Winter 2022

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SPAN 0201 - Intermediate Spanish      

Intermediate Spanish
This accelerated course is designed to review, reinforce, and consolidate the linguistic structures that students need in order to reach the intermediate level of proficiency in Spanish. A grammar review will accompany intensive language acquisition, vocabulary expansion, readings, discussions, and compositions. (Placement test required) 3 hrs. lect., 1 hr. drill. LNG

Fall 2017, Spring 2019, Fall 2020

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SPAN 0220 - 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 0201, SPAN 0210, or placement) 3 hrs. lect./disc. LNG

Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Spring 2021, Fall 2021

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SPAN 0307 - Ideas&Cultures of SouthernCone      

Ideas and Cultures of the Southern Cone
What’s in a name? A sub-region of Latin America, the Southern Cone consists of three countries marked by cultural, geographical, historical, sociopolitical (dis)connection. In this course we will approach Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay not only as nations, but as a region with extensive transnational connections. Through analysis of a wide-range of cultural products like Ercilla’s early modern epic poem La Araucana, Figari’s paintings depicting candombé culture, and films of the New Argentine Cinema, we will study aspects of the cultural identities and intellectual histories of these countries and the region. (SPAN 0220 or placement) 3 hrs. lect./disc AAL AMR CW LIT LNG

Fall 2017, Spring 2020, Fall 2021

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SPAN 0315 - Hispanic Film      

Hispanic Film
The cinema is a space of social interaction, of entertainment, of bodily (dis)pleasure, of cultural critique, of commerce, of many things. In this course we will study, with a focus on comparative analysis, the text and context of films produced throughout the Hispanic world. Through examining the work of filmmakers from diverse backgrounds, we will closely analyze film form and engage key debates in film theory such as authorship, genre (comedy, documentary, melodrama, etc.), and (trans)national cinema, as well as explore the ways in which class, culture, disability, history, politics, race, and sexuality are represented cinematically. Critical, scholarly, and theoretical readings will supplement film viewings. (SPAN 0220 or placement) 3 hrs. lect./disc. AAL ART CMP CW LNG

Spring 2019, Fall 2020

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SPAN 0328 - Spain in the Globalized World      

Spain in the Globalized World
In this course we will look at the historical, cultural, and social development of 21st century Spain and its full integration into the Globalized World. One of the main goals of the course will be to provide an array of opportunities to practice oral expression, reading, and writing in the Spanish language. Topics will include Europeanization, the challenge of regional/national identities, and contemporary social issues such as the changing roles of: the family, women, religion, sexual attitudes, and immigration. We will engage these themes through the analysis and discussion of a wide variety of materials such as literary texts, essays, and films. Readings and films will include: Crematorio by Rafael Chirbes, La ciudadanía se moviliza: Los movientos sociales y la globalización en España by Joseph Pont Vidal, and También la lluvia by Icíar Bollaín. (SPAN 0220 or placement) EUR LNG

Fall 2017

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SPAN 0370 - Stars/Stardom in Latin America      

Stars and Stardom in Latin America
Manila, 2013: Lionel Messi features in a WeChat ad. São Paulo, 1995: Ninón Sevilla walks into frame on an imported telenovela. Middlebury, 1938: Lupe Vélez appears in Life Magazine. Impinging upon even our most mundane moments, stars and stardom have become integral to our modern experience. Through the study of theories on stardom, as well as an array of works of cultural production (films, music, images, performances, etc.), in this course we will examine cultural, economic, political, racial, and social factors that influence the creation, development, and perpetuation of understandings of individual stars and, more generally, stardom in Latin America. (At least two Spanish courses at the 0300-level or above, or by waiver) 3 hrs. lect. AAL AMR ART LNG

Fall 2019, Spring 2021

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SPAN 0432 - National Cinema/Foreign Labor      

National Cinemas and Foreign Labor in Latin America
From its arrival in metropolises from Mexico City to Santiago in 1896, cinema in Latin America has been marked by foreigners. In this course we will rethink traditional national film historiographies, which largely ignore the contributions of foreign film labor beyond their importation of technology and technical expertise. We will explore ways in which specific individuals practiced their jobs (actor, cinematographer, director, sound designer, among others) in significant moments in Latin American cinema, from the silent period to today, and engage key debates in film theory such as authorship, modes of production, national cinema, and transnationalism. 3 hrs. sem. AAL AMR ART LNG

Spring 2019

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SPAN 0500 - Independent Study      

Independent Study
The department will consider requests by qualified juniors and senior majors to engage in independent work. (Approval only)

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

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

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Department of Luso-Hispanic Studies

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