Laura Lesta García
Office
Voter Hall 206
Tel
(802) 443-5923
Email
llestagarcia@middlebury.edu
Office Hours
By appointment

A native of Galicia, Spain, Professor Lesta García holds a B.A. (2007) from the Universidad de Santiago de Compostela and a M.A. (2012) and Ph.D in Peninsular Literature (2019) from the University of Colorado, Boulder. Her research addresses the intersection between humor and nationalism in the Iberian Peninsula (20th and 21st centuries), within the frame of Iberian Studies. She also has a strong interest in Galician Studies. At Middlebury she teaches courses about contemporary youth cultures in Spain, diversity in 21st century Iberia, Galician language and culture, and Spanish language at all levels.

Courses Taught

Course Description

College Life Through Literature (in Spanish)
In this seminar students will read fiction and nonfiction related to university life, including topics such as attending college in a rural area, studying abroad, equity and inclusion in higher education, and the first-generation experience. Our focus will be on the literary representation of university life. We will examine these narratives through theories and perspectives such as the (post) pandemic scenario, critical race theory, critical pedagogy, the #MeToo movement, etc. Readings may include Leaving the Atocha Station by Ben Lerner, On Beauty by Zadie Smith, Todas las Almas by Javier Marias, and Historia de Una Maestra by Josefina Aldecoa. Texts will be in English and Spanish. This seminar will be taught in Spanish (appropriate for native speakers, bilingual speakers, or through placement test equivalent to SPAN 0300).

Terms Taught

Fall 2022

Requirements

CW, LIT

View in Course Catalog

Course Description

Beginning Spanish III
This course is a continuation of SPAN 0101. Intensive reading, writing, and oral activities will advance students' proficiency in Spanish in an academic setting. (SPAN 0101) 5 hrs. lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Spring 2019, Spring 2020

View in Course Catalog

Course Description

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.

Terms Taught

Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2021, Fall 2021

Requirements

LNG

View in Course Catalog

Course Description

Narratives of Diversity in 21st Century Spain
In this course we will explore recent Spanish voices that denounce the inequalities suffered historically by minorities in that country. These narratives strive to criticize oppression and to create a more inclusive space of coexistence. We will analyze the memoirs of the Afro-Spanish activist Desiree Bela-Lobedde and of the Asian-Spanish singer Chenta Tsai. We will also analyze queer cultures in rural spaces, and the controversial use of flamenco by singer Rosalía, among other topics. Finally, through the essay Ofendiditos by Lucía Litjmaer, we will analyze the reactions that these narratives encounter in the current Spanish and international political climate. (SPAN 220 or equivalent). 3 hrs.lect./disc

Terms Taught

Spring 2020, Spring 2021, Fall 2021

Requirements

EUR, LNG

View in Course Catalog

Course Description

A Bridge Between Nations: Introduction to Galician Culture and Language
Galicia is a cultural region in the Iberian Peninsula. In this course we will explore how the study of the Galician region, its language and culture, can help us develop a deeper understanding of the Luso-Hispanic world. This will be an interdisciplinary course in which we discuss history and politics (formation of the region, its place in the globalized world and Spain); key sociolinguistic terms (diglossia, minoritized/minority language); and cultural manifestations while we explore and learn a new, but familiar, language. (SPAN 220 or PGSE 0215 or equivalent). 3 hrs.lect./disc

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Spring 2022

Requirements

CMP, EUR, LNG

View in Course Catalog

Course Description

Youth Cultures in Contemporary Spain
In this course we will explore youth cultures in contemporary Spain (1980-2016). In 1985 the Spanish punk rock band Siniestro Total wrote the song “I Will Dance On Your Grave”, a metaphor for the end of the dictatorship and the beginning of “freedom”. We will explore the colorful Movida (80s), the grunge movement (90s), queer cultures (2000s), and the disenchantment (2010s). All these events will be framed in a global context and accompanied by critical theory. Through literature, comics, film, arts, and music, we will discuss issues of sexuality, drugs, family, gender, and politics. (SPAN 0220 or equivalent). 3 hrs. lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Fall 2019, Fall 2022

Requirements

EUR, LNG, SOC

View in Course Catalog

Course Description

In the Middle of Nowhere: Rural Spain through History
In this course we will analyze visual and narrative discourses related to rural communities in Spain. From a historical point of view, we will explore literary concepts such as bucolismo and naturalismo, the paleto cinema of the Francoism era and its contestation in Los santos inocentes. From there we will move to contemporary issues such as the vindication of the España vaciada, and new critical approaches such as the glocal, the rurban, and ecofeminism. We will include the voices of Ana Iris Simón, Oliver Laxe and María Sánchez that portray rural spaces and its inhabitants with respect and dignity. The goal of this course is to showcase rural spaces as sophisticated, diverse, and complex while we explore our own experience of Middlebury as a rural place. (Al least two Spanish courses at the 0300 level or above, or by waiver.) 3hrs.lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Spring 2022

Requirements

EUR, LNG

View in Course Catalog

Course Description

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

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Winter 2019, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Winter 2020, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Winter 2023, Spring 2023

View in Course Catalog

Course Description

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)

Terms Taught

Winter 2019, Spring 2019, Winter 2020, Spring 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022, Winter 2023, Spring 2023

View in Course Catalog