Nicolas Poppe
Office
Robert A. Jones '59 House B01
Tel
(802) 443-5343
Email
npoppe@middlebury.edu
Office Hours
Wednesday (10-11:30), Thursday (1-2:30), or by appointment.

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 film and New Argentine Cinema has been published in edited volumes and peer-reviewed journals. 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. Wide-angled views of national film industries complement close-up analyses of the work of José Mojica, Alex Phillips, Juan Orol, Ángel Mentasti, and Tito Davison.

Professor Poppe has edited two special issues of videographic criticism on Latin American cinema: an issue of [in]Transition (with Michael Talbott) and a dossier of Vivomatografías. He also edited the volumes Cosmopolitan Film Cultures in Latin America, 1896-1960 (Indiana University Press, 2017) with Rielle Navitski and En la cartelera. Cine y culturas cinematográficas en América Latina, 1896-2020 (under contract) with Alejandro Kelly Hopfenblatt.

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

Vimeo

Courses Taught

Course Description

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.)

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Fall 2019, Fall 2020, Fall 2021, Fall 2022

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Course Description

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.

Terms Taught

Fall 2018

Requirements

ART, CMP, CW

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Course Description

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

Terms Taught

Spring 2022

Requirements

AAL, AMR, HIS, SOC

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Course Description

Latin American Studies Independent Project
(Approval Required)

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Fall 2021, Fall 2022

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Course Description

Latin American Studies Senior Thesis
(Approval Required)

Terms Taught

Winter 2021, Winter 2022, Fall 2022, Winter 2023

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Course Description

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.

Terms Taught

Fall 2022

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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 2020

Requirements

LNG

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Course Description

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.

Terms Taught

Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Spring 2021, Fall 2021

Requirements

LNG

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Course Description

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

Terms Taught

Spring 2020, Fall 2021

Requirements

AAL, AMR, LIT, LNG

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Course Description

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.

Terms Taught

Spring 2019, Fall 2020, Fall 2022

Requirements

AAL, ART, CMP, LNG

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Course Description

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.

Terms Taught

Fall 2019, Spring 2021

Requirements

AAL, AMR, ART, LNG

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Course Description

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.

Terms Taught

Spring 2019

Requirements

AAL, AMR, ART, LNG

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

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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

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

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Course Description

Intermediate Spanish: Oral and Written Communication
In this class, students improve their written expression in Spanish by studying models of good writing in Spanish and producing a variety of text types; the course also serves as an introduction to academic writing. The language functions covered include past and future narration, extensive descriptions, comparisons, expressing opinions, and hypotheses. Students will expand on previous knowledge of the cultures of the Spanish-speaking world and integrate other content areas into their work. (1 unit)

Terms Taught

Summer 2022 Language Schools, LS 7 Week Session

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