Raquel Albarran
Office
Voter Hall 207
Tel
(802) 443-5523
Email
ralbarran@middlebury.edu
Office Hours
On leave AY2022-2023

Raquel Albarrán is Assistant Professor of Luso-Hispanic Studies at Middlebury College. Albarrán earned a Ph.D. in Hispanic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. Before joining Middlebury in 2018, she held appointments at the University of Washington and at Florida State University. A specialist of colonial Latin America and the Hispanic Caribbean, her current book project and recent publications examine the ways in which materiality shaped notions of race and ethnicity in the New World. She has received fellowships from Penn’s Andrew W. Mellon Graduate Humanities Forum, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the American Council of Learned Societies.

At Middlebury, Prof. Albarrán teaches all levels of language, literature, and culture courses, including courses on colonial Latin America, the Hispanic Caribbean, and the Latinx experience.

Courses Taught

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 2019

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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

Fall 2021, Spring 2022

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

Spring 2019, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Spring 2021

Requirements

LNG

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Course Description

XICANXRIBEÑXS: Our Stories, Our Worlds
In this course we will study how Chicanos/Xicanxs and Hispanic Caribbean communities have organized networks of solidarity to overcome oppression and work towards liberation. The Spanish portmanteau “XICANXRIBEÑXS” is an ode to the famous Revista Chicano-Riqueña that evolved out of the Civil Rights Movement and the rise of Ethnic Studies in the 1960s and early 1970s. We will examine their de/colonial histories, contentious status as diasporic communities, and literary and artistic legacies. Some topics may include Latinx print culture, Gloria Anzaldúa’s mestiza feminism in relation to Afro-Caribbean feminisms, and musical cultures from/ bomba/ and fandango to Selena and Cardi B. (SPAN 0220 or by placement) 3 hrs. lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Spring 2021

Requirements

AAL, AMR, LIT, LNG

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Course Description

Whose “New World”?: Early Latin America after Eurocentrism
Colonialism in the so-called New World may have begun with Columbus in 1492, but its impact continues to be felt across the lands that some Indigenous groups call Abya Yala today. In this course we will study how Indigenous and Black communities and other human actors in the region spearheaded, since the late fifteenth century, the first global wave of decolonization in response to the catastrophic transformations brought about by early modern Spanish imperialism. We will consider oral and written testimonies, visual art, material artifacts, and cultural performances from pre-Hispanic times to the long eighteenth century. Our goal will be to re-imagine an early Latin American world beyond/outside/after Eurocentrism. (SPAN 0220 or by placement) 3 hrs. lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Fall 2021

Requirements

AAL, AMR, LIT, LNG

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Course Description

#CaribeDIY: DIY Aesthetics and Alternative Markets in the Hispanic Caribbean
Recent artistic and cultural productions in the Hispanic Caribbean and its diaspora reflect upon conditions of dislocation, neglect, and decay. They resituate the trinomial “building, dwelling, thinking” (Heidegger) in the tropics to foreground the tensions between precarity and excess that have imprinted their stamp in the region. What aesthetic, political, and social projects emerge from recycling and ruination? What are their emancipatory possibilities? Or, on the contrary, are they themselves condemned to reproduce the logics of the market and its multiple forms of violence? In this course we will examine literary and cultural practices from the Hispanic Caribbean (Puerto Rico, Cuba, and the Dominican Republic), from the 1970s to the present, which can be loosely grouped under the concept of do-it-yourself or DIY. Some of the major themes include: intellectuals and materiality; technological disobedience; alternative publics and the rise of cartoneras; migration and objecthood; material poetics, gender, and sexual dissidence; autogestión, collective utopias, and the commons; digital cultures and new media; post-nationalism and decolonial approaches. As a final capstone project, all students will complete two requirements: a short final paper and a DIY audiovisual or digital project (a zine, video, artwork, or sound recording, etc.) inspired by the techniques studied. Previous experience on the latter is not necessary, but willingness to experiment in a self-directed manner is essential. (Spanish 0220 or by placement) 3 hrs. lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Spring 2019, Fall 2019

Requirements

AAL, AMR, ART, LIT, LNG

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Course Description

Colonial Objects: Materiality and the Invention of the New World
Beyond gold and silver, what objects served as the building blocks of Spanish colonialism in the New World? What is the relationship between material culture and mestizaje? How do indigenous and black bodies—the flesh of unsovereign otherness—materialize in the language of empire? In this seminar we will explore the role of objects and material culture in shaping colonial discourse during the long history of colonialism in Latin America and the Hispanic Caribbean. Our primary readings assemble an operational canon: from “discovery” and early-contact narratives by Cristóbal Colón and Fray Ramón Pané to the proliferation of ambivalent discourses about colonial subjects, objects, and others that pose a threat to colonial order, including works by Bernardo de Balbuena, Inca Garcilaso de la Vega, and Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz. Alongside these texts, we will consider as well examples of material culture (maps, visual art, artifacts, commodities, and archaeological remnants) from pre-Columbian and colonial times to the present (Two Spanish courses numbered 0350 or above, or by waiver.) 3 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Spring 2020, Spring 2022

Requirements

AAL, AMR, ART, LIT

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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

Winter 2022, Spring 2022, Winter 2023, Spring 2023

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Publications