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Building films into a syllabus

I’ve been thinking recently about the process of writing syllabi. Inspired by great writing about films on this site by Valeria and Nat , I wanted to look particularly at what it would mean to read Spanish-language literature and film in tandem. Here are two examples of how I think it might

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Too much of a good thing

Right now it’s the middle of summer, and in Ithaca, New York, it’s raining. Having lived in Austin for the last several years, the idea of frequent, day-long rainstorms in summer is not only alien, it’s a big bummer. To while away the time inside, I’ve been checking out the

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A reflection on Junot Díaz’s «MFA vs. POC»

Image by Joey L. http://shelf-life.ew.com/2012/02/27/junot-diaz-third-book/

I hope we have all seen the recent Junot Díaz article in the New Yorker, “MFA vs. POC,” about the unbearable whiteness of MFA programs; his ideal syllabus, posted on Slate; and a host of responses to his charge across the internet. As I prepare to move to Cornell for

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A Practical Post: Setting Summer Goals

«¡Gooooooool!» Every time fútbol players meet a goal, the announcer shouts at the top of his lungs and a stadium full of rabid fans goes wild. If only there were an equivalent acknowledgment for grad-student goals…. There’s nothing like gray skies in April and the recent memory of several “snow

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Books that go BOOM

It is now a well-worn cliché time-honored tradition to include at least one reference to Jorge Luis Borges in all Pterodactilo blog posts. Far be it from me to break from tradition. In fact, I’m thinking a lot about Borges this week because I’ve been asked to give a guest lecture about him

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Adventures in the Analogue Archive

At the end of her last post, Hannah wrote that the increasing availability of digitalized copies is leading us gradually to give up firsthand contact with the “beauty of the object” in exchange for “access to books we could never, otherwise, read.” I take this tradeoff personally. When writing grants

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Seeking La Maligna in La Chascona

Following in the long line of Pablo Neruda love on this site, I wanted to share some thoughts from my recent trip to one of Neruda’s restored ‘casa-museos’, La Chascona. In fact, I’m spending the next month here in Santiago winding my way through the numerous Neruda-related libraries and tourist

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The Octavio Paz guide to publishing translations from India

I’ve just come back from several months living in a one-room bungalow/ former wood shed in rural Bihar, India. When you’re living in a place with spotty electricity and no running water surrounded by people who are monolingual in a dialect of Hindi you can only sort of understand, the

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