Title

Understanding literature through different artistic expressions

Subject Area

Spanish American Studies

Abstract

Based on the words of Doris Sommer, who says that “books are not sacred objects, they are invitations to play,” I will demonstrate how learning literature can become a pleasant experience. To illustrate my thesis, I will rely on an undergraduate course I have taught at Mercer University, Spanish 301: Introduction to Latin American literature. In this course, I have integrated music, movies, comics, and paintings for students to appreciate, understand, and analyze literature from different artistic expressions. The famous poem Martin Fierro, for example, has been represented by a number of renowned Argentinean artists. El Matadero by Esteban Echeverria as well as stories written by Horacio Quiroga, Julio Cortázar, and Jorge Luis Borges have been adapted into beautiful comics. During class, students had to analyze the visual representations in comparison to the original texts. As a final project, they had to choose a work not previously studied in class. Inspired by this work, the students produced something new and different. The results were fascinating and incredibly creative. My goal is to inspire teachers to address literature not as static texts, but as vibrant tools that will encourage students to think critically, to engage in dialogues and debates, and to create more art.

Brief Bio Note

Clara Mengolini received her Ph.D. in Spanish Literature at Vanderbilt University. She got her MA in Latin American and Peninsular literature from the University of South Carolina in 2010 and her BA in Latin-American literature, from the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 2002. She worked for three years as a high school Spanish teacher at Whitmire Community School, in South Carolina. Her interests are Latin American Theater, Argentinean fantasy literature and children’s literature. On 2015 she received the highly competitive College of Arts and Science “Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant Award” at Vanderbilt University. She is currently teaching Spanish and Latin-American Literature at Mercer University.

Keywords

literature, Spanish, Latinamerican literature, visual arts, creativity

Location

Room 217

Presentation Year

2017

Start Date

3-23-2017 5:35 PM

Embargo

10-18-2016

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Mar 23rd, 5:35 PM

Understanding literature through different artistic expressions

Room 217

Based on the words of Doris Sommer, who says that “books are not sacred objects, they are invitations to play,” I will demonstrate how learning literature can become a pleasant experience. To illustrate my thesis, I will rely on an undergraduate course I have taught at Mercer University, Spanish 301: Introduction to Latin American literature. In this course, I have integrated music, movies, comics, and paintings for students to appreciate, understand, and analyze literature from different artistic expressions. The famous poem Martin Fierro, for example, has been represented by a number of renowned Argentinean artists. El Matadero by Esteban Echeverria as well as stories written by Horacio Quiroga, Julio Cortázar, and Jorge Luis Borges have been adapted into beautiful comics. During class, students had to analyze the visual representations in comparison to the original texts. As a final project, they had to choose a work not previously studied in class. Inspired by this work, the students produced something new and different. The results were fascinating and incredibly creative. My goal is to inspire teachers to address literature not as static texts, but as vibrant tools that will encourage students to think critically, to engage in dialogues and debates, and to create more art.