Sites and books to review Spanish grammar

What else is there?

University of Kansas. Cultural readings, audio, vocabulary, grammar.

Gramática para la composición
A book more serious students really like.

Language Lab Unleashed
More for educators than students, but it does discuss resources and study strategies.

Radio Ambulante
Cultural podcasts for language learners, interesting and smart.

Spanish Grammar in Context
University of Texas. Grammar explained, using examples from current Texan Spanish.

Using Spanish
A guide to contemporary usage, very good.

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The Spanish Civil War

Clarissa is compiling a bibliography and it is good. This is the kind of course I would like to teach in the present circumstances — we do not teach our students enough Spanish for them to do sophisticated reading in Spanish at the upper division or early graduate levels, but I could give brilliant courses in English pitched to a broader audience.

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Against hybridity

Kelsky, Karen, “Intimate Ideologies: Transnational Theory and Japan’s ‘Yellow Cabs’.” Public Culture 14 (1994): 465-478.

There are lovely photographs in this journal as well but I cannot keep all old journal issues. I had kept this one for this piece, which “examines the larger racial and national ideologies that inform the yellow cab discourse.” (466) The author says:

The more I observe the yellow cabs and the rhetoric surrounding them the more I am convinced that they pose a challenge to a type of contemporary Western theory which celebrates the ‘creativity,’ ‘chaos,’ and ‘liberation’ to be found at points of interracial, intercultural, transnational contact on the postmodern borderlands. (466)

She says these sexual encounters “suggest not chaos but calculation, not interracial intimacy but exploitation, not liberation but submission to ancient and enduring stereotypes of race and nation.” (466)

These encounters and the discourse about them offer insight into ways in which “new forms of transnational, cosmopolitan cultural traffic . . . facilitate, even create, new forms of control and of desire. (466)

A bit further on there are quotations from M. Yoshim,oto who points out that “in the name of internationalization, any direct encounter with the Other is carefully avoided. Instead, the ultimate goal of internationalization is to transform the real into the imaginary.” (See Yoshimoto, “The postmodern and Mass Images in Japan,” Public Culture 1, no. 2 [1989], 22.)

The foreign male is commodified and becomes an “imaginary” symbol within a domestic gender struggle between Japanese women and men . . . the gaijin lover is a “free-floating signifier” who signifies not intimacy and understanding but rather “the erasure of concrete social situations from the outside world” (Yoshimoto).

These “yellow cabs” function not within a Japanese space of festivals and reciprocity, but rather roam the borderlands between regimes, races, and nations. But they do not disrupt stereotypes: both sides of the interaction insist on the otherness of the Other.

Kelsky cites Torgovnick who also points out that contact and polyphony are not inherently liberating — and furthermore, if the carnivalesque means you cannot tell who is whom, then [colonial] contact is not carnival since it works to preserve distinctions.

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Poets in Spanish and Portuguese who read and wrote in English

Observe the English language connection: we tend to think of French as the language of reference for those writing in Portuguese and Spanish, but English is of very great importance to several. We must add to this list and get someone from Comparative Literature to write a dissertation.

Fernando PESSOA (Portugal)

Salomón DE LA SELVA (El Salvador)
Jorge Luis BORGES (Argentina)

José GARCIA VILLA (Philippines)
Nick JOAQUIN (Philippines)

About Pessoa, someone said this:

There is a cool documentary with this woman (she was in her late 90s when they filmed it) who was the second person in the world to write a dissertation on Pessoa, Cleonice Berardinelli. She reads many of his poems with Maria Bethânia. Here is something about it. There is a video at the end.  

Also, here is a video of her reciting Pessoa.

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Global Lite

Amardeep Singh has a response to that article in n+1 and so have several others.

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Etnomusicología, colonialismo, y culturas “menores” o identidad nacional

There is this book on Cuzco and one could talk about French Louisiana, the Faroes, Catalonia, and so many other places.

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Through others’ eyes

“It is a peculiar sensation, this double-consciousness, this sense of always looking at one’s self through the eyes of others, of measuring one’s soul by the tape of a world that looks on in amused contempt and pity. One ever feels his two-ness, an American, a Negro; two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body, whose dogged strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder. The history of the American Negro is the history of this strife- this longing to attain self-conscious manhood, to merge his double self into a better and truer self. In this merging he wishes neither of the older selves to be lost. He does not wish to Africanize America, for America has too much to teach the world and Africa. He wouldn’t bleach his Negro blood in a flood of white Americanism, for he knows that Negro blood has a message for the world. He simply wishes to make it possible for a man to be both a Negro and an American without being cursed and spit upon by his fellows, without having the doors of opportunity closed roughly in his face” (W. E. B. DuBois 2-3).

There is the question of seeing oneself through others’ eyes, which I have thought of for other contexts as well. There is also the question: is the mestizaje an attempt to make it possible to be, as it were, both a Negro and an American?

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