Professor Seguín teaches courses on a range of subjects, from modern Iberia to comparative literature and art history. Some of the courses he has taught or plans to teach in the future are:
“Readings in Contemporary Literary Criticism and Theory” (Graduate)
This course is a graduate level survey of contemporary trends in literary theory and criticism. Readings will span all aspects of literary and cultural scholarship and may include such topics as: new materialism, new formalism, affect theory, Marxism, literary history, and comparative literature.
What do Hugo Chávez, Marine Le Pen, and Donald Trump have in common? According to many from across the political spectrum, they are all populists. But what is populism, exactly, and how can it describe such disparate phenomena as left-wing social movements, xenophobic anti-immigrant policies, and economic redistribution? This advanced seminar will examine the history, culture, and political theory of populism. We will pay special attention to the resurgence of populism after the Great Recession and examine a number of cases from Latin America, Europe, and the United States.
“Literature of the Great Recession”
The Great Recession—sometimes called the financial crisis or the economic crisis of 2008—brought financial markets to a halt and created significant political turmoil across the North Atlantic. But its impact on culture, and literature especially, has often been ignored. This seminar will travel across Europe, from Dublin to Madrid, from London to Reykjavík in order to examine how literature has registered this most recent economic crisis. We will focus on how crisis is narrated and the ways in which literary works have managed to provide a voice for marginalized social, economic, and political demands.
“The Politics of Spanish Painting”
How are paintings political? What would it mean for a painting to make a political intervention? Can a painting’s subject, composition, and style entail political arguments and claims? Understanding painting as a repository for social, economic, and political relations, this course will examine the works of major Spanish painters from Diego Velázquez to Joan Miró. We will pay special attention to the ways in which each painter developed a particular “political vision” of Iberia and the world. Paintings will be paired with texts ranging from art history and criticism to literature, history, and political philosophy.
“The Contemporary Iberian Novel”
This course will serve as an introduction to Iberian studies as well as to novelistic trends in contemporary Iberia. We will read novels in the context of the region’s linguistic and cultural plurality (Basque, Catalan, Galician) and with an eye to their role in giving voice to contemporary societal tensions, economic anxieties, and political demands. We will also examine the role of novelists as intellectuals in contemporary Iberian society. Students will reflect on these novels using both academic writing and newspaper-, magazine-, and online-style book reviews, today’s most popular form of literary criticism.
Romanticism is often considered one of the most well-defined movements in literary history. Yet competing political and aesthetic interpretations of romanticism marked its fragmented appearance in Spain and Latin America throughout the nineteenth century. This course will examine romanticism as it evolved throughout the Hispanophone Atlantic and, thus, provide students with an introduction to the field of transatlantic studies. We will also explore what it means to think about romanticism in non-European contexts through an engagement with histories and theories of capitalism, postcolonialism, and imperialism.
“Contemporaneity and Crisis” (Graduate)
How, exactly, does one study contemporary culture? Is “the contemporary” a period in and of itself? Does it require a distinct conceptual approach? This course will address the contemporary through an examination of its most significant distinguishing factor today: the 2008 economic crisis. We will take contemporary Iberian culture as our case study, focusing on the shifts and responses the economic crisis has precipitated in fiction, poetry, cinema, photography, television, and digital media. Topics may include: social movements, populism, parliamentary politics, post-fascism, constitutionalism, judicial activism, social media, and historical memory.
“The Culture of the Transición”
This course will examine the literary, artistic, and intellectual culture of Spain’s transition to democracy, otherwise known as “la transición.” Oriented around particular historical events, we will consider the narratives that have emerged in Iberian society to explain how and why the transition occurred. The course will also track the cultural shifts over the past decade that have identified fundamental political, economic, and cultural flaws in “la transición,” giving rise to today’s widespread critique of the so-called “regime of ’78.” Topics may include: political assassinations, political executions, countercultural movements, sexual liberation, terrorism, nationalisms, and freedom of the press.