2010-2011 Grant Proposals
Telenovela Mexicana Conference
Pedagogy Travel Grant
TITLE: "La Telenovela Historica Mexicana: Un Enfoque Literario"
The negative connotation that the words "soap opera" might have in the English language does not carry over into Spanish. This is true simply because what is usually translated as "soap opera" is not a soap opera at all, but rather a "televised novel", a genre at which the Mexicans have become masters. I have watched Mexican "telenovelas" for the past twenty years, and I have been astounded by the quality of their contents and production in general.
I have wondered for many years how I could incorporate "telenovelas" into my advanced Spanish courses, or even design and create a new course on this emerging fascinating genre. Unlike the poor or mediocre Argentine, Venezuelan and Peninsular "telenovelas", the Mexican ones are truly literary masterpieces. Finally there is now an international seminar that can teach me to do what I have wished to do for a long time.
Tecnológico de Monterrey, (Cuernavaca Campus) is organizing a three day seminar in order to study the historical "telenovela" as a literary object, taking advantage of the didactic opportunities it offers in the teaching and studying the Spanish Language. The first day is dedicated to the presentation, to the introduction to methodology and to a historical summary of the genre. There will also be about an hour of viewing of "telenovelas". The second day is dedicated to the analysis of topics in "telenovelas" already viewed, to more viewing and to the analysis of characters. The third day will be a recap and final thoughts on the "telenovelas" with interdisciplinary round tables. Certificates of participation will be given.
The benefits to the Stonehill students taking my classes will be numerous. The use of "telenovelas" will expose the students to "real language" in real setting, it will expose them to different voices of different genders, but it will also expose them to Mexican culture, society and history. All this, not counting the actual analysis of content, genre and characters that the students will be required to do.
Community Outreach Plans:
I wish to be able to show bits of "telenovelas" in class, and assign the rest of the viewing for home. Then the actual oral commentaries can be done in class with brief intermittent clips, and in writing as projects or "papers". I would share my acquired knowledge with my colleagues in Spanish and with others in other languages if they wish to listen.
Air fare to Mexico City: $325
Transportation from Mexico City to Cuernavaca and return $50
Seminar Registration: $200 ($250 after March 18)
Transportation to Logan and return $24