Spanish 319: Urban Culture as a Lived Experience

2 credits

The city of Buenos Aires can be viewed as an intellectual point of entry into urban culture, which offers its fascinating milieu to be lived and experienced in a direct manner. This course is intended to complement the knowledge that students acquire in the formal classroom setting, thereby providing them with a space for intervention under the guiding principle of taking the classroom to the city.

The goals of the course include improvement of oral communication skills as well as knowledge of key landmarks; urban sites that map, in the most eloquent way, the significance and influence of Buenos Aires’s history, culture and society. Course activities take place outside of the classroom in the afternoons, and are focused on the use of spoken and written language with the pedagogical goal of discussing and reflect on a wide range of themes relating to students’ lived experiences while abroad.

The main purpose of these cultural sessions is to provide students with on-ste experiences that lead to a process of intellectual cross-pollination in which theory and practice intersect on a daily basis.

Program assistants will take you to a theater play at one of the most renowned venues for Buenos Aires indie theatre, the “Camarín de las Musas”.

You will watch films at the IDES and go to the movie theater to watch a current Argentine film production.

You will be able to go to a Festival where various indie rock bands play in the context of the “Ciudad Emergente” rock festival sponsored by the Government of the City of Buenos Aires.

You will have the opportunity to travel independently by joining a day boat trip to Uruguay and visiting Colonia, a coastal city famous for having been owned by both the Spanish Empire and the Luso-Brazilian Empire. We may visit the Isla Martín García, an island with a fascinating political history located in the Río de la Plata and shared by Argentina and Uruguay.

We will visit a ranch in the Pampas (the Argentine Outback) first established in the 1880s, where you will have a traditional “asado” (Argentine Barbecue), join a horseback ride excursion, and listen to gauchos (Argentine cowboys) play the guitar and sing “milongas”.

We will take a train trip northward and spend the day at the Islands of the Tigre, the delta where the Paraná and Uruguay rivers converge to give birth to the Río de la Plata. You will join a guided tour to the Buenos Aires Rowing Club, the first entity of its kind founded by the British in the Nineteenth Century.

Program assistants and faculty will take you to art exhibits, museums, and galleries, cultural centers, the world-class Buenos Aires opera house (Teatro Colón), traditional coffee houses, university events, and tango dancing venues throughout the city.

You will be able to attend soccer matches and watch the most accomplished soccer teams duke it out in the playoffs leading to the Argentine Championship Cup.

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