Instructor: Betina Barrios Ayala

Classes on Wednesdays

Students Level of Spanish: intermediate

Classes are online synchronic, once a week, 1.5 hours each. 

Course description.

The fragmentary and heterogeneous quality of the Caribbean corresponds to its inscrutable nature. It holds such mystery, diversity and movement that it seems to embody the marine world on land. Its historical and environmental avatars recreate colors, habits, rhythms, creations and ways of life. This natural continuity forms an inseparable network in which the pleasures, the customs and the violence all speak of the sea in which they are contained. There is beauty and enchantment, but also a power that is difficult to control. This course proposes to fly over some milestones of the Caribbean archipelago and its historical evolution that bursts like a wave in its literary, musical, urban, plastic, political and social forms. The history of the Americas is born and projected from here like a navel. As the cradle of miscegenation, the Caribbean receives and triggers signals that come and go from all points on the globe. This can be felt in personalities like the Cuban artist Wifredo Lam, the influence of salsa in New York, baseball, percussion, and the body. The Caribbean is the body and this course proposes to read it in the life and work of personalities such as Fina Garcia Marruz, Reinaldo Arenas, Felix Gonzalez Torres, Emira Rodriguez, Eugenio Espinoza, Paolo Gasparini, Amada Granado, Sonia Sanoja, Rita Indiana, Eduardo Lalo, Celia Cruz, Cheo Feliciano and Ruben Blades.

About Betina Barrios Ayala

Betina Barrios Ayala is a researcher, teacher, and bookseller. She holds a degree in Political Studies from the Universidad Central de Venezuela (2007) and is a doctoral candidate in Latin American Literature and Cultural Criticism at the University of San Andrés. She works in this institution’s Department of Humanities on Latin American Literature. She was a finalist in the I Concurso Nacional de Poesía Joven Rafael Cadenas (2016). Her essays, poems, and other audiovisual works have been published/exhibited in anthologies, journals, and venues in Venezuela, Argentina, Spain, Colombia, Uruguay, and the United States. She directs the research project Afecto Impreso, and since 2011 she has maintained the literary blog experienceparoles


We teach culture with solid, fun, and experienced faculty. Learn Latin American literature, art, music, and society with the best professors in a relaxed and casual atmosphere where you can practice and improve your language skills while having a good time.


Each #online workshop  is designed for students with intermediate or advanced knowledge of Spanish. It is organized around four abilities: reading (fiction, poetry, essay, non-fiction); listening (films, videos, songs, and podcasts); speaking through in-class discussion; and the practice of writing and translation.


Classes are online synchronic via Google Meet, once a week, 1.5 hours each. The first class is for free.

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