Aug 4, 2007

TELENOVELAS IN THE CLASSROOM


This coming semester (starts in two weeks!) I will be teaching a class titled "Telenovelas, Culture and Society." I've taught before a 1-credit hour Honors Seminar in Spanish about the topic. But, this is the first time I will be teaching a 3-credit hour course. The students will have an intermediate level of Spanish, enough for them to get the gist of what they will be watching on television.

As far as I know, there are only a handful of courses in the U.S that include telenovelas. Most of them in Romance Language departments. Therefore, there aren't any models to follow in the field of communication.

I' almost done designing my course. However, I would LOVE to know what you, readers of my blog, would include in a course about Telenovelas.

With tremendous gratitude, I look forward to your coments...

2 comments:

Robin said...

Good luck with your class: wish I could take it!

Some things to consider for inclusion are:

- The socio-political impact of the telenovela (examples abound, such as when "Yo soy Betty la fea" aired in Colombia and the lead was tempted by a bribe, the outcry was such that the president of the country urged the writers to keep her character a beacon of honesty much needed by the country).

- They myth of "la cenicienta", or how the Cinderella fantasy has such a stranglehold on the genre in some markets.

- The variation in the genre between producing countries; there is a noticeable difference in tone/story/acting between novelas from Mexico, Colombia, and Chile.

- The theme of crime and punishment; how usually the villain is punished for his/her sins in dramatic and unambiguous fashion and how that can resonate in the producing nation where often real-life villains go scot-free.

I'd recommend as a resource for your students the independent fan forum site (bilingual, though mostly in English) www.telenovela-world.com for information and opinions from dedicated fans.

Dr. Carolina Acosta-Alzuru said...

Thanks, Robin, for your useful comments. They are all pertinent.
Roughly speaking, I'm organizing the class in topics related to:

-The audiovisual text (representation)
- Reception (Audience)
- Production
- Regulation (how the telenovela and the social formation impact each other)
- Globalization

Again, many thanks for your valuable input!