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Dr. Christopher Conway

Associate Professor & Department Chair of Modern Languages

UT Arlington Faculty

Dr. Christopher Conway received his Ph.D. in Literature, with a concentration in Latin American literature, from the University of California, San Diego (1996). He is currently Associate Professor of Spanish and Chair of the Department of Modern Languages at UT Arlington, where he teaches advanced Spanish courses. Dr. Conway is a member of the UT Arlington Academy of Distinguished Teachers, and a recipient of College of Liberal Arts Smotherman Teaching Award, as well as the prestigious Regent’s Outstanding Teaching Award. He is the editor of Peruvian Traditions (Oxford University Press, 2004), and The U.S.-Mexican War: A Binational Reader (Hackett Publishing, 2010.)  He is the author of the The Cult of Bolívar in Latin American Literature (University Press of Florida, 2003), and Nineteenth-Century Spanish America: A Cultural History (Vanderbilt University Press, 2015).

Service Learning Class

SPAN 4313-001: Topics in Hispanic Culture. Among the topics are Spanish or Latin American music, television, radio, film, and literature as culture. May be repeated for credit as topic changes. Prerequisite: SPAN 3315 with a grade of C or better. Offered as MAS 4313 and SPAN 4313; credit will be given for MAS 4313 or SPAN 4313 but not both in a given semester.

Special Topic: “Hispanic, Latino and Latin American Comics”

Academic Outcomes

(1)  Students demonstrate a strong grasp of advanced written expression in the Spanish language.

(2)  Students acquire basic knowledge of major historical events and sociological themes through their representation in Spanish-language comic books. This includes but is not limited to: The Spanish Civil War, The Mexican Revolution, and Political Parties in Latin America.

(3)  Students acquire specialized vocabulary in English and Spanish to talk about comic books in the Latino and Latin American contexts.

(4)  Students exercise critical thinking skills by analyzing the historical and sociological content of comics, both at the formalist level (panel by panel), and at the general, thematic level (the message of an overall story or comic book). This is accomplished through Spanish language essays and guided questions, as well as by classroom discussions, poster presentations and original research.

(5)  Students exercise specialized research skills through the use of the UTA library database system, to examine the intersection of comic books and literacy, and their potential impact upon public libraries.

(6)  Students experience what a scholarly conference is by applying to ACES and/or The Modern Languages/UTA Library “Cultural Constructions” conference and present their original research. This includes learning about abstracts and proposals, public speaking or learning how to prepare a poster.

(7)  Students apply their knowledge of major comic book characters and trends to make a case for what comic books should be made available to the Latino community of North Texas through the Arlington Public Library.

Service Learning Project

“Spanish  Language Comics and Community Literacy in North Texas”

In groups of 3-4, students collaborate on a research project that will assist the Arlington Public Library with its plans to acquire Spanish language comics for its branches. Each group will be assigned a different topic to research and the end result will be an extensive report that the Arlington Public Library can use to apply for grants to build its Spanish language comic book collection, and to expertly and discriminately build its holdings in this area. The components of this research project, to be assigned to separate groups, are:

  1. Analytics on Spanish comic book holdings in public libraries other than the Arlington Public Library system, inside and outside of Texas.
  2. Compilation, annotation and summary  of existing scholarly research in English and Spanish on comics and bilingual education, or how comics aid in the development of literacy.
  3. Identifying and justifying prospective purchases for the Arlington Public Library in the area of Spanish language comic books.
  4. Developing potential library guides for the Arlington Public Library to use to promote it’s subsequent comic book collection.

The professor, with the assistance of an UTA Librarian, will help students conduct research and provide support for the preparation of a polished and rigorous final product.

Teams and responsibilities:

Each team, consisting of 3-4 students, will be assigned a research question that will ultimately constitute a section of a formal research report on Spanish language comics in U.S. public libraries. Topics to be covered include: how libraries in Texas are presently building collections of Spanish language comics, literature reviews about how comics promote literacy among children, historical and sociological studies of who reads Spanish language comics and why, and profiles of specific titles and characters, to make recommendations on what the APL should acquire.

Partner: Arlington Public Library