Trans-Atlantic Cultural Topics
Cultural history of Spain and Spanish America from the 16th century to the 21st century. Explores trans-Atlantic dimensions of Spanish and Spanish American cultures and the elements that have shaped those societies and their cultural traditions during the periods studied. Formerly offered as SPAN 331.
This course is an introduction to the history, cultures and societies of pre-Columbian Spain and Spanish America. Over the semester, the student will become familiar with the history and traditions of the various groups whose cultures form the basis for what we know today as the Hispanic world: Romans, Visigoths, Muslims, Jews, and Christians in Spain; Mayas, Aztecs, and Incas in pre-Columbian America. The course will give the student a better understanding of the conditions in which these cultures appeared and developed, the events that led to their growth, and the belief systems that shaped their societies. The student will explore the importance of a group’s worldview in determining its defining characteristics as a society (social, political and economic structures) and influencing its creative and artistic production (literature, art, architecture, etc.). The various course materials (readings, films, artifacts, etc.) and the activities in which the student participates will invite reflection on the similarities and differences between ancient cultures and civilizations, as well as promote a critical debate about the student’s own culture and worldview.