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Studies in Spanish Literature

Study of the literatures of Spain centering on representative authors and texts from various literary movements, situated within their sociohistorical contexts.

This course offers students the opportunity to analyze literature with a focus on history, society, and literary genres using primary works from the Middle Ages to 1700.  In this course, students will learn to analyze poetry, short stories, novels, and plays.  The course’s main focus is a critical study and analysis of primary texts within a historical, artistic, political, socioeconomical, and legal context within specific topics. This thematical division will highlight how these primary texts show authority, genre, discourse, crimes and law, social order, religion, courtly love, and sexuality.  In Spring 2020, the three main topics are the concept of knight (hero/ heroine), powerful women in the lower social stratum, and how traveling influences the nature of main characters

Several socio-cultural and historical events during the 16th and 17th centuries contributed to the creation of an especially conflictive and troubling period in early modern Spanish society. As troubling and demoralizing as they might have been, these circumstances also contributed to the artistic creativity of great writers including Santa Teresa, Cervantes, Lope de Vega, among many others. Through close readings and analysis of the most representative works written between 1490s and 1690s, we will embark on an exciting journey to explore how and why conflict and oppression – understood in their broadest sense – became materials for literature. In other words, while we situate texts in their literary contexts, we also explore the ways in which the writings of early modern Spanish authors interacted, dialogued with, and responded to the cultural (political, religious, social, intellectual, etc.) tensions/struggles of their time.

Requisites: Prerequisite, SPAN 301 or 302.
Gen Ed: LA.