Skip to main content

SPAN 650: Love, Violence, and Identity in the Comedia of Spain’s Golden Age

TuTh 12:30-1:45, Dey 210
Prof. Carmen Hsu (

This course explores the representations of love, honor, and identity in some of the most emblematic playwrights including Cervantes, Lope, Tirso, Alarcón, Miras de Amescua, and Calderón. While we examine the manners in which different dramatists interpret, adapt, and stage such themes as love, honor, and identity in their literary contexts, we also approach early modern comedias from a cross-disciplinary perspective by analyzing how plays dialogue with or respond to various cultural and historical factors, including Spain’s socioeconomic problems, religious and intellectual movements, and encounters with worlds previously unknown to early modern Europeans. Through a close reading and analysis of the most representative comedias of the period, the principal objective of this course is twofold: 1) to sharpen students’ analytical skills and research acumen as literary scholars; 2) and to strengthen their knowledge and understanding of the development of Spanish dramaturgy from its known origins in the late twelfth century to the end of the seventeenth century.

This course is conducted in Spanish. For undergraduate students, the course will count as one coursework for majors. For graduate students, the course will count as either MA or PhD coursework. Open to graduate students and advanced undergraduate students who have taken SPAN 370 or 373 or permission of the instructor.