2021-2022 University Catalog 
    May 16, 2022  
2021-2022 University Catalog archived

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SPAN 397 - Literature of Spain Seminar

Credits: 3

Prerequisites: SPAN 220 and SPAN 275. A seminar focusing on a single period, genre, motif, or writer. The specific topic will be determined jointly according to student interest and departmental approval. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Winter 2022, SPAN 397A-01: Literature of Spain Seminar: Writing the Other and Writing the Self in Early Modern Contact Zones (3). Prerequisites: SPAN 220 & 275. Travel narratives, ethnographic accounts, geographic descriptions, and other “literatures of encounter” became a hallmark of the global early modern period, as new zones of cultural contact proliferated and as inhabitants of and visitors to these spaces communicated their experiences through texts. As this course will explore, such genres have just as much to say about their creators as about the subjects they depict: in writing what was to them “other,” authors held a mirror to themselves. We will consider how ancient and medieval literary conventions for describing the “fantastic,” the “wondrous,” the “exotic,” or simply “the other” were transformed to convey new types of cultural encounters brought about by Spain’s imperial expansion within the Peninsula, throughout the Mediterranean, and across the Atlantic and Pacific worlds.  Readings will reflect a range of encounters as told by diverse voices, from indigenous perspectives on colonization (Anales de Tlatelolco; Guaman Poma de Ayala’s Nueva corónica y buen gobierno), women’s accounts of global travel (Catalina de Erauso, La monja alférez), and non-European visitor’s depictions of the Peninsula (Abd al-Basit, Viaje a Granada). Canonical literary accounts (Cervantes’s “Captive’s Tale”) and colonizing perspectives (Cabeza de Vaca, Los naufragios) will create space for exploring which voices win out in creating lasting historical narratives of encounters. (HL) Hernández.

Fall 2021, SPAN 397A-01: Literature of Spain Seminar: Legendary Lives in the Spanish Epic, Ballad, and Theater (3). Prerequisite: SPAN 220 and 275. This course will examine the legendary lives of the male and female protagonists of epic poetry, their later emergence in the popular ballads of the sixteenth century, and finally their portrayal on the stages of early modern theater. This examination will help us understand the way legendary figures are transformed by the expectations of audiences and societies change, the effects of literary genres on characterization, and the impact on legends of the increasing powers of church and state. (HL) Bailey.

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