Spanish and Portuguese | Elementary Catalan for Graduate Students
C491 | 28956 | Professor Edgar Illas

HISP-C 491  Elementary Catalan for Graduate Students  (3 credits)
For Graduate Students Only.

Globalization has evidently unified economies, torn down political
barriers, turned local spaces into tourist attractions, and made
English and other major languages the most efficient communication
tools. In this context, Barcelona has become since the Olympic Games
of 1992 a successful global city that offers a balanced combination
of European economic prosperity and Mediterranean lifestyle. Its
cultural centers and its sunny beaches, its architectural heritage
and its cool nightlife have also turned it into one of the world´s
most fashionable cities.

But at the heart of this success there seems to be an enigmatic
element that, given the main tendencies of globalization, one might
not know how to explain: the presence of Catalan language. In the
last decades, Catalan, spoken by approximately 10 million people,
has not only maintained its high cultural prestige but it has also
increased its public presence and remained a key political tool in

This introductory course to Catalan language and culture has
three main goals. First, it aims to provide a basic knowledge of the
Catalan language. The course will be an intensive study of the
language, geared primarily at reading knowledge, but not limited to
it. Secondly, the course will also consist of a cultural overview of
Catalunya and the Catalan linguistic area (País Valencià, Illes
Balears, Andorra, Rosselló-Catalunya Nord, and the city of
l’Alguer). We will focus on the cultural history of this nation in
its always conflictive relations to the Spanish and French states.
Finally, the case of Catalonia and its both unique and exemplary
characteristics will be a perfect occasion to undertake more general
reflections on the intricate relations between language, culture,
the modern state, and globalization.

Beginning with the second week, the class will be primarily
conducted in Catalan. Students will be expected to use Catalan in
class after the sixth week.

HISP-C 491  #28956  9:05A-9:55A  MWF  SB 220  Prof. Edgar Illas
Note:  This class meets jointly with HISP-C 105.