Spanish and Portuguese | SPAIN: The Cultural Context
S411 | 6128 | Professor Melissa Dinverno

HISP-S 411 SPAIN:  The Cultural Context (3 credits)   CULTURE

Prerequisite: S275 or equivalent for those students who matriculated
prior to Fall 2001.
S331 or equivalent for those students who matriculated Fall 2001 or

“Constructing Contemporary Spain”

What is it that makes Spain "Spain"?  What images and/or stereotypes
make up our imagined collage of this country?  How do we define its
cultures and its cultural production?  This course takes a critical
look at our own constructions of Spain and "Spanish", seeking to
build a more complex understanding of its cultures, while providing
tools to facilitate future explorations.  We will consider
historical circumstances and current rewritings of the past that
define contemporary Spain, such as the experience and cultural
memory of the Spanish Civil War, the Franco Regime, and the Spanish
Transition to democracy.  We will also discuss issues dealing with
notions of gender and sexuality in the twentieth century,
nationalisms and historical autonomies, ETA, race and migrations,
and constructions of gypsy culture.  In addition to understanding
the construction of contemporary Spain, one of the main goals of the
course is to provide you with tools to analyze cultural materials
and manifestations, to “read” culture critically in this course and
enable you to apply those tools in contexts beyond the classroom.

In analyzing Spanish culture, we will work primarily through Spanish
films and literature.  "Literature" will be taken broadly to include
fiction and poetry, newspapers and magazines, and critical
articles.  We will also use music, the visual arts, and architecture
as we sketch a new picture of Spain.

Class discussion and assignments will be in Spanish.  Many films
will be subtitled in English and will be viewed by the student
outside of class.  Course evaluation will most likely be based on
class participation, an oral presentation, short analytical writing
assignments, a midterm exam, and final paper.

This course carries Culture Studies credit and is highly recommended
for students who plan to go on the Overseas Studies Madrid Academic
Year program.

S411  #6128 11:15A-12:05P  MWF    Professor Melissa Dinverno
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