Spanish and Portuguese | Topics in Contemporary Spanish Literature
S648 | 25175 | M. Dinverno

Professor Melissa Dinverno

S648	Topics in Contemporary Spanish Literature

Topic: Memory, History and the Negotiation of the Past in Democratic

M 4:00pm – 6:30pm/section# 25175/3cr/Location TBA

Prior to Francisco Franco’s death and especially since the early
years of democracy, the writing of the recent past has been at the
forefront of Spanish politics, society and cultural production.  How
should the past of the Civil War and of the repression of the
subsequent dictatorship be narrated in contemporary society?  What
place do the ghosts of the past have in the formation of a “new”
national identity, in a politics of reconciliation or rejuvenation,
in a new cultural landscape?  Debates over these and related
questions have played out in the cultural landscape time and again
during the last 37 years and have more recently taken on a more
urgent tone as the recuperation of this painful past has now taken
shape in efforts to unearth graves of the Civil War and
dictatorship.  This course will analyze the way that writers and
film directors have dealt with issues of memory, history and the
collective negotiation of Spain’s difficult and contentious past.
Focusing on recent texts, we will examine the varied positions that
these intellectuals have formulated and the ways in which they have
negotiated concepts such as witnessing, cultural memory, and
individual and national identity in their work.  Taking an
interdisciplinary approach including literary and film studies,
sociology, and history, we will also look at the degree to which
these stances dialogue with or participate in the construction of
wider social discourses on the past in democratic Spain.

Course evaluation will likely involve student discussion-leading,
several shorter essays, and one article-length research paper.