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How can you learn to separate the stereotypical images of Spain from reality? How can we talk about one “Spain”, when the country a complex composite of ancient and diverse cultural remnants mixed with recent influxes of immigrants and separatist movements? How has the vulnerable peninsula survived centuries of violent upheavals and divisiveness; dramatic economic rises and collapses? How has the Covid-19 pandemic affected Spain’s health system, demographics, and international economy? This course aims to offer students a strong foundation in Spanish issues, whether they have already spent time abroad, or hope to do so in the future.
In this course we will approach Spain by studying examples of its literary and artistic production, from periods of brilliant cultural exchange, and times of censorship, repression, and crisis. Some topics of focus will be the Inquisition, the Civil War, contemporary Spain’s obsession with its own recent past, and its uncertain future as it begins to recover from the effects of Covid. Secondary texts will also be provided for historical and socio-political background and reference.
Conducted in Spanish.
Format: seminar; Instruction will be remote.
Grading: no pass/fail option,
no fifth course option
Conducted entirely in Spanish, Active regular participation in class discussions. Each student will give one presentation and, on a separate occasion, also be a discussion leader. Two short writing assignments (2-3 pp) and one final essay (10-12 pp). Remote office hours will be scheduled with individual students at different points in the semester to help each one with questions, approaches to homework and class participation, and to go provide additional feedback and practice for writing and oral expression.
RLSP 105, or RLSP 200, or results of Williams College Placement Exam, or permission of instructor
Spanish majors and certificate candidates