The Golden Age of Peninsular Literature and Culture

Are heroes necessary for our existence and contemplation of ourselves as part of society?  Is poverty deterministic or related to one’s choices?  Is fiction truth and vice versa? In this course, students will explore how the literature of the Spanish Middle and Golden Ages (the 11th to the 17th centuries) bring to the surface these and other central debates and controversies related to human existence both as individuals and as part of larger social frameworks. Students will prepare the readings, familiarize themselves with both sides of the arguments using literary evidence, stage a debate for every module, and write on the socio-political significance of such issues in relation to the present day.

Texts will be provided in user-friendly modernized versions or editions prepared for English speaking students.

Required readings:
Anónimo. Vida de Lazarillo de Tormes y de sus fortunas y adversidades. Ed. Annette Grant Cash and James C. Murray. Newark: Juan de la Cuesta: 2002.

Calderón de la Barca, Pedro. La vida es sueño. Newark: Juan de la Cuesta, 2006.

Coursepack (Excerpts from El Cid, Las Cantigas, El Libro del Buen Amor, El Conde Lucanor, Don Quijote, etc).

Recommended readings:
Gibaldi, Joseph. MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. 7th ed. New York: MLA, 2009.

Deyermond, Alan et al. A Literary History of Spain I-III: The Middle Ages and the Golden Age. Barcelona : Ariel, 2008.

Gerli, E. Michael. et al. Medieval Iberia: an Encyclopedia. New York: Routledge, 2003.

Prerequisite: SPAN 221

Corequisite: SPAN 302

Language of Instruction: Spanish

Course Registration