Inventing Spain: Nationalisms and Pluralism in Contemporary Spain

How does a country see itself? What texts are considered foundational in the canon of national self-understanding? How does literature engage with nation-building? What are the “threats” to the nationalist project? This course draws from contemporary texts that seek to define Spain, Catalonia and the Basque country. The course will start with ideas of national unity dating from the Spanish Civil War onwards and then we will consider the place of pluralism, multilingualism, and migration in the literature of contemporary Spain. We will read a variety of texts such as essays, novels, poems and autobiographical writings by canonical Spanish writers such as Luis Martín Santos, Juan Goytisolo and Juan Marsé, as well as by Catalan and Basque authors that include Jon Juaristi and Najat El Hachmi. We will pay special attention to historical memory, monolingualism and plurilingualism, immigration, gender, cultural diversity, nationalism and melancholia.

Preliminary Bibliography (Literary Sources)
El Hachmi, Najat. El último patriarca. Barcelona: Planeta, 2008.
El Hachmi, Najat. Yo también soy catalana. Barcelona: Columna, 2004.
Franco, Francisco. Discursos y mensajes del jefe del estado. Madrid: Dirección General de Información Publicaciones Españolas, 1955.
Goytisolo, Juan. Campos de Níjar. Barcelona: Seix Barral, 1960.
Goytisolo, Juan. Juan sin tierra. Barcelona: Editorial Seix Barral, 1975.
Juaristi, Jon. El bucle melancólico: Historias de nacionalistas vascos. Madrid: Espasa, 1997.
Marsé, Juan. El amante bilingüe. Barcelona: Planeta, 1990.
Martín-Santos, Luis. Tiempo de silencio. Barcelona: Seix Barral, 1962.

Preliminary Bibliography (Critical and Theoretical Sources)
Aretxaga, Begoña. Empire & Terror: Nationalism/postnationalism in the New Millennium. Reno: Center for Basque Studies, University of Nevada, 2005.
Butler, Judith. Precarious Life: The Powers of Mourning and Violence. London: Verso, 2006.
Freud, Sigmund. “Mourning and Melancholia.” Collected Papers. Volume 4. New York: Hogarth, 1959. 152-170.
Kristeva, Julia. Powers of Horror: An Essay on Abjection. New York: Columbia University Press, 1982.
Loureiro, Ángel G. “España maníaca.” Quimera: Revista de literatura 167 (1998): 15-20.
Medina Domínguez, Alberto. Exorcismos de la memoria: Políticas y poéticas de la melancolía en la España de la Transición. Madrid: Libertarias, 2001.
Moreiras Menor, Cristina. Cultura herida: Cultura y cine en la España democrática. Madrid: Libertarias, 2002.
Vilarós, Teresa. El mono del desencanto: Una crítica cultural de la transición española (1973-1993). Madrid: Siglo XXI, 1998.

Language of instruction: Spanish

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