RLSP 201(F) (formerly 111) The Cultures of Spain

Linguistically, culturally, and historically, the Iberian peninsula bears the traces of the past civilizations that once inhabited the land. Iberians, Celts, Phoenicians, Greeks, Carthaginians, Romans, Visigoths, Arabs, and Jews have all been instrumental in shaping the modern nation and the contributions of these groups are the starting point in any understanding of Spain's rich cultural heritage and traditions. Cultural diversity in contemporary Spain reflects at once the distinct autonomous regions which constitute the socio-political fabric of the country, such as Catalonia and the Basque Country, and also patterns of migration both within and beyond the European Union. In this course we will examine and consider Spain past and present. We will study periods of tolerance and cultural brilliance, such as the co-existence of Arabs and Jews in Medieval Cordoba, as well as censorship and repression, brought about by the institution of the Inquisition, for example, or during the Franco Regime. Materials will include representative works from literature, art, architecture, music, and film. Secondary texts providing essential socio-political and historical context will be supplied. Conducted in Spanish. Requirements: active participation in class discussions, an oral presentation, several short writing assignments, a midterm and a final. Prerequisites: Spanish 105, permission of instructor, or results of the Williams College Placement Exam. Enrollment limit: 20 (expected: 20).