SPAN 412 Twentieth-Century Spain: The Artist and Society

Spring, Fall

This course aims to study some of the most important authors and literary works of what has been called Spain’s “Silver Age” at the beginning of the 20th century. Two key moments in Spanish history serve as bookends for the readings: the “Disaster” of 1898 and the Spanish Civil War of 1936-1939. We’ll begin the course by studying representative works of authors included in the so-called Generation of 98, the first of the important literary and artistic generations of the 20th century. When we read the poetry of the Generation of 27, we’ll see the tension between their recognition of the importance of their immediate predecessors and new tendencies toward more avant-garde aesthetic concerns and poetic practices. The connections between literary art, Cubism and Surrealism will also be explored. Since the course is cross-listed with the Gender and Sexuality Studies program, we’ll approach literary works through the lens of gender analysis, focusing specifically on constructions of masculinity, femininity and queer identities, the connection between gender and genre, and the voicing of difference. The course’s readings include many works and authors recognized within the canon of great works in Spanish literature, but we will also read many works by authors traditionally excluded from the canon, with the aim of exploring the possible reasons and motives for their exclusion.

Prerequisite: Any of the following Spanish 301, 302, 305, 309