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Sites of Resistance and Memory: Theater, Performance & Political Consciousness in Contemporary Spain
SPAN 261
Spring 2009
Section: 01  
Crosslisting: IBST 325, THEA 260

Compared to other literary genres and given its essentially social (public) format, the theater is an especially vulnerable mode of cultural expression and therefore becomes the natural prey of both overt (institutionalized) and covert (social) systems of censorship. The tendency for authoritarian regimes to scrutinize stage practices is exemplified by the official (state) censorship that prevailed under Franco (1939-1975) and that prompted Spanish playwrights to develop subtle strategies for resisting authority in the name of democracy and for dialoging with their society, as playwrights are wont to do, regarding the crucial social and political concerns of the day. The parliamentary regime born in aftermath of the dictator's death ushered in an era of fervor and experimentation unprecedented in recent Spanish cultural history, one in which playwrights have increasingly embraced the struggle against more covert (social) forms of censorship in attempting to craft a new social order for a new political context: a democratic mindset that will serve to solidify the foundations of the young democratic state. Our goal in this course is to trace these trends through a close reading of key works by the major Spanish playwrights active since 1939. We will focus on context, on how the theater, society, and politics are intertwined, through evaluating both works of dramatic literature and the place and meaning of the public, commercial, and alternative theater circuits where many of these plays were premiered. Our aim, broadly, is to understand the extent to which collective memory and national identity, as staged over the past half century, have become a battleground where Spaniards either seek or resist reconciliation with their shared history.

Essential Capabilities: Intercultural Literacy, Interpretation
Our goal is to evaluate the various modes of interpreting theater as a dynamic form of cultural expression, as an event that, spanning literature and performance, has profound historical significance.
Students are taught how to negotiate intercultural boundaries as they come to understand the "Spanish-ness" of Spanish theater. The social codes by which theater is nourished figure prominently in our discussions.
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: HA RLAN
Course Format: DiscussionGrading Mode: Student Option
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (HISP)(RMST)(THEA)
Past Enrollment Probability: Not Available

Last Updated on JUL-21-2024
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