This course will be taught in Spanish, and spans a timeline between 711 and 1492, i.e., from the date of the conquest/invasion of Iberia by Muslim troops to the fall of Granada and the expulsion of Muslims and Jews from Spain. Before starting discussion of the course material, students will be introduced to Arabic sound and script, as well as some common vocabulary and lexical concepts shared between Spanish and Arabic. This makes sense because Muslim culture and the Arabic language were present in Iberia for the better part of 800 years.
We will discuss not only the main events that took place during the Muslim occupation of parts of Iberia but also the cultural legacy Muslims and Jews left behind in the peninsula after they were expelled in 1492, especially in the realms of art, science, language, architecture, and le savoir-vivre. We will look at the different theories put forth by scholars about the conquest/invasion of the peninsula, in regard to the ease and speed with which the peninsula was overrun by Muslims. We will examine the hereafter and the consequences of the expulsion of Muslims and Jews on the Iberian peninsula as well as the neighboring territories. Finally, we will make a jump to the 21st century and try to connect some dots by looking at the current situation in and around the Strait of Gibraltar, particularly the influx of illegal immigrants from North Africa and sub-Saharan countries, and the ensuing issues.