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Dialogue of Poets: Classical and 20th-Century Poetry in Spain and Latin America
SPAN 232
Spring 2010
Section: 01  
Crosslisting: IBST 316

This course samples the rich tradition of Spanish-language verse from its beginnings to the 20th century. It is structured by three principal dialogues: the creative reception of classical poets (Saint John of the Cross, Góngora, Quevedo, and Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, among others); by leading 20th-century poets from Spain and Latin America (Pablo Neruda, García Lorca, Jorge Guillén, Gabriela Mistral, Jorge Luis Borges, Octavio Paz, and Lezama Lima, among others); the interplay of poetry and essayistic reflection on poems, poets, and poetry by many of those same writers; and the crossing of linguistic, ethnic, religious, and gender boundaries that has been a hallmark of Spanish-language verse from its beginnings as love lyrics embedded in Hebrew and Arabic poems (JARCHAS) to 20th-century Latin American poets open to diverse Amerindian and African influences and contemporary Hispanic American poets exploring bilingualism. We will read examples from epic, lyric, and burlesque verse on a wide variety of themes; reflect on how poetry can best be enjoyed and understood; and consider how poetry has been produced, heard, read, and used in its original contexts (oral performance by medieval minstrels and popular transmission of ballads, courtly patronage, Renaissance literary academies and manuscript circulation, private reading of printed texts and commodification, 20th-century singer-songwriter musical settings, and politics). Although no prior expertise in poetry is expected, a willingness to engage it closely (textually and historically) is essential.

Essential Capabilities: Interpretation, Writing
The readings, the oral presentation, class discussion, and the papers are regarded as complementary, mutually reinforcing activities, designed to help you develop your ability to recall and interpret your readings. Class will be given over to detailed,
imaginative discussion of the main readings, as well as group or team work. Supplementary readings will be brought in regularly to introduce concepts and interpretive gambits (including the broad themes of the course announced in the description), to model ways of reframing and nuancing your responses to the readings, and to encourage a deeper--at once historically informed, textually grounded, and playful--engagement with this classic text.
Writing is improved by thoughtful reading, previous
discussion, and revision. The course is structured in such a way as to provide you with practice in the use of your reading, of class discussion, and of revision to improve your writing skills (understood in terms of argument, organization, and rhetorical pertinence and flair). The main focus will be the development of a formal, yet personal register of Spanish writing, but you will find that your writing in English also improves as a result of this kind of reflection on what goes into good writing. An oral presentation will be scheduled over the course of the second half of the term in order to encourage you to begin to think carefully about a topic for your final paper.
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: None
Course Format: DiscussionGrading Mode: Graded
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (HISP)(LAST)(RMST)
Past Enrollment Probability: Not Available

Last Updated on JAN-20-2020
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