WesMaps - Wesleyan University Catalog 2010-2011       Summer Session       Winter Session       Home       Archive       Search
Dialogue of Poets: Classical and 20th-Century Poetry in Spain and Latin America
SPAN 232
Spring 2011
Section: 01  
Crosslisting: IBST 316, LAST 232

This course samples the rich tradition of Spanish-language verse from its beginnings to the present. It is structured by four primary dialogues: (1) the creative reception of classical poets (Saint John of the Cross, Góngora, Quevedo, and Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz) by leading 20th-century poets from Spain and Latin America (Neruda, Lorca, Machado, Borges, Paz, and Rossetti, among others); (2) the interplay of poetry and essays by those same poets; (3) the round-trip fertilization of popular and elite, oral and written forms of poetry; and (4) the crossing of linguistic, ethnic, religious, and gender boundaries that has shaped Spanish-language verse from its beginnings as love lyric embedded in Hebrew and Arabic poems (jarchas), to the creative stimulus of other romance languages (especially Galician and Catalan) in Spain, through Latin American poets open to Amerindian and African influences, and Hispanic-American poets exploring bilingualism in the U.S. We will read lyric, epic, and burlesque verse on a wide variety of themes (mysticism, sex, history, reason, travel, love, politics, sensory perception, death, and poetry itself, among others); reflect on how poetry can best be enjoyed and understood; and consider how poetry has been produced, heard, read, and used (ritual and spontaneous song; minstrel performance of epic and ballads; courtly patronage, literary academies, and manuscript circulation; private reading of printed texts and commodification; and 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
This is a writing- and discussion-intensive course. Reading and writing are the most effective means by which adult learners improve foreign-language (including conversation) skills. Writing is improved by thoughtful reading, previous discussion, and revision and the course is structured to provide you with practice in using them to hone your writing skills (in analytical, lyrical, dramatic, or narrative mode). Although the main focus will be the development of a formal, yet personal register of Spanish writing, you will find that your writing in English improves as a result of this kind of reflection on what goes into good writing. Class sessions will be focused on detailed, imaginative discussion of the main readings (including small-group work). Regular supplementary readings will 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 a wide range of poems and essays in many styles and forms, and to encourage a deeper--at once historically informed, textually grounded, and playful--engagement with these wonderful texts.
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 JUN-23-2024
Contact wesmaps@wesleyan.edu to submit comments or suggestions. Please include a url, course title, faculty name or other page reference in your email ? Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut, 06459