Sites of Resistance & Memory: Theater, Performance & Political Consciousness in Contemporary Spain|
Spring 2020 not offered
Compared to other literary genres, and given its essentially social (public) format, theater is an especially vulnerable mode of cultural expression and, therefore, can easily fall victim to both overt (institutionalized) and covert (social) systems of censorship. The tendency for authoritarian regimes to scrutinize stage practices is exemplified by the state censorship that prevailed under Franco (1939-1975) and that prompted Spanish playwrights to develop subtle strategies for resisting authority and for addressing the crucial social and political concerns of the day. The parliamentary regime born in the aftermath of the dictator's death in 1975 ushered in an era of experimentation unprecedented in recent Spanish cultural history. During these years, playwrights have increasingly embraced the struggle against more covert (social, market-driven) 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 1950. We will focus on context, on how theater, society, and politics are intertwined, by evaluating both works of dramatic literature themselves 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 three-quarters of a century, have become a battleground where Spaniards either seek or resist reconciliation with legacies of repression.
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Discussion||Grading Mode: Graded|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (HISP)(RMST)(THEA)
Plays by Antonio Buero Vallejo, Alfonso Sastre, José Martín Recuerda, José María Rodríguez Méndez, Fernado Fernán Gómez, José Sanchis Sinisterra, Fermín Cabal, Francisco Nieva, Juan Mayorga, Llüisa Cunillé, Laura Ripoll and Angélica Liddell
|Examination and Assignments: |
Six to eight short response papers (1 page maximum each)
A final paper
A final oral exam
Reading, writing and active participation in classroom discussions are the best ways for adult learners to improve their language skills. Students will improve all of their language skills through their active engagement in this course in these terms.
|Additional Requirements and/or Comments: |
All class discussions and written work and most readings in Spanish.
SPAN 261 is intended for students who have completed Spanish 221 with a grade of B- or better.
For more details, visit the course web site at: http://agonzalez.web.wesleyan.edu/span261/span261.html