Between Local and Global: Contemporary Iberian Cultures and Identities|
Spring 2012 not offered
IBST 262, COL 277|
How do artists respond locally to global culture during times of profound social change? This question will guide us in our analysis of Spanish film, fiction, theater, art, and music of the past four decades (1977 to the present). The dominant trends of this period--economic development, immigration, informational technology, and the consolidation of democracy--have given rise to a multilingual and transcultural society whose tensions it shares broadly with other European and American societies. As elsewhere, the close proximity and regular intermingling of peoples from different linguistic, cultural, and national backgrounds raise new questions concerning identity, both individual and collective, concerning, that is, the means by which individuals construct their sense of community and the rules and assumptions by which they interact. Our objective in this course is to analyze the particular way in which Spanish filmmakers, novelists, and playwrights, visual artists and musicians address these concerns as they represent--and thereby propagate--new understandings of identity within this fluid social framework. We will concentrate primarily on film (Pedro Almodóvar), theater, literature, art, music and dance (flamenco), and the media and on such issues as the popular versus the elite, the present and past (historical memory), gay and straight, native and foreign, and national and regional. We will also seek to relate these literary and artistic works to key events (exhibits, performances), to sites of special significance (urban, institutional, monumental), and to high-profile practices (cuisine) to bring into focus the network of hidden correlations and ideologies that define Spanish culture today. In doing so, we will pay special attention to how Spaniards defend local cultural formulations against the homogenizing dominance of global systems.
Intercultural Literacy, Interpretation
INTERCULTURAL LITERACY: This course encourages a comparative reflection about cultural practices from the different communities, ethnicities, and nationalities that coexist in Spain today. It emphasizes both the "vertical axis" of traditions ¿inherently ¿Spanish¿ understandings of literature, music, dance, ideas, and languages¿in relation to the "horizontal axis" of tensions imposed by the phenomena of immigration and globalization. Students will be encouraged to reflect critically on the cultural horizons or frontiers of identity, both individual and collective.
INTERPRETATION: Students will be challenged to develop skills in the interpretation of a wide spectrum of cultural artifacts by exercising those skills on a daily basis. The artifacts in question are visual (film, theater, performance, art and architecture), literary (novels, drama) and auditory (music).
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Discussion||Grading Mode: Graded|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (RMST)
- A course packet including (1) theoretical readings on culture, identity and globalization, (2) essays on contemporary Spanish culture (e.g., immigration, race relations, historical memory, gender, music, urbanism, architecture, cuisine), (3) audiovisual material available (upon authentication with a Wes ID and password) via the Internet (art, audiovisual recordings of plays and performances), and (3) other material referred to in the course description (e.g., exhibit catalogs, press articles, recordings of music)
- Screenings of films by various contemporary Spanish filmmakers, including Pedro Almodóvar
- A selection of plays and novels in Spanish by native and immigrant authors
|Examination and Assignments: |
- Various short response papers (1 page) and oral assignments;
- Two short essays (4 pages)
- A term paper (10 pages).
|Additional Requirements and/or Comments: |
SPAN262 is intended for students who have completed Spanish 221 or the equivalent with a grade of B or better. Students who have not done so should consult with the professor before preregistering. Students with an interest in the Mediterranean world are especially encouraged to apply for admission.
In addition to the essential capabilities indicated, students will regularly exercise skills writing and speaking in Spanish.
For more detailed information regarding this course, visit the web page at: http://agonzalez.web.wesleyan.edu/span262/span262.htm (under construction)
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