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City, Mobility, and Technology: Toward the Modern City in Spain

CHUM 316
Spring 2017 not offered
Crosslisting: FIST 262
Course Cluster: Urban Studies

Movements, itineraries, encounters--these are some of the elements that have characterized modern literature. From the Baudelairean figure of the flâneur to the car chases of popular movies like Bullit, the city is described from a series of journeys that create a representation of urban space. However, these narratives reveal more than a personal account of the city: they show the urban architectures that allow the movement in those spaces (paths, roads, lighting), and in doing so, they portray the development of the modern city. With this framework in mind, in this course we will analyze the construction of the modern city in Spain through literary and filmic texts. We will pay special attention to Barcelona and Madrid, but we will also look at how other international cities are perceived and represented in Spanish literature. In doing so, we will explore how these authors understand the modern city and, furthermore, the connections and influences among what we will call international hubs in a specific historical moment.

Our journey will start in the 19th century with great novelists and essayists such as Leopoldo Alas "Clarín," Benito Pérez Galdós, and Mariano José Larra, and we will compare their conceptions of the city with those of poets such as Baudelaire. In their texts, we will see the construction of the industrial city and the conflicts that arise once the urban space becomes a mobile space, technologically and socially speaking. Then we move into the 20th century, and such authors as Federico García Lorca and Carmen Laforet will show us what is it like to be an stranger in the big city, a strangeness emphasized by the migratory movements that characterized the pre- and postwar era in Spain. And films including Luis García Berlanga's Bienvenido, Mr. Marshall and Alejandro González Iñarritu's more recent Biutiful will show us how the city grows outward fueled by capitalism, an economic system that leaves out those who do not inhabit the urban centers, such as the case of Bienvenido, or those who are exploited by it, as we will see in Biutiful. These fascinating narratives offer a very detailed portrayal of urban centers in Spain that will allow us to research their mobile nature.
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: HA CHUM
Course Format: Lecture / DiscussionGrading Mode: Graded
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (FRST-MN)

Last Updated on JUN-24-2024
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