- The School
- Tutors and Officers
- Departments & Programmes
- Staff A-Z
- Who should I contact ...?
- Prospective Students
- Start of Term
- Undergraduate Degrees
- SELCS Writing Lab
- Masters degrees
- Research degrees
- Postdoctoral Research
- ELCS modules
- Personal tutoring
- Student resources
- Staff intranet
Tradition and Modernity: Spanish Culture 1500 to the Present
Course code: SPAN1210
Course unit value: 1.0
(0.5cu versions may be taken: SPAN1210A (term 1), and SPAN1210B (term 2), both are assessed by 2 essays).
This course provides an introduction for students to Spanish culture from the early modern period to the present, exposing you to a range of different genres, cultural forms and literary movements.
The course is divided into four parts
Assessment: Four 1,500 word essays or in-class assessment (100%).
Tutors: A. Mazal Oaknin B. Jessica Pujol C. Octavia Bright D. Dr Guillermo Lain
Section A: Women's Writing in Spain
Section on Ana María Matute (1926- ) and Rosa Montero (1951- ), two major Spanish writers who started their careers under the Franco regime. Their novels will be studied in the context of the political, cultural and social circumstances of the post-war and transition periods, as well as in the context of the Spanish literary market. This module will begin by providing an introduction to the main issues at stake in the question of the existence, or not, of a women’s writing. Special emphasis will be placed on the ‘double-binding’ in which women authors often find themselves. It will subsequently analyse Primera memoria and Crónica del desamor in light of the question of female identity and the shifting place of women in society, together with the public perception of these authors and their relationship with the critical establishment.
Primary texts: Any edition of the following texts will be accepted:
- Ana María Matute, Primera memoria (1959)
- Rosa Montero, Crónica del desamor (1979)
Section B: Generación del 27
Section on the Spanish poets Rafael Alberti, Vicente Aleixandre, Luis Cernuda, Gerardo Diego, Federico García Lorca, Jorge Guillén and Pedro Salinas examining their role as members of the ‘Generación 27’. This was the generation of Spanish poets that brought modernism to Spain, but that was subsequently torn apart by the Civil War. We will study the tensions between modernity and tradition arising in Spain at that time.
- García de la Concha, Víctor (ed.). Antología comentada de la Generación del 27. Madrid: Colección Austral, Espasa Calpe, 1987.
Section C: Introduction to Spanish Film
This section of the course provides an introduction to film analysis and focuses on films by three Spanish auteurs: Luis Buñuel, Pedro Almodóvar and Julio Medem. Classes will include general discussion of the films and the development of Spanish cinema, as well as close analysis of one sequence from each film studied.
be an in-class assessment in week 5 based on close analysis of a five-minute
sequence from one of the films studied. Un Chien Andalou will be shown
in class, but students will have to arrange to view the other two films in
their own time before weeks 2 and 3.
- Un Chien Andalou (1929) – Luis Buñuel
- Mujeres al borde de un ataque de nervios (1988) – Pedro Almodóvar
- La ardilla roja (1993) – Julio Medem
Section D: Avant-Garde/Modernist Prose Fiction (1900-1930)
This section of the course will examine the Spanish novel corresponding to the period of the Vanguard in Europe, allowing the student a proper understanding of what in the Anglo American tradition is known as Modernism (1900-1930 aprox.). The links between James Joyce, Virginia Woolf and/or Marcel Proust and certain Spanish writers of this period have often been ignored. This is the case with Miguel de Unamuno, one of the most important writers in the Modern Spanish Tradition. His most representative novel Niebla (1914) will be studied in this section, and it will be compared with the essay that best described the Avant-Garde/Modernist art and literature: José Ortega y Gasset’s La deshumanización del arte e ideas sobre la novela (1925). This will be discussed within the historical background of Spain at the time.
- Miguel de Unamuno, Niebla, ed. Armando F. Zubizarreta (Madrid: Editorial Castalia , 1995). Six copies available at UCL Library. Any other edition is possible.
- José Ortega y Gasset, La deshumanización del arte e ideas sobre la novela (Madrid: Revista de Occidente en Alianza Editorial, 1991). Any edition is possible, but it is important to note that the texts that are going to be read are these: “La deshumanización del arte” and “Ideas sobre la novela”
For secondary sources and further reading, please refer to the SPAN1210 Moodle page.