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Department of Hispanic Studies
..... senior sophister

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Spanish - 4th year - Senior Sophister

Spanish Language

In the final year students attend two classes a week in Written Spanish and one in Spoken Spanish.

Medieval Spanish Literature

All students attend a course in Medieval Spanish Literature.

Along two terms, the course will analyse the three core texts of Medieval Spanish literature, each set within a comprehensive contextual background. Attention will be dedicated to the reception of the texts in contemporary criticism.

    • Poema de Mio Cid, ed. Ian Michael (Castalia)
    • Juan Ruiz. Libro de Buen Amor, ed. G.B. Gybbon-Monypenny (Castalia)
    • Fernando de Rojas. La Celestina, ed. Dorothy S. Severin (Cátedra)

Students also choose two from the following Special Subjects:

The Spain of the three Cultures Dr Katerina García

The Languages of Spain and Latin America

Dr Katerina García
The Myths of Time: Spain 1930-1940 Dr Susana Bayó 
Literature, Cinema and Metamorphosis Dr Susana Bayó
The Writer as Exile Dr Ciaran Cosgrove 
The Noble Moor: History and Fiction Dr Grace Magnier
Competing Representations of America in Enlightenment Spain Dr Ciara O'Hagan 
Spanish Painting from the Escorial to Goya (2 Students) Dr Peter Cherry


The Spain of the three Cultures

It is the aim of this course to provide an insight into the complex historical, cultural and social circumstances that shaped the cultural phenomenon known as Spain of the The Three Cultures.   Based on contemporary texts, the course will explore the intellectual contribution of Christians, Muslims and Jews to the cultural climate of Medieval Spain, drawing particular attention to the interaction of these three ethnic and religious groups.   These cross-currents shaped Spanish medieval society and culture, which found its highest expression in such literary masterpieces as the Poema de Mio Cid , the Libro de Buen Amor and La Celestina, which will be studied in turn in the SP4003 Spanish Medieval Literature course.   The lectures will also be complemented with visual documentation as well as sound recordings.

Recommended bibliogaphy

Collins, Roger. Early Medieval Spain
Reilly, Bernard F. The medieval Spains
Constable, Olivia R. (ed.). Medieval Iberia
Menoval, María Rosa. The Ornament of the World
Watt, W. M. Chachia P. A History of Islamic Spain
Harvey, L. P. Islamic Spain, 1250 to 1500
Baer, Yizhak. A History of the Jews in Christian Spain
Díaz-Mas, Paloma. Sephardim: The Jews from Spain

The Languages of Spain and Latin America

The   course will be divided into two sections as follows:

1) The first section of the course will introduce students to the main theories of Romance Linguistics. These lectures will also provide a comparative description of the family of Romance languages, backed up with textual material and various sound recordings.

2) In this second part, the course will analyse the main dialects of Spanish on the Iberian Peninsula and the American Continent. Attention will be drawn to the history oand methodology of Dialectology as a linguistic discipline. In addition to the main Spanish dialiects, creoles and mixed-languages evolved on the basis of Spanish will also be considered.

Recommended bibliography

Lapesa, Rafael, Historia de la lengua española .   Madrid: Gredos, 1981
Cano, Rafael (ed.), Historia de la lengua española .   Barcelona: Ariel, 2005
Hualde, J.I Escobar, A. M., Introducción a la lingüística hispánica.   Cambridge University Press.   2001
Pöckl, W., Rainer, F., Pöll, B., Introducción a la lingüística románica.   Madrid: Gredos, 2004
Tagliavini,   Carlo, Orígenes de las lenguas neolatinas .   México: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 1993
Chambers, J. K., Trudgill, P., Dialectology .   Cambridge University Press, 1998
Manuel Alvar (dir .), Manual de dialectología hispánica (I, II). Bacelona: Ariel, 2007
Alonso Zamora Vincente, Dialectología española . Madrid: Gredos, 1960


    The Myths of Time: Spain 1930-1940

    These ten years, among the most significant and controversial in the history of Spain and Europe, will be examined from national and international perspecrives and through a variety of sources, including personal testimonies, memoirs, film documentaries, as well as ficition and cinema both of the time and later. The course will attempt to elcidate the crucial questions that have beset the historiography of the period (for example, the failure of the Republic, the revolution, religious, political, and class conflict, participation of artists and intellectuals, etc.). The canonical history of the period will be compared with both the myths and distortions revealed by these sources and with the myths and distortions re-created by current debates about historical and collective memory.

  • Clara Campoamor. La revolución española vista por una republicana
  • Manuel Azaña. Causas de la guerra de España
  • Mary Stanley-Low. Cuaderno rojo de Barcelona / Red Notebook
  • George Orwell. Homage to Catalonia
  • Ernest Hemingway. For Whom the Bell Tolls
  • Arturo Barea. The Clash / La llama. (Vol. 3 in The forge of a rebel / La forja de un rebelde)
  • José María Gironella. Los cipreses creen en Dios
  • Dulce Chacón. La voz dormida
  • Alberto Méndez. Los girasoles ciegos

Competing Representations of America in Enlightenment Spain

America has been central to the literature and thought of the European Enlightenment. During the eighteeth century, prominent Enlightenment thinkers debated the legitimacy of the New World conquest and even speculated on whether it would have been better if the New World had never been discoered at all. It is therefore a curious fact that the role of America in Spanish Enlightenment literature should have received such scant critical attention, especially when it is remembered that it was during the eighteenth century that the Spanish American empire -- the largest colonial power in the world at this time -- began to falter. It is the aim of the course to redress the critical neglect of America at such a crucial moment in the history of Spanish imperialism bu re-reading a range of eighteenth-century texts (both fictional and non-fictional) against the politico-colonial context of Enlightenment Europe. Through a detailed and chronological analysis of the set texts, it will be revealed that the need to defend Spain's New World record in Europe prompted a rhetorical crisis in Spain as werters scrambled for the most effective way to defend Spain. The efectiveness of their rhetoric will be examined, as will the extent to which Spain's preoccupation with the defence of her America conquest led to the the neglect, in Spain, of the popular Elightenment myth of America.

Prescribed Texts:

José Cadalso. Epitafios para los monumentos de los principales héroes españoles
___. Cartas marruecas
___. Defensa de la nación

___. Escritos autobiográficos y epistolario
Forner y Segarra, Juan Pablo. Exequias de la lengua castellana: Sátira menipea
Fernández de Moratín, Nicolás. 'Las naves de Cortés destuidas'
Montegón, Pedro. Odas
___. Eusebio
Ponz, Antonio. Viaje fuera de España
Quintana, Manuel José. Poesías completas
Vaca de Guzmán, José María. 'Las naves de Cortés destruidas', in Poemas épicos

Literature, Cinema and Metamorphosis

The interrelationship between Spanish fiction and cinema has been particularly fruitful for some sixty years and the principal objective of the course is to study a selection of contemporary Spanish novels and film versions, adaptations, re-creations or variations of these texts. A major focus will be the construction of narrative in both media, and the 'convergencias' and 'divergencias' between them.

  • Mercedes Rodoreda. La plaza del diamante
  • Manuel Rivas. ¿Qué me quieres amor?
  • Miguel Delibes. Los santos inocentes
  • Adelaida García Morales. El sur
  • Antonio Muñoz Molina. Beltenebros
  • Javier Cuerda. Soldados de Salamina


    The Writer as Exile

Exile will be understood here, not only in the usual sense of physical displacement (though Cortázar, Nabokov, Beckett, and more recently, Saramago, celebrated and lived out such displacement), but, more importantly, in the sense of cultural and linguistic displacement, or what the critic George Steiner has described as the 'linguistic unhousedness' of the contemporary writer. The course will examine the representation of exilic angst and experiences of deracination in authors such as Joyce, Beckett and Camus, Vallejo and Saramago. But, in line with Steiner's broader definition of 'exile', it will also attend to practices of writing that may be said to be associated with an exilic consciousness. Such practices are: cultivation of artifice in the literary form itself, ludic procedures and ironical strategies, all to be found in Borges and Cortázar. The notion of exile then will be amply understood within Steiner's postulation that 'the liberating function of art lies in its singular capacity to "dream against the world", to "structure worlds that are otherwise'".

  • Jorge Luis Borges, Ficciones
  • Jorge Luis Borges, El aleph
  • Jorge Luis Borges, El informe de Brodie
  • Julio Cortázar, Rayuela
  • Gutiérrez Alea, Memorias del desarrollo
  • James Joyce, Dubliners
  • Samuel Beckett, First Love
  • Albert Camus, Exile and the Kingdom
  • César Vallejo, Trilce
  • César Vallejo, Los heraldos negros
  • Jose Saramago, Blindness


    The Noble Moor: history and fiction and myth

    This course will look at representations of Islam in Spain from the Moor of history and fiction to the sixteenth-century and seventeenth-century Morisco. The general critical framework will be the interplay of history, fiction and myth and we will look at issues of acculturation, assimilation and co-existence (convivencia) in works set during the Reconquest and in the Early Modern period.

    • Anon., El Abencerraje y la hermosa Jarifa,ed. F López Estrada (Madrid: Cátedra, 1997)
    • G. Pérez de Hita, Guerras civiles de Granada(selección) (Madrid: Espasa-Calpe, 1975) or Guerras civiles de Granada, I, ed. P. Correa Rodríguez (Granada: Universidad de Granada, 1999)
    • L. de Vega Carpio, El remedio en la desdicha, ed. F. López Estrada (Barcelona: PPU, 1992)
    • P. Calderón de la Barca, Amar después de la muerte o El Tuzaní de la Alpujarra, ed. M. Ruiz Lagos (Alcalá de Guadaira: Guadalmena, 1998), ISBN 84 86448 48 4.
    • M. Alemán, "La historia de Ozmín y Daraja", in Guzmán de Alfarache, Part I, Book I, Chapter VIII.
    • P. Calderón de la Barca, El príncipe constante, ed. E. Cancelliere (Madrid: Biblioteca Nueva, 2000), ISBN 84 7030 841 6.
    • M. de Cervantes, "La historia del cautivo", (DQ, I), "El morisco Ricote" and "La historia de Ana Félix", (DQ, II).
    • L. de Vega Carpio, Las paces de los reyes, ed. F. B. Pedraza Jiménez (Cuenca: Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha, 1995). Possibly out of print.
    • L. de Vega Carpio, El mejor mozo de España. To be supplied by Dr Magnier







During the final year Senior Sophister students are also expected to write a dissertation of 10,000 - 15,000 words. There is a Departmental booklet available in relation to possible topics.


All courses are offered subject to availability of lecturer.

Email : Hispanic Studies
Tel: (01) 6081257
Fax: (01) 6710649
Department of Hispanic Studies, Trinity College Dublin 2
Last updated: 13-Oct-2010 by Hispanic Studies Webmaster