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Spanish Language

SP4031 & SP4032 In the final year students attend two classes a week in written Spanish and one in spoken Spanish.

SP4003 Medieval Literature (Dr García)

All TSM students attend the course on Medieval Literature. Over two terms, this course will analyse the three core texts of Medieval Spanish literature, each set within a comprehensive contextual background. The focus will be on the reception of the texts in contemporary criticism.

Prescribed Texts

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)


All students select two semester options from the following:

SP4056 Character in the Comedia (Dr Brewer)

This module will focus on four texts, written during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, that combine humour, satire, autobiography, historical chronicle and literary fiction from the perspective of characters who inhabit the margins of their societies: a prostitute (Aldonza, la lozana andaluza), a converso court buffoon (don Francesillo de Zúñiga), a soldier (Alonso de Contreras), and a pícaro (Estebanillo González). All four works are rich in detailed observations of the socio-political, religious, and military realities of the period, but they also exist within specific generic traditions, which they exploit for aesthetic effect. These stories are witty, bawdy, entertaining narratives that also contain a serious satirical sting. We will consider each of them from the perspective of the interplay of history and fiction, entertainment and didacticism, truth and artistic invention, as we follow the protagonists’ travels from Spain to Rome and points farther afield, throughout the Mediterranean and Northern and Eastern Europe.

SP4033 The Myths of Time: Spain 1930-1940 (Dr Bayó Belenguer)

The Spanish transition to democracy (1975-1982) has been regarded as a model of its kind by many historians, sociologists and political scientists as well as by countries which have had to undergo a similar transformation. The combination of circumstances which allowed Spain to pass peacefully from forty years of right-wing dictatorship to the free election of four consecutive socialist governments within a constitutional monarchy is therefore uniquely important. Several decades later, however, the period is being studied from a perspective which questions whether the process succeeded only because the political parties agreed to forget the painful memories of the recent past, a silent pact which is now seen as accounting for the weaknesses of present day Spanish democracy. Using a variety of primary and secondary sources the course will explore and review the political, social, literary, and cultural changes that accompanied the transition process. Students will have the opportunity to examine and discuss memoirs, articles, interviews, party manifestos, films, fiction, and other materials on those factors which enabled Spain to enter fully again into the community of European nations.

SP4058 Literature, Cinema, and Metamorphosis (Dr Bayó Belenguer)

During the eighteenth century prominent Enlightenment thinkers such as Montesquieu and Voltaire speculated on whether it would be better if the New World had never been discovered at all. It is the aim of this course to introduce students to the eighteenth-century debates that took place in Spain and Europe over whether the conquest of America was justified, and whether it was worth it. A variety of texts, including travel literature, satire, poetry and apologetic texts, will be studied to reveal the ways in which some of the leading figures of the Spanish Enlightenment responded to the eighteenth-century disputes over America. In order to facilitate the study of the role of America in the literature of the period, the module will also introduce students to the main tenets of Enlightenment thought and will provide a general introduction to the Spanish Enlightenment in the initial two weeks of the course. The module will follow a largely chronological pattern and will concentrate for the most part on one text or author each week. As well as tutor-led introductory seminars and lectures, there will also be seminars for group discussion.

SP4047 The Languages of Spain and Latin America (Dr García)

The course will analyse the main languages and dialectal varieties of Spanish spoken in Spain and on the American Continent. Attention will be drawn to the history and methodology of Dialectology as a linguistic discipline, as well as to an overview of the latest trends and publications in the field. In addition to the main languages and Spanish dialects, creoles and mixed-languages which evolved on the basis of Spanish will also be considered.

Senior Sophister Course Information

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