CU/SO 270 - The Cultures of Spain: Understanding Past, Present and Future
This course offers an overview of the heterogeneous historical and cultural landscape of Spain through an interdisciplinary approach. Throughout the semester, we will study Spanish history and culture from the Prehistoric period to the great social and economic disturbances of the 20th Century. The first half of this course starts with an introduction to Spain’s geography, political organization, and cultural diversity, and it continues exploring the Paleolithic settlement and art, the arrival of new social groups (Iberians, Celts, Greeks, Phoenicians), the Roman Empire and its cultural legacy, the Visigoth conquest and heritage, the Islamic domination and its mark in the Spanish culture, and the Christian Reconquista. With the establishment of medieval kingdoms with Hapsburg and Bourbon kings, and their unification of the Spanish territory, we will explore the separation of Portugal, the Golden Age Literature, culture and art, and the rise and fall of Spain’s Empire. After our midterm exam, we will study the difficult 19th Century and even more troubled 20th Century, the groundbreaking cultural arena of this period, and the political shifts from Monarchy to Republic and Dictatorship. Finally, we will learn the emergence of the democratic system together with the cultural revolutionary panorama and the new social and cultural context of freedom.