Lorca and the Andalusian Literary Tradition

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Course Information
Terms offered: 
Fall, Spring
Language of instruction: 
Contact Hours: 

More than four courses of Spanish.


The aim of this course is introducing Federico García Lorca’s life and work framed in the social, historical and artistic context of his time. Students are proposed a personal discovery of the Spanish author’s  universe throughout the reading and analysis of Lorca’s lyrical and theatrical creation. The course is based on three principal axes: reflection, interpreting and creation. Students will assimilate personally the content with a direct implication using the language of literary resources and basic literary notions in order to enrich the reading capacity and develop their interest in poetry.

Watch this short video to get an overview for this course!

Attendance policy: 

Attendance is mandatory for all IES Abroad classes, including course related excursions. Any exams, tests, presentations, or other work missed due to student absences can only be rescheduled in cases of documented medical or family emergencies. If a student misses more than three classes in any course 3% of the final class grade will be deducted for every unjustified student absence. Six absences in any course will result in a failing grade.

Method of presentation: 

Two ninety-minute classes weekly with:

  • lectures by the instructor,
  • student presentations,
  • class discussions,
  • students representations,
  • visits and literary walks related to the author.

At the end of the course, students must do a research project co-directed by the instructor treating aspects of Lorca’s work.

Required work and form of assessment: 
  • Assistance and active class participation - 20%
  • Personal journal - 10%
  • Playing Lorca’s scenes - 10%
  • Examinations: mid-term (10%) and final (20%) - 30%
  • Research work - 30%




Session 1
  • Presentation of the objectivs and content of the course.
  • Socio-cultural situation in Spain at the beginning of the 20th century.
  • First steps into Lorca’s life.
  • Beginning of creativity.
“The curtain raises”  (Impressions and Landscapes)
Session 2
  • Modern roots of Lorca’s poetry: Apollo and Dyonisus.
  • The intuition of the absolute through the lyrics.
  • Christology and pantheism.
  • Approach to the young original theatre.
“Today I sense in my heart a vague tremor of stars” (Book of poems)
Session 3
  • Andalusian mood in Lorca’s theory of the duende.
  • Tradition as connection with the roots.
  • Erotism, love and death as main axes of Lorca’s creation.
  • Brief approach to the “pure poetry”.
“To see you naked is to remember Earth” (The Tamarit Divan).
Session 4
  • Social commitment or the committed society in Federico García Lorca historical and lyrical theatre.
  • The role of women as a tragedy symbol.
  • First keys to Lorca’s theatre.
“What crime have I committed? Why do they kill me?” (Mariana Pineda)
Session 5
  • Intellectual friendship with Salvador Dalí: objectivity and subjectivity, mind and body.
  • Myths and mistakes in an impossible relation.
“A rose in the high garden you desire” (“Ode to Salvador Dalí”)
Session 6
  • Lorca’s surrealism in Gypsy Ballads and Poet in New York: traditionalism and vanguards.
  • Open struggle between life and progress.
“Under the multiplications, a drop of duck’s blood”  (Poet in New York)
Session 7
  • García Lorca’s rural dramas.
  • Rewriting of the romantic notion of destiny.
  • Blood and freedom tragedies versus social impositions.
  • Blood Wedding.
“Fort he fault is not mine; it is that of the earths” (Blood Wedding)
Session 8
  • García Lorca’s “Total Theatre”: renovation of the scene.
  • “La Barraca” as a reflection of the classics and an esthetic compromise with the people.
  • Open dialogue with the fourth wall.
“I must shoot myself; it’s the only way to bring about true theatre: the theatre beneath the sand” (The Audience)
Session 9
  • García Lorca’s last days.
  • Truncated projects and new directions in his Sonnets.
  • Lorca’s legacy.
“If I die, leave the balcony doors open” (Songs)


Required readings: 
  • Bodas de sangre. Edición de Allen Josephs y Juan Caballero Ed. Cátedra.
  • Obras I-II  (edición de M García Posada), Akal, Madrid, 1990.
  • Obras completas (edición de A. del Hoyo), 3 volúmenes, Aguilar, Madrid, 1954 (24ª edición, 1992).
  • Obras de Federico García Lorca, (edición de M. Hermández), 14 volúmenes, Alianza, Madrid.
  • Antología poética (selección, presentación y notas de Andrew A. Anderson), Diputación de Granada, 1998.
  • Libros de la biblioteca de IES y artículos y demás materiales de bases de datos.