Courses of Study 2013-2014 
    Oct 16, 2021  
Courses of Study 2013-2014 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Add to Favorites (opens a new window)

SPAN 6540 - Cervantes Mediterranean

Fall. 4 credits.

Conducted in Spanish.  This is the required course for all Spanish graduate students.

M. A. Garcés.

This seminar focuses on the Mediterranean in the age of Cervantes (1547-1616), a geographic and historical space envisioned by Braudel “not as a sea but as a succession of seas, not as a civilization but as a series of civilization superimposed one upon the other.”  Characterized by its endless interactions and combats, continuity and rupture, the early modern Mediterranean was also distinquished by coexistence, cultural exchanges, and mediation among the men and women caught in those conflicts.  As a soldier and captive in the wars between the Habsburg and Ottoman empires, Cervantes left us a vital testimony of this tumultuous period.  We will explore the impact of his captivity in Algiers (1575-1580) in both his dramatic and novelistic production.  This traumatic experience constitutes a vortex or whirlwind in the nucleus of his great literary invention.  In a voyage that will take us from Algiers, in North Africa, to Sicily, Cyprus and Constantinople, we will study Cervantes’s relations with Muslims and “renegades” – Christian converts to Islam –, his representation of the shifting identities of these personages, as well as his depiction of the peoples, cultures, and religions that mutually contaminated and confronted each other across the Mediterranean.  The idea that survivors of traumatic events must tell their stories in order to continue living – a concept derived from psychoanalysis – explains in a compelling manner the profusion of stories by Cervantes that turn insistently around his Algerian captivity.  Our readings include plays and novellas by Cervantes, chronicles by Antonio de Sosa, and texts by Braudel, Cathy Caruth, J. Daklhia, Derrida, Lacan, Dori Laub, Primo Levi, Robert J. Lifton, and Jaime Monrique, among others.

Add to Favorites (opens a new window)