20th Century Spanish Prose: Casa, comunidad y cosmópoli
Texas Tech University 
Fall 2014

Course description:
Graduate Seminar on the Peninsular novel since 1950. The texts we will study have been chosen with a view toward:

Including works from the 20th-21st Century section of the MA reading list.

Presenting a historical panorama from the post-war period to the present day.

Exploring the relationship between literature and the concepts of the body, place, mapping, home, community, public space, and cosmopolitanism.

Course objectives. In this course we will:

Address conceptual questions, such as:

What is the relationship between the social world and literature?

What is social space? Lived space? Place?

What is the role of power in the production of social space? How are experiences of space influenced by social factors such as class, gender, sexual orientation, and national or linguistic identity?

What is the “spatial turn” in the humanities?

What is human geography? How can literary scholars engage in productive dialogue with geographers and other social scientists?

How are sites at different scales interrelated? For example, what is the relation between the body and home? Between the neighborhood and the nation? Between cities and the globe?

Develop skills in critical thinking, collaboration, expression, and research by:

Contributing to the creation of a seminar environment that is both intellectually stimulating and collegial.

Presenting and substantiating original arguments related to course themes, orally and in writing.

Using theory to generate insight into works of narrative fiction.

Making use of campus resources to undertake a research project.

Presenting original research in a polished essay of approximately 5000 words.

Course requirements:

In addition to completing the assigned readings and attending class regularly, the student will:

Post discussion questions/ comments electronically before each class (due 12pm the day of class). These questions/ comments may address primary text, the critical or theoretical readings, or the relationship between the two. The questions should be written in paragraph form, in Spanish, and should begin to make some kind of argument or sketch a line of inquiry that we can develop in class.

Once during the semester, make a presentation of approximately 20 minutes and lead the subsequent discussion (one hour total).

Write a short paper (5 pages, in Spanish) that poses the questions that will be addressed in the term paper and proposes a tentative thesis. The purpose of this paper is to begin developing the final paper early in the term and to create opportunity for peer review.

Write a brief review (~500 words) of a classmate’s short paper. The review should be critical while remaining constructive, generous, and collegial.

Write a summary and analysis (~500-800 words) of an academic article or chapter in the field of Contemporary Peninsular Literature that the student finds compelling and well- executed. The goals of this exercise include gaining experience summarizing others’ arguments and analyzing how effective articles are constructed. If at all possible, the chosen article or chapter should be a part of the student’s research for the term paper.

Collaborate on a class wiki covering authors, movements, theories, or whatever else students find useful. All contributions must be initialed by the contributor and all sources must be cited according to current MLA style.

Finally, write a term paper (in Spanish) of 5000-7000 words that presents an original thesis on one of the primary texts studied during the semester. A focus on the themes of the course and an engagement with the theoretical and critical approaches studied in the course are both strongly encouraged. Adherence to current MLA style is required.

Peer review of Short Paper 10%
Article or Chapter Summary/ Analysis 10%
Contribution to Wiki: 5%
Daily Class Discussion Questions: 20%
Oral Presentation and Moderation of Subsequent Discussion: 15%
Short Paper: 10%
Term Paper: 30%



Blanco Amor, Eduardo. A esmorga. [La Parranda, On a Bender] (1959)

Cela, José Camilo. La colmena. (1951)

Delibes, Miguel. Las ratas. (1962)

Gopegui, Belén. Deseo de ser punk. (2009)

Martín Gaite, Carmen. El cuarto de atrás. (1978)

Matute, Ana María. Primera memoria. (1958)

Mendoza, Eduardo. El misterio de la cripta embrujada. (1979)

Ortiz, Álvaro. Cenizas. (2013)

Rodoreda, Mercè. La plaça del diamant. [La plaza del diamante] (1962)

Saizarbitoria, Ramón. Gorde nazazu lurpean.  [Guárdame bajo tierra] (2000) (Selections)

Other Readings

Complementary readings will be made available electronically.

Course Calendar

L 25-aug Introducción al curso.Rivas. “La lengua de las mariposas”

Kuri Pineda. “Representaciones y significados en la relación espacio-sociedad.”

Mi 27-aug Tally. Spatiality. (Capítulos 1-2)
L 1-sept No hay clase.
Mi 3-sept Cela. La colmena

Delgado. El animal público. “Heterópolis: la experiencia de la complejidad”

L 8-sept Cela. La colmena.Fraser. “Henri Lefebvre and the City”
Mi 10-sept Matute. Primera memoria.

Bachelard. The Poetics of Space. “Intimate Immensity.”

L 15-sept Matute. Primera memoria.

Bórquez, Néstor. “Memoria, infancia y guerra civil: El mundo narrativo de Ana María Matute. Olivar: Revista de Literatura y Cultura Españolas 12.16 (2011): 159-77.

Mi 17-sept Matute. Primera memoria.

Tuan. Space and Place: The perspective of experience. “Visibility: The Creation of Place.”

L 22-sept Blanco-Amor. La parranda. (Documentación, cáps. 1-2)

Soja. Seeking Spatial Justice. “Building a Spatial Theory of Justice.”

Mi 24-sept Blanco-Amor. La parranda. (Cáp. 3-final)

De Certeau. La invención de lo cotidiano. “Relatos de espacio”

Moure. Queer-emos un mundo novo (págs. 26-32)

L 29-sept Rodoreda. La plaza del Diamante.

Rose. Feminism and Geography: The limits of geographical knowledge. “Chapter 2: Women and Everyday Spaces.”

Mi 1-oct Rodoreda. La plaza del Diamante.

McDowell. Gender, Identity and Place: Understanding Feminist Geographies. “Home, Place, and Identity.”

L 6-oct Rodoreda. La plaza del Diamante.

Bou. “Exile in the City: Mercè Rodoreda’s La plaça del Diamant“

Mi 8-oct Delibes. Las ratas.

Richardson. Postmodern Paletos. (Introduction)

L 13-oct Delibes. Las ratas.

Agawu-Kakraba, Yaw B. “The Myth of Integration and Progress: and Los santos inocentes.” Demythification in the Fiction of Miguel Delibes. New York: P. Lang, 1996. 65-104.

Mi 15-oct Los Centros Sociales Autogestionados

Feinberg, Mathew. “From cigarreras to indignados: Spectacles of scale in the CSA La Tabacalera of Lavapiés, Madrid.”

L 20-oct Martín-Gaite. El cuarto de atrás.

Richardson. “Traversing Memory.”

Mi 22-oct Martín-Gaite. El cuarto de atrás.

Vidler. The Architectural Uncanny: essays in the modern unhomely. (Selection.)

L 27-oct Martín-Gaite. El cuarto de atrás.

Vilaseca, Stephen Luis. “From Spaces of Intimacy to Transferential Space: The Structure of Memory and the Reconciliation with Strangeness in El cuarto de atrás”. Bulletin of Hispanic Studies 83.3 (2006): 181-92.

Mi 29-oct TBA
L 3-nov Ortiz. Cenizas (Primera mitad)

Augé. Los no-lugares. “De los lugares a los no lugares.

“Chute. “Comics as Literature?”

Mi 5-nov Ortiz. Cenizas. (Segunda mitad)

Pérez. Cultural Roundabouts. (selection)

L 10-nov Mendoza. El misterio de la cripta embrujada. (primera mitad)

Bou, Enric. “Construcción literaria: El caso de Eduardo Mendoza.”

Mi 12-nov TBA
L 17-nov Mendoza. El misterio de la cripta embrujada. (Segunda mitad)

Rojas, Eunice. “Detecting Space Outside the Asylum”

Mi 19-nov Saizarbitoria. “La guerra perdida del viejo gudari”

Laraway, David. “Nationalism in Mourning: an epitaph for ideology in Ramón Saizarbitoria’s Gorde nazazu lurpean [Guárdame bajo tierra]”

L 24-nov Gopegui. El deseo de ser punk.

Henseler. “Generation X: Identity, Technology, and Storytelling”

Mi 26-nov No hay clase.
L 1-dic Gopegui. El deseo de ser punk.

South European Society and Politics. 12.3 (2007) Special Issue: New and Alternative Social Movements in Spain: The Left, Identity and Globalizing Processes. (selection)

Mi 3-dic Último día de clases.Final Paper Due