Submitted by Sara J. Brenneis on Friday, 1/22/2010, at 2:35 PM

Spanish 11: Readings in Hispanic Literatures

Introduction to Literary Analysis and Literary Periods


Spring 2010

M, W 2-3:20, Barrett 105

Profa. Sara J. Brenneis

office: Barrett 106

office hours: Mondays and Wednesdays 1-2 and by appointment

 I.              Course Description

This course gives students the tools and critical vocabulary for advanced work reading the canon of Hispanic literatures (Spain, Latin America, and the Caribbean Basin).  Students will be able to identify aesthetic trends and historical periods such as the Golden Age, the Romantic era, and Modernism.  A medium- to high-level knowledge of the Spanish language and reasonable proficiency in listening, speaking, reading, and writing in Spanish are required.  This course counts for the major, and is conducted entirely in Spanish. 

II.            Objectives and Grading

Students will learn the basics of literary analysis and become familiar with the main periods of Hispanic literary production by reading, discussing and writing about canonical works of Spanish and Latin American literature.  Students will expand their vocabulary and continue to improve their reading, listening and written comprehension as well as oral and written expression in Spanish.

Students will be assigned daily readings of primary texts and secondary historical and contextual texts.  In addition, students will view films on Amherst streaming video.  Classroom time will be devoted to discussion and activities based on the readings, and the participation grade is based on the students’ involvement and engagement in these discussions and activities.  Regular attendance is essential.  A portion of the participation grade is dependant upon attendance at five Spanish Department extracurricular activities (see note).  There will be weekly quizzes or short writing assignments that will test the students’ understanding of the course material, a midterm essay exam and two oral presentations throughout the semester.  For the final paper, students will select one text from a list of possibilities to read, investigate, and analyze individually, meeting with the professor as the project progresses, thus applying the skills of literary analysis they have attained over the semester to an additional text from one of the time periods studied in class.

Note: Attendance to at least three Spanish Tables and two departmental activities will be expected.  The Spanish Table is held every Friday at Valentine’s Mezzanine.  The purpose of this weekly gathering is to promote Spanish language practice and networking among students and faculty in an informal and fun environment.  Other activities offered by the Department of Spanish will be announced throughout the semester. These might include movies, field trips and pizza parties, among others.


Weekly quizzes and writing assignments                                    30%

Attendance and class participation                                                 25%

(5% of which is earned by attendance at five Spanish Dept. events)

Oral presentations (x2)                                                                        10%

Midterm exam                                                                                    15%

Final paper                                                                                     20%

 III.         Student Responsibilities

As part of the reading and comprehension homework, students must respond to the “Pasos para la comprensión” questions at the end of the reading assigned by writing out answers in the course notebook.  We will review these answers in class. During classtime, our focus will be on responding to the “Pasos para una lectura más a fondo” section and discussing the text within its period.  It is critical that you study the questions in the “más a fondo” section and think about your answers and resulting inquiries as part of the preparation for the class. You do not need to write these out.

You are expected to come prepared to all classes, having read, viewed, and studied the material in advance.  This will prepare you for quizzes and writing assignments, announced and unannounced, that will test your understanding of the period and texts studied.  You will be permitted to drop the lowest quiz or writing assignment grade.  If you miss a quiz, you will need to write a two page make-up essay covering the topic in the quiz.

Students are expected to adhere to Amherst College’s Honor Code at all times.  Students with disabilities or specific limitations that will affect their participation in the course should speak with the professor privately as soon as possible to make arrangements.  Regular attendance is required and absences will adversely affect the participation grade.  If students must miss a class, regardless of the reason, they should communicate with a classmate about what they missed and responsibly inform themselves of the homework for the next class. 

In order to respect the professor and the students, cell phones and other technological distractions are not permitted during class.  This course is conducted entirely in Spanish: respectful dialogue en español is expected at all times!


IV.          Course Readings and Films

1)     Required Reading (Available at Amherst Books and on reserve at Frost Library)

Momentos cumbres de las literaturas hispánicas: Introducción al análisis literario de Rodney T. Rodríguez

2)    Films (Streaming Video Available via course E-Reserves or Video on Reserve)

  • The Middle Ages: From Anonymity to Authority
  • La Decadencia Política en el Siglo de Oro
  • Lazarillo de Tormes
  • Yo la peor de todas

 V.             Course Resources

1)     The Writing Center: An invaluable resource for help on your papers, before, during and after you write them, even when they’re in Spanish.  Located at 101 Charles Pratt Hall.

2)     Spanish Writing Center: Staffed by student writing fellows, the Spanish Writing Center can help with your writing in Spanish.  You will be notified via email of its Spring semester hours.

3)     Grammar and Reference: The Spanish Department Library, in Barrett 20?, has a collection of Spanish dictionaries and grammar manuals.  I recommend John Butt’s A New Reference Grammar of Modern Spanish to help you solve lingering grammatical and language issues.  In addition, the Diccionario de la Real Academia Española and the Oxford Spanish Dictionaries are both online and free through the Amherst network.  Bookmark them and use them often.

 VI.          Course Schedule


Semana 1

lunes 25:            Introducción al curso

miércoles 27:            Discusión sobre análisis literario, definición y función,  “El análisis literario: Bases teóricas,” p 1-12


Semana 2

l 1                        La época medieval, pp. 13-15.

                        Película (streaming): The Middle Ages: From Anonymity to Authority

m 3            “Lo que sucedió a un mozo que se casó con una mujer de muy mal carácter,” El  Conde Lucanor, pp. 32-36

Semana 3           

l 8            El libro de buen amor, pp. 45-52

m 10                        Los testimonios del encuentro entre dos culturas, pp. 60-61

“Brevísima relación de la destrucción de las Indias,” Bartolomé de las Casas, pp. 62-66.

Semana 4

l 15                        La poesía del Renacimiento, pp. 94-96

“Romance del rey moro que perdió Alhama,” p 98.

m 17                        “La noche oscura del alma,” 114-118.

Semana 5

l 22                        La prosa ficción del Siglo de Oro, pp. 129-130

Película (streaming): “Lazarillo de Tormes”

Lazarillo de Tormes, p 135-148.

m 24                        Continuar con el Lazarillo, p 148-156.



Semana 6

l 1                        Continuar con el Lazarillo, p 156-181

m 3            La comedia del Siglo de Oro, pp. 260-262

                        Película (streaming): La decadencia política en el Siglo de Oro

Semana 7

l 8                          El burlador de Sevilla, Tirso de Molino, acto I, pp. 262-280

m 10                        Examen de mediosemestre




Semana 9

l 22            El burlador de Sevilla, acto II, pp. 283-295

m 24                        El burlador de Sevilla, acto III, pp. 298-313

Semana 10

l 29                        El Barroco, pp. 319-321.

                        “Mientras por competir con tu cabello,” Luís de Góngora, pp. 325-326

m 31                        “Las zahúrdas de Plutón,” Los sueños, Francisco de Quevedo, pp. 327-335


Semana 11

l 5                        Soliloquios de La vida es sueño, Pedro Calderón de la Barca, pp. 342-346

m 7                        “Hombres necios que acusais,” Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, pp. 352-355

Película: Yo la peor de todas (selecciones en clase)

Semana 12

l 12                        El Romanticismo, pp. 359-362

                        “En una tempestad,” José María Heredia, pp. 362-364

                        “Canción del pirata,” José de Espronceda, pp. 376-379

m 14                        “Yo soy ardiente, yo soy morena,” Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer, pp. 424-425

                        “Negra sombra,” Rosalía de Castro, pp. 427-429

Semana 13

l 19                        El Realismo y el Naturalismo y su duración, pp. 431-433.

“¡Adiós, Cordera!” Leopoldo Alas “Clarín,” pp. 459-466.

m 21                        “El hijo,” Horacio Quiroga, pp. 505-510

Semana 14

l 26                        El Modernismo y su influencia, pp. 522-523.

                        “Yo soy un hombre sincero,” José Martí, 524-527.

“Canción de otoño en primavera,” Rubén Darío, pp. 534-536


m 28                        La Generación del 98 en España, pp. 564-565.

                        “He andado muchos caminos,” Antonio Machado, pp. 636-639

                        “XXIX,” Machado, pp. 643-644


Semana 15

l 3                        El Vanguardismo y sus transformaciones, pp. 645-648

                        “Los heraldos negros,” César Vallejo, pp. 652-654

                        “Romance sonámbulo,” Federico García Lorca, pp. 655-656; 659-660

m 5                        Conclusiones

martes, el 11 de mayo: entrega el ENSAYO FINAL a Barrett 106 antes de mediodía.