Spring Culture Museum

In the fall, I teach to the language requirement and give a senior/graduate seminar that is in field for me but never for the students, so everything is a struggle. In the spring I teach intermediate and slightly advanced undergraduate courses, mostly out of field. It feels like curating a culture museum.

Today we among other things we looked at:

♦ Carmen Laforet
♦ Guillermo Gómez Peña
♦ Nelson Pereira dos Santos
♦ Benedict Anderson
♦ The Spanish Constitution of 1812
♦ Jo Labanyi
♦ Francisco de Goya

I did this being a Latin Americanist, so it is an adventure. Some things students say and want to know:

♦ The Constitution of 1812 does not appear to separate church and state. Is that normal for the time?
♦ What is Enlightenment?
♦ Is Francisco de Goya related to the family that has Goya foods? Does this name have a meaning?
♦ Have I ever seen a Goya painting in person and if so, what were its dimensions?
♦ What? I have actually been to the Prado?
♦ What would be a good example of a monster produced by the sleep of reason? can we know whether it is the sleep or the dream?
♦ Is Jo Labanyi taking an “objective” view of Spanish literature, or would it be better to say that she tries to see it from several perspectives at once?
♦ If since the Reconquista Spain is all Catholic, and if expelled Moslems fled to Morocco, why would Cadalso set a work of Spanish literature in this place maligned by Spain — in the place of its Other, so to speak?

There were other questions, all interesting and some as good as the best listed here.


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