SPAN 5366 - 20th Century Spanish Prose

Dr. Neil D. Anderson
4:30-5:50 MW
FL 104

The Iberian Novel: Casa, comunidad y cosmópoli

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, article-length piece (8000 words)

Course requirements

  • Active Attendance: 10%
  • Daily Class Discussion Questions: 15%
  • Oral Presentation and Moderation of Subsequent Discussion: 15%
  • Term Paper Stub: 10%
  • Term Paper: 50%


  • 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)
  • 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.
Tally. Spatiality.
Mi 27-aug Cela. La colmena.
Delgado. El animal público (fragmentos)
L 1-sept No hay clase.
Mi 3-sept Cela. La colmena.
Fraser. “Henri Lefebvre and the City”
L 8-sept Cela. La colmena.
De Certeau. The Practice of Everyday Life (fragmentos)
Mi 10-sept Matute. Primera memoria.
Bachelard. The Poetics of Space (fragmentos)
L 15-sept Matute. Primera memoria.
TENTATIVE: 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.
TBA [Geographies of childhood, adolescence]
L 22-sept Blanco-Amor. La parranda.
Otero Pedrayo. “Ensayo sobre las variaciones fisiognómicas de la calle orensana durante medio siglo.”
Mi 24-sept Blanco-Amor. La parranda.
Moure. Queer-emos un mundo novo (fragmentos)
L 29-sept Rodoreda. La plaza del Diamante.
Rose. Feminism and Geography: The limits of geographical knowledge (fragmentos)
Mi 1-oct Rodoreda. La plaza del Diamante.
TBA [Sensuous/ emotional geographies]
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 (fragmentos)
L 13-oct Delibes. Las ratas.
Harvey. Spaces of Global Capitalism (framentos)
Mi 15-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.
L 20-oct Martín-Gaite. El cuarto de atrás.
Mi 22-oct Martín-Gaite. El cuarto de atrás.
Freud. “The Uncanny.”
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
L 3-nov Saizarbitoria. “El huerto de nuestros mayores”
Laraway, David. “Nationalism in Mourning: An Epitaph for Ideology in Ramon Saizarbitoria’s Gorde Nazazu Lurpean.” Journal of Spanish Cultural Studies. 8.3 (2007) 357-78
Mi 5-nov Saizarbitoria. “La guerra perdida del viejo gudari”
TENTATIVE: Gabilondo, Joseba. “Terrorism as Memory: The Historical Novel and Masculine Masochism in Contemporary Basque Literature.” Arizona Journal of Hispanic Cultural Studies 2 (1998) 113-46.
L 10-nov
Mi 12-nov
L 17-nov Ortiz. Cenizas.
Chute. “Comics as Literature?”
Mi 19-nov Ortiz. Cenizas.
Pérez. Cultural Roundabouts. (fragmentos)
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. (fragmentos)
Mi 3-dic Último día de clases.
- Examen final