This course principally examines Spain's Golden Age Picaresque Novels (16th and 17th centuries) in conjunction with specific socio-historico-cultural contexts. We begin the our inquiry by defining genre and the picaresque, as well as by exploring the times in which these great works of social criticism were written by studying the circumstances of early modern Spain.
To enrich our understanding of the primary texts, the class will explore supplemental readings which discuss the historical period, along with relevant literary criticism. Further, the professor will provide much historical background.
In the last segment of the semester, we will read texts less often referred to as "picaresque" to explore the continuity of the picaresque in Hispanic Letters and in world literature to further deepen our understanding of the genre and its relevance as a literary form in the global literary traditions.
Using the readings as a point of examination, the history of Hispanic literatures and cultures will be discussed and better appreciated. Additionally, students should improve their listening, reading, writing and speaking skills in Spanish. Conducted in Spanish.
Satisfies the requirement for Area I in the Hispanic Studies major as well as the Literary Studies distribution requirement.