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Jill Robbins, Chair 150 W 21st Street, Stop B3700, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-4936

Spring 2006

SPN 349 • Maymester: Literature in Translation--taught in Seville, Spain

Unique Days Time Location Instructor


Course Description

The similarities between the performance arts in England and Spain in the Early Modern period are numerous. Near the turn of the seventeenth century both countries developed public theatres, forging the concept of national identity through the interactive medium of theatre while coming into their own as modern nation states and political "superpowers." This course will study the birth of modern drama in late sixteenth- and early seventeenth-century Spain and England and the role of theatre in the formation of identity in these two rival political powers at the dawn of the modern era.

The course will blend literary considerations of drama and performance practice in Elizabethan/Jacobean England and Counter-Reformation Spain. Topics include Aristotelian dramatic theory, generic differences between comedy and tragedy, the theatrical appropriation of popular and elite culture, the role of women and men in professional acting companies, stage scenery and machinery, and the participatory role of a mass audience representing all social classes. Our stay in Seville will provide many unique learning opportunities. The trade center of sixteenth-century Spanish and home to Tirsos Don Juan, Seville will serve as a classroom for the study of Renaissance culture with its outstanding museums and historical monuments. Students will visit local theatres, attend multiple productions, and participate in workshops with local theatrical companies. Excursions will include trips to the Roman theatre at Mérida, the seventeenth-century corral de comedias at Almagro, and performances in Seville, Madrid, and/or Barcelona. We also will examine the themes of heroism and the nation in the drama of these two great political rivals, both as dramatic convention and a reflection of social norms and values. Readings include works of Cervantes, Lope de Vega, Tirso de Molina, Calder ín, Shakespeare, Marlowe, and Webster, as well as twentieth-century plays that reinterpret the national foundation stories for a contemporary public. This course is taught in English, although student familiarity with the Spanish language is encouraged for a better appreciation of the theatrical performances we will attend.

Grading Policy

Midterm Exam 30% Final Paper 30% Journal 15% Field Guide and On-Site Presentation 15% Class Participation 10%


Please note texts are subject to change according to performance schedules in Spain Aristotle, Poetics Fergusson, The Idea of a Theater, Introduction Cervantes, Destruction of Numantia Shakespeare, Henry V, Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet Lope de Vega, Fuente Ovejuna, The New Art of Writing Comedies, The Dog in the Manger Webster, The Duchess of Malfi Tirso de Molina, The Trickster of Sevilla Calderon, The Physician of His Honor


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