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

Fall 2008

SPN 387 • Medieval & Early Modern Spanish Travel Literature

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
48315 MW
1:00 PM-2:30 PM
BEN 1.118

Course Description

The medieval and early-modern Spanish works contemplated by this course are important landmarks in Peninsular literary history. The themes singled out for discussion are those centering on travel and tourism. In these aspects, the works studied show striking affinities with certain ancient and medieval antecedents, especially Herodotus and Marco Polo. Akin to these predecessors in their touristic and ethnographic orientation, the works in question differ from them in their commitment to a narrative of journeys. They also articulate with various other literary genres and disciplines, such as biography, chivalric romance, geography, and history. Topics covered in the course include: narratological issues and problems in generic classification; empirical description and ethnographic relativism; touristic themes; the parallelism of late-medieval and early-modern tourism and knight-errantry; the perception of cultural and political boundaries and discontinuities; the manipulation of "storyscapes" that highlight otherness within touristic space; role-playing (e.g., traveling incognito, going native); literary tourism as an element of the ancestral entertainment industry.

Grading Policy

1 term paper, 15-20 pages (longer papers welcome): 50% 1 20-30-minute research topic presentation 15% 1 20-30-minute topical presentation 15% 1 WEEKLY 250-word précis of assigned reading 20%


Libro de Alexandre (selections) Berceo, Milagros de Nuestra Señora (selections) Libro del caballero Zifar (selections) Libro del conoscimiento de todos los regnos (selections) Embajada a Tamorlán El Victorial (selections) Andanças e viajes de Pero Tafur Libro de Marco Polo (selections) Amadís de Gaula (selections) Columbus, Diarios (selections) Cortés, Cartas de relación (selections) Juan de Mandevilla, Libro de las maravillas del mundo (selections) Bernal Díaz del Castillo, Historia verdadera de la conquista de la Nueva España (selections) Bartolomé de las Casas, Brevísima relación Don Quijote (selections)


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