SPN 387 • WOMENS VOICES IN MEDIEVAL SPANISH LITERATURE
10:00 AM-11:30 AM
In this course we will read works by Spains first women writers. We will also look at two genres which, although not composed by women, have traditionally been considered to feature a female voice and to express the emotions and point of view of women: the Mozarabic jarchas and the Galician-Portuguese cantigas de amigo. The course will be structured chronologically, so the jarchas and the cantigas de amigo will be the first texts we will study. The jarchas will be considered first in isolation, then will be re-read with their accompanying moaxajas. Our first writer will take us back to the fratricidal conflict between Pedro I of Castile and his half-brother, Enrique de Trastámara. Leonor López (b. 1362/1363) and her family suffered in prison during Enriques reign and her father was executed at his command. She recalls all of this (and more) in her Memorias, which were composed early in the 15th century. Teresa de Cartegena (b. 1420-1435), who came from an important intellectual converso family, is one of the better-known writers on the list. She is the author of two works, both of which we will read: Arboleda de los enfermos (a book of consolation) and Admiracion operum Dey (a work she wrote in defense of herself after it was discovered that the author of he Arboleda was a woman). We will also look at the work of medieval women poets such as Florencia Pinar, Mayor Arias, Isabel González and Queen Constanza of Mallorca. Depending on time, we may also look at women characters and read two additional works which feature important female archetypes: Berceos Milagros de Nuestra Señora and Rojas Celestina. Another possible topic would be works destined for women readers such as Vives Formación de la mujer cristiana.
Students will present informes on a regular basis. During the first half of the semester they will write two short (4-5 pages) reports; a final paper (10 12 pages) will be due at the end of the semester.
Selected Jarchas and moaxajas Selected cantigas de amigo Leonor López de Córdoba, Memorias Teresa de Cartagena, Arboleda de los enfermos and Admiracion operum Dey Poems of Florencia Pinar, Mayor Arias, Isabel González, Constanza de Mallorca