Golden Ages Spain in Art/Literature
Travel Dates: April 24 - May 7
Instructors: Veronica Dean-Thacker, Nancy Wolsk
Number of Students Enrolled: 18
Location: Spain


Focusing on four germinal periods of art and literature in Spain, this course will introduce students to Mozarabic, Medieval, Baroque (the great Golden Age), and contemporary worlds of Spanish art and literature. Here students will become familiar with selections of written texts and works of art and architecture as they simultaneously reveal historical context and serve as the "lenses" through which we view past and present. As an interdisciplinary course in literature and art history, it will weave together a variety of critical approaches to word and image; and, not least, we will investigate the ways in which landscape informs Spanish culture and, hence, its arts. In the end, we will treat this cultural history of Spain in terms of interconnected layers where novels and poetry, paintings and buildings come together to help us understand the cultural present.

The course will be divided into two parts. The first two weeks will be spent at Transylvania's campus when students will study literature and images in a classroom setting. During the next two weeks of the course-departing for Spain on May 9 and returning on May 22-students will immerse themselves in the actual physical layers of Spanish culture.


May 9/10 Leave Lexington; arrive in Madrid
May 10-13 The Prado, Thyssen, and Reina Sofia museums

Architectural bus/walking tour that will include monuments from these four major periods

Meeting with authors Arturo Perez-Reverte (Spain's best-selling novelist) to discuss his works La tabla de Flandes and El Captian Alatriste and Luis Mateo Diez to discuss Dias del desvan.

May 14-21 Leave Madrid and travel north and west to the cities of Soria, Burgos, Leon, and Astorga. We return to Madrid by way of the Escorial.
May 22 Leave Madrid, return to Lexington

Note: In the travel part of the course, our students will not only tour sites and discuss literature but, thanks to Professor Dean-Thacker's colleagues and friends in Spain, they will also have access to major artist, scholars, and literati. They will have question/answer sessions with writers, tour with historians and journalists, and have dinner with poets and painters. For example, in Leon, the noted journalist Pedro Garcia Trapiello will give students a private tour of the Gothic cathedral and the Romanesque church of San Isadoro; he will continue with the group to Astorga where he will give the group a special introduction to Gaudi's palace there.

List of Texts

All students will read the same texts and view the same works of art and architecture. Students who enroll for this class in ART will read the literature in English translation.

Excerpts from:
El Poema de Mio Cid
Cervantes. Don Quixote de la Mancha
Antonio Marchado. La Tierra de Alvargonzalez
Luis Mateo Diez. Dias del desvan
Andres Trapiello. Selected works

Arturo Perez-Reverte. La tabla de Flandes
Arturo Perez-Reverte. El Capitan Alatriste.

Art History:
John Moffitt, The Arts in Spain
Guidebook (TBA)