Spain: Country and Civilization

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Courses like this one bring the students in contact with the countries, from the language of which they learn to translate. There exist in our department courses in the civilization, the literature and the social realities of United Kingdom, France, Germany, Turkey, Italy and Albania. In this course the students are taught the history, the social condition, the civilization of Spain. More specifically: we start with the history of Arab consolidation in Spain and the creation of Al – Andalus and we continue with the Reconquista and its special importance for the Spanish psyche. Emphasis is given to the Golden Era of the Spanish Empire, as well as to the reasons that ignited the downward spiral of the economic crisis that led to its demise. We get to learn about the unraveling of the Spanish conquests of Latin America, the defeat by the French, the Carlist Wars, the defeat by the USA, the dictatorships of de Rivera and Franco, the Civil War. Students learn to discern the standard leitmotivs of Spanish history: the burden of historical memory, the power of Catholic Church, the autocratic vein and the revolutionary reaction, the institutional lacunae. Students also learn about the social constants of Spanish history and they get to recognize the similarities and the differences between economic crisis Spain and economic crisis Greece. As refers to civilization, we start with literature and Don Quijote, trying to understand its immense importance for European modernism. We proceed then with Lope de Vega and Calderon, with Gongora, Gracian, Galdos, Unamuno, Lorca, Jimenez, Pio Baroja and (among others) Machado. Other forms of cultural expression are not overlooked: cinema, dance, music, painting.

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