Cervantes and his World: Exemplary Novels (1613)

Universidad Carlos III de Madrid

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Cervantes and his World: Exemplary Novels (1613)

  • Host University

    Universidad Carlos III de Madrid

  • Location

    Madrid, Spain

  • Area of Study

    Classics, Literature

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

    Hours & Credits

  • ECTS Credits

    6
  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
    3
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
    4
  • Overview

    CERVANTES AND HIS WORLD: EXEMPLARY NOVELS (1613)

    COURSE DESCRIPTION:

    What do the Exemplary Novels mean or represent today? Twenty first-century readers might find the volume just entertaining, or weird, but a close reading of this collection of short stories illuminates the depth of an experimental literary process that opens a window to Cervantes´ preoccupations and participation with his fictional works in some of the most hotly social debates of his time. This course explores literary representations of social, political and religious issues in Cervantes´ Exemplary Novels. We will look at this collection of short stories to analyze the relationship between literary fiction and its historic and cultural determinations. Also this approach will allow us to reflect on topics from Cervantes´ time that are still relevant in debates in contemporary Spain.

    In 1613 Cervantes publishes in Spain the Exemplary Novels. The volume is a collection of twelve brilliant and sophisticated short stories that comes out a few years after Cervantes´ suddenly acquired fame. In his book the author of Don Quixote explores literary techniques and displays a myriad of topics and characters from his contemporary life: crime in cities, poverty, prostitution and public health, government corruption, gypsy communities, pirates and delinquency on the sea, religious tensions, madness and social alienation, etc.

    Cervantes lives and writes during one of the richest and most remarkable periods of Spanish literature, but also under the decline of the Spanish Empire. The author of Don Quixote explores some of the main problems that affect a society that lives and struggles to survive under the monarchy of the Habsburg. The city is a common scenario in his stories: Madrid, Valladolid, Salamanca, and specially Seville and the Andalusia region where Cervantes spent a great amount of time.

     

    BEYOND THE TEXTS…

    A list of visits and activities in Madrid and surrounding areas are suggested: from museums to convents, churches, synagogues, mosques, temporary exhibits, libraries, palaces or cultural institutions. This way students could learn about Cervantes´ time not only from his literary works but also from paintings and other fine arts, civil and religious architecture, manuscripts, theater and music.

    TEACHING METHODOLOGY AND COURSE EVALUATION:

    At the beginning of every class the students are given relevant historical and social information, which will be used as a guide to the analysis of the reading, and as an introduction to the class discussion. Students´ performance is evaluated every day, since 2 participation in class is part of their final grade. As part of the evaluation, the student has to submit homework, and write a final essay. Attendance in this course is mandatory, and class participation is essential. If a student misses class, it is his/her responsibility to get the information, which was covered during the class that they missed. Valuable class participation is the result of a careful, responsible and critical reading of the texts.

    Throughout the course, the student has to submit several assignments to the instructor. These assignments consist of a few questions that should be elaborated at home and turned in on the dates marked on the class chronogram. These assignments are graded and returned to the student. They should be seen as valuable writing exercises in preparation for both exams, and the final paper. Order and articulation of ideas, clarity in the presentation, and the critical and analytical aptitudes of the student are evaluated.

    Throughout the semester, the student takes two written exams (a midterm and a final). In each exam, the student has to answer theoretical questions discussed in class. The exam also includes a practical section in which they have to answer questions about a given passage. At the end of the semester the student has to write a final essay about a text and a topic if his/her interest. A few weeks before the submission date, the instructor suggests a list of topics to the students. The students have the freedom to pick any topic he-she might be interested in. The essay should be 7 pages long, and a hard copy should be submitted the day of the final exam. Late submissions are penalized. The final grade of the course is based on the following:

    - Participation (and attendance)….………………… 25%

    - Assignments.……………………………….…………….... 25%

    - Final essay ………..………………….…………….......... 50%

    READING LIST

    • Cervantes, Miguel de, Exemplary Novels. Translated from the English by Edith Grossman. Edited by Roberto González Echevarría. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2016.

     

    REFERENCES

    LITERARY CRITICISM

    - Cascardi, Anthony J. The Cambridge Companion to Cervantes. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002.

    - Cruz, Anne. Discourses of Poverty: Social Reform and the Picaresque Novel in Early Modern Spain. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1999.

    - Egginton, William. The Man Who Invented Fiction. New York: Bloomsbury, 2016

    - El Saffar, Ruth. Novel to Romance. A Study of Cervantes´s Novelas ejemplares. Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1974.

    - Friedman, Edward H. Cervantes in the Middle. Realism and Reality in the Spanish Novel from Lazarillo de Tormes to Niebla. Newark, Delaware: Juan de la Cuesta, 2006.

    - González Echevarría, Roberto. Love and the law in Cervantes. New Heaven and London: Yale University Press, 2005. 3 - Johnson, Carroll. and Ann J. Cruz. Ed. Cervantes and His Postmodern Constituencies. New York and London: Garland Publishing, Inc., 1999.

    - _: Cervantes and the Material World. Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2000.

    - Sieber, H. “Cervantes and the art of reading.” The Beall-Russell Lectures in the Humanities. Office of Public Relations, Baylor University, 1997.

    HISTORY REFERENCES

    - Elliott, John: “Self-perception and Decline of Spain.” Spain and its World 1500-1700. New Haven: Yale UP, 1989: 241-261.

    - _: Imperial Spain 1469-1716. London: Penguin, 2002.

    - Feros, Antonio. Kingship and favoritism in the Spain of Phillip III, 1598-1621. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000.

    - Hütter, Robert. Poverty and Deviance in Early Modern Europe. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994.

    - Williams, Patrick. The Great Favourite: The Duke of Lerma and the court and government of Phillip III of Spain, 1598-1621. Manchester and New York: Manchester University Press, 2006.

    COURSE SCHEDULE

    WEEK 1

    • SESSION 1 Cervantes, Don Quixote (1605-1615) and the Exemplary Novels (1613) Prologue to the readers and historical and literary context of the Novelas
    • SESSION 2 Prologue to the readers and historical and literary context of the Novelas

    WEEK 2

    • SESSION 1 The Novel of the Little Gypsy girl
    • SESSION 2 The Novel of the Little Gypsy girl

    WEEK 3

    • SESSION 1 The Novel of the Generous Lover
    • SESSION 2 The Novel of the Generous Lover

    WEEK 4

    • SESSION 1 The Novel of Rinconete and Cortadillo
    • SESSION 2 The Novel of Rinconete and Cortadillo

    WEEK 5

    • SESSION 1 The Novel of the English Spanishwoman
    • SESSION 2 The Novel of the English Spanishwoman

    WEEK 6

    • SESSION 1 Review of the first half of the volume
    • SESSION 2 The Novel of the Glass Lawyer

    WEEK 7

    • SESSION 1 The Novel of the Glass Lawyer
    • SESSION 2 The Novel of the Power of Blood

    WEEK 8

    • SESSION 1 The Novel of the Power of Blood
    • SESSION 2 The Novel of the Jealous Extremaduran

    WEEK 9

    • SESSION 1 The Novel of the Jealous Extremaduran
    • SESSION 2 The Novel of the Illustrious Scullery Maid

    WEEK 10

    • SESSION 1 The Novel of the Illustrious Scullery Maid
    • SESSION 2 The Novel of the Two Maidens

    WEEK 11

    • SESSION 1 The Novel of the Two Maidens
    • SESSION 2 The Novel of the Señora Cornelia

    WEEK 12

    • SESSION 1 The Novel of the Deceitful Marriage
    • SESSION 2 The Novel of the Deceitful Marriage

    WEEK 13

    • SESSION 1 The Novel of the Colloquy of the Dogs
    • SESSION 2 The Novel of the Colloquy of the Dogs

    WEEK 14

    • Review of the second half of the volume
    • Conclusions

    EXAM WEEK

Course Disclaimer

Please note that there are no beginning level Spanish courses offered in this program.

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) credits are converted to semester credits/quarter units differently among U.S. universities. Students should confirm the conversion scale used at their home university when determining credit transfer.

Please reference fall and spring course lists as not all courses are taught during both semesters.

Availability of courses is based on enrollment numbers. All students should seek pre-approval for alternate courses in the event of last minute class cancellations

Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.