Analytic approaches to dramatic materials, concentrating on semiotics, Marxism, feminism, or a related critical theory.
Aims of the course: to study the pícara as she appears in theater or film as a character, and as she has lived in real life as an actress, playwright, director or other occupation. Our study will use both history and theory, particularly materialist historical feminism. We will proceed in general chronologically from past to present. The history of the pícara begins in ancient times, but is first recognized as a term in 15th century Spain that continues today. The picaresque novel and drama became recognized genres in Spain at the height of its colonial quest and Inquisition in the 15th and 16th centuries, when feudal and Catholic values were being eroded by those of early capitalism.
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
We will read representative plays from the whole range of the pícara’s history, as well as essays on both fictional and real-life pícaras in their historical and social contexts. We will also see videos of pícara plays, as well as live theater performances if they are available.
Class assignments and grading
Students will choose one real-life or fictional pícara, preferably early in the course, research their chosen pícara, and present their research in an oral presentation about an hour long to the class sometime during the course. Also a 250-300 word abstract with a one-page bibliography should be turned in to Professor Bryant-Bertail during the 8th week. In the last class meeting the students will read their abstracts aloud and join in class discussions afterwards. The final research paper should be about 18 to 20 pages of essay, plus footnotes or endnotes and a bibliography.