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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Suzanne Helen Petersen
SPAN 420
Seattle Campus

Spanish Poetry: Origins Through the Fifteenth Century

Prerequisite: either SPAN 303, SPAN 316, or SPAN 330; SPAN 321; SPAN 322; either SPAN 304, SPAN 305, SPAN 306, SPAN 307, SPAN 308, SPAN 319, SPAN 339, SPAN 340, SPAN 350, SPAN 351, SPAN 352, SPAN 394, or SPAN 395.

Class description

Fall Quarter, 2013, Spanish 420 will focus on the Pan-Hispanic Romancero--one of the worlds' great oral ballad traditions--originating in the Middle Ages, first documented extensively in the 15th-17th centuries and still alive today, although no longer thriving, in virtually all countries where Spanish, Portuguese, Catalan, Galician, or Judeo-Spanish are spoken. A primary goal of the course is to gain understanding of how orally transmitted poetry differs from learned (written) poetry and how it has adapted over time and space, thereby retaining its relevancy among traditional societies (for whom ballads provide a means of addressing conflictive human situations).

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Close readings & discussion of ballads representative of the various sub-traditions and types documented on several continents over the past six centuries. Synchronic and diachronic comparisons of ancient and modern versions of individual ballads and of versions of the same ballad recreated in several different linguistic domains and countries.

Recommended preparation

As for all 400-level courses numbered 410 and higher, undergraduate majors are required to have completed all but one 300-level course before undertaking 410-499. Only in this way can 400-level courses be conducted in a manner suitable for graduate students and advanced undergraduates. No other preparation is required nor expected.

Class assignments and grading

Preparation of texts for class discussion; occasional short written commentaries; classroom presentations and a written (end of course) 12-15 paper on a mutually agreed upon topic.

All of the above including contribution to classroom discussion.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Additional Information
Last Update by Suzanne Helen Petersen
Date: 05/09/2013