Cervantes’ Don Quixote

Course Number
SPAN 300
About the Course

The course facilitates a close reading of Don Quixote in the artistic and historical context of renaissance and baroque Spain. Students are also expected to read four of Cervantes’ Exemplary Stories, Cervantes’ Don Quixote: A Casebook, and J.H. Elliott’s Imperial Spain. Cervantes’ work will be discussed in relation to paintings by Velázquez. The question of why Don Quixote is read today will be addressed throughout the course. Students are expected to know the book, the background readings and the materials covered in the lectures and class discussions.

Course Structure
This Yale College course, taught on campus twice per week for 75 minutes, was recorded for Open Yale Courses in Fall 2009.

Syllabus

Professor
Description

The course facilitates a close reading of Don Quixote in the artistic and historical context of renaissance and baroque Spain. Students are also expected to read four of Cervantes’ Exemplary Stories, Cervantes’ Don Quixote: A Casebook, and J.H. Elliott’s Imperial Spain. Cervantes’ work will be discussed in relation to paintings by Velázquez. The question of why Don Quixote is read today will be addressed throughout the course. Students are expected to know the book, the background readings and the materials covered in the lectures and class discussions.

Texts

De Cervantes, Miguel. Don Quixote de la Mancha. Translated by John Rutherford and introduction by Roberto González Echevarría. New York: Penguin, 2001.

De Cervantes, Miguel. Exemplary Stories. Translated by Leslie Lipson. New York: Oxford University Press, 2005.

González Echevarría, Roberto, ed. Cervantes’ Don Quixote: A Casebook. New York: Oxford University Press, 2005.

Elliott, John Huxtable. Imperial Spain, 1469-1716. New York: Penguin, 2002.

For those reading Cervantes in Spanish:

De Cervantes, Miguel. Don Quijote de la Mancha, ed. Francisco Rico. Madrid: Real Academia Española, 2004.

Requirements

A midterm, a take-home final exam, four two-page papers (500 words) on topics provided by the professor. One of the papers will be on an “exemplary story.” Students are required to come to class prepared to discuss the chapters, stories, and background readings assigned for that week, and to attend sections. Class attendance and discussion will be an important component of the final grade. Those wishing to use the course to fulfill the language requirement for the Literature major will write the papers in Spanish. A section in Spanish will be available if there is sufficient student demand.

Grading

Midterm examination: 20%
Final examination: 25%
Short papers: 40%
Attendance and participation: 15%

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Course Books and Other Related Titles

Yale University Press offers a 10% discount on the books used in SPAN 300 that it publishes, as well as on other related titles. A portion of the proceeds from your purchases will be donated for the ongoing support and development of the Open Yale Courses program.