Fall 2014

Cultural Encounters: Islam in Spain

Listed in: Spanish, as SPAN-318

Moodle site: Course


Catherine V. Infante (Section 01)


In this course, we will explore the relationship of Spain, as a newly created nation, to the world of the “other,” in this case Islam, in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Inside the Peninsula, the Muslim community is perceived as dangerously linked to the Mediterranean world, which both fascinates Spain and threatens it at the same time because of the growing power of the Ottoman Empire. We will examine changing representations of the Muslim “other,” from the idealized Moor in the Moorish novel to contradictory portrayals of Moriscos—those Muslims forced to convert to Christianity in sixteenth-century Spain. In addition, we will look at how questions of race, ethnicity, religion, and gender were treated by writers such as Cervantes, María de Zayas, and Calderón de la Barca. The class discussions will also include a significant visual component (e.g. paintings and engravings of the time on both sides of the Mediterranean that represent the “other,” maps, cityscapes, as well as films). Conducted in Spanish.

Requisite: SPAN 199, 211 or 212, or consent of the instructor. Limited to 15 students. Fall semester. Professor Infante.

If Overenrolled: Priority given to Spanish majors if overenrolled

Cost: $50 ?


Writing attentive, Speaking attentive


2015-16: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2014