Marina S. Brownlee

  • Dreams and Nightmares in Hispanic Fiction and Film

    From Artemidorus in antiquity to Freud and other thinkers in modern times, dreams and nightmares are a perennial human concern. This course will consider artistic, political, philosophical, medical and psycho-sexual representations of dreams and nightmares in short stories and plays by such authors as Cervantes, Zayas, Calderón, García Lorca, Borges, Cortázar, and Fuentes. Several films inspired by the works of these authors or that served to inspire their writing will also be examined.
  • 5 Ways of Reading Don Quixote

    Why has DQ been construed in such disparate ways as: a book about good and bad reading, a funny book that mocks the medieval world view, a book about the impact of the printing press, a satire of the New World conquistadors, a study of deviant social behavior, the nature of madness, or a meditation on human sexuality and aging? In answering these questions we will consider the cultural models Cervantes rethinks: from chivalric adventure to the criminality of the picaresque, the humanist dialogue, the politics of empire, and the Inquisition.
  • Quixotic Desires

    Since 1605, Don Quixote has been an icon of idealistic and misguided desire. This course explores quixotic desire and its representation (from the psychoanalytic to the cultural issues it raises) in Cervantes seminal text, Flaubert's daring update, 'Madame Bovary', Mann's 'Death in Venice', Kafka's 'Metamorphosis', Nabokov's 'Lolita', and Kathy Acker's post-feminist post-punk 'Don Quixote'. Films inspired by this topic (by Welles, Visconti, Chabrol and Kubrick) will also be considered.
  • Quixotic Desires

    Since 1605, Don Quixote has been an icon of idealistic and misguided desire. This course explores quixotic desire and its representation (from the psychoanalytic to the cultural issues it raises) in Cervantes seminal text, Flaubert's daring update, 'Madame Bovary', Mann's 'Death in Venice', Kafka's 'Metamorphosis', Nabokov's 'Lolita', and Kathy Acker's post-feminist post-punk 'Don Quixote'. Films inspired by this topic (by Welles, Visconti, Chabrol and Kubrick) will also be considered.
  • Mediterranean Contingencies: Byzantium and Its Medieval Others

    Well before other medieval societies (both Christian and Muslim), Byzantium was flourishing in the 4th century. Greek-speaking (though bilingual with Latin until the 6th century), this self-proclaimed, New Rome, faced unprecedented challenges. It grew into an immense empire, an empire, paradoxically, whose cultural influence spread over the centuries in inverse proportion to its political strength.
  • Topics in Medieval and Early Modern Spanish Culture: Women in Medieval and Early Modern Spain

    An investigation of the literary, medical and philosophical treatment of women in medieval and early modern Spain. We will consider works by both male and female authors, thus enabling us to compare ways in which women saw themselves with the ways in which they were seen by men. The cult of women as well as misandry and misogyny, and debates centering around such crucial matters as childbirth, witchcraft and the evil eye will be explored.
  • Dreams and Nightmares in Hispanic Fiction and Film

    From Artemidorus in antiquity to Freud in modern times, dreams and nightmares have been a perennial human concern. This course will explore political, philosophical, medical and psycho-sexual representations of dreams and nightmares by such authors as Cervantes, Zayas, Calderón, Cela, Martín Gaite, Muñoz Molina, Bolaño, Piglia and Vargas Llosa.

  • Obsession and Addiction in Early Modern Spain

    Early Modern Spain exhibits a variety of fascinating obsessions and addictions resulting from extreme and rapid political, social, and economic changes. Addiction to sex crimes, to transgendering and tobacco offer some of the most spectacular accounts of the period. The advent of mass culture produced by print technology, tabloid journalism, and public theaters leads to the rise of the "vulgo" which the elite seek to control and condemn.

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