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ENRICH-0724 – Hist/Cult In-Person: Spain's "Golden Age" (ENRICH-0724_SPAI)

On Spain’s “Golden Age”

[B]oth the East and the West Indies being met in the crown of Spain, it is come to pass, that … the sun never sets in the Spanish dominions, but ever shines upon one part or other of them. ~ Francis Bacon, Advertisement Touching a Holy War

Spain’s grand period of global domination from the late 15th century to the 17th century coincided with a rich flourishing in the arts, in literature, in architecture, and in music. The period of Cervantes’ Don Quixote and of Calderón’s Life is a Dream, of canvases by artists like El Greco, Murillo, Titian, Velázquez and Zurbarán, has long been known as Spain’s “Golden Age.” This is a moment of cultural ferment that proved foundational for art and literature for generations to come, and the influence of this period is still felt today. The term “Golden Age” also begs the question of what gold means here. What is golden, and for whom? The lives of folks like Cervantes and Velázquez coincided with Spain’s project of colonial-imperial expansion and dominion from east-Asia to the Americas, with all of the violence and human tragedy that such a project implied. It was a period during which foundational narratives about Spanish ‘national’ identity were forged, often coercively, when institutions like the Spanish Inquisition were in full swing, and Spain was committed to a policy of eradicating religious difference through forced conversions and expulsions of Iberia’s Jewish and Muslim populations. It is, in short, a very complex moment marked by contradictions. In this course, associate professor at the University of Denver, Chad Leahy, offers a tour of Spain’s “Golden Age,” lingering on many of the great works of art and literature that characterize the period and, at the same time, on the tense and complicated social and political world that those works themselves reflect.

Four in-person sessions
Tue., Apr. 18, 25, May 2, 9, 2023, 6:30-8:30 pm MT

Chad Leahy, PhD, is chair and associate professor in the Department of Spanish Language, Literature & Cultural Studies and director of the first-generation student program in the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences at the University of Denver. He teaches courses on the literatures and cultures of early modern and medieval Iberia. He has published widely on the work of Miguel de Cervantes and the role of Jerusalem in the history of Spain. He is the co-author of Jerusalem Afflicted: Quaresmius, Spain, and the Idea of a 17th-century Crusade.
Course Details
Location: University ParkMode of Study: In-personPlaces Left: 21Waitlist Places Left: 10Fee: $175


Days of the WeekStart DateEnd DateTimeVenueInstructor
Tuesday18th April 20239th May 202306:30PM - 08:30PMSturm HallChad Leahy