Modern spain/euh 4314 Fall 2016/ T/R 7, 7-8 Flint 111 University of Florida

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Fall 2016/ T/R 7, 7-8

Flint 111

University of Florida

Dr. George Esenwein

204 Keene-Flint

Office hours: T 9:30-11:30, R: 11:00-12:00

Telephone: 392-273-3369



Democracy, Dictatorship, Civil War and Revolution have all featured prominently in Spain’s recent past. This course examines the main currents of modern Spanish history, beginning with the Spanish-American War of 1898 and concluding with the consolidation of democracy in the 1980s down to the present. As can be seen from the schedule of weekly topics listed below, our course will be constructed around major events – the “Disaster of 1898", the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) and Franco’s dictatorship during the Cold War era (1939-1975), are examples. Within this narrative framework, we will be primarily concerned with examining the cultural, political and social movements that have dominated national affairs since 1898. In each period covered, we will pursue various avenues in our studies. For example, to gain a better understanding of Spanish identity in the modern period will assess the significance the various ethno-nationalisms -- Basque and Catalan, for instance -- which emerged as major regional movements from the late 19th century until the Civil War era (1936-1939). To round out our picture of historical events we will also turn our attention from time to time to the examination of artistic movements (Picasso, Salvador Dalí, Joan Miró), music (Joaquín Rodrigo) and film (see below). Throughout the term we shall also be exploring how Spain has perceived itself (national identity) and has been perceived by others (international identity) in the global community. A background in Iberian studies is not assumed, but students taking the course should have a general familiarity with the history of modern European and/or Latin America.
REQUIRED TEXTS: (Available in paperback editions at UF bookstore)

  • F. Romero-Salvadó, Twentieth Century Spain.

  • George Esenwein, The Spanish Civil War: A Modern Traged.y

  • N. Townson, Editor. Spain Transformed: The Late Franco Dictatorship, 1959-1975.

  • J. Hooper, The New Spaniards.

There will be two in-class written exams (a midterm and a final). The precise dates of these are listed below, but can be changed by the instructor. Any changes to the dates listed on this syllabus will be announced in class. You will also have to write two short reaction papers based on the required readings. Each one will be approximately 4 double-spaced pages. In addition to these exams, you will be graded on class participation. I shall expect each one of you to come to class prepared to ask questions and discuss the reading assignments as well as the topics raised in general discussions.
2 Exams = 50% of final grade

2 Reaction papers = 30% final grade

Oral presentation = 20% final grade.
***Note on Attendance: Though I may not always take class roll, attendance is mandatory. Students who miss more than three classes without the instructor’s approval will automatically have their final grade lowered one full letter. Four or more unexcused absences will result in a stiffer penalty: Your final grade will be lowered two full letters.
This course is designed to allow the student to play an “interactive” role in teaching the class. At regular intervals throughout the term, there will be individual/group panel presentations that address the main themes we have been discussing. The presentation’s format will depend on what you choose to do: (1) a brief lecture on a specific theme, (2) a book report, (3) a visual or multi-media presentation (film clips, slides, power-point etc.) (4) an outline of questions that can be used as the basis of focused class discussion. In the latter case you will be expected to lead the discussion and ask follow-up questions etc. All presentations should last from between 15 and 20 minutes. (Please note that your presentation can be used as the foundation for your term essay.)
Reading assignments are not broken down into discrete weekly units, but rather range over an eight-week period. It will therefore be necessary for you to develop a reading schedule outside of class that keeps pace with each week's lectures. Although the required readings for Parts I and II of the course are spelled out in the Reading Assignment boxes appearing below (at the end of Part I. etc.), you will have to take the initiative in identifying chapters in the assigned texts that may be relevant to the weekly lectures and discussion sessions.


Week 1/ 23-25 August

Introduction: Spain as a European country; General historical background (Spain in the 19th century).

Week 2/ 30 August – 1 September

State-building: the Liberal State under The Restoration and the Cánovite system of turnismo; Modernizing forces in state and society. The impact of ethno-nationalism: the cases of Catalonia and the Basque country.

Week 3/ 6-8 September

The "Disaster of 1898": Spain's national crisis (Regenerationism) and its impact on politics and society.

Week 4/ 13-15 September

Radicalization of the working classes; The Moroccan Crisis and Tragic Week of 1909; the demise of the Cánovite system. Spain during the First World War and beyond.

Week 5/ 20-22 September

Praetorian Politics: the Primo de Rivera dictatorship (1923-1930); origins of the Second Republic.

22 September /First Reaction Paper due/Panel Presentation
Week 6/ 27 September – 29 September

The Republic Divided: "Red Years":1931-1933 (Building a Republican identity; Labor reform and revolutionary gymnastics”.) The impact of republicanism on Spanish culture: Catholic Church vs. Secularism.

Week 7/ 4-6 October

The Republic Divided: the bienio negro, 1933-1936. (Right-wing backlash to progressivism; Workers united; the Left under siege.)

Week 8/ 11-13 October

The breakdown of democracy: the Republic’s demise.



Twentieth-Century Spain, Chapters 1-4 (pp. 1-88); The Spanish Civil War, Chapter 1.

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Weeks 9/ 18-20 October

The Crucible of Revolution and Civil War: Part I (Military rebellion and popular revolution.)

20 October / Second Reaction paper due( graded assignment)

/Panel Presentation
Week 11/ 25-27 October

The Crucible of Revolution and Civil War : Part II. (Foreign intervention; Military engagements; everyday life in the Nationalist and Republican zones.)

Weeks 12/ 1 November - 3 November

Building authoritarianism: The Franco regime, 1939-1975. Part I.: Repression and politics in a one-party state. Franco and the Cold War. Political violence and terrorism under Franco: ETA and the underground left.

Week 13/ 8-10 Novemberfranco

Building authoritarianism: The Franco regime, 1939-1975. Part II.: Tradition vs. Modernization.

Week 14/ 15-17 November

From dictatorship to democracy: Spain's road to parliamentary democracy, 1975-1992

17 November /Panel Presentation
Week 15/ 22 November—1 December

Regionalism and Nationalism: Spain Divided? ; The New Spain: Cultural and Political changes under democracy.

1 December /Panel Presentation/ /Term paper due at end of class
Week 16/ 6 December: Last Class/SECOND EXAM


The Spanish Civil War, Chapters 2-9; Spain Transformed (entire book); J. Hooper, The New Spaniards (entire book).

FILMS (Parts of which can be used for individual/panel presentations):

  • Bienvendio Mr. Marshall. Directed by Luis García Berlanga

  • “!Ay! Carmela”. Directed by Carlos Saura
  • "Belle Epoque"1992 Directed by Fernando Trueba

  • "BLOOD WEDDING, THE"  1981   Carlos Saura 


  • Talk to Her (1999) Pedro Almodovar

  • Bad Education (2004) Pedro Almodovar

  • Volver (2006) Pedro Almodovar

  • Broken Embraces (2009) Pedro Almodovar

  • "SPIRIT OF THE BEEHIVE"   1973  Victor Erice

  • "Barcelona, 1992"

  • “The Death of Garcia Lorca”

  • "Europe between the Wars: The Spanish Civil War."

  • “Land and Freedom. Directed by Ken Loach: 1995”

  • "The Spanish Earth, 1937". Directed by Joris Ivens.

  • "Franco: Biography Series".


Code of Conduct:
(1) Cell phones must be turned off throughout the class period.

(2) Students are asked not to talk, read papers, surf the internet, and otherwise distract the class from the lectures/class discussion.

(3) Students coming in after the lecture has begun should not interrupt the professor and/or students by walking in front of classroom, re-arranging desks to gain access to seating, etc. Latecomers should therefore take a seat at the back or wherever it is possible without disturbing others.

(4) Anyone who arrives more than ten minutes after class has begun will be counted absent unless he/she has the prior approval of the instructor.

(5) Intellectual honesty: any student caught plagiarizing the written work of others and/or cheating on an exam will automatically fail the course.

Make-up exams/Due-dates for assignments:
(1) Apart from documented illness, family emergencies (immediate family only), and exceptional circumstances (to be determined by the instructor), exams will have to be taken on the assigned day. The scheduling of permitted make-up exams will be at the discretion of the instructor.

(2) All written assignments – term papers and the like – are due on the day assigned in the syllabus and/or as announced by the instructor during class. Papers must be handed in to the instructor on the due date during class-time in a hard-copy format. (That is, do not send your paper as an e-mail attachment etc.) No late papers will be accepted for any reason(s).

| Esenwein/Modern Spain

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