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Approaches to Teaching Early Modern Spanish Drama

Editor(s): Laura R. Bass, Margaret R. Greer

Pages: xiii & 281 pp.
Published: 2006
ISBN: 9780873529952 (paperback)
ISBN: 9780873529945 (hardcover)

"These master teachers share years of experience in bringing important works to life for students who can then make connections to our modern dilemmas and values. This rich volume is a valuable addition to the Approaches to Teaching series and is recommended reading for instructors and students alike."
Midwest Modern Language Association

"This volume is a mine of information, insight, and inspiration for teachers of Golden Age theatre throughout the English-speaking world."
Bulletin of Spanish Studies

At the start of the twenty-first century, performances of early modern Spanish drama experienced resurgent popularity--not only in Spain but also on stages across Europe, Latin America, and the United States. In the academy the comedia, which includes comic, tragicomic, and tragic works, is widely taught in a range of contexts to a variety of students, in Spanish and in translation. Given the steady increase of Spanish as the language of choice in foreign language departments, these courses will continue to flourish. This volume offers guidance to teachers in helping students engage with and understand these late-sixteenth- and early-seventeenth-century works.

Part 1, "Materials," evaluates editions and anthologies in English and Spanish; identifies important critical works and historical studies; and surveys illustrated books, films, and Internet resources. In part 2, "Approaches," experienced teachers discuss the way the plays challenged the interests of the monarchial state; examine the obsession with honor shared by Spanish men and women alike; explain the key role costume played in providing both pleasure and meaning; and explore how late-twentieth-century films reflect elements of these early Spanish plays. Other approaches center on five women playwrights; delve into the complex theological and philosophical underpinnings of the plays; pair the plays with Shakespearean drama; show how Spanish plays influenced French dramatists; and trace the appeal of the Don Juan figure.

Table of Contents

Preface to the Series

Preface to the Volume

Laura R. Bass and Margaret R. Greer


Laura R. Bass and Margaret R. Greer

Editions of Comedias
Anthologies in Spanish
Individual Editions and Series in Spanish
Bilingual Editions and Translations

The Instructor's Library
Background Studies
Critical and Scholarly Studies
Journals and Series

Aids to Teaching
Illustrated Books
Internet Resources


Introduction Laura R. Bass and Margaret R. Greer

The Past in the Present: Historical Frameworks and Visual Contexts

Communicating the Past
Melveena McKendrick

Between Ideals and Pragmatism: Honor in Early Modern Spain.
Renato Barahona

A Woman Hunted, A City Beseiged: Spanish Emblems and Italian Art in Fuenteovejuna
Frederick A. de Armas

Early Modern Geographies: Teaching Space in Tirso de Molina's Urban Plays
Enrique García Santo-Tomás

Costume and the Comedia: Dressing Up El vergonzoso en palacio in the Classroom
Laura R. Bass

Teaching Golden Age Theater through Filmic Adaptations
Carmen García de la Rasilla

Language, Theory, and (Teaching) Philosophy

How to Do Things with Polimetría
Mary Malcolm Gaylord

The Comedia and the Theoretical Imperative
Edward H. Friedman

Unanswering the Question: A Course on Spanish Golden Age Plays by Women
Teresa S. Soufas

Toward an Understanding of Moral Philosophy and the Theme of Desengaño in Calderón
Manuel Delgado

Theater History, Practice, and Comparative Contexts

Placing the Comedia in Performative Context
Bruce R. Burningham

On Teaching Non-Comedia Festive Drama of Early Modern Spain
Vincent Martin

Reinventing Texts in a New (Historical) Context: Spanish Comedia and Shakespeare
Susan L. Fischer

Comedia and Comédie
Leah Middlebrook

Don Juan in Three Acts: Seduction across Time and Space
James Mandrell

Cross-Cultural Approaches

Lope de Vega and the Matter of America: Approaching the Comedia from a Transatlantic Perspective
José R. Cartagena-Calderón

An Approach to Teaching Drama Written in Colonial Spanish America
Frederick Luciani

Staging Captivity: Cervantes's Barbary Plays
María Antonia Garcés

Teaching Race and the Performances of Whiteness in El valiente negro en Flandes, by Andrés de Claramente
John Beusterien

Teaching the Comedia to Nonmajors: Golden Age Drama in a Cultural Studies Context
Cory A. Reed

Embodied Pedagogies

Trials: Teaching the Spanish Baroque Comedia in the Twenty-First Century
A. Robert Lauer

Mentoring Environments and Golden Age Theater Production
Dale J. Pratt and Valerie Hegstrom

New Technologies

The Digital Comedia: Teaching Golden Age Theater with New and Emerging Technologies
Diane E. Sieber

The Closest Reading: Creating Annotated Online Editions
Matthew D. Stroud

Glossary of Key Terms

Notes on Contributors

Survey Participants

Works Cited

Index of Plays

Index of Playwrights

Index of Names

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© 2015 Modern Language Association. Last updated 02/24/2015.