Study Abroad Study Abroad
Home > Spain > Barcelona > Programs > Program Overview > Course Requirements > Course Description

Course Description
Print This Page Print

Spanish Civilization and Culture
Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB)
Barcelona, Spain

Subject Area(s) Level(s) Instruction in Credits Contact Hours Prerequisites
Cultural Studies 300 English or Spanish 3 45 N/A

One of the characteristic features of the early history of Spain is the successive waves of different peoples that spread all over the Peninsula. The first to appear were the Iberians, a Libyan people who came from the south. Later came the Celts, a typically Aryan people, and from the merging of the two there arose a new race, the Celtiberians. The Phoenicians, the Greeks, the Romans and the Arabs have all occupied the peninsula and left behind traces that this subject will reveal to students.


1- The Remote Past

1.1 Early inhabitants of the Iberian Peninsula and Ecological Change

1.2 Tartessos and tribal society: the Iberians and other ethnic groups

1.3 Trading depots and early colonies: Phoenecians, Carthaginians and Hellenic Greeks

1.4 Prime Stage for the Punic Wars between Rome and Carthage (264-146 BCE)

2- Roman Hispania (second century BCE-fifth century CE)

2.1 The Roman urban system in Hispania and its implications

2.2 "Civilizing influences" and the Prime of Empire (Trajan and Hadrian)

2.3 Late Roman Hispania, the breakup of the Western Empire and Byzantine presence

3- Visigothic Hispania (c. 554-711)

3.1 Goths and their rivals, Vandals, Swabians and Byzantines

3.2 The Visigothic Kingdom and the establishment of Christian orthodoxy

3.3 The downfall of Visigothic Hispania and the myth of the "lost empire"

4- Islamic Al-Andalus (eighth-fifteenth centuries)

4.1 The limits of Islamic invasion

4.2 The Emirate of Cordova (711-929 CE) and the Umayyad Caliphate (tenth-eleventh centuries CE)

4.3 Islamic society: cultural expansion and the myth of a "happy time", uniting the "three peoples of the Book"

4.4 The breakup of the system: the "party kings", (eleventh-thirteenth centuries CE) and the successive renovations from North Africa (Almoravids, Almohads, Marinids, and the Nasrids in Granada)


5- The Hispanic "Goths" and "Franks", Crusader Kingdoms in Western Europe, and the myth of "Reconquest" (eighth-fifteenth centuries)

5.1 The Pyrenean Kingdoms: Navarre, Aragon and Catalonia

5.2 The Northwestern Kingdoms and the creation of Castille

5.3 The creation and development of Portugal

5.4 Aragon, Catalonia, France and rivalries in the Western Mediterranean

5.5 The Atlantic push, the drive towards Africa, and Luso-Castillian competition

6- The Union of the Christian Kingdoms in the fifteenth century

6.1 The invention of "Spain": a "Nation-state" or a "composite monarchy"?

6.2 The alternative: Portugal and Castille or Castille and Aragon

6.3 Naples, "the Italies", and the annexations of Nasrid Granada (1492) and Navarre (1512)

6.4 Religion, the substitute for unity, and the dispersal or conversion of Jewish or Islamic minorities (1492-1614)

7- Hitting the Jackpot: the "discovery"/conquest of the Americas and the imperial role in Europe under the Habsburg dynasty (sixteenth-seventeenth centuries)

7.1 The first world power: "Spain" as an identity forged by outsiders

7.2 Cultural hightide and uncounted riches: the annexation of Portugal (1580) and the world-wide struggle for mastery of the seas

7.3 The highpoint and the fast drop: the "crisis of the seventeenth century" (1640-1653), and the new European powers

8- Internal reform and its contradictions under a new French dynasty: the Bourbons (eighteenth century)

8.1 The "first civil war", as well as a general European conflict: the War of Spanish Succession (1701-1714)

8.2 The reconstruction of a Bourbon balance and the continuity of empire: the "Italies" and beyond

8.3 The bitter fight behind the scenes for structural reform and its limits: the "nationalist" alternative and sideways evolution for and against "revolution" (1766-1808)

9- A century of revolution (nineteenth century)

9.1 The "second civil war": invasion under a new French dynasty: the Bonapartes (1808-1814)

9.2 The victory of the "patriot" cause and the hidden rivalry of absolutists, neo-traditionalists, constitutionalists and revolutionaries

9.3 The loss of the American mainland

9.4 The monarchy restored restored without stability, and the impossible search for a lasting political settlement

9.5 A liberal and conservative alliance for development against the hardline "antiglobalizers" becomes a semi permanent civil war

9.6 Many false starts and, finally, seeming stability after 1876

9.7 The loss of insular empire (1898): Spain has to become an exclusively European nation


10- An emerging economy in the twentieth century

10.1 Urbanization, development and its social cost

10.2 The failure of "whig parlamentarism" (1912-1923)

10.3 The development of dictatorship and a new republican experiment (1923-1933)

10.4 The traumatic "civil war": an international spectacle (1934-1939)

10.5 Stable dictatorship without a clear continuity (1939-1975)

10.6 The "great change-over" and the "transition" to democracy (1975-1982)

10.7 European integration and the ailments of "postmodernity" (1982 to the present)

Copyright© 2010Home - Information Center - Why Study Abroad? - What's Included - Policies
Global Student Experience, a California Corporation
All Rights Reserved
Application - Request Programs Catalog - My Account - Contact Us
Site Map - Resources