Spanish 135.3: Women of Medieval Iberia

MWF 11A-12P, EVANS 55 | Instructor: Meerkhan | CCN: 25236

Units: 4

Prerequisites: Spanish 25

This course will focus on the poetry, stories and histories about (and more importantly, by) women of Medieval Iberia. Beginning with the poetry of 11th-century concubines who resided in Muslim courts and ending with Isabel the Catholic’s accounts in the 15th century, the course explores the distinct roles of women from diverse social backgrounds–from slave women to queens–in shaping the cultural history of Iberia.

Texts will include Romance jarchas, Galego/Galician-Portuguese cantigas de amigo, the corpus of poetry attributed to some thirty-six Muslim and Jewish women, as well as historical texts such as a 15th-century autobiography by Leonor López de Córdoba, among others. Students will identify and examine methods used by Medieval Iberian women to seek, defend and assert their rights of independence, education, and self-fulfillment. Attending to both historical and fictionalized (self-)representations of Medieval Iberian Women allows us to reflect on contemporary concerns regarding freedom and equality among women and men.