Prerequisites: Spanish 25
We think we know what everyday life is, but what exactly do we mean when we refer to la vida cotidiana? Do we mean the places where we live? Our bodies, the food that we eat, the way that we spend money? Our daily customs and habits, the furniture in our homes, our most intimate relationships? The stream of consciousness of our thoughts? More importantly, how do we write about something that seems so clear and obvious, yet is so elusive when we try to pin it down? In this course we will read some selections from authors who have tried to theorize about the concept of everyday life, and from writers, from Spain and Mexico, who sought to represent it. Readings will include selections from literary critic Erich Auerbach, novelists Cervantes, Galdós, Soledad Puertolas, Marta Sanz, and José Emilio Pacheco, and historians Braudel, Desfourneux, and Pilar Gonzalbo Aizpuru, among others. But this is not a conventional literature course; rather, the emphasis is on student writing, including building up the vocabulary necessary for the description of different aspects of everyday life. For that reason, there will be weekly quizzes and writing assignments. Note: Earlier versions of the course included field trips to the Berkeley Art Museum and to the De Young Museum in San Francisco; we will try to do them again if health conditions permit it.