SPANISH 447 - The Archive
Section: 004 The Spanish Civil War and Student Activism at the University of Michigan
Term: WN 2018
Subject: Spanish (SPANISH)
Department: LSA Romance Languages & Literatures
Credits:
3
Waitlist Capacity:
unlimited
Enforced Prerequisites:
Nine credits chosen between SPANISH 279 and 399; or two RCLANG 324 and six credits chosen between SPANISH 279 and 399.
Repeatability:
May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credit(s). May be elected more than once in the same term.
Primary Instructor:

The Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) became an international cause that drew volunteer combatants from around the world and energized the anti-fascist movement. While Hitler and Mussolini supported the military uprising with arms and troops, the democratic allies remained neutral, refusing to support or sell arms to the Spanish Republic. Activists in those neutral countries mobilized to urge their governments to aid the Republic. They wanted to make Spain the “tomb of fascism” — by halting the spread of fascism and the military build-up to world war.

At the University of Michigan, large numbers of students participated in organizations and events to support the Spanish Republic. The Student Senate debated resolutions urging the U.S. government to drop the embargo with Spain. Students and faculty from the Medical School organized an aid committee and held fundraising events to send an ambulance and supplies to Spain. In the Michigan Daily, news of the war unfolded on the front pages, and debates erupted in the op-ed section of the paper. Three students joined the Abraham Lincoln Brigade and fought in Spain, one of whom would never return.

In this course, as we follow these events in the pages of the Daily, we will view documentaries and read first-hand accounts of combatants on both sides of the war. We will focus in particular on letters and testimonies by members of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade — a diverse group of 2,800 volunteers from the U.S., among them workers, students, women, and a large African-American contingent. Throughout the course, we will situate the war within the geopolitical arena, in a world riven by economic crisis, the rise of fascism, and the growth of an international Communist movement.

Texts will include: Helen Graham's "The Spanish Civil War" (available as an e-book on the Michigan Library site) and chapters from Robert Cohen's "When the Old Left Was Young." Short readings include articles, eye-witness accounts, letters, diaries, and poems — all available on Canvas. Documentary films will be available online.

This course counts as elective credit toward the Spanish minor.

Course Requirements:

Assignments will include two exams, brief responses to films, a major research paper, and a final presentation.

Class Format:

Note that this is a bilingual course. Most discussions will be in Spanish, readings and films represent a mix of Spanish and English. Students will have the opportunity to do original research in the archives of the Bentley Historical Library and in the digitized Michigan Daily. If they wish, students may submit their final papers to the Library and thereby contribute to the historical record.

SPANISH 447 - The Archive
Schedule Listing
002 (REC)
P
30609
Open
18
 
-
MW 2:30PM - 4:00PM
004 (REC)
P
31554
Open
18
 
-
TuTh 1:00PM - 2:30PM
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