SPANISH 453 - Religion and Culture in the Hispanic World
Fall 2020, Section 001 - Aljamiado and Moriscos in Golden-Age Spain
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is  In Person (see other Sections below)
Subject: Spanish (SPANISH)
Department: LSA Romance Languages & Literatures


Waitlist Capacity:
With permission of department.
Enforced Prerequisites:
Nine credits chosen between SPANISH 279 and 399; or two RCLANG 324 and six credits chosen between SPANISH 279 and 399.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:


Did you know that Spanish was once the mother-tongue of Muslims in the Iberian Peninsula? and that some even wrote Spanish with the Arabic rather than the Latin alphabet (what we use today)? After Columbus traveled to the Americas and the Christians conquered Muslim Granada in 1492, many Muslims and former Muslims lived a double life, practicing Christianity in public while also keeping Muslim traditions (and the Arabic alphabet) in their homes. This course will introduce the language of these Muslims, a dialect of Castilian Spanish called “Aljamiado" that was usually written in the Arabic alphabet. We will learn about the history of Islam in Spain and will learn the Arabic alphabet in order to read the texts written in Aljamiado. We will also read some texts by Muslim authors written in Latin characters and will introduce some of the main writers, texts, and themes of the period. We will look at manuscripts and editions of aljamiado texts dealing with the life of Muhammad, anti-Christian arguments, the legend of Alexander the Great, stories about the prophets, guidebooks for love and magic, and other topics.

This course counts for literature credit for the Spanish minor.

Intended Audience:

No knowledge of Arabic is necessary (but it won’t hurt). A very strong level of reading ability in Spanish, and an open mind, are essential.

Class Format:

Most readings and all discussion and writing are in Spanish. Short lectures will be recorded each week that will be available asynchronously. There will be biweekly discussion sessions that will require synchronous participation. Class discussions, including in-class presentations and lectures, will be recorded in Zoom and made available for later viewing or reviewing. As for course assessment, there will be a series of short quizzes to take in Zoom asynchronously. There will be a few writing assignments that will be discussed in class and worked on in class, but will be done asynchronously. This course relies on in-person meetings and participation, but could be adapted to asynchronous virtual meetings if needed. While it is possible to request to take the course virtually, it is not considered the ideal format, and students are expected to be on-campus for this course unless granted approval by the professor. Efforts will be made to make the content available outside of class for those who are enrolled in the on-campus section but become ill or need to be absent.


SPANISH 453 - Religion and Culture in the Hispanic World
Schedule Listing
001 (REC)
 In Person
TuTh 10:00AM - 11:30AM
099 (REC)
TuTh 10:00AM - 11:30AM
Note: online-only participation section.

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