Communication, Media Studies & Tourism Management

Course Overview


Seville: Culture, Identity & Citizenship in the City


CEA Partner Institution: CEA Seville Center
Location: Seville, Spain
Primary Subject Area: Sociology
Other Subject Area: Cultural Studies, Gender Studies
Instruction in: English
Course Code: SOC362SVQ
Course Details: Level 300
Recommended Semester Credits: 3
Contact Hours: 45
Prerequisites: One introductory course in any of the above subject areas or with the approval of the instructor


What role does Seville have as one of the most important cities in the secular state of Spain? Why and how has it played a central part during history while remaining a key anchor of national pride. It reflects the cultural contradictions that define what means to be a Spaniard. For example, Seville's main national celebrations, ie. Holy Week, run contrary to the fact that Spain is a secular country. Additionally it embraces the cultural icons of being Spanish: Catholicism, flamenco and bullfighting. Through these incongruences, Sevillians have cultivated a counter-culture, based upon the re-interpretation of their identity and culture as a manner of resistance. Here marginalized groups gain their space; one where traditional folklore meets with active social movements, where three world religions met and still peacefully co-exist. Seville exemplifies an ideal environment to explore alternative cultures, gender-related identities (ie. the LGBT community) and new political affiliations. Finally Seville's transformation, through newly constructed ideas of citizenship, have generated organic solutions to the economic crisis, which have yielded novel local ways to understand and articulate notions of community.

This course adopts an interdisciplinary approach borrowing instructional tools and methods from subject areas ranging from Spanish studies to gender studies. The course develops by providing a historical and analytical review on the changes which impact cultural and gender identity in Sevillian / Spanish society over the last four decades, roughly from the last years of the Franco regime to now. On the one hand, we will explore how these changes can be understood by the political developments witnessed in the country, from a conservative dictatorship to a stable democracy. On the other hand, we will also investigate how citizenship and gender spaces are negotiated within the local society by exploring different areas such as the political realm, work, cinema, family and religion.

Our analytical focal point is placed upon the city, the suburbs, and the neighborhoods of Seville where the presence of diverse local initiatives offer opportunities for exploration on how effectively they have managed to create impact and transformation on the Spanish political, economic, societal and cultural mainstream. Through academic readings and course excursions, you will explore Andalusia's capital city and the multicultural populations to which it has been home in both a historical and a contemporary context. Personal observations of and encounters with people from a variety of populations are all part of the fieldwork in this course.

You will learn how a culture's official policy about belonging and foreignness relates to gender, sexuality, and ethnicity by drawing from similar rhetorical strategies. The course will point to ways to cross lines of difference to re-imagine new forms of belonging and citizenship for a 21st century Seville.

This course is cross listed as CUL362
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