Spring 2022 - HUM 340 D100

Great Cities in Their Time (4)


Class Number: 7216

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Mo 4:30 PM – 8:20 PM
    HCC 2205, Vancouver

  • Prerequisites:

    45 units.



An exploration of the cultural and intellectual accomplishments of a specific city that achieved prominence in a particular time period, and had substantial impact and influence on human civilization. Examines the political, social, religious, and cultural factors that help to explain a city's significance and investigates the achievements of its citizens. Students may repeat this course for further credit under a different topic. Breadth-Humanities.



There is no more tragic — or more romantic — event than the civil war in Spain. From 1936 to 1939, an elected secular republic backed by a popular front desperately battled against the Nationalist professional army firmly aligned with the Catholic Church and the big landowners of Spain. Significant material support from both Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy seemed to ensure that hopes of either defending the Republic or even social revolution would be frustrated. Nevertheless, with only the conditional support of the distant Soviet Union, the Loyalists of the Republic were forced to construct an army of untrained and committed antifascist militias and international brigades to defend themselves. Centred in the cities of Madrid and Barcelona, writers, artists and journalists from around the world allied with their Spanish counterparts to help erect a just and heroic image of the struggle of the republic against fascism. This myth produced an often great and engaged art that would be outgunned in this struggle, leading to yet another mythic image of the tragedy of an antifascist war that had failed to establish a better world in the face of fascism. The enduring impact of these myths can be measured in the popularity of the movie Casablanca, where Rick, the disillusioned veteran of Spain, plays out the conflict between cynicism and hope in facing the inevitable continuation of the antifascist struggle. We will look at the writing of this time by both Spaniards and their International allies who by going to Spain to confront fascism anticipated struggles that persist into the present. We will also consider the ongoing debate over silence, memory and working through the past in contemporary Spain.


  • Term Essay 30%
  • Presentation and Essay 30%
  • 3 Short Reviews of Films or Readings 30%
  • Participation 10%



Required Reading

Ernest Hemingway, The Fifth Column and Four Stories of Spain (available on-line)

Arturo Barea, The Forging of a Rebel (we will only read Part III The Clash)

George Orwell, Orwell in Spain

André Malraux, Man's Hope (available on-line); alternate title: Days of Hope

Selected Readings

Films may include

Jorge Semprun & Alain Resnais, La Guerre est fini

David Trueba, Soldats de Salamina

Ken Loach, Land and Freedom

Joris Ivens, Spanish Earth

Luis Bunuel, 36 Espãna

Andre Malraux, Espoir

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Teaching at SFU in spring 2022 will involve primarily in-person instruction, with safety plans in place.  Some courses will still be offered through remote methods, and if so, this will be clearly identified in the schedule of classes.  You will also know at enrollment whether remote course components will be “live” (synchronous) or at your own pace (asynchronous).

Enrolling in a course acknowledges that you are able to attend in whatever format is required.  You should not enroll in a course that is in-person if you are not able to return to campus, and should be aware that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who may need class or exam accommodations, including in the context of remote learning, are advised to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112) as early as possible in order to prepare for the spring 2022 term.