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    Meaningful parallels for students: Golden Age poetic production as examples of talent shows and celebrity spats

    McLaughlin, Karl (2019) Meaningful parallels for students: Golden Age poetic production as examples of talent shows and celebrity spats. In: Spanish Golden Age Texts in the 21st Century: Teaching the Old with the New. Spanish Golden Age Studies . Peter Lang, Bern, Switzerland, pp. 141-157. ISBN 9781788746359 (softcover); 9781788746366 (ebook); 9781788746373 (ebook); 9781788746380 (ebook)

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    Abstract

    Obstacles to effective engagement by university students with Golden Age texts include their knowledge deficit with respect to the historical, literary and cultural contexts underlying the texts. Poor understanding of content and context can lead to demotivation, thus decreasing the potential for learning. Establishing meaningful parallels between aspects of seventeenth century Spanish culture and readily-recognisable facets of contemporary culture can help speak to students more effectively. The present paper explores ways to harness students’ familiarity with TV talent shows and social media squabbles between celebrities to connect them with analogous Golden Age phenomena, particularly literary academies/poetry competitions and well-documented rivalries between famous figures. By helping students view the production of these key cultural phenomena through a prism to which they can relate more easily, a valuable foothold can be provided to stimulate their interest and encourage them to engage with Golden Age texts more actively and successfully.

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