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Spanish Memories, African Hopes, Through Literature & Film

Application Cycle Complete

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Robert Cancel 


Robert Cancel is Professor Emeritus of African and Comparative Literature and has taught in the Department of Literature since 1980. His research interests are in African oral and written literatures and cinema, Caribbean literature and music, picaresque writing of the Spanish Golden Age, and American and World music. He has lived, researched and taught in Zambia and Ghana, lived and researched in Granada, Spain and traveled to and presented papers in Morocco and Egypt, among other places. He was formerly co-director of Marshall College’s Dimensions of Culture Program and Coordinator of the Third World Studies Program (Global South Studies Program). Since 1975 he has been awarded four separate Fulbright grants to conduct rural research in Zambia and/or to lecture at the University of Zambia. In recent years he has traveled extensively in Venezuela, Argentina and Brazil.



A Mexican diplomat/poet living in Spain at the turn of the 19th century famously wrote: “Give him alms woman, for there is nothing in life like the sadness of being blind in Granada.” This is one of Spain’s most beautiful cities and a historical and cultural crossroads between Africa and Europe. Muslim Arabs, or Moors, ruled this region of Spain for seven centuries before their final expulsion in 1492 by Ferdinand and Isabella. The contrasts between the oldest parts of the city, comprising the Albaicin and the unparalleled fortress/palace called the Alhambra and the bustling contemporary metropolis are stunning. With over 60,000 students in the University of Granada, the city often feels like a college town.

Historically, the violence and trauma of the Spanish Civil War (1936-39) and its aftermath were brutally experienced in Granada, and these are currently portrayed and re-imagined in world literature and Spanish cinema. Another reality of Spanish life is the ever-growing immigrant population, arriving from West and North Africa, adding to the diversity and richness of contemporary Granada. Literature and film from Africa and Spain, providing perspectives from both sides will be linked for a portrait of this evolving, often uneasy merger of complex cultures and religions. Study of texts and films will be dramatically augmented by field trips to Madrid and Morocco.


The courses offered are “LTAF 120GS - African Literature: Islam and Immigration” and “LTWL 180GS - Film Studies and Literature: Re-imagining the Spanish Civil War.” LTAF 120GS fulfills a specific requirement for a class in “Global South Studies” for Thurgood Marshall College, and may also be used as an elective/requirement for Global South Studies and Literature majors and minors. Similarly, LTWL 180GS may fulfill upper division humanities/writing GE requirements

for most colleges as well as electives for majors and minors in Literature, Communication, Visual Arts and Film Studies. Students in any of these majors or minors will derive unique and enriching perspectives from studying these topics in the context of Spanish and North African cultures. Consult your academic advisor to determine officially how the courses will apply to your graduation requirements. Majors in the sciences or engineering, who need humanities electives or who hesitate to study abroad because of their severe “time to graduation” constraints, would do well in this five-week summer experience of cross-cultural enrichment. Any study abroad listing adds a highly prized dimension to students’ job-hunting or graduate school resumes.

Information Sessions

  • Wednesday, February 16; 5 - 6:30 
  • Register here for the live Zoom link, and/or to get the post-session recording.

See the Info Session Calendar


Departure from U.S.: Sat., June 25, 2022
Arrival: Sun., June 26, 2022
Mandatory Orientation: Mon., June 27, 2022
First Day of Class: Tue., June 28, 2022
Last Day of Class: Fri., July 29, 2022
Departure for the U.S.
(or personal travel):
Sat., July 30, 2022


  • Do not purchase plane tickets until the program is confirmed. All approved applicants will be notified by e-mail when the program has been confirmed by reaching minimum enrollment. 
  • Because of the evolving COVID-19 situation, when you do buy tickets, we strongly encourage you to purchase refundable plane tickets or flight cancellation insurance.
  • Consider purchasing carbon offsets for your flight through your airline.
  • In order for our local partner to meet you at the airport, your flight must arrive at the Granada Federico Garcia Lorca airport (GRX) between specific times to be set in spring in order to take advantage of airport pick up. Students who arrive outside the pick-up window will receive instructions on how to make their way to program housing independently. 
  • The Study Abroad Office will be hosting several flight workshops to provide tips and advice on flight purchases. Check the Study Abroad Calendar for more information.  
  • Our overseas partner requires that all students be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to participate in this program. The provider will request verification during the pre-departure process. No refunds will be given for failure to comply.