orange tree.jpg   El Naranjo: Spanish Culture, History, and the Environment

Spring quarter 2006.  Saturdays 9 am to 5 pm
Karen Hogan 867 5078 (email). Office: B3110 Seminar II. Mail: B2124 Seminar II.

naranja  ( del árabe hispano naranǧa , del árabe nāranǧ , del persa nārang , del sánscr. nāraṅga)

In this eight-credit program we will study various influences on Spanish culture in both the old and the new worlds. The program title is from the book El Naranjo by Mexican author Carlos Fuentes.  In several distinctly different allegorical stories, Fuentes uses the orange tree as a symbol of the transplantation of cultural values from one civilization to another.  We are particularly interested in attitudes and practices by which Spanish and Latin American societies related to their environments, and in the mutual exchange of cultural influences between the old and new worlds.  

Some lectures, discussions, and readings will be in Spanish; one year of college-level Spanish language study is a prerequisite.


Languages of Latin America

Archive of the Indigenous Languages of Latin America


América Central

How Mediterranean Plants and Foods Changed America

Language and color perception

Spanish Language Workbook

Library of Congress:
Handbook of Latin American Studies

Yale: Iberian Languages and Literatures

Roma in Spain 1990s

Real Académia de la Lengua Española



Historical Documents

Spain by the CIA

Spain: BBC profile

Learn Basque language

Llengua Catalana

translate Catalan

Groups that Don't Want In:
Gypsies and Other Artisan,
Trader, and Entertainer Minorities

Latin America and the Caribbean: Sustainability and the Market



The title book for this program is El Naranjo (The Orange Tree) by Carlos Fuentes.  You will need either the Spanish or the English language version (or both, if you prefer).

•   El Naranjo, o los Circulos del Tiempo. Carlos Fuentes.  You will need to find a copy of this yourself. publishers include Alfaguara Literaturas, 1993.  ISBN #9681901738, or Punto de Lectura, 2001. ISBN #9707100125.

•   The Orange Tree by Carlos Fuentes, Alfred MacAdam (Translator) 229 pp.  Farrar Straus & Giroux.  1994.  ISBN#0374226830


We will also read

•   1491:  New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus.  Charles C. Mann.  Alfred A. Knopf, 2005.  ISBN# I-4000-4006-x

•    The Broken Spears:  The Aztec Account of the Conquest of Mexico. Miguel Leon-Portilla.  Beacon Press, 1992.  ISBN# 0-8070-5501-8

•    The Columbian Exchange:  Biological and Cultural Consequences of 1492.   Alfred W. Crosby, Jr.  Praeger, 2003.  ISBN# 0-275-98092-8

•    Diccionario Larousse del Español Moderno.  Ramon Garcia-Pelayo y Gross.  Larousse        ISBN# 0-451168097


And, on reserve in the Evergreen library

•     The Buried Mirror:  Reflections on Spain and the New World. Carlos Fuentes.  1992.  ISBN# 0-395-92499-5

Other readings will include selections from Perlin’s A Forest Journey , Thirgood’s Man and the Mediterranean Forest: A History of Resource Depletion , and other readings in environmental history and ecology, works of social history such as Brevisima relacion de la destruicion de las Indias by Bartolome De Las Casas, and other stories, poems, and music.  We will also see several films in Spanish (with subtitles).

Suggested Reading and Resources

•     EMPIRE: How Spain Became a World Power 1492-1763.  Henry Kamen.  HarperCollins, 2003.  ISBN# 0-06-093264-3