Anyone who has taught panoramic survey courses of literature knows the frustration of working with published textbooks. No one textbook can serve the curricular and pedagogical needs of any one instructor in any given class. Bound printed textbooks are shaped by market considerations and tend toward highly canonical selections from Castilian authors that no longer reflect the literary history practiced by most scholars of Iberian literatures. Curricular aims and times schedules vary considerably by institution and by instructor. It is extremely difficult to find a textbook of Iberian culture that satisfies the pedagogical interests of the instructor and the economic interests of the student.

Print textbooks in general are becoming more expensive, outpacing inflation and adding increased financial burden to university students who are bearing ever-increasing debt loads. In addition to their cost, traditional print textbooks are inflexible, forcing instructors —many of whom are already time impoverished, with high teaching loads and increasing service burdens— to subordinate their own pedagogical interests and strengths to the materials and approaches offered by traditional print textbooks. This state of affairs is one in which market forces are distorting the way in which we represent Iberian cultures to our students.

The Open Iberia Anthology offers maximum flexibility to instructors, minimal costs to students. Open Iberia will bring together short selections of Iberian texts in pedagogical editions. Editors will write short introductions, study questions, and a basic bibliography for further reading. This format will allow instructors to include any combination of the texts for inclusion in their course packets. The Creative Commons License under which Open Iberia units will be distributed allows for re-editing, re-combining, and re-distribution of the licensed texts, so that instructors and students may freely edit, annotate, and redistribute the texts for non-commercial purposes, provided they attribute the text’s original editor, date, and URL in the collection. Editors of commercial textbooks, however, may not reuse Open Iberia texts under any circumstances.

For more information, please contact David Wacks, Professor of Spanish, 346-4029.