Elementary and Intermediate Language Sequence

Fundamentals of Oral and Written Spanish I (4 credits)
An introduction to the language and cultures of the Spanish-speaking world. Development of listening, speaking, reading, and writing using a communicative, proficiency-oriented approach. Interactive practice is enhanced by multimedia/technology. Twenty-five percent of the course done outside class using various technologies. Typically geared for students with less than two years of Spanish in high school. Special sections of the course may be offered for students who have never studied Spanish.

Fundamentals of Oral and Written Spanish II (4 credits)
Continuation of the introduction to the Spanish language. Progressive mastering of the four skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Emphasis on using language in context to expand self-expression. Twenty-five percent of the course done outside of class using various technologies. Special sections of the course may be offered with a focus on Spanish for business.

Intermediate Spanish (4 credits)
Continuation of the Spanish language sequence with a concentration on refinement of skills in written expression and spoken accuracy. Uses Hispanic cultural and literary texts to assist in vocabulary expansion and to develop techniques in mastering authentic language in context. Twenty-five percent of the course done outside class using various technologies. Special sections of the course may be offered with a focus on Spanish for business.


Advanced Intermediate Language Sequence

Spanish Conversation: Hispanic Media and Society (2 credits)
Through an emphasis on the use of spoken language within the contexts of Hispanic media (film, television, radio, newspapers, etc), this course concentrates on contemporary issues of Hispanic cultures and societies. Text-, audio-, and visual-based authentic materials will provide the basis for oral discussion and exercises centered on improving pronunciation, developing an active vocabulary for use across different communicative contexts, and increasing the integration of all the language skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing). 

Spanish Conversation: Hispanic Theatre (2 credits)
The course focuses on the reading, discussion and performances of selected dramatic pieces in Spanish, while introducing students to a literary and cultural analysis of dramatic expression. Individual and group representations will provide the basis for facilitating oral practice, developing and applying an active vocabulary, improving pronunciation and intonation, and perfecting writing skills. No prior experience in theatre is required. 

Gateway Courses

Identity, Performance and Self-Representation in Spanish-Speaking Cultures (4 credits)
As an introduction to literary and cultural analysis, the course examines the strategies of self-figuration and self-representation through first-person narration across historical and social contexts, and across a wide range of autobiographical modalities (memoirs, essays, letters, diaries, testimonials, and novels). The course also addresses the complex relationship between autobiography and fiction, and the role of autobiographical writing in the formation, articulation, and deconstruction of individual and collective identities. 

The Hispanic Novella Tradition from Cervantes to García Márquez (4 credits)
This course introduces the origins, tradition, impact, and currency of the novella, or short novel, as an important subgenre of Spanish and Latin American literature. The course will survey the history and traditions of the genre and will focus on its specific development in Spanish and Latin American contexts. The course will pay particular attention to the reshaping of the Italian genre in the "exemplary" novellas of Spain, as well as the use of the genre in the late 20th century by authors of the 1960s Latin American Boom.


Advanced Courses in Literature and Cultural Studies

Love, Sex, and Spirituality in Early Modern Spain (4 credits)
This course addresses the theme of love, both human and divine, as expressed in Spanish poetry, narrative, and drama from the late 15th to the early 17th centuries. Discussions of literary selections will address each work in its specific historical contexts during the early modern period, while also addressing the theories of love that inform these works. We will pay particular attention to the diverse modalities of amorous representations, both earthly and spiritual, as well as the roles of women as writers and characters.  

Self, Place and the Environment in Spain and Latin America (4 credits)
A study of the complex relationships between individuals and their physical environments, from the countryside to the jungle, in representative literary works of the 19th and 20th centuries. We will address how interactions with place and geography become discursive tools by which to explore various social, cultural and national discourses. The manifestations and permutations of the environmental imagination across various literary movements, from Romanticism to Regionalism, are explored, while also addressing the role of eco-criticism within literary and cultural studies.  

Young Writers, Neo-Realism, and Urban Culture in Spain and Latin America (4 credits)
This course examines representative cultural production from a wave of young writers, filmmakers, and artists who have opted for a neo-realist aesthetic to represent current national and transnational realities. Focusing on movements like the Generación X group in Spain and the McOndo and Crack groups in Latin America, the course explores the connections between this new production and urban identities. We will pay special attention to the role of U.S. influences, audio-visual media, violence, disease, emerging marginalities, and rearticulated sexualities as elements of this new urban reality.  

Hispanic Studies Capstone Seminar

Exclusions, Exiles and Displacements in the Spanish-Speaking World (4 credits)
This seminar closely examines cultural production resulting from within the frameworks of marginalization and exclusion, geographic displacement, and political exile from across contexts of the Spanish-Speaking world, including gender/racial/sexual marginalization, banishment, civil wars, and dictatorships. Through a close theoretical analysis of the interconnectedness between identity and the various categories of "segregation," this seminar seeks to explore how "otherness", dislocation and exile – and the cultural production stemming from them – intersect with notions of national identity, language loyalty, memory, and individual and collective self-representation.


Topics Courses taught in English

The Culture of Melodrama in Spain and Latin America (4 credits)
This course addresses the origins, impact, and currency of the melodramatic across Spanish and Latin American culture, literature, film, music, and television. The course examines the recourse of the melodramatic within diverse emotional contexts (romantic, erotic, familial) and their relationship with varying cultural and social attitudes. The course will pay particular attention to the repetitions and excesses of melodramatic representations, and their connections to gender, gender performance, sexual identity, and nationalism.

Gender, Sexuality and Performance in Spanish Theatre (4 credits)
An overview of Spanish theatre through representative works from the seventeenth century Golden Age to the 20th century. Through an analysis of different dramatic genres the course explores the development of Spanish theatre, as well as its principal themes. We will pay particular attention to these plays not just as literary artifacts, but also as texts for performance. In particular, we will analyze the meanings produced by gendered and sexualized bodies on stage and in audiences, as well as the constructions and manifestations of gender and sexuality through performance itself.

College Seminars

Self-Representation in the Hispanic World (2 credits)
How do individuals construct and represent themselves and their lives on the written page? How are lives represented within and against personal, social, political, historical and cultural contexts? How do we as readers approach and question the self-representational practices of others? This seminar will explore theoretical approaches to autobiographical representations from different time periods and contexts across the Hispanic world. We will engage self-representational writing as part of the formation and deconstruction of individual and collective identities across various autobiographical modalities (historical, national, spiritual, epistolary, ethnic, diasporic, juvenile, queer, etc). In addition, throughout the seminar we will explore and wrestle with a host of issues, such as: How much can we trust a first-person narrator? To what degree can we question what autobiographical writing presents as "truth"? How has autobiography been used as a means of challenging social and political injustice? What is the relationship between autobiography and fiction?