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Identities & Communities

H History & Transformation

  • Topics related to the history and evolution of Spanish and Latin American language, literature and culture.

B Borders & Contact 

  • Topics related to Spanish and Latin American language and cultures in contact with other languages and cultures in border territories and throughout history.

I Identities & Communities

  • Topics related to national and cultural identities of Spain and Latin America.

L Language at Work & at Play 

  • Topics focusing on practical and/or career-specific language skill development.

SPAN 130 - Iberian Civilization (3 credits)

  • B
  • H
  • I
  • L

Course Description: Spanish 130 is a general education course on Iberian culture and civilization. The goal of this course is to provide the student with a broad, general introduction to the lands, peoples, history, and cultures of the area known as Spain and Portugal; to inform the student about the region's ethnic diversity, cultural heritages, and problems of development; to investigate vital symbols, myths, figures, icons, superstitions, and faiths; to foster critical thinking and associative skills; to suggest continuity and draw parallels between past and present; and to allow for a framework for undertaking further study. This course will survey the civilizations of these European lands and we will get an overview of the main historical events that make up this rich and complex history.The course is designed to expose students to the full range of Iberian history and diversity. Since we are covering centuries of history and several other variables (linguistic, artistic, ethnic, religious, political, economic, geographic, biologic, etc.), this tour will of necessity be pretty rudimentary. However, students will acquire an understanding of the diverse cultural currents and historical milestones that contributed to the creation of modern Spain and Portugal.
Prerequisite: None

SPAN 131 - Ibero-American Civilization (3 credits)

  • B
  • H
  • I
  • L

Course Description: Spanish American and Brazilian life from the Conquest to the present; including studies of literature, art, the indigenous heritage, and contemporary problems. This course meets the Bachelor of Arts degree requirements.The nations and peoples of Latin America have a unique, interesting history and cultural heritage that are rooted in the traditions, beliefs, experiences, values, and struggles of Native American, European, African and other populations. As close neighbors and major trading partners of the United States, Latin American republics have both benefited and suffered from the proximity and foreign policies of the northern capitalist democracy, and have contributed to its strength and growing ethno-racial diversity. This course aims to provide the student with a broad, general introduction to the lands, peoples, and history of Latin America; to inform the student about the region's ethnic diversity, cultural background, and problems of development; and to promote appreciation for the values and practices of other cultures, and a better understanding of relations between the nations of the region and the United States. Traditional resident classes will usually combine presentation of content and discussion of reading assignments, with an expectation of high student participation. Films, videos, and recordings will enhance and illustrate readings. This course will fulfill the Humanities Breadth and Cultural Diversity requirements. The course does not count toward credits in the major or minor in Spanish because it is taught in English. Nevertheless, it will complement the department's offerings by providing students with a greater appreciation of Latin America's cultural origins, socioeconomic development, and everyday realities.
Prerequisite: None

SPAN 131Y - Ibero-American Civilization (3 credits)

  • B
  • H
  • I
  • L

Course Description: Spanish American and Brazilian life from the Conquest to the present; literature, art, the indigenous heritage, and contemporary problems. The nations and peoples of Latin America have a unique, interesting history and cultural heritage that are rooted in the traditions, beliefs, experiences, values, and struggles of Native American, European, African and other populations. As close neighbors and major trading partners of the United States, Latin American republics have both benefited and suffered from the proximity and foreign policies of the northern capitalist democracy, and have contributed to its strength and growing ethno-racial diversity. This course aims to provide the student with a broad, general introduction to the lands, peoples, and history of Latin America; to inform the student about the region's ethnic diversity, cultural background, and problems of development; and to promote appreciation for the values and practices of other cultures, and a better understanding of relations between the nations of the region and the United States. Classes will usually combine lecture and discussion of reading assignments, with an expectation of high student participation. Films, videos, and recordings will enhance and illustrate readings. Three examinations (each covering approximately one third of the lessons presented), an occasional quiz, a book report or an annotated bibliography, participation and attendance will be the basis for evaluation of student learning and grades. Students are required and expected to read assignments, to attend class regularly, and to be prepared to participate in class discussions by answering and raising questions relevant to the lessons. Poor attendance will adversely affect a students standing and grade. This course will fulfill the Humanities Breadth and Cultural Diversity requirements. The course does not count toward credits in the major or minor in Spanish because it is taught in English. Nevertheless, it will complement the department's offerings by providing students with a greater appreciation of Latin America's cultural origins, socioeconomic development, and everyday realities.
Prerequisite: None

SPAN 132 - Afro-Hispanic Civilization (3 credits)

  • B
  • H
  • I
  • L

Course Description: A general introduction to human and cultural elements of African origin in Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking countries of Latin America. This course meets the Bachelor of Arts degree requirements. The nations and peoples of Latin America have a unique, interesting history and cultural heritage that are rooted in the traditions, beliefs, experiences, values, and struggles of Native American, European, African and other populations. This course focuses on the presence and participation of African peoples and their descendants in the formation and development of societies and cultures in representative areas of the Caribbean, South America, and CentralAmerica and on the evolution, diversity, and richness of the African heritage therein. Course content includes the African background, the experience and impact of slavery, the social, cultural, and economic heritage of slavery, the role of race in Latin America, and Afro-Hispanic intellectual, literary, and artistic developments (e.g., aspects of folklore, music). The course aims to provide students with a general introduction to human and cultural elements ofAfrican origin within the Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking nations of theAmericas so that they may be more knowledgeable of the meaning, significance and widespread influence of the African diaspora. It proposes to provide the student with a better understanding of Africa's contribution to Latin American identity, diversity, culture, and development; to promote appreciation for the values and practices of other cultures, and greater awareness of the relations between the nations of the region and the United States.
Prerequisite: None

SPAN 210 - Readings in Iberian Civilization (3 credits)

  • B
  • I
  • H

Course Description: Intermediate level Spanish readings dealing with Iberian life from pre-historic times to the present.
Prerequisite: SPAN 200

SPAN 220 - Readings in Ibero-American Civilization (3 credits)

  • B
  • I
  • H

Course Description: Intermediate level Spanish readings dealing with Ibero-American life from the pre-conquest to the present.
Prerequisite: SPAN 200

SPAN/LTNST 315N - Spanish and Spanish-speakers in the U.S. (3 credits)

  • B
  • I
  • H

Course Description: In this course, we investigate various aspects of the language(s) and language behaviors of U.S. Latinos. The course is premised on the idea that language is a crucial component in the formation of identity. To understand Latina/o identity formation in the U.S., then, one must analyze what role languages--Spanish and English--have played in identity formation. The class commences with a brief historical assessment of the various U.S. Latino communities, including Mexican-American, Cuban-American, and Puerto Rican communities. Such a historical purview proves significant in the study of the cultural traditions that persist in these communities, chief among these, the Spanish language. In exploring the Spanish language in U.S. Latino communities, we consider several major sets of questions, among them the following: In what ways do the languages of U.S. Latino communities differ from those of monolingual Spanish- (and English-) speaking communities? What factors contribute to the maintenance and loss of Spanish in these communities? How does language contribute to the creation of individual and societal identity? How is language exploited in the representation of other U.S. Latino cultural traditions? We consider these questions across a variety of genres: poetry, prose (autobiography in particular), film, art, television, and music. These texts reveal how social environments determine language use as well as how artists have used language to reshape social environments, through, for example, the development of new language practices such as Spanish-English code switching. The course also connects these cultural practices to debates on Spanish in public life and policy.
Prerequisite: None

SPAN 326 - Reading the Border/Lands (3 credits)

  • B
  • I
  • H

Course Description: This course examines representations of the U.S.-Mexico border in relation to the actual geographic space. SPAN 326 will center on discussions of the U.S.-Mexico borderlands in cultural theory and practice. "Borderlands"; is understood as a transcultural space filled with physical, cultural, economic, political, and mythical elements. The aim is to view how different artists from the Borderlands, both northern Mexican and Chicano, mediate their borderlands reality. That is to say, the goal of the class is to examine the different "imaginative geographies"in the borderlands. We examine a wide-ranging mix of cultural texts that includes prose, poetry, essays, and performance art, as well as film and video art. We explore how writers have historically rethought notions of citizenship, identity, and culture to create more fluid spaces of representation in cultural contact zones. We will in particular, pay close attention to the relationship between national geography and the shaping of regional identities and popular cultures between the maps that nations draw and the cultural forms that cut across them.
Prerequisite: None

SPAN 353 -  Topics in the Cultures of Spain (3 credits)

  • B
  • I
  • H

Course Description: This course offers a comparative study of the literature, artistic manifestations, intellectual traditions, and cultural productions of Spain. This course offers a comparative study of the literature, artistic manifestations, intellectual traditions, and cultural productions of Spain. Depending on the semester focus, topics related to literary movements, comparative approaches to genre, and/or connections between textual representation and politics, social movements, and/or Spain's long and complex history (both locally and globally) may be at the center of discussion. Additionally, varied issues of gender, race and ethnicity, rural and urban environments, religion, and evolving conceptions of nationhood may be included as overarching themes. Particular literary genres and representative works may be foregrounded in yet another iteration of the course, wherein students will study and discuss principal readings against cultural backdrops framed by exposure to art, film, music, and/or other historical, intellectual, sociopolitical, and/or media-based materials of relevance to the semester-specific context at hand.
Prerequisite: SPAN 200 and SPAN 253W

SPAN 354 - Topics in Border Studies (3 credits)

  • B
  • I
  • H

Course Description: This course offers a study of borders as key sites of contact, exchange, conflict, hybridity, and identity production in and across varied contexts of Spanish, Latin American, and/or Latina/o culture(s). This course offers a study of borders - geopolitical, social, intellectual, literary, artistic, and/or historical - as key sites of contact, exchange, conflict, hybridity, and identity production in and across varied contexts of Spanish, Latin American, and/or Latina/o culture(s). While diverse variables (including diaspora, gender, race and ethnicity, sexuality, colonialism, nationhood and transnationalism) will inform particular iterations of the course, approaches and text selection will be shaped by an understanding of borders as constructs defined by conditions of dynamic interaction and transformation. Materials to be considered in the course, which will vary according the focus, may include literary, artistic, and intellectual works, film, media-based texts, music, and/or historical documents.
Prerequisite: SPAN 200 and SPAN 253W

SPAN 355 - Topics in the Cultures of Latin America (3 credits)

  • B
  • I
  • H

Course Description: This course offers a comparative study of the literatures, artistic manifestations, intellectual traditions, and cultural productions of the Latin American region. This course offers a comparative study of the literatures, artistic manifestations, intellectual traditions, and cultural productions of the Latin American region. Throughout the course, we will reflect on the (im)possibility of characterizing a vast region by taking into account ongoing factors its broader history and culture, as well as national and local particularities. Topics will vary by semester and may include: literary and artistic periods and movements, (post)coloniality and decoloniality, the politics of race, gender, and sexuality, urban and rural sociopolitical movements, (self-)representations in old and new media, discourses of the political (populisms, revolutions, dictatorships, and neoliberalism), and migration studies. Students will engage with literary texts, historic documents, art, music, and other materials in order to understand different kinds of writing and forms of representation. While most materials will be in Spanish, the course may also include works in translation from Brazil, as well as the English- and/or French-speaking Caribbean.
Prerequisite: SPAN 200 and SPAN 253W

SPAN 356 - Topics in the Cultures of the Americas (3 credits)

  • B
  • I
  • H

Course Description: This course offers a comparative study of the literatures and cultures of the Americas, bringing Latin America into dialogue with the United States (and in some instances Canada). This course offers a comparative study of the literatures and cultures of the Americas, bringing Latin America into dialogue with the United States (and, in some instances, Canada). Throughout the course, we will explore the (dis) continuities that both connect and divide the hemisphere, and we will trace the movement of people, artistic practices, and ideas across borders while paying attention to the distinctive aspects of national and local cultures. Topics will vary by semester and may include: empire and colonialism, the literary and cultural legacies of slavery, the figure of the "native," crime literature or science fiction in the Americas, theater of the Americas, literatures and cultures of the Spanish-American War, media and the U.S./Mexico border, and cultures of the Caribbean diaspora. Although the course may cover English-language materials, or works in translation from Brazil and/or the French-speaking Caribbean, most of the texts/recordings/films will be in Spanish, as will all assignments written by students.
Prerequisite: SPAN 200 and SPAN 253W

SPAN 439 - Don Quijote (3 credits)

  • B
  • I
  • H

Course Description: Thorough study of the masterpiece, including its sources, genesis, language, style, success, and influence.
Prerequisite: SPAN 253W

SPAN 470 - Youth Cultures in Latin(a/o) America (3 credits)

  • B
  • I

Course Description: Young people have been at the center of political and cultural revolutions around the world and throughout history. For example, revolutions, urban movements, ethnic/racial pride, LGBTQ+, feminist movements, music basaars, DJs and rave parties, and "barras de futbol" are only some of the manifestations associated with young people in Latin(a/o) American literature, film, music, and journalism. Nevertheless, the concept of "youth" as an academic category only appeared in the 1960's. In this course, we will study different manifestations of youth cultures in the Hemispheric Americas, paying special attention to the Latinx communities in the U.S. and Latin America, since the 1960's and until the contemporary moment. The key question that will guide us is: How does each of these literary, artistic, and media representations of youth enter into dialogue with political events in which young people have been at the center of efforts to bring about political changes in the U.S. Latinx communities and Latin American? Using short fiction, film and documentaries, songs, blogs, and other cultural materials (YouTube clips, images, graffiti, etc.), we will identify and compare different youth cultures in Latinx communities in the U.S. and Latin America in terms of their productions, representations, and effects in the public sphere. We will enrich our analysis of primary materials with theoretical and critical readings that will help us to contextualize the different manifestations in our study.
Prerequisite: SPAN 253W

SPAN 472 - The Contemporary Spanish American Novel (3 credits)

  • B
  • I
  • H

Course Description: The regionalist and social novel since 1910, together with the social background.
Prerequisite: SPAN 253W

SPAN 474 - Many Mexicos (3 credits)

  • H
  • I

Course Description: Overview of Mexican literature, culture and history from pre-colonial period to present.
Prerequisite: SPAN 253W

SPAN 476 - Masterpieces of Spanish American Literature (3 credits)

  • H
  • I
  • L

Course Description: Reading, analysis, and discussion of selected major works representative of Spanish American prose and poetry.
Prerequisite: SPAN 253W

SPAN 479 - U.S. Latina/o Culture en Español (3 credits)

  • B
  • H
  • I
  • L

Course Description: This course is conducted in Spanish and will analyze some of the central themes that shape the diverse Latina/o experiences in the United States. Some of the main topics that the course will address include: the politics of labeling; definitions of displacements; the politics of language; imaginary homelands and geographic spaces; and conceptualizations of race, gender, and sexuality. These themes will be seen through the lens of Latina/o literature and film. The main objective of this course is to help students think critically about the conceptual, theoretical, historical, and social issues that inform the Latina/o experience in the United States.
Prerequisite: SPAN 253W

SPAN 488 - War, Revolution, and the Struggles for Modernity: Spain 1898-1939 (3 credits)

  • I

Course Description: This course, conducted in Spanish, examines Spanish literature from 1898 to 1939.
Prerequisite: SPAN 253W

SPAN 490 - Masterpieces of Spanish Prose (3 credits)

  • H
  • I
  • L

Course Description: Reading, analysis, and discussion of selected masterpieces of Spanish novels, short stories, etc.
Prerequisite: SPAN 253W

SPAN 491 - Masterpieces of Spanish Drama and Poetry (3 credits)

  • H
  • I

Course Description: Reading, analysis, and discussion of selected masterpieces of Spanish drama and poetry.
Prerequisite: None

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