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Spanish

Year:

2020-21

101 Fundamentals of Spanish Language and Culture I

SPAN101 is the first of a four-semester sequence in the Spanish Language Program.  It is designed for students a) with no prior knowledge of Spanish, b) who have studied Spanish for one year or less in high school, and c) who have scored 1 or 2 on the AP Spanish Language exam. Students develop personal forms of expression and basic strategies for reading, listening, writing, and participating in everyday conversations.  The course introduces students to the diverse cultures of the Spanish-speaking world through authentic materials (songs, films, poems, short stories, etc.), as well as activities that address a range of personal and immediate-needs topics and socio-cultural situations such as family life and daily routines. By the end of the semester, students can expect to have reached the Intermediate Low level of the ACTFL scale, and proceed to SPAN 102. The course consists of two 80-minute sessions per week with the lecturer and one 50-minute session with the language assistant. Limited to 10 students per section. This course may not be counted toward the Spanish Major. The class will be conducted entirely in Spanish.

In the fall and both sections will be taught remotely, however this may change in the spring. Students will access class sessions through video conferencing with the instructor and the classmates and will also be provided with asynchronous materials and activities to facilitate in class learning. The required course text uses an online platform for content and cultural materials, practice exercises, and interactive projects. In addition, the course will use authentic readings and audiovisual materials and an online conversation partner program to engage students both in person and online.

Fall semester: Visiting Lecturer Dixon. Spring semester: Lecturer Piazza. 

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2020-21: Offered in Fall 2020, Spring 2021
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Spring 2008, Fall 2008, Spring 2009, Fall 2009, Spring 2010, Fall 2010, Spring 2011, Fall 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Fall 2020

102 Fundamentals of Spanish Language and Culture II

SPAN102 is the second of the four-semester sequence in the Spanish Language Program.  It is designed for students who a) have successfully completed SPAN 101, b) who have placed into the course via the Spanish Department placement exam, or c) who have scored 3 on the AP Spanish Language exam. Students further develop strategies for reading, listening, writing, and participating in everyday conversations.  The course expands students’ ability to engage with the cultural diversity of the Spanish-speaking world through authentic materials and through activities that address a range of topics such as sports, pastimes, food, health, professions, clothing, and the environment. By the end of the semester, students can expect to have reached the Intermediate Mid level of the ACTFL scale and proceed to SPAN 201. The course consists of two 80-minute sessions per week with the lecturer and one 50-minute session with the language assistant. Limited to 10 students per section. This course may not be counted toward the Spanish Major. The class will be conducted entirely in Spanish.

In the fall and both sections will be taught remotely, however this may change in the spring. Students will access class sessions through video conferencing with the instructor and the classmates and will also be provided with asynchronous materials and activities to facilitate in class learning. The required course text uses an online platform for content and cultural materials, practice exercises, and interactive projects. In addition, the course will use authentic readings and audiovisual materials and an online conversation partner program to engage students both in person and online.

Requisite: SPAN 101 or Spanish Placement Exam. Fall and spring semesters. Lecturer Piazza, Visiting Lecturer Dixon and Assistants.

2020-21: Offered in Fall 2020, Spring 2021
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Spring 2008, Fall 2008, Spring 2009, Fall 2009, Spring 2010, Fall 2010, Spring 2011, Fall 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Fall 2020

201 Intermediate Spanish Language and Culture

SPAN 201 is the third of a four-semester sequence in the Spanish Language Program designed for students who a) have successfully completed SPAN102, b) who have placed into the course via the Spanish Department placement exam, or c) who have scored 4 on the AP Spanish Language exam or 3 in the AP Spanish Literature Exam.  The course develops students’ ability to narrate across various time frames, follow the main plot of narratives (including longer texts and feature-length films), and exchange basic descriptions, comparisons, and interpretations about authentic materials from the Spanish-speaking world.  By the end of the semester, students can expect to have reached the Intermediate High level of the ACTFL scale, and be ready to proceed to SPAN 202. In the fall, the course consists of three 50-minute sessions with the lecturer and one 50-minute session with the language assistant. In the spring, the course consists of two 80-minute sessions per week with the lecturer and one 50-minute session with the language assistant. Limited to 16 students per section. This course may not be counted toward the Spanish Major. The class will be conducted entirely in Spanish.

In the fall, both sections will be taught online. Students will access the course remotely through Zoom video conferencing and will also be provided with asynchronous materials and activities to facilitate learning. The required course text uses an online platform for content and cultural materials, practice exercises, and interactive projects. In addition, the course will use authentic readings, films available on Moodle, podcasts, and an online conversation partner program to engage students. 

Requisite: SPAN 102 or Spanish Placement Exam. Fall and spring semesters. Lecturer Piazza, Visiting Lecturer Dixon and Assistants.

2020-21: Offered in Fall 2020, Spring 2021
Other years: Offered in Fall 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Fall 2020

202 Advanced Spanish Language and Culture

SPAN 202 is the final course of the four-semester sequence in the Spanish Language Program.  It is designed for students who a) have successfully completed SPAN 201, b) who have placed into the course via the Spanish Department placement exam, or c) who have scored 5 on the AP Spanish Language exam or 4 on the AP Spanish Literature exam. The course develops students’ ability to interact in culturally appropriate ways with native speakers of Spanish, negotiate situations that require problem solving, and exchange detailed descriptions, comparisons, and interpretations about authentic materials from the Spanish-speaking world. By the end of the semester, students can expect to have reached the Advanced Low level of the ACTFL scale, and be ready to proceed to SPAN 301 (Introduction to Literary and Cultural Studies), or to an immersive study abroad experience in any of Amherst College’s pre-approved programs in the Spanish-speaking world. 

In the fall, SPAN 202 will be taught online through video conferencing. Synchronous sessions will be communicative; most of class time will be focused on speaking through engaging collaborative activities. Asynchronous materials and activities will also be provided to facilitate in class learning. The course will use authentic texts, multimedia (films on Moodle, music, short videos, etc.), and will include an online conversation partner program so students can practice their language skills with Spanish speakers around the world.

Limited to 16 students per section. Three hours per week with the lecturer, plus one hour with the language assistant -- all online. This course may be counted toward the Spanish Major. The class will be conducted entirely in Spanish.

Requisite: SPAN 201 or Spanish Placement Exam. Fall and spring semesters. Senior Lecturer Granda, Visiting Associate Professor Porter and Assistants.

2020-21: Offered in Fall 2020, Spring 2021
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Spring 2008, Fall 2008, Spring 2009, Fall 2009, Spring 2010, Fall 2010, Spring 2011, Fall 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Fall 2020

204 Spanish Writing Workshop

In this course students will learn how to approach writing as a process. The emphasis is on writing as a communicative act rather than as a mere language exercise. As such, emphasis is given to the interaction between the author and the text, the target audience, and the purpose and message of the final product. In order to develop the necessary skills that good writers should have, the course will focus on expanding vocabulary, exploring rhetorical techniques for organizing information, developing strategies for writing, and characterizing the target audience(s). At the same time we will insist upon critical readings, and the processes of revising and editing. In addition, this course includes the study of written texts (narrative, description, poems, reports, essays, letters, etc.), and of literature’s many genres and subgenres (prose, poetry, drama, etc.).

This course prepares students for advanced-level courses offered by the Spanish Department. Three hours per week with the lecturer. Limited to 15 students per section. This course may be counted toward the Spanish Major. The class will be conducted entirely in Spanish.

Requisite: SPAN 202 or Spanish Placement Exam. Omitted 2020-2021. Lecturer Granda.

2020-21: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Spring 2008, Fall 2008, Spring 2009, Fall 2009, Spring 2010, Fall 2010, Spring 2011, Fall 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Fall 2018

205 Owning the Bilingual Self

(Offered as SPAN 205 and LLAS 205) Heritage learners of Spanish learn different registers of the Spanish language in their homes and communities from an early age. In this course, students will use this knowledge as a springboard to expand their use and command of Spanish with increasing confidence and in a variety of social and cultural contexts. We will study cultural texts–from the most informal to the most formal, from Hispanic communities both here in the US and in the Spanish-speaking world, in Spanish and Spanglish–and will discuss students’ own experiences growing up as heritage learners of Spanish. Conducted in Spanish and Spanglish.

Due to the changing nature of the pandemic and in order to ensure that this course is accessible to the widest amount of students possible, Owning the Bilingual Self will be offered remotely via Zoom. This class will be writing intensive giving opportunities for students to learn the more formal aspects of Spanish academic reading and writing. Students should be prepared to do weekly short writing assignments between 1-3 pages (in Spanish). Short writing assignments are meant to be formative in assessment and therefore lower stakes rather than formally or critically evaluated. Critical to success in this class is consistent and well-informed and prepared participation in class discussions in Spanish or Spanglish, drawing on course readings as well as the personal experience and heritage of students (when appropriate). Assessment of performance in this class will be based on a final formal presentation and a final analytical reflection/literacy narrative to be conducted in Spanish. For the final projects, students will have latitude to prepare something more free-form, artistic, literary, or visual if it is desired and always in consultation with the professor.

Admission with consent of the instructor. Limited to 16 students. Spring Semester. Professor Coráñez Bolton.

2020-21: Offered in Spring 2021
Other years: Offered in Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2020

210 Camino de Santiago

The Camino de Santiago, or the Way of St. James, is a pilgrimage to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, Spain. This interdisciplinary course will explore the origins of the Camino de Santiago through the Middle Ages, and its recent transformation into a cultural phenomenon. It will be divided into several units that focus on art and architecture, religion, gastronomy, music, history, literature, philosophy, pop culture, and tourism. Major cities along the camino francés will act as cultural “stops” to complement these topics. Primary sources will include historical documents, excerpts from medieval literary texts, poetry, and contemporary travel narratives. Secondary critical readings, films, music, maps, and interviews with pilgrim-scholars will supplement primary sources. Other significant pilgrimage traditions beyond Spain will also be considered. Evaluation will be based on student discussion, research writing, and oral presentations. Although readings and films will be in both English and Spanish the course will be conducted in Spanish.

In the spring, SPAN210 will be taught online through video conferencing. Synchronous sessions will be communicative; most of class time will be focused on speaking through engaging collaborative activities. Asynchronous materials and activities will also be provided to facilitate in class learning. The course will use authentic texts, multimedia (films on Moodle, music, short videos, etc.). The instructor will provide all material. There is no travel component (overseas) for Spring 2021. The course will include several walks and pending the pandemic, will culminate in a one-day group hike on a local trail. For spring 2021, this course may be counted toward the Spanish Major. The class will be conducted entirely in Spanish.

Requisite: SPAN 202 or Spanish Placement Exam. Limited to 15 Amherst College students. Spring Semester. Lecturer Granda.

2020-21: Offered in Spring 2021
Other years: Offered in Spring 2016, Spring 2017, Spring 2019

301 Literature and Culture of the Hispanic World

(Offered as SPAN 301 and LLAS 301) This course provides an introduction to the diverse literatures and cultures of the Spanish-speaking world over the course of six centuries, from the Middle Ages to the twentieth century. Students will learn the tools, language, and critical vocabulary for advanced work reading the canon of Hispanic literatures from Spain, Latin America and the Caribbean Basin, identifying aesthetic trends, historical periods and diverse genres such as poetry, narrative, theater and film. The syllabus will include a wide variety of authors of different national, political, and artistic persuasions and an array of linguistic styles.

In the spring, SPAN301 will be taught online through video conferencing. Synchronous sessions will be communicative; most of class time will be focused on speaking through engaging collaborative activities based on readings, films, and other material. Asynchronous materials and activities will also be provided to facilitate in class learning. All work will be conducted in Spanish.

Requisite SPAN 202 or Spanish Placement Exam. Proficiency in listening, speaking, reading, and writing in Spanish are required. Limited to 15 students per section. Fall semester: Professor Coráñez Bolton and Professor Infante. Spring semester: Senior Lecturer Granda.

2020-21: Offered in Fall 2020, Spring 2021
Other years: Offered in Fall 2009, Spring 2010, Fall 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Fall 2020

305 Short Stories from the Hispanic World

This course will explore the art of storytelling through the genre of the short story in Spain and Latin America. After a brief introduction to short fiction in medieval and early modern Spain, we will focus principally on the development of the short story from the nineteenth century to the present. Works studied may include short stories by authors such as Pardo Bazán, Valle Inclán, Matute, Gaite, Palma, Borges, Rulfo, Cortázar, Quiroga, and Valenzuela. Films and other visual materials will supplement the literary texts. Some of the themes examined throughout the course will include gender relations, love, power, justice, political resistance, the fantastic, and popular culture. Conducted in Spanish.

Course meetings will be in-person but also accessible to students joining the class through remote learning.

Requisite: SPAN 211, SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 15 students. Fall Semester: Professor Infante.

2020-21: Offered in Fall 2020
Other years: Offered in Spring 2016, Spring 2019, Fall 2020

315 Representation and Reality in Spanish Cinema

(Offered as SPAN 315, EUST 232, and FAMS 328) From Pedro Almodóvar to Penélope Cruz, Spanish directors and actors are now international stars. But the origins of Spain’s cinema are rooted in censorship and patriarchy. This course offers an overview of Spanish film from 1950 to the present along with an introduction to film studies. Through weekly streaming films and discussions, students will follow how Spain’s culture, history and society have been imagined onscreen, as well as how Spanish filmmakers interact with the rest of Europe and Latin America. We will pay particular attention to issues surrounding gender and sexuality as well as contemporary social justice movements. No prior experience with film analysis is needed. Conducted in Spanish.

This course has been designed with a strong digital component. For S21, all films will be streamed through Moodle and course materials will be available digitally. Instruction will likely be remote and synchronous via Zoom. If circumstances permit, there may be opportunities for in person group work and meetings with the professor for those students on campus.

Requisite: SPAN 211, SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Spring Semester. Professor Brenneis.

2020-21: Offered in Spring 2021
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Fall 2009, Spring 2013, Spring 2017

325 Art as Protest in Spain and Latin America

Many countries in the Spanish-speaking world were ruled by a dictator, autocrat or military junta over the course of the 20th century. This interdisciplinary course examines how writers, artists, filmmakers and activists have resisted the censorship, cultural repression and moral authority of dictatorships in Spain and Latin America. We will focus on the history of repressive regimes and the cultures of protest in Spain, Argentina, Chile and Guatemala through films, stories, artwork, poetry and other texts. Throughout the semester, students will mount their own digital exhibition incorporating cultural artifacts from different Spanish-speaking countries and time periods into a pop-up protest museum. Emphasis will also be placed on developing Spanish vocabulary, syntax and fluency to discuss and analyze the causes and effects of repressive regimes and the “subversive” movements that resisted them. Conducted in Spanish.

This course has been designed with a strong digital component, including for the final project. Instruction will be online and synchronous via Zoom, with the possibility of in-person meetings and small group discussion with the professor for those students on campus.

Requisite: SPAN 211, SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Fall semester. Professor Brenneis.

2020-21: Offered in Fall 2020
Other years: Offered in Fall 2018, Fall 2020

330 Latin American Cinema

(Offered as SPAN 330 and FAMS 238) How have Latin Americans represented themselves on the big screen? In this course we will explore this question through close readings of representative films from each of the following major periods: silent cinema (1890s–1930s), studio cinema (1930s–1950s), Neorealism/Art Cinema (1950s), the New Latin American Cinema (1960s–1980s), and contemporary cinema (1990s to today). Throughout the course we will examine evolving representations of modernity and pay special attention to how these representations are linked to different constructions of gender, race, sexuality, and nationality. We will conclude the course with a collective screening of video essays created by students in the course. The course is conducted in English.

Omitted 2020-2021. Professor Schroeder Rodríguez.

2020-21: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2016, Spring 2019

332 Food and Identity in Latin America and Spain

The food and flavors of a country are a suggestive reflection of part of its identity. This course examines the cultural and literary history of food in Spain and Latin America from the sixteenth century to the present as a means to explore the relationship between what we eat and how we define ourselves. This approach is also a productive lens to examine interconnected topics such as gender, race, religion, and social identity as they relate to foodways in the Spanish-speaking world. Primary sources will include literary texts, historical accounts, films, cookbooks, and paintings and will be supplemented by secondary critical texts. Through diverse readings, class discussions, and varied writing assignments, students will also hone their speaking, listening, reading and writing abilities in Spanish. Conducted in Spanish.

For Spring 2021, this course will be taught “hyflex,” with instruction conducted synchronously via Zoom as well as in-person meetings for students on campus. All course materials will be available digitally and will be provided by the instructor.

Requisite: SPAN 211, SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Spring Semester: Professor Infante.

2020-21: Offered in Spring 2021

336 Democracy in Latin America

(Offered as POSC 336 and SPAN 336) This is an introduction to the study of modern Latin American politics. The overriding question is: why have democracy and self-sustained prosperity been so difficult to accomplish in the region We begin by examining different definitions of democracy. Thereafter, we discuss three democracy-related themes in Latin America.

First, we focus on explaining similarities, specifically, common historical and institutional legacies that might have hindered democratic and economic development in the region. The second part of the course focuses on explaining differences. Despite similar historical legacies, the countries of the region developed different political systems after World War II. Some countries became democratic while others did not. We examine hypotheses to explain these differences. The third part of the course examines major democratic and undemocratic trends since the 2000s: current problems of democracy, the return of statism and populism, the difficulty of creating accountability, abuses by majorities and abuses by minorities, re-electionism, extractivism, the rise of religious conservatism and LGBT rights, diasporas, drugs and crime.

Language of instruction: Classes will be conducted in English. Students wishing this course to count for their Spanish major will work mostly with materials in Spanish and write all their assignments in Spanish.

Requisite: For Political Science majors, no pre-requisites. For Spanish majors, Spanish proficiency at advanced low (as per ACTFL standards) is required. Limited to 30 students. Omitted 2020-21. Professor Corrales.

2020-21: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2020

342 Comparative Borderlands: Race, Gender, and Sexuality in Transnational Perspective

(Offered as SPAN 342, LLAS 343 and SWAG 343) “Wild tongues can’t be tamed, they can only be cut out,” Chicana feminist theorist Gloria Anzaldúa wrote in the hybrid text Borderlands/La Frontera. She was referring to, what she called, the linguistic imperialism of English in the US Southwest. And yet she also carved out a third space for those subjects at the crossroads of multiple ways of being – the queer and the abject. In this course, we will examine cultural and literary texts that speak to the ways that race, gender, and sexual identity are conditioned by the historical development of geopolitical borders. We will pay particular attention to the US-Mexico Borderlands but we will also examine other places in which “borderlands” of identity exist. Course conducted in Spanish.

Requisite: SPAN 211, SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Omitted 2020-2021. Professor Coráñez Bolton.

2020-21: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2020

349 Latinx and Puerto Rican Diasporic Cultures in Holyoke

This course will focus on Holyoke, MA as a case study of Latinx Studies and Puerto Rican Studies. Much of our work in the course will focus on Puerto Rico, but we will also familiarize ourselves with foundational work in the general field of Latinx Studies, taking care to place different migrant communities, cultures, and histories in conversation with one another. Students will also engage in collaborative learning projects with partners in the city of Holyoke and neighboring towns with substantial Latinx populations. The course will include students from Amherst College and Holyoke Community College. Class will be conducted in Spanish, but English may be used depending on work with community partners.

Requisite: SPAN 202, SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor.

Enrollment is limited to eleven Amherst College students. Omitted 2020-2021. Professors Coráñez Bolton and Gutiérrez (HCC).

2020-21: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2020

360 Black Mestizx: Gender Variance and Transgender Politics in the Borderlands

(Offered as SPAN 360, BLST 382 [CLA] and SWAG 248) Historically speaking, discourses of mestizaje or racial mixture in Latin America, the Philippines, and the US-Mexican borderlands have implicitly or explicitly used “blackness” as a monolithic signifier connoting a perversity and backwardness to be rehabilitated by civilizational uplift. Students in this course will explore queer and trans texts that challenge this tradition and problematize the connection of the transracial to the transgender. Some of the theorists and authors we will engage include: Cathy Cohen, Fernando Ortiz, CLR James, Sylvia Wynter, Jessica Hagedorn, and Junot Díaz. While some course materials will be in English, the course will be conducted in Spanish.

Requisite: SPAN 202 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 18 students. Omitted 2020-2021. Professor Coráñez Bolton.

2020-21: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2018

361 Chino: Asian Américas

This course will explore the literature and culture of the Asian Américas – the diasporic and national literatures in Spanish of those of Asian descent in the Americas. We will explore the historical reasons for Asian migration to the Americas as the political result of liberal abolitionism. Thus “Asian American” identity will not be studied in isolation; we will explore how mestizaje, blackness, and Eurocentrism shaped Asia in the Americas. We will prioritize texts in Spanish. Some secondary materials will be assigned in English. Class and assignments conducted in Spanish.

Requisite: SPAN 202/SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Omitted 2020-2021. Professor Coráñez Bolton.

2020-21: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2019

365 Queer Migrant Imaginaries

(Offered as SPAN 243 and SWAG 236) This course explores the political economy of the largely queer and feminized labor that animates capitalism’s global reach. Through close readings of literary and audiovisual texts, we will chart how the migrant laboring body has been produced since the nineteenth century using recurring tropes of queerness, pathology, and dependency. Some of the artists we will discuss include writers Carlos Bulosan, Monique Truong, and Gloria Anzaldúa, and documentary film directors Tomer Heymann (Paper Dolls, 2006), and Antonio Santini and Dan Sickles (Mala Mala, 2014). Conducted in English.

Limited to 18 students. Omitted 2020-2021. Professor Coráñez Bolton.

2020-21: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2019

371 Climate Change and Social Justice in Puerto Rico

(Offered as SPAN 371 and ENST 371) In September 2017, Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico and laid bare the social inequalities that had been growing since the Great Recession of 2008 and before. But the Hurricane has also accelerated efforts to seek alternative sources of food and fuel and avoid a repeat of the post-hurricane shortages linked to an overdependence on food imports and a crumbling energy grid. Students in this course will analyze and evaluate how three such efforts have fared: one small grassroots organization, one large not-for-profit organization, and one government agency. The findings may have far-reaching implications beyond Puerto Rico, as centralized power grids throughout the world enter the end of their useful life, begging replacement with new innovative systems that do not contribute to climate change. Accepted students must commit to travel to Puerto Rico during the second and third weeks of January 2020, to acquaint themselves with the organizations we will be studying in depth during the Spring 2020 semester. At the end of the semester, students will share their findings with a diverse audience of stakeholders and interested parties. Course readings and discussions will be in Spanish and in English.

Limited to 12 students. Admission with consent of the instructor. Omitted 2020-2021 Professors Schroeder Rodríguez and Ravikumar.

2020-21: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2020

375 Amherst Latinx Lives

(Offered as AMST 375, LLAS 375, SOCI 375 and SPAN 375) Over the past four decades, the Latinx student population at Amherst has increased more than seven-fold, from about 30 students per class in the 1970s, to over 200 per class in the last several years. As a community, however, we know very little about the subjective experience of Latinxs who live, study, and work at Amherst College. In this course, we will read and discuss different genres of scholarship that focus on the Latinx experience—empirical research, fiction, memoirs, and films—before proceeding to a series of workshops on how to conduct oral history interviews. Students will then apply this theoretical and practical knowledge to an exploration of the experiences of Latinx students, alumni, faculty, and staff in our community. These interviews will form the basis of a collectively-edited documentary designed to encourage cross-cultural dialogues within and outside the Latinx community, and in the process, increase awareness of the diversity of Latinx lives on our campus. Students of all backgrounds are welcome, and knowledge of Spanish or Spanglish is useful but not required.

Admission with the consent of the instructor. Limited to 12 students. Omitted 2020-2021 Professors Schroeder Rodríguez and Schmalzbauer.

2020-21: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2020

405 Women in Early Modern Spain

(Offered as SPAN 405, EUST 317, and SWAG 317) This course will examine the diverse and often contradictory representations of women in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Spain as seen through the eyes of both male and female writers. This approach will allow us to inquire into how women represented themselves versus how they were understood by men. In our analysis of this topic, we will also take into consideration some scientific, legal, and moral discourses that attempted to define the nature and value of women in early modern Spain. Works by authors such as Cervantes, María de Zayas, Calderón de la Barca, and Catalina de Erauso, among others, will offer us fascinating examples and different approaches to the subject. Conducted in Spanish.

For Spring 2021, this course will be taught “hyflex,” with instruction conducted synchronously via Zoom as well as in-person meetings for students on campus. All course materials will be available digitally and will be provided by the instructor.

Requisite: SPAN 211, SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 18 students. Spring Semester: Professor Infante.

2020-21: Offered in Spring 2021
Other years: Offered in Spring 2015, Spring 2019

410 Cultural Encounters: Islam in Spain

In this course, we will explore the relationship of Spain, as a newly created nation, to the world of the “other,” in this case Islam, in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Inside the Peninsula, the Muslim community is perceived as dangerously linked to the Mediterranean world, which both fascinates Spain and threatens it at the same time because of the growing power of the Ottoman Empire. We will examine changing representations of the Muslim “other,” from the idealized Moor in the Moorish novel to contradictory portrayals of Moriscos—those Muslims forced to convert to Christianity in sixteenth-century Spain. In addition, we will look at how questions of race, ethnicity, religion, and gender were treated by writers such as Cervantes, María de Zayas, and Calderón de la Barca. The class discussions will also include a significant visual component (e.g. paintings and engravings of the time on both sides of the Mediterranean that represent the “other,” maps, cityscapes, as well as films). Conducted in Spanish.

Requisite: SPAN 202 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 15 students. Omitted 2020-2021. Professor Infante.

2020-21: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2014, Spring 2017, Fall 2018

415 Bilingualism in the US

Bilingualism is very common in homes throughout the United States, yet remains controversial in public discourse and especially in public education. In this interdisciplinary course, we will address the nature of this paradox from the perspective of psycholinguistics and sociolinguistics, by asking questions such as how monolinguals and bilinguals differ in their understanding of language, and what roadblocks English-Spanish bilinguals in the United States regularly face as they navigate schools and engage in the civic life of their communities and the nation. Conducted in Spanish.

Requisite: SPAN 202 or consent of the instructor. Omitted 2020-2021. Professor Sánchez-Naranjo.

2020-21: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2019

420 Violence, Art and Memory of the Spanish Civil War

(Offered as SPAN 420 and EUST 340.) The Spanish Civil War lasted only three years, from 1936 to 1939, yet the conflict cast a long shadow over Spain’s twentieth-century history, culture and identity. Indeed, as a precursor to World War II, the war's effects were felt worldwide, and it became the inspiration for works of art and literature as varied as Pablo Picasso's Guernica, Pablo Neruda's España en el corazón, Guillermo del Toro's El laberinto del fauno and Ernest Hemingway's For Whom the Bell Tolls. This course will delve into the discord and violence of the war as well as to the anguish and catharsis of the literature, poetry and film it inspired. Through primary sources and historical accounts, we will understand the war’s causes. By studying texts and films that track the reverberations of the Spanish Civil War in the United States, Latin America and Continental Europe, we will trace the war’s effects. In addition, we will grapple with the diverse ways that lingering memories of the war have affected modern-day politics and culture, with particular attention to legacies of race, class and gender. This course will be conducted in Spanish.

This course has been designed with a strong digital component. For S21, instruction will likely be remote and synchronous via Zoom. If circumstances permit, there may be opportunities for in person group work and meetings with the professor for those students on campus. All course and research materials will be available digitally.

Requisite:  SPAN 211, 301 or consent of the instructor.  Spring semester.  Professor Brenneis.

2020-21: Offered in Spring 2021
Other years: Offered in Spring 2014, Fall 2016

440 The Latin American Philippines

This course will explore the Hispanic cultures of Asia, with particular emphasis on the Latin American Philippines as a case study of how colonialism systematically represents the native as physically and cognitively disabled. We will familiarize ourselves with a routinely understudied archive of mestizo nationalist writing in Spanish, which developed in the Philippines from roughly 1872–1950, and relate this archive to Spanish colonialism (1565–1898), US imperialism (1899–1934), and Japanese occupation (1942–1945) in the Philippines. We will then trace connections between this archive on the one hand, and Filipino American, Latin American and US Latinx cultural production, on the other. Some of the authors we will discuss include Filipinos José Rizal and Teodoro Kalaw, José Martí (Cuba), Gloria Anzaldúa (US Chicana), Frantz Fanon (Martinica), and Benedict Anderson (United Kingdom). The final project of this course will involve original archival research of digital repositories. While some class materials will be in English, the course will be conducted in Spanish.  

Requisite: SPAN 211, SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor.  Limited to 15 students. Omitted 2020-2021. Professor Coráñez Bolton.

2020-21: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2019

445 Borges and Neruda

Jorge Luis Borges (1899–1986) and Pablo Neruda (1904–1973) are not only the two most influential Latin American poets of the twentieth century. They also represent diametrically opposing views to literature and politics. This course traces their careers in Argentina and Chile respectively, their debut collections, their ascent to fame, and their status as international iconic figures. The author of “Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote,” “Garden of Forking Paths,” “The Library of Babel,” and other classics, Borges is considered the father of postmodernism. His style in Spanish is learned, cerebral, and cosmopolitan. Neruda is the author of Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair, Canto General, and 225 odes that are among the most beautiful in any language. A devoted Communist, he campaigned for worker’s rights and opposed the United States-backed coup d’etat of General Augusto Pinochet in 1973. Their distinct weltanschauungs will enable students to appreciate the syncopated ways in which the stoic and hedonistic trends define Latin American culture today. Conducted in Spanish.

Requisite: SPAN 211, SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor.  Limited to 25 students. Omitted 2020-2021. Professor Stavans.

2020-21: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2019

455 One Hundred Years of Solitude

A patient, detailed, Talmudic reading of Gabriel García Márquez’s masterpiece, Cien años de soledad, known as “the Bible of Latin America.” The course sets it in biographical, historical, and aesthetic context. Conducted in Spanish.

Limited to 25 students. Fall semester. Professor Stavans. 

2020-21: Offered in Spring 2021
Other years: Offered in Fall 2009, Spring 2013, Fall 2015, Fall 2018

460 Don Quixote

(Offered as SPAN 460 and EUST 264) A patient, careful reading of Cervantes' masterpiece (published in 1605 and 1615), taking into consideration the biographical, historical, social, religious, and literary context from which it emerged during the Renaissance. The discussion will center on the novel's structure, style, and durability as a classic and its impact on our understanding of ideas and emotions connected with the Enlightenment and its aftermath. Authors discussed in connection to the material include Erasmus of Rotterdam, Montaigne, Emerson, Tobias Smollett, Flaubert, Dostoyevsky, Unamuno, Nabokov, Borges, García Márquez, and Rushdie. Conducted in Spanish.

Emphasis on race and colonialism. Taught in-person but also accessible via Zoom. Material available digitally as well.

Requisite: SPAN 211, SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 25 students. Fall Semester: Professor Stavans.

2020-21: Offered in Fall 2020
Other years: Offered in Spring 2014, Spring 2017, Fall 2020

465 Multicultural Spain

A vital question in today’s multicultural societies is how individuals with different identities—religious, racial, ethnic, etc.—can live and prosper together. This course will explore the literature, culture, and history of medieval and early modern Spain, paying special attention to how people with diverse backgrounds coexisted and interacted with each other. Examining the context of Spain during this time period will also serve as a means to help us think through issues of diversity in our world today. First we will look at the situation of medieval Spain where Christians, Muslims, and Jews lived side-by-side for centuries. Then we’ll turn to Spain’s exploration of the New World and how the diverse encounters that took place influenced Spanish culture. Finally, we will consider representations of other cultural minorities, such as gypsies, in Spain during the early modern period. Primary sources will include literary texts, historical accounts, legal documents, and maps and will be supplemented by secondary critical texts. Conducted in Spanish.

Requisite: SPAN 211, SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 18 students. Omitted 2020-2021. Professor Infante.

2020-21: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2015, Spring 2020

470 Reading Spain

In this course, we will examine five works of fiction published in Spain between 1950 and today. The Spanish Civil War ended in 1939 with the beginning of Francisco Franco’s 36-year dictatorship of Spain. Authors in 20th Century Spain were subject to censorship and overt oppression while they attempted to understand their own history and identity and translate it onto the page. Despite these obstacles, these authors produced works of literature that are daring, experimental, emotional, and now canonical. The novels we study bridge the topics of violence, gender, socioeconomic status, religion, cultural repression, and self-understanding. They vary from coming-of-age tales to experimental narrative to mainstream bestsellers. We will also study historical texts, images, films, and critical articles in order to gain a more complete understanding of the era and its reflection in literature. This is a highly collaborative and participatory course that allows for the discussion of a wide variety of subject matter. Conducted in Spanish.

Requisite: SPAN 202 or consent of the instructor. Omitted 2020-2021. Professor Brenneis.

2020-21: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2017, Fall 2018

485 Telenovelas

(Offered as SPAN 485 and LLAS 485) Arguably the most influential popular form of cultural expression in Latin America, a single episode of any prime-time telenovela is watched by more people than all the accumulated number of Spanish-language readers of One Hundred Years of Solitude over time. The course will explore the historical origin and development of telenovelas as well as various production techniques, the way scripts are shaped and actors are asked to perform, the role of music and other sounds, etc. Each country in the region has its own telenovela tradition. We will look at Mexico, Venezuela, Colombia, Argentina, Brazil, Cuba, and the Spanish-language productions of Univisión and Telemundo in the United States, among others. But the main objective of the course will be to analyze the performative nature of emotions in telenovelas and also gender, class, and political tension on the small screen. And we will delve into the strategies various governments have used by means of telenovelas to control the population (“melodrama is the true opium of the masses,” said a prominent Mexican telenovela director), their use as educational devices, and the clash between telenovelas and fútbol in the region’s celebrity ecosystem. Conducted in Spanish.

Requisite: SPAN 202, SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Limit 18 students. Omitted 2020-2021. Professor Stavans.

2020-21: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2020

490 Special Topics

The Department calls attention to the fact that Special Topics courses may be offered to students on either an individual or group basis.

Students interested in forming a group course on some aspect of Hispanic life and culture are invited to talk over possibilities with a representative of the Department. When possible, this should be done several weeks in advance of the semester in which the course is to be taken.

Fall and spring semesters. The Department.

2020-21: Offered in Fall 2020, Spring 2021
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Fall 2020

495 Senior Seminar

The senior seminar is offered every fall semester and fulfills the capstone requirement. It is designed for Spanish majors to reflect, integrate, and apply what they have learned and accomplished in the major. At the beginning of the semester, students will prepare a portfolio of work created throughout the major, including during their study abroad experience, to share and discuss with classmates. The rest of the semester will be devoted to individual or collaborative projects. Projects can take a variety of forms, including but not limited to a performance, a service learning project, an internship, a thesis, or an exhibit. Students writing a thesis may designate their thesis as their individual project. In all cases, students will report on their projects in writing as well as in person with classmates and in a public forum. Conducted in Spanish.

For F20, students will tailor their individual projects and presentations to a digital environment. A remote community service project will also be available as one option for the capstone. Instruction will be online and synchronous via Zoom with the possibility of in-person meetings and small group discussion with the professor for those students on campus.

Open only to senior majors. Fall Semester. Professor Brenneis

2020-21: Offered in Fall 2020
Other years: Offered in Fall 2019, Fall 2020

498, 499 Senior Departmental Honors

One single course.

Fall semester. The Department.

2020-21: Offered in Fall 2020
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Fall 2016, Fall 2017, Fall 2018, Fall 2019, Fall 2020