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Spanish

Year:

2022-23

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 16 students per section. This course may not be counted toward the Spanish Major. The class will be conducted entirely in Spanish.

Fall semester: Lecturer Piazza and assistants. Spring semester: Senior Lecturer Granda and assistants.

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2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022, Spring 2023
Other years: Offered in Fall 2022

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 or b) who have placed into the course via the Spanish Department placement 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. This course may not be counted toward the Spanish Major. The class will be conducted entirely in Spanish.

Prerequisite: SPAN 101 or Spanish Placement Exam. Limited to 16 students per section. Fall Semester: TBD and assistants. Spring Semester: Lecturer Piazza and assistants.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022, Spring 2023
Other years: Offered in Fall 2022

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. 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.

Prerequisite: SPAN 102 or Spanish Placement Exam. Fall and spring semesters: Lecturer Dixon and assistants.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022, Spring 2023
Other years: Offered in Fall 2022

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 a 4 on the AP Spanish Language 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. The course will use authentic texts from a variety of media, including film, literature, visual arts, music, and web-based texts. The course includes an online conversation partner program so students can practice their language skills with Spanish speakers around the 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. The course consists of two 80-minute sessions per week with the lecturer and one 50-minute session with the language assistant. This course may not be counted toward the Spanish Major. The class will be conducted entirely in Spanish.

Prerequisite: SPAN 201 or Spanish Placement Exam. Limited to 16 students per section. Fall Semester: Lecturer Piazza and assistants. Spring Semester: Lecturer Dixon and assistants.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022, Spring 2023
Other years: Offered in Fall 2022

205 Finding Your Bilingual Voice

(Offered as SPAN 205 and LLAS 205) Heritage learners of Spanish are students who have grown up speaking, listening, reading and/or writing Spanish with family or in their community. Because of their unique backgrounds, Spanish heritage language learners (SHLLs) are bilingual and bicultural. They function between a Hispanic and an American identity. This fluid and multiple identity can bring challenges, as SHLLs try to fit into both groups. With this in mind, through meaningful activities that focus on students’ experiences and emotions, this Spanish language course will center on bilingualism, specifically through writing, as a necessary means for identity formation. Because in narrating our stories with others, we enact our identities, this course will include an event open to the community that showcases our voices and talents.

Through this course, students will incorporate their personal experience as SHLLs into their coursework. Activities will foster critical thinking, and students will learn to analyze, read, discuss, write, and reflect on issues of language, culture, and identity. Using a student-centered approach, the course will include collaborative brainstorming, free-writing, developing topics of personal importance, and peer and group editing in order to develop students’ writing proficiency and to build community. 

This course prepares Spanish heritage language students for advanced-level courses offered by the Spanish Department. Limited to 15 students per section. This course may be counted toward the Spanish Major. The class will be conducted entirely in Spanish, though some assignments can be submitted in English. 

Prerequisite: SPAN201, SPAN202 or placement exam.

Consent Required (students must identify as Spanish heritage language students). Spring Semester. Professor Granda.

2022-23: Offered in Spring 2023

232, 315, 328 Representation and Reality in Spanish Cinema

(Offered as SPAN 315, EUST 232, FAMS 328, and SWAG 315) 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.

Requisite: SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 18 students. Fall Semester. Professor Brenneis

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022
Other years: Offered in Fall 2022

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. This course prepares students for advanced work in Spanish and for study abroad.

Requisite SPAN 202 or Spanish Placement Exam. Proficiency in listening, speaking, reading, and writing in Spanish are required. Limited to 20 students per section. Fall semester: Professor Coráñez Bolton.  Spring semester: Professor Brenneis.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022, Spring 2023
Other years: Offered in Fall 2022

303 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, gastronomy, history, music, literature, philosophy, pop culture, religion and tourism. Major cities along the different pilgrimage routes 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, podcasts, and interviews with pilgrim-scholars will supplement primary sources. Other significant pilgrimage traditions beyond Spain will also be considered. The course will culminate in a trip to Spain, where we will walk a part of one of the Camino routes together. Throughout the semester, there will also be several hikes/walks on nearby trails or paths. Evaluation will be based on student discussion, research writing, and oral presentations. Although readings and films will be in English and Spanish, the class will be conducted in Spanish.

Limited to 15 Amherst College students.

Consent Required (application process due to the travel component).

Prerequisite: SPAN 202 or placement exam 

Spring Semester: Senior Lecturer Granda.

2022-23: Offered in Spring 2023

321 Architecture and Violence in the Americas

(Offered as SPAN-321, LLAS-321 and ARCH-321) This course explores historical connections between violence and the built environment in the Americas, from architecture to wastelands, from monuments to mass graves. The class has a twofold objective. On the one hand, we will analyze critical issues concerning the production of the built environment, such as the intersection of race and space or the relationship between state architecture and historical oblivion. On the other hand, we will explore architectures and art projects that actively unsettle colonial legacies and seek to heal historical violence. We will study cases from Colombia, Brazil, Argentina, México and the US, among others. Conducted in Spanish.

Prerequisites: Spanish 301 or permission of the instructor. Spring Semester.  Visiting Professor Ferrari.

2022-23: Offered in Spring 2023

330, 332, 338 Latin American Cinema

(Offered as SPAN 330, SWAG 332, LLAS 330 and FAMS 338) 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 Spanish.

Requisite: SPAN 301 or consent of instructor. Spring Semester. Professor Schroeder Rodríguez.

2022-23: Offered in Spring 2023

342, 343 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.

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Fall Semester: Professor Coráñez Bolton.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022
Other years: Offered in Fall 2022

349 Latinx and Puerto Rican Diasporic Cultures in Holyoke

(Offered as SPAN 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.

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 6 students. Fall Semester: Professor Schroeder Rodríguez

2022-23: Offered in Spring 2023

361 Chino: Asian Américas

This course will explore the literature and culture of the Asian Américas – the diasporic and national literatures in Spanish by and about 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, Indigeneity, Blackness, and Eurocentrism shaped the idea of "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 301 or consent of the instructor. Spring Semester: Professor Coráñez Bolton.

2022-23: Offered in Spring 2023

419 Buen vivir: Andean Philosophy in Literature and Culture

The last two decades have seen the popularization of the Kichwa concepts of sumak kawsay (vida armónica, life in harmony) and alli kawsay (buen vivir, good living) thanks to the former’s adoption as part of the constitution of Ecuador in 2008.  Bolivia soon followed suit when it incorporated the analogous concepts of ñandereko (Guaraní for harmonious life) and suma qamaña (Aymara for buen convivir, good coliving) to its new constitution in 2009. This course will examine the various meanings and theorizations of these concepts in Andean and Amazonian philosophies, how they have been instrumentalized by the States of Ecuador and Bolivia, and how they are being reclaimed by communities who assert that the State is not honoring their constitutional right to life in harmony, nor its requisite practices of good living.  With this historical and theoretical framework in mind, we will then explore how these concepts and practices help to make sense of a number of artistic texts (films, narratives, poems, songs, murals) by and for Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities throughout Latin America.  For their final projects, students will have the option to write about one or more of these artistic texts, or produce an original artistic text aligned with the values of sumac kawsay/ñandereko and alli kawsay/suma qamaña.  The course will be taught in Spanish.

Requisite: SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Spring Semester: Professor Schroeder Rodríguez.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022
Other years: Offered in Fall 2022

450 Barcelona

(Offered as SPAN-450 and EUST-450) As a global city with a local identity, Barcelona resides both literally and figuratively at the border between Spain and the rest of the Europe. This interdisciplinary course will explore the in-between space this vibrant city inhabits as a playground for tourists; a mecca for soccer; a terminus for immigrants from Asia, Africa, Latin America and the rest of Spain; and a fortress fiercely safeguarding the Catalan language and culture. You will study architecture, art, sports, literature, cinema, language and politics set amid the urban cityscape of Barcelona, focusing on the city’s role in the exportation of a unique identity beyond Spain’s borders. This course is conducted in Spanish.

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Spring Semester: Professor Brenneis.

2022-23: Offered in Spring 2023

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. Emphasis on race and colonialism. Conducted in Spanish.

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

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022
Other years: Offered in Fall 2022

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.

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Limited to18 students. Spring Semester: Professor Stavans.

2022-23: Offered in Spring 2023

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.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022, Spring 2023
Other years: Offered in Fall 2022

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.

Open only to senior majors. Fall Semester. Professor Brenneis.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022
Other years: Offered in Fall 2022

498, 499 Senior Departmental Honors

One single course.

Fall semester. The Department.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022
Other years: Offered in Fall 2022