Spanish
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Amherst College Spanish for 2014-15

110 Spanish I

SPAN 110 is an introduction to Spanish and Spanish-American cultures. This course is recommended for students who have either no previous training in Spanish or no more than two years of high school Spanish. It gives the student a basic understanding of and ability to use the language. Grammar is used as a point of departure for development of oral and written skills.

This course strives to teach students to understand sentences and common expressions and to communicate in simple terms simple aspects of their background (e.g., very basic personal and family information), the immediate environment (shopping, local geography, employment), and matters of immediate need. Three hours per week with the lecturer, plus two hours with a language assistant. For students without previous training in Spanish. This course prepares students for SPAN 120.

Limited to 15 students per section. Fall and spring semesters.  Lecturers Barrios-Beltrán and Assistants.

2014-15: Offered in Fall 2014 and Spring 2015
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

120 Spanish II

SPAN 120 is an intermediate-level Spanish course. It is recommended for students who have had the equivalent of three-to-four years of high school Spanish.  This course seeks to expand Spanish language skills with exercises in conversation, oral comprehension and composition, based on cultural readings.

This course teaches students to understand key conversation points at work, school, and beyond; how to deal with situations that may arise while traveling in a Spanish-speaking country; and how to compose simple, connected texts regarding personal matters and typical, familiar topics. Students will learn how to describe experiences, events, dreams, hopes and ambitions and explain the rationale behind their opinions and future plans. The class will be conducted entirely in Spanish. Three hours a week with the lecturer, plus one hour with the language assistant. The Intermediate Spanish curriculum is divided into two semesters; students who take SPAN 120 in the fall are expected to continue their studies during the spring semester with SPAN 125.

Requisite: SPAN 110, Spanish Placement Test permission, or consent of the Language Coordinator. Limited to 15 students per section.  Priority will be given to underclassmen. Fall semester: Lecturer Bel, Lecturer Granda and Assistants.  Spring semester: Lecturer Barrios-Beltrán, Lecturer Bel and Assistants

2014-15: Offered in Fall 2014 and Spring 2015
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

125 Spanish III

SPAN 125 is a continuation of SPAN 120. 120 and 125 are a two-semester sequence. Students who take SPAN120 will need to complete SPAN 125 before moving on to SPAN 130.This course will expand Spanish language skills with exercises in conversation, oral comprehension and composition, based on cultural readings.

Students will gain command of expressing plans, doubts, and probability, and feelings (wishes, happiness, anger, surprise, fear, etc.). Reciprocal verbs, various subjunctive phrases using quizás, tal vez, probablemente, ojalá, etc., as well as subjunctive formations using subordinate noun clauses will be introduced. Finally, students will begin to learn how to express and justify their opinions and to argue them appropriately. This course focuses on the development of oral fluency and vocabulary. The class will be conducted entirely in Spanish. Three hours a week with the lecturer, plus one hour with the language assistant. This course prepares students for SPAN 130.

Requisite: SPAN 120, Spanish Placement Test permission, or consent of the Language Coordinator. Limited to 15 students per section.  Priority will be given to underclassmen. Fall and spring semesters.  Lecturer Bel and Assistants.

2014-15: Offered in Fall 2014 and Spring 2015

130 Spanish IV

While expanding on the grammar essentials covered in SPAN 125, this course helps the student further develop listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills in Spanish.  It is directed toward students who already have a good linguistic-communicative competency, broadening their contact with different kinds of texts, deepening their grammatical understanding, and enabling them to communicate through a variety of forms and registers.  Upon completing the course, students should be able to make themselves understood with accuracy and fluency and participate easily in a wide range of formal and informal communicative situations.  An array of literary texts and films not ordinarily considered in language classes will be used.  Three hours a week with the lecturer plus one hour with the language assistant.  Conducted entirely in Spanish.  Prepares students for SPAN 199. This course counts for the major.

Requisite: SPAN 120, Spanish Placement Test or with permission of Language Coordinator. Limited to 15 students per section. Fall semester:  Senior Lecturer Maillo and Assistants.  Spring semester:  Lecturer Granda and Assistants.

2014-15: Offered in Fall 2014 and Spring 2015
Other years: Offered in Fall 2009, Spring 2010, Fall 2010, Spring 2011, Fall 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Spring 2014

135 Spanish Conversation

This course emphasizes fluency speaking and is designed to provide students the opportunity to practice the language through discussion of selected texts and topics of interest.  SPAN 135 prepares students to express opinions, ideas, points of view and critiques on debates, readings and films.  With this goal in mind, this course will also provide exposure to other language skills important to the development of fluency in speaking Spanish. The course will meet for three hours per week with the lecturer and one hour with the language assistant. This course counts for the major.

Requisite:  SPAN 130, Spanish Placement Test or with permission of Language Coordinator. Omitted 2014-15.

2014-15: 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

140 Spanish for Heritage Speakers

This course is designed specifically for native or heritage speakers of Spanish with oral proficiency but little or no formal training in the language. Generally, these are learners who were raised in homes where Spanish was spoken. The course is designed to build on the language base students already possess. Spanish-speaking students are not viewed as using an “improper” form of Spanish that is incorrect or needs to be eliminated. Rather, their language is viewed as an extremely valid means of oral communication. The primary purpose of this course is to develop reading and writing skills, although all of four language skills (listening, speaking, reading, and writing) are emphasized via cultural and community activities.

Limited to 15 students. Fall and spring semesters.  Lecturer Barrios-Beltrán.

2014-15: Offered in Fall 2014 and Spring 2015
Other years: Offered in Fall 2008, Spring 2009, Fall 2009, Spring 2010, Fall 2010, Spring 2011, Fall 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Spring 2014

199 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 counts for the major.  Conducted entirely in Spanish.

Requisite: SPAN 130, Spanish Placement Test or with permission of Language Coordinator. Limited to 15 students. Fall semester: Senior Lecturer Maillo and Lecturer Granda.  Spring semester: Lecturer Granda

2014-15: Offered in Fall 2014 and Spring 2015
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

200 Spanish for Community Engagement

This course is intended to enhance language skills and share knowledge of local Spanish-speaking communities. Organized around field-based learning, the material, shaped into modules, will connect students with pre-existing community service organizations in Holyoke, Springfield, and other nearby urban centers. Class time will be devoted to understanding the concept of voluntarism in a pluralistic society. Sociological and historical readings on Latinos will provide context. Students will spend approximately three hours a week doing volunteer work in the field.

Requisite: SPAN 199, Spanish Placement Test or consent of Language Coordinator. Limited to 15 students. Omitted 2014-15  Senior Lecturer Maillo.

2014-15: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2013, Spring 2014

211 Introduction to Hispanic Literatures

This course provides an introduction to the diverse literatures of the Spanish-speaking world over the course of six centuries, from the Middle Ages to the turn of the twentieth century.  Students will learn the tools and critical vocabulary for advanced work reading the canon of Hispanic literatures from Spain, Latin America, and the Caribbean Basin, identifying aesthetic trends and historical periods such as the Renaissance, the Golden Age, the Romantic era, realism and modernism.  The syllabus will include a wide variety of authors of different national, political, and artistic persuasions and an array of linguistic styles.  A medium- to high-level knowledge of the Spanish language and reasonable proficiency in listening, speaking, reading, and writing in Spanish are required.  This course counts for the major.  Conducted entirely in Spanish.

Requisite:  SPAN 199 or consent of the instructor.  Limited to 15 students.  Fall semester:  Professor Infante.  Spring semester: Professor Suárez.

2014-15: Offered in Fall 2014 and Spring 2015
Other years: Offered in Fall 2009, Spring 2010, Fall 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Spring 2014

212 Hispanic World: Past, Present and Future

A survey course that provides an understanding and appreciation of the Spanish-speaking world (including both North and South America and Spain) through language, geography, history, economics, sociopolitical issues, folklore, literature and art. The different units in this course are geographically oriented, and they will focus on individual countries or particular Hispanic groups. Writing skills will be refined by the completion of research papers, and communication skills will be developed further by class discussions and oral presentations. Comprehension will be enhanced by presenting students with literary texts, movies, documentaries and periodicals. The course is conducted entirely in Spanish.

Requisite: SPAN 199, Spanish Placement Test or consent of Language Coordinator. Limited to 15 students. Fall semester. Senior Lecturer Maillo.

2014-15: Offered in Fall 2014
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Spring 2008, Fall 2008, Spring 2009, Spring 2010, Fall 2010, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Fall 2013

220 Introduction to the Writings of the Hispanic Caribbean

This course will introduce students to some of the major intellectual texts of the Spanish Caribbean from the twentieth century to the present.  Through these readings, which include essays, novels and poetry, we will examine the legacy of colonial and post-colonial prejudices and the struggles the people of Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico engage as they create a unique sense of nationhood within a global context and interlace their stories into a more complicated context often called Pan-Caribbean.  We will explore the ways in which the Hispanic Caribbean countries are similar, while coming to a nuanced understanding of how recent politics and migratory histories have also rendered them vastly different.  Our analyses will cover issues of language, gender, violence, traumatic memory, dictatorship, and human resilience.  This course will be conducted in Spanish.Requisite: SPAN 199, 211 or 212 or consent of the instructor.  Limited to 15 students.  Spring semester.  Professor Suárez.

2014-15: Offered in Spring 2015
Other years: Offered in Fall 2013

228 Seventeenth-Century European Theater

(Offered as SPAN 228 and EUST 228.) Readings of plays by Spanish, English and French playwrights of what has been, in the modern world, the great century of the stage.  Works of Lope de Vega, Calderón de la Barca, Shakespeare, Molière, Racine, Webster and Wycherly.  Conducted in English.  Students will read plays in the original languages whenever possible.

Limited to 40 students. Omitted 2014-15. Professor Maraniss.

2014-15: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2011, Fall 2013

229 Reading and Visualizing Spain’s Golden Age

Coinciding with Imperial Spain’s rise and decline under the Spanish Habsburg dynasty, the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries saw an extraordinary cultural production in literature and the arts known as the Golden Age. This panoramic course will introduce students to some of the most outstanding and representative works from this period of Spanish literature, including short fiction, poetry, and drama. While our primary focus will be on the literary texts themselves, we will also take into account the eminently visual nature of the Golden Age, drawing some of our examples from art and considering its relation to literature. In class discussions we will pay special attention to how these literary and artistic works represent the cultural and social concerns of their time. Conducted in Spanish.

Requisite: SPAN 199, 211 or 212 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 15 students. Spring semester. Professor Infante.

2014-15: Not offered

232 Strange Girls: Spanish Women's Voices

(Offered as SPAN 232 and SWAG 232)  Although at times derided as abnormal "chicas raras," Spanish women have carved out a particular niche in the history of Spanish literature.  These novelists, poets, essayists and short story authors have distinguished themselves by tackling issues of sexuality, subjectivity, isolation, sexism and feminism head-on.  But how do we define an escritura femenina in Spain and what, if anything, differentiates it as a gendered space from canonical "masculine" writing?  This course examines the social, historical and cultural transformations women have undergone in Spain from the end of the nineteenth century to the beginning of the twenty-first century.  We will explore a variety of texts and literary genres by authors such as Rosalia de Castro, Carmen Laforet, Carmen Martín Gaite, Ana Rosetti and Dulce Chacón. In addition, students will create their own canon by becoming the editors of an Anthology of Spanish Women's Writing. This course is conducted in Spanish.

Requisite: SPAN 199, 211 or 212 or consent of the instructor.  Limited to 15 students.  Omitted 2014-15.  Professor Brenneis.

2014-15: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2009, Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2013

236 Representation and Reality in Spanish Cinema

(Offered as SPAN 236, EUST 232 and FAMS 328.) Once severely constrained by dictator Francisco Franco’s censorship laws and rarely exported beyond the country’s borders, Spanish film has been transformed into an internationally-known cinema in the last decades.  This course offers a critical overview of Spanish film from 1950 to the present,examining how Spain’s culture and society are imagined onscreen by directors such as Berlanga, Erice, Bollaín, and Almodóvar. Students will analyze works of Spanish cinema alongside theoretical and critical texts, exploring such topics as gendered roles in contemporary society, immigration, globalization, censorship, and experiences of war and violence. We will also track the sociological, cultural, and political forces inside Spain that have inspired such cinematic representations. This course provides an introduction to visual analysis and critical writing about film and will be conducted in English. Students are expected to attend weekly screenings where films will be shown in Spanish with English subtitles.  Spanish majors who wish to count this course toward fulfillment of requirements will be asked to write papers in Spanish.

Limited to 20 students.  Omitted 2014-15.  Professor Brenneis.

2014-15: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Fall 2009, Spring 2013

238 Hispanic Genre Films

This course will be an introduction to genre films from Argentina, Cuba, Mexico, and Spain. We will study Hispanic interpretations of filmic genres such as melodrama, thriller, comedy, horror and musical. How did these genres develop? How stable are genre conventions? Is it possible to study national cinemas in the time of transnational films? This course will include critical readings and mandatory weekly screenings of films by Luis Buñuel, Juan José Campanella, Pedro Almodóvar, and Alejandro González Iñárritu. Conducted in Spanish.

Requisite: SPAN 199, 211 or 212 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 15 students. If Overenrolled: Priority given to Spanish majors. Fall semester. Professor Rodriguez-Solas.

2014-15: Not offered

240 Fact or Fiction: Representations of Latina and Latin American Women in Film.

(Offered as SPAN 240 and SWAG 241) From La Malinche (sixteenth century) to J. Lo, Latin American and Latina women have been sexualized, demonized, objectified, and even erased by narrative and visual representations. Lately, feminist texts have interrogated and challenged sexist and stereotypical master narratives; yet, a tension remains that repeatedly places women of color on a complex stage. Throughout this course, we will think critically about representations of women in Latin America and the U.S. Through select examples of major screen stars from Hollywood and Latin America, we will engage a politically informed historical analysis of the way Latino/a images have been constructed. Our study will begin with black and white films from the 1930s, depicting the role of the United States government and the needs of Latin American politics in the construction of Latina identity. We will then examine the intersections between literature, film, and history, studying, for example, the role of the Good Neighbor Policy in effecting the construction of Latin American images via a Hollywood lens. This is a bilingual class. Much of Latino/a literature is available in English only. However, our discussions and written assignments will be in Spanish. We will produce advanced-level writing assignments.

Requisite: SPAN 199, 211 or 212, or consent of the instructor. Limited to 15 students. Omitted 2014-15. Professor Suárez.

2014-15: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2012, Spring 2014

242 Performing Modernity in Contemporary Spanish Theatre

Spain’s recent past has been characterized by the anxiety over becoming a modern European nation. Playwriting has responded dealing with topics such as drugs use, sexualities, youth culture, and social problems. This course examines the social, historical and cultural transformation undergone in Spain in the last thirty years. We will read plays by José Luis Alonso de Santos, Juan Mayorga, Paloma Pedrero and Alfredo Sanzol among others. Readings will be supplemented with adaptations of the plays in theatre, film, and television, secondary bibliography, and in-class performances. Conducted in Spanish.

Requisite: SPAN 199, 211 or 212 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 15 students. If Overenrolled: Priority given to Spanish majors. Fall semester. Professor Rodriguez-Solas.

2014-15: Not offered

316 Golden Age Literature

A study of Spanish consciousness from the beginning through the Golden Age. Emphasis on the chivalric and picaresque traditions, mystical poetry, sacred and secular drama, and the invention of the novel. Conducted in Spanish.

Requisite:  SPAN 199, 211 or 212, or consent of the instructor.  Limited to 25 students. Omitted 2014-15. Professor Maraniss.

2014-15: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2011, Spring 2013

317 Women in Early Modern Spain

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.

Requisite: SPAN 199, 211 or 212, or consent of the instructor. Limited to 15 students. Spring semester. Professor Infante.

2014-15: Not offered

318 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 199, 211 or 212, or consent of the instructor. Limited to 15 students. Fall semester. Professor Infante.

2014-15: Offered in Fall 2014

320 Generations of 1898 and 1927

Readings from major writers of the Spanish generations of 1898 and 1927: Baroja, Machado, Valle-Inclán, Miró, García Lorca, Salinas, Alberti, Guillén, Cernuda. Conducted in Spanish.

Requisite:  SPAN 199, 211 or 212 or consent of the instructor.  Fall semester. Professor Maraniss.

2014-15: Offered in Fall 2014
Other years: Offered in Spring 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2012

340 Violence, Art, and Memory of the Spanish Civil War

(Offered as SPAN 340 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, 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 provide an introduction to the discord and violence of the war as well as to the anguish and catharsis of the stories, poems and films it inspired.  Through primary sources and historical accounts, we will understand the causes of this fraternal war.  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 seek to understand how and why this historical moment has captivated artists and writers.  In addition, we will grapple with the diverse ways that lingering memories of the war have affected modern-day Spanish politics and culture.  Although readings will be in English and Spanish, this course will be conducted in Spanish.Requisite:  SPAN 199, 211, 212 or consent of the instructor.  Omitted 2014-15.  Professor Brenneis.

2014-15: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2014

345 Latina Stories: Making Waves in the USA

[RC] When political movements advocating for civil and human rights took full force in the United States in the 1960s and 1970s, women from different Latin American and Caribbean origins discovered they could enter the national imagination through their writing and thereby defy historical erasure. In the last 50 years, the political literary production of Latina women has been vertiginous, important, and consistently understudied within the academy. Within a socio-historical context, we will study the making of Latina identities, the myths of unity in this label, and the distinctive nature of Latina stories from different countries and from different economic backgrounds. What is the role of Latina voices in the arduous and slow processes of nation building, democracy, and diversity formation? How have Latina lives and stories re-shaped concepts of community, introduced activism for LGBT rights, changed the parameters by which motherhood, race, and ethnicity are understood?  How have Latinas tackled issues of domestic violence and rape? How has their work transformed national and transnational meta-narratives of citizenship? We will read manifestos, poetry, and fiction to understand this complex and critical condition. Conducted in Spanish.  Readings will be in both Spanish and English, and all writing is due in Spanish.

Requisite: SPAN 199, 211 or 212 or with permission of the instructor.  Limited to 15 students.  Spring semester.  Professor Suárez.

2014-15: Offered in Spring 2015

346 Cuba after 1989: Culture, Film, and Literature

In 1989 the Berlin Wall was chiseled away, changing global culture and politics forever. In Eastern Europe, the rhetoric and divisions necessitated to fuel the cold war were transformed into new discourses of democracy and capitalist opportunities. In contrast, Cuba, remaining an iron-clad communist state, fell into a deep “periódo especial,” which ushered in a two-tiered economy greatly dependent on the European tourist industry. The revolutionary dream, many would argue, was then voided. Arguably, “fin-de-siglo” Cuba is a state in crisis. And a new, rich, often hypnotic, production of culture, film, and literature is available to give us a sensational glimpse of the latest of Cuban conditions. In this class we will be reading and screening some of the most outstanding materials from this period. Authors will include Abilio Estévez, Zoe Valdés, Pedro Juan Guttiérez, and Daína Chaviano. Conducted in Spanish.

Requisite: SPAN 199, 211 or 212 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 15 students. Fall semester. Professor Suárez.

2014-15: Offered in Fall 2014
Other years: Offered in Fall 2009, Fall 2012

362 Pablo Neruda

An exploration of the life and work of the prolific Chilean poet (1904-1973) and recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature. His work will be read chronologically, starting with Twenty Love Poems and a Song Of Despair and ending with his five posthumous collections. Special attention will be paid to Residence On Earth and Canto General. The counterpoint of politics and literature will define the classroom discussion. Neruda’s role as witness of, and sometimes participant in, the Spanish Civil War, the Cuban Revolution, the workers’ and students’ upheaval in Latin America in the sixties, and the failed presidency of Salvador Allende in Chile will serve as background. Conducted in Spanish.

Requisite: SPAN 199, 211 or 212 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 25 students.  Omitted 2014-15. Professor Stavans.

2014-15: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2009, Spring 2011, Fall 2013

363 One Hundred Years of Solitude

(RC) A detailed study of the novel by Gabriel García Márquez, published in 1967. Although other works written by the Colombian author will also be discussed (stories, essays, reportage, and fragments of other novels), the course will concentrate on the structure, style, motifs, historical and aesthetic context of the masterwork that brought him the Nobel Prize in Literature. Conducted in Spanish.

Requisite: SPAN 199, 211 or 212 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 25 students.  Omitted 2014-15. Professor Stavans.

2014-15: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2009, Spring 2013

364 Don Quixote [RC]

(Offered as SPAN 364 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.

Requisite: SPAN 199, 211 or 212 or consent of the instructor.  Limited to 25 students.  Omitted 2014-15.  Professor Stavans.

2014-15: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2014

375 Hispanic Humor [RC]

(Offered as SPAN 375 and EUST 270) An exploration on humor from a theoretical and multidisciplinary perspective, taking into consideration psychological, biological, political, social, racial, religious, national, and economic factors.  The central questions leading the analysis are:  What is humor?  How does one understand its various types?  What is culturally restrictive about humor?  What makes Hispanic humor unique?  Distinctions between satire, parody, and hyperbole will be explored in the context of Spain, Latin America, and the United States, from the Middle Ages to contemporary popular culture.  Samples analyzed come from myth (from Don Juan to Pedro de Urdemalas), literature (from Quevedo to Cabrera Infante), comics (from Mafalda to La Cucaracha), TV (from Chespirito to El Hormiguero), movies (from Cantinflas to Tin Tan), standup comedy (from George Lopez to Carlos Mencia), and language (from double entendres to Freudian slips.)  This course will be conducted in Spanish.Requisite:  SPAN 199, 211 or 212 or with consent of the instructor.  Limited to 25 students.  Omitted 2014-15.  Professor Stavans.

2014-15: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2013

376 Life Is a Dream

Taught at the Hampshire County Jail, this Inside/Out course is designed as a journey across Hispanic civilization through the prism of the tension between reality and the surreal, the physical world and the world of dreams. Topics like Magical Realism will be explored in depth. Material includes portions of Don Quixote, the play Life Is a Dream by Calderón de la Barca, poems by Sor Juana Inés de La Cruz and Pablo Neruda, stories by Horacio Quiroga, Jorge Luis Borges, Julio Cortázar, Juan Rulfo, and Gabriel García Márquez, and movies such as Amores Perros and Pan’s Labyrinth. Students will engage in creative efforts (stories, nonfiction, theater, movies) displaying some of the strategies discussed in class.  Conducted in English.

Limited to 15 students from Amherst and the Five Colleges and 15 students from the Hampshire County Jail.  Spring semester.  Professor Stavans.

2014-15: Offered in Spring 2015

380 Impostors

(Offered as EUST 235 and SPAN 380.) An interdisciplinary exploration of the causes behind the social, racial, artistic, and political act—and art—of posing, passing, or pretending to be someone else. Blacks passing for whites, Jews passing for gentiles, and women passing for men, and vice versa, are a central motif. Attention is given to biological and scientific patterns such as memory loss, mental illness, and plastic surgery, and to literary strategies like irony. As a supernatural occurrence, the discussion includes mystical experiences, ghost stories, and séance sessions. The course also covers instances pertaining to institutional religion, from prophesy from the Hebrew and Christian Bibles to the Koran and Mormonism. In technology and communications, analysis concentrates on the invention of the telegraph, the telephone, and the Internet. Entertainment, ventriloquism, puppet shows, voice-overs, children’s cartoon shows, subtitles, and dubbing in movies and TV are topics of analysis. Posers in Greek mythology, the Arabian Nights, Cervantes, Shakespeare, Lewis Carroll, Mark Twain, Sigmund Freud, Jorge Luis Borges, Philip Roth, Oliver Sacks, and Nella Larsen are examined. Conducted in English.

Limited to 20 students. Fall semester. Professor Stavans.

2014-15: Offered in Fall 2014
Other years: Offered in Spring 2012

382 Forbidden

(Offered as EUST 265 and SPAN 382.) An exploration of forbidden behavior in diverse cultures from ancient times to the present. The course delves into the moral dilemma of the accepted and the rejected by analyzing concentric circles of power. Interdisciplinary in nature, the material will come from theology to government, from jurisprudence to medicine, from pedagogy to finances, from pornography to literature, from activism to computer hacking. It includes the Inquisitorial trails in fourteenth-century Spain, the orchestration of anti-Semitic propaganda under Nazism, the gulag in the Soviet Union, the public crimes during the Chinese Cultural Revolution, McCarthyism and the N.S.A. Contemporary books and movies discussed include Lawrence’s Women in Love, Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, and the Harry Potter saga, as well as Last Tango in Paris and Deep Throat. Conducted in English.

Spring semester. Professor Stavans.

2014-15: Offered in Spring 2015

384 Love

(Offered as SPAN 384 and EUST 233.) This panoramic, interdisciplinary course will explore the concept of love as it changes epoch to epoch and culture to culture. Poetry, novels, paintings, sculptures, movies, TV, and music will be featured. Starting with the Song of Songs, it will include discussions of Plato, Aristotle, Catullus, and other Greek classics, move on to Dante and Petrarch, contemplate Chinese, Arabic, African, and Mesoamerican literatures, devote a central unit to Shakespeare, continue with the Metaphysical poets, and move on to American literature. Special attention will be paid to the difference between love, eroticism, and pornography. Multilingual students will be encouraged to delve into various linguistic traditions, in tongues like French, Russian, German, Yiddish, and Spanish. Conducted in English.

Limited to 20 students.  Omitted 2014-15.  Professor Stavans.

2014-15: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2014

389 Postwar Spain and the Novel

This course offers an examination of how authors and readers grapple with questions of history and narration in postwar Spain. Spanish novelists were often subject to censorship and overt oppression by the Franco dictatorship while they struggled to understand their own history and translate it onto the page. We will study the historical and cultural background of dictatorship and democratic Spain (1940-present), reading novels by authors such as Cela, Matute, Martín Gaite and Cercas that reflect the diversity of modern Spanish literature and its authors. In addition, students will encounter historical accounts, critical/theoretical materials, and multimedia in order to gain a more complete understanding of how scholars approach the era and its reflection in literature. Conducted in Spanish.

Requisite:  SPAN 199, 211 or 212, or consent of the instructor.  Limited to 15 students.  Omitted 2014-15.  Professor Brenneis.

2014-15: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2010, Spring 2013

392 Spanish Detectives and the género negro

(Offered as SPAN 392 and EUST 312) The Spanish detective narrative has developed as a manifestation of twentieth- and twenty-first-century Spain’s confrontations with social and political chaos. Offering a critical examination of a genre that has both resided on and represented the margins of Spanish society, this course traces the rise of the Spanish género negro during and after the Franco dictatorship, through its arrival in recent years as a mainstream, exportable cultural phenomenon. Readings will consist of contemporary Spanish novels by authors such as Javier Marías and Antonio Muñoz Molina, critical approaches to the genre, and short narrative works from Latin America and the United States for a comparative perspective. Additional films and other media consisting of detective parodies, popular suspense tales, and new trends in historical investigation from Spain will also come under examination. Conducted in Spanish.

Requisite:  SPAN 199, 211, 212 or consent of the instructor.  Limited to 15 students.  Omitted 2014-15.  Professor Brenneis.

2014-15: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2008, Fall 2012

394 Spanglish [RC]

[RC] A cultural study of language in the Hispanic world (Spain, Latin America, the Caribbean, and the United States), this course spans almost 500 years, from the arrival of Spanish to the Americas with Columbus' first voyage, to present-day "pocho lingo" in Los Angeles.  It focuses on the verbal interactions between the missionaries to Florida and the Southwest and the indigenous populations, the linguistic repercussions of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo of 1848, the age of acculturation in the early half of the twentieth century, the political agitation of the Chicano Movement as manifested in word games, and the hip-hop age of agitprop.  Students will analyze works by Junot Díaz, Ana Lydia Vega, Giannina Braschi, Susana Chávez-Silverman, Luis Humberto Crosthwaite, and others.  Topics like translation, bilingual education, lexicography, advertising, sports, and the impact of mass and social media will be contemplated.  Emphasis will be made on the various modalities of Spanglish, such as Dominicanish, Cubonics, and Nuyorican.  Plus, the development of Spanglish as a street jargon will be compared to Yiddish, Black English, and other minority tongues. Research Course. Conducted in Spanish.

Fall semester.  Professor Stavans.

2014-15: Offered in Fall 2014
Other years: Offered in Fall 2009

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.

2014-15: Offered in Fall 2014 and Spring 2015
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Spring 2014

498, 499 Senior Departmental Honors

One single course.

Fall semester. The Department.

2014-15: Offered in Fall 2014
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2013
 

Barrett Hall