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Spanish

Professors Brenneis (Chair), Schroeder Rodríguez and Stavans; Assistant Professors Coráñez Bolton*, Infante and Sánchez-Naranjo; Senior Lecturer Granda; Lecturer Piazza; Visiting Associate Professor Porter; Visiting Instructor Dixon.

The Spanish Department promotes active cultural understanding about the Spanish-speaking world, community engagement at the local and international level, and Spanish as a means of intellectual inquiry. We welcome students with all levels of knowledge and from all backgrounds to our courses and community events: beginning to advanced learners of Spanish; majors and non-majors; heritage, non-heritage, and native speakers. Our wide range of courses offer students many opportunities to develop a deep understanding of the cultures associated with the Spanish-speaking world; highly polished critical thinking and research skills; and the ability to communicate effectively in Spanish using formal and informal registers. The Department sponsors community events throughout the year that help enhance students’ language skills and cultural understanding, such as the Spanish table at Valentine Dining Hall, cultural gatherings at the Spanish Language House, film festivals, lectures, and other activities.

With faculty who specialize in the Spanish language, Applied Linguistics, Latin America, Spain, Transpacific Studies, and Latinx Studies, students are able to explore in depth the aspects of the Spanish-speaking world that most fascinate them, while understanding the roots and intersections of the centuries-long cultural, linguistic, and literary legacies that make up our fields of study. Through coursework, study abroad, and creative- and research-based projects, we offer diverse learning experiences designed to challenge students to expand their knowledge and exposure to the literatures and cultures of the Spanish-speaking world. We integrate Spanish language development and practice into all of our courses, from Spanish 101 to 400-level seminars.

The Spanish major offers Amherst students the ability to immerse themselves in the language and cultures of the Spanish-speaking world through coursework, a semester or a year in a Spanish-speaking country, a senior capstone portfolio and project, and advanced research. Students are encouraged to explore the diverse curriculum offered by the Spanish Department and the many opportunities to engage with local and international Spanish-speaking communities in order to develop their own interests related to the Spanish-speaking world.

Majors have gone on to non-profit work, teaching, medicine, graduate programs, legal advocacy, media professions, and business, among many other fields. Please consult the Department’s website to read more about our current and former students.

Our courses. Starting with the first semester of the language sequence, and throughout the program, students develop skills in reading, writing, listening, and speaking Spanish through authentic cultural and literary texts such as songs, films, podcasts, newspaper articles, short stories, plays, novels, maps, artwork, and poems, all from the Spanish-speaking world. Our course numbers correspond with a level in the sequence:

Level 1 (beginning): SPAN 101 and SPAN 102 cover the fundamentals of Spanish language and the cultures of the countries where it is spoken.
Level 2 (intermediate): SPAN 201, SPAN 202, and SPAN 205, refine Spanish language skills and cultural knowledge.
Level 3 (advanced): SPAN 301 to SPAN 399 courses hone advanced-level skills in Spanish through close readings of a wide range of literary and cultural texts from Spain, Latin America, and Latinx Studies.
Level 4 (seminars): SPAN 400 to SPAN 499 courses refine and polish written and spoken Spanish through independent research, the critical analysis of texts, sustained inquiry of a topic, public engagement, and creative work.

Placement. The Department places students to ensure the best learning environment for all language learners. Placement is based on one or more of the following: AP exams in Spanish Language or Literature, the SAT Spanish subject test, the Spanish Department placement exam, and/or the instructor’s evaluation during the add/drop period. For more information, please visit our website at www.amherst.edu/academiclife/departments/spanish.

Spanish Language Program. The Spanish Language Program at Amherst College develops students’ use of the Spanish language as a tool for communication in a variety of settings ranging from the colloquial to the academic, and as a way to engage more fully with the world around them.  We do this by working with authentic cultural and literary texts from the Spanish-speaking world, starting in the first semester of the program. Classroom time is devoted to active discussions, the development of culturally relevant projects, research and writing in the target language, and oral presentations, among other activities. By the end of the fourth semester, students can expect to have reached the Advanced Low level of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) assessment for Spanish, and be ready to proceed to SPAN 301 (Literature and Culture of the Hispanic World), or study abroad in a Spanish-speaking country. For placement information, please visit our website at www.amherst.edu/academiclife/departments/spanish.

The Spanish Major. The Spanish major consists of a minimum of eight courses at the 300 and 400 levels. SPAN 205 also counts toward the major. During academic years 2020-2021 and 2021-2022, SPAN 202 will also count toward the major. Of these eight courses, at least four must be taken from the Spanish Department offerings at Amherst College, including the senior seminar (SPAN 495), and one 400-level seminar during the student’s final year. Other courses may count toward the major with pre-approval from the advisor. These may include a maximum of one Special Topics course, three or four courses taken while studying abroad, and upper-level courses from the Spanish Departments at Smith, Mount Holyoke, or UMass. Double majors may count up to two Spanish courses taken at Amherst, the Five Colleges or an approved Study Away program toward their Spanish major requirements as well as the requirements for their second major.  All courses, at Amherst and elsewhere, must be taught in Spanish and not substantially repeat topics that the student has already studied in order to be counted for major credit. Courses in English and courses taken pass/fail may not be counted toward the major. 

We expect all Spanish majors to spend a semester or a full year in an immersive study away program in a Spanish-speaking country when feasible.

Upon graduation, a student majoring in Spanish should have attained a high degree of oral (listening and speaking), reading, and written fluency in the language; a focused grasp of the diverse Spanish-speaking cultures in Latin America, the Carribbean, the United States and Spain, as well as the interactions among these cultures; and superior writing, research and critical thinking skills.

Study Away. Study away programs offer academically-rigorous courses of study and require a solid language foundation. During academic year 2021-2022, we support rather than expect all Spanish majors to spend a semester or a full year in an immersive study abroad program where they have the possibility to enroll in courses at a local university, and where they live with a host family or in another similarly-immersive housing arrangement where only Spanish is spoken.  Students may choose from a list of pre-approved study abroad programs, or they may submit a petition for an alternate program to the Department.

Students studying abroad for one semester may count up to three courses for the major, while students studying abroad for two semesters may count up to four courses towards the major. Under either scenario, one of the courses of each study abroad semester must be a humanities course focused on literature.  If a student does not take a literature course, then the maximum number of courses they may count towards the major drops by one (three for a year-long experience; two for a semester-long experience). Art, dance, and music practice courses may not be counted for major credit while abroad, but they may count for Amherst College credit. Non-liberal arts classes such as Spanish for the Health Professions or business courses taken abroad may not be counted for Amherst College credit nor for major credit.  Spanish majors must discuss their potential classes with their Spanish major advisor before going abroad, and obtain their advisor’s approval of courses via email during their first week of classes abroad.

We highly encourage students to declare the Spanish major before going abroad. Students considering adding a Spanish major after returning from abroad should be aware that these course and program requirements will be applied retroactively.

Capstone Requirement. The Senior Seminar (SPAN 495) is offered every fall semester and, along with a public presentation in the spring, fulfills the capstone requirement. Individually and as a cohort, students complete a research, creative or community-based project as well as an online portfolio representing their trajectory through the major. Thesis students work on their thesis as their individual project.

Departmental Honors (Thesis). An honors thesis for the Spanish major is an opportunity for a student to focus on a topic in depth. Students who propose a thesis are often inspired by their experiences studying abroad and/or by their work on a research assignment in one of their courses. Thesis students work closely with their advisor beginning in the spring of their junior year to develop a topic and research plan. The subject matter must revolve around the culture, literature, language, and/or arts in Spain, Latin America, the Caribbean, the Hispanic Philippines, and/or the United States. The thesis is normally written in Spanish, but may be written in English if the topic warrants it, with Departmental approval. A thesis is typically 80-150 pages in length, and may include a creative component. Students writing a thesis take two courses. During the fall, they enroll in SPAN 495 (Senior Seminar) and work on the thesis as their individual project. In the spring, all thesis students enroll in SPAN 499 (Thesis).

All prospective thesis writers must develop, in consultation with their Spanish major advisor, a three-to-five-page thesis proposal with a bibliography of one primary source and at least five secondary sources. This proposal must be submitted to the Department for approval by the first Monday in April of the student’s junior year (or the first Monday in November for E students), along with an online questionnaire available on the Spanish Department's website. Prospective thesis students are encouraged to propose the faculty member with whom they wish to work, although the thesis advisor is ultimately determined by the Department. All student-faculty consultations and departmental approval can be accomplished via email, if the student is studying abroad. The Department will review the proposal and questionnaire, and within two weeks the Chair will notify the student if the proposal has been approved and who the designated advisor will be. Advisors will be tenured and tenure-track members of the Department. Faculty and thesis writers will determine an individualized advising schedule, responding to the proposed project. Advisors are responsible for guiding the student’s interests and making content and stylistic suggestions throughout the process. Students are responsible for regular communication with their thesis advisor and keeping up with agreed-upon writing and research goals.

After the first semester, the thesis advisor will determine if the project is advancing properly. If so, the fall semester thesis work will be deemed satisfactory and the student will register for the spring thesis course (SPAN 499). If not, the student will either receive a grade for SPAN 495 or have their first semester thesis work turned into a Special Topics course, but may not enroll in SPAN 499. Final thesis manuscripts must be submitted to the Department no later than the first week of April (November for E students). The thesis defense will take place during the third week of April (November for E students) when the student will be asked to elaborate on the development, content, and style of the thesis. The student’s advisor will serve as the defense moderator. Unless otherwise stipulated, the defense committee will be made up of tenured and tenure-track members of the Department.

As a result of the defense, a thesis might be judged fully satisfactory with no revisions requested; minor departmental revisions may be recommended; the student may be asked to make substantial revisions; or the thesis might be deemed unacceptable by departmental standards. Based on the committee’s evaluation and following the College honor system, the Department may recommend thesis students for summa cum laude, magna cum laude, or cum laude. Alternatively, the Department may deem the quality of a thesis to be insufficient for honors, in which case the student would receive rite. Latin honors are determined by the Department’s recommendation, the student’s grade point average standing in their class, and the approval of the full faculty of the College. The final version of the thesis is to be submitted to the Registrar, following College guidelines, during the last week of classes.

Special Topics. Special Topics courses can be taken by seniors who are interested in pursuing a subject matter that is a particular faculty's specialty, is not offered by the Department, and is not available at the Five Colleges. The student must have a well-defined idea of the topic and a clear and convincing reason to take the course. Special Topics courses are approved solely at the faculty’s discretion and must be proposed and approved the prior semester. Only one Special Topics course may be counted toward the major. Special Topics courses are limited to one per professor per semester, and enrollments are limited to two students per course.

Combined Majors. Students may combine the Spanish major with any other Amherst major field of study or pre-med requirements. Double majors can often complete course requirements for their other major while abroad, with the approval of their other advisor.

Interdisciplinary Majors. Interdisciplinary majors are established through the Committee on Academic Standing and Special Majors, with the endorsement and cooperation of the Department or with the approval of individual members of the Department.

*On leave 2021-22.

 

 

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: Senior Lecturer Granda. Spring semester: Lecturer Piazza. 

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2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022, Spring 2023
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, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2022, 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 and spring semesters. Lecturer Piazza, Lecturer Dixon and Assistants.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022, Spring 2023
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, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2022, 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.

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.

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

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022, Spring 2023
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, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2022, 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 class will be conducted entirely in Spanish.

Prerequisite: SPAN 201 or Spanish Placement Exam. Limited to 15 students per section. Fall and spring semesters. Senior Lecturer Granda, Lecturer Piazza and Assistants.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022, Spring 2023
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, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2022, Fall 2022

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 2021-2022.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Spring 2008, Fall 2008, Spring 2009, Fall 2009, Spring 2010, Fall 2010, Spring 2011, Fall 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Fall 2018

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 connect students with the bilingual community in Amherst or Holyoke. 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 18 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: SPAN 201, SPAN 202 or placement exam.

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

2022-23: Offered in Spring 2023
Other years: Offered in Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Spring 2021, Spring 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: Visiting Professor Porter.  Spring semester: Professor Brenneis.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022, Spring 2023
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, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2022, 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, 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, visual art, 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. A travel component is planned, pending current travel restrictions.

This course may be counted toward the Spanish Major.

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or permission of the instructor. Limited to 15 Amherst College students. Omitted 2021-22. Lecturer Granda.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2016, Spring 2017, Spring 2019, Spring 2021

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. Omitted 2021-2020.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2016, Spring 2019, Fall 2020

310 Strange Girls: Spanish Women’s Voices

(Offered as SPAN 310 and SWAG 320) 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, marginalization, 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 lively variety of texts and literary genres by well-known authors such as Emilia Pardo Bazán, Carmen Laforet, Carmen Martín Gaite, Ana Rossetti and Dulce Chacón, while also widening our focus to Afro-Spanish voices who have traditionally been excluded. Students will create their own canon by becoming the editors of an Anthology of Spanish Women’s Writing. Conducted in Spanish.

Prerequisite: Spanish 301 or permission of instructor. Fall Semester: Professor Brenneis.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2021

312 Language, Identity, and Race

Language is an integral part of identity performance and perception. Paying special attention to the topic of race, this course examines the power of language and language ideologies as exclusionary and inclusionary social tools, permitting or denying group membership. Via the analysis of literary and historical texts, linguistic and anthropological research, and digital media, students learn about the role of language variation in various Hispanic socio-political contexts. Through in-class discussions, small projects, and writing assignments, we contemplate the role of language in amplifying or contesting social inequality among Latinos in the U.S., Blacks and gays in the Caribbean, Latin American migrants in Spain, indigenous communities in México, etc. In doing so, students learn about linguistic variation in Spanish, hone their critical thinking skills, and learn to apply sociolinguistic and anthropological methodology to socio-cultural analysis. As the course is conducted in Spanish, an additional aim of the course is to sharpen second language speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills.

* No prior knowledge of anthropology or (socio)linguistics is expected.

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or permission of instructor. Limited to 18 Students. Fall Semester: Lecturer Dixon.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2021

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.

Requisite: SPAN 211, SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 18 students. Omitted 2021-22.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Fall 2009, Spring 2013, Spring 2017, Spring 2021, Fall 2022

322 A Cultural History of Dictionaries in the Hispanic World 

Taught simultaneously at Amherst and Bowdoin, the course is designed as a cultural history of Hispanic civilization through its dictionaries. What authority do they exert? Who collects them? In what way do dictionaries change? The focus will be on the role words have played in history and their political, social, and commercial value. Starting with lexicons of indigenous, slave, and immigrant languages, students will engage in an in-depth exploration of figures like Antonio de Nebrija, Sebastián de Covarrubias, Andres Bello, and Maria Moliner. There will be a discussion of the asymmetrical relationship between Spain and Latin America and the importance of gender, media, sports, and cuisine. The Tesoro de la Lengua Espanola o Castellana, the Diccionario de Autoridades, the Diccionario de la Lengua Española, the MolinerLarousse, and Clave will all be analyzed. Active research in compiling neologisms and other emerging words will be a feature of the course work. The endeavor will culminate in the publication of a scholarly book by Professors Boyle and Stavans on dictionaries in the Iberian Peninsula and Latin America. Requirements: advanced and/or near-native language skills. Taught by Professors Margaret Boyle (Bowdoin) and Ilan Stavans (Amherst). Conducted in Spanish.

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

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2021

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.

Requisite: SPAN 211, SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 18 students. Omitted 2021-22.

2022-23: Not offered
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 2021-2022. Professor Schroeder Rodríguez.

2022-23: Offered in Spring 2023
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.

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 10 students.Spring Semester: Professor Infante.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2021, Spring 2022

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.

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Omitted 2021-2022. Professor Coráñez Bolton.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022
Other years: Offered in Spring 2020, Fall 2022

348 Language Learning and Globalization

(Offered as SPAN 348 and EDST 348) As the world continues to become more and more interconnected, learning languages is increasingly related to diasporic affiliations, intercultural identities, global cosmopolitanism, and translingual practices. At the same time, advancing technologies have afforded us the ability to communicate no matter where we are in the world, facilitating and creating different opportunities that serve as a mean of relating to others on cultural and sociolinguistic levels.

How does globalization impact the way people learn languages? This is the overriding question in this course. We will begin by examining how transnationalism and diasporic flows have allowed language learners to make use of language learning practices that are not conventionally valued in the field of language teaching. Thereafter, we will explore how heritage language learners challenge monolithic representations of standardized varieties of languages and linguistic norms taught in the language classroom. Finally, we will discuss how language learners have managed to retain their local languages and cultures in the face of a globalized world. Throughout the course, we will pay attention to the subtle interplay of economic, sociocultural, political, and technological forces that contest traditional scenarios for multilingual education. The materials for the course include fiction, nonfiction, audio pieces, maps, and visual materials. Conducted in Spanish.

Prerequisite: Spanish 301 or permission of instructor. Limited to 18 students. Spring Semester: Professor Sánchez-Naranjo.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2022

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.

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 6 students. Omitted 2021-22.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022
Other years: Offered in Spring 2020, Fall 2022

357 Understanding Spanish Structure and Use

(Offered as SPAN 357 and LLAS 357) Spanish is the second-most widely spoken language in the world. With more than 400 million native speakers, it has official status in 21 countries. In the United States more than 40 million people use Spanish in their daily lives. What exactly is the Spanish language? What do you actually know when you speak Spanish? These questions are at the heart of this course. By following a bottom-up design—from smallest to largest segments of language—we will understand the basic characteristics of human language and will examine the architecture of the Spanish language: how its sounds are produced and how they combine; how its words are constructed from their component parts; how its sentences are formed; how its meanings are understood; and how its use reflects aspects of our socio-cultural behavior. As an approach to the formal study of the Spanish language, we will explore actual and diverse language data such as texts, speech samples, and songs to grasp complex linguistic phenomena. Conducted in Spanish.

Prerequisite: Spanish 202 or permission of instructor. Limited to 18 students. Fall and spring semesters. Professor Sánchez-Naranjo.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2021, Spring 2022

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.

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 18 students. Omitted 2021-2022. Professor Coráñez Bolton.

2022-23: 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 301 or consent of the instructor. Omitted 2021-2022. Professor Coráñez Bolton.

2022-23: Offered in Spring 2023
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 2021-2022. Professor Coráñez Bolton.

2022-23: 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 2021-2022 Professors Schroeder Rodríguez and Ravikumar.

2022-23: 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 2021-2022 Professors Schroeder Rodríguez and Schmalzbauer.

2022-23: 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.

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 18 students. Omitted 2021-2022

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2015, Spring 2019, Spring 2021

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 301 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 15 students. Omitted 2021-2022. Professor Infante.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2014, Spring 2017, Fall 2018

415 Bilingualism in the US

(Offered as SPAN 415 and EDST 415) 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.

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Fall Semester: Professor Sánchez-Naranjo.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2019, Fall 2021

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.

Prerequisite: 301 or consent of the instructor.  Omitted 2021-2022

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2014, Fall 2016, Spring 2021

426 Spanish Antifa

(Offered as SPAN 426 and EUST 426) Spanish Antifa heroes, saboteurs, and spies have driven the longest anti-fascist resistance in Europe. Spaniards have been at the vanguard of anti-fascism from the time of the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s, to the fight against Nazi genocide during World War II, to opposition to the populist Trump-inspired Vox party of the twenty-first century. This course will consider the men and women of diverse left-wing political beliefs who risked their lives to put down fascist movements in Spain and throughout Europe. Through an examination of primary sources such as memoirs, photographs, and newspapers as well as contemporary films, graphic novels, television series, and social media, we will explore resistance tactics, international espionage, anti-fascism through the lens of gender, revisionist histories, and the long-lasting legal and social implications of attempts to thwart authoritarian oppression. This course will also consider the legacy of fascism and anti-fascism in Spain, tracking the influence on the present-day international Antifa and contemporary social justice movements. Conducted in Spanish.

Prerequisite Spanish 301 or permission of instructor. Fall Semester: Professor Brenneis.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2021

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.  

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor.  Limited to 15 students. Omitted 2021-2022. Professor Coráñez Bolton.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2019

441 Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz

A thorough, in-depth exploration of the life and works of Mexican nun Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz (1648-1695), the most important Latin American writer and thinker of the colonial period and one of the region’s most influential figures overall. The focus will be on the three choices seventeenth-century colonial women faced: marriage, the convent, and the court. We will study churches, convents, and monasteries from religious, political, social, and dietary perspectives. There will be close readings of Sor Juana’s poetry, theater, philosophical disquisitions, autobiographical writing, and theological debates regarding Athanasius Kircher, Erasmus of Rotterdam, and René Descartes. Sor Juana’s afterlife as a feminist and contemporary pop icon will also be studied, as will similar Iberian and Latin American religious writers such as Santa Teresa de Jesús, Fray San Juan de la Cruz, Fray Luis de León, Juan Ruíz de Alarcón and Carlos de Singüenza y Góngora. Conducted in Spanish.

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

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2022

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.

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor.  Limited to 25 students. Omitted 2021-2022. Professor Stavans.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2019

448 Hybrid Identities

(Offered as SPAN-448 and LLAS-448) With a historical and transnational approach, this course will explore bi/multicultural identities and communities in the Spanish-speaking world, primarily of the contemporary period: Mestizos, Korean-Argentineans, Afro-Peruvians, Latin American and Caribbean Chinatowns, Quechua-Castillian speakers, Spanglish-speakers from the United States to Gibraltar, Moroccans and West Africans in Spanish cities, “gallegos” in Buenos Aires, Filipino-Peruvian migrants in Tokyo and so on. Through a wide-variety of empirical, literary, and cultural texts (literature, film, music, graphic novel, photography, etc.), we will put diverse cases of ethnic and linguistic hybridity in dialogue with one another to study how communities and identities are represented, remembered, and demarcated; we will examine how they reclaim autonomy and space, and negotiate their personal and collective subjectivities amongst other communities and identities. Doing so will lead us to examine pressing socio-cultural phenomena that are increasingly global, rapidly-transforming, and interconnected: post/de/colonialism, bi/multiculturalism, transculturation, diaspora, immigration, exile, religion, borders, nationalism, nostalgia, capitalism, and structural in/exclusion. To help us study these issues and think of solutions, we will bring in theorists who have written on local and global hybridity (e.g., Bhabha, Spivek, Anzaldúa, Hall, Appiah). Inevitably, we will also discuss how these issues implicate us and our identities here in Amherst, MA in 2022. Students will have the opportunity to apply their knowledge as well as communicate personally with individuals who identify as bi/multicultural through a one-on-one interview project and invited speakers. Conducted in Spanish. 

Prerequisite: Spanish 301 or permission of instructor. Spring Semester: Visiting Associate Professor Megan Saltzman.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2022

451 Translation Roots of a US Literary Landscape

(Offered as SPAN 451 and LLAS 451) This course highlights literary connections between the United States and the Spanish-speaking world via translation. Through a study of texts from the late nineteenth century to the present, we will look at the role of translation in literary histories and current literary activities. We will examine how writers have translated in order to practice and enhance their creative writing. We will use translation as a way to access and analyze literary texts. We will also think about translation as professional and collaborative activities. We will study the work of José Martí (Cuba), Julia de Burgos (Puerto Rico), Silvina Ocampo (Argentina), Felipe Alfau (Catalonia-Spain), Salvador Dalí (Catalonia-Spain), Achy Obejas (Cuba), and Urayoán Noel (Puerto Rico), among others. In addition, we will explore ways of contributing with translational activities to our own literary landscape in the Amherst area by possibly collaborating with local institutions such as the Emily Dickinson Museum, the Eric Carle Museum, and the Amazing World of Dr. Seuss Museum. Conducted in Spanish.

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or permission of the instructor.  Limited to 18 students. Fall Semester: Visiting Associate Professor Galasso.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2021

455 One Hundred Years of Solitude

(Offered as LLAS 455 and SPAN 455) 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. Omitted 2021-22. Professor Stavans. 

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2009, Spring 2013, Fall 2015, Fall 2018, Spring 2021

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.

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 25 students. Omitted 2021-2022

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022
Other years: Offered in Spring 2014, Spring 2017, Fall 2020, Fall 2022

461 Racism and Anti-Racism in Latinx and Latin American Cinema

(Offered as COLQ 461 and SPAN 461) In this particular research tutorial we will ask how specific film practices help normalize racist vs. anti-racist structures of feeling. We will begin with a few key historical and theoretical texts on the long-term construction of racist and anti-racist structures of feeling in Latin America and in U.S. Latinx cultures, to then explore how these are reproduced or contested in a handful of films where racism and anti-racism are at the center of the filmic text, narratively and/or audiovisually. The selection of films will be made collaboratively, as will the subsequent research and the chosen end-product, for example an academic essay, a scholarly review essay, a digital resource for teachers, and/or media activism. The course will be conducted in Spanish.

This course is a research tutorial, listed in the catalog as colloquia for juniors and seniors, and is part of a tutorial series that engages Amherst students in substantive research with faculty in the humanities and humanistic social sciences. By exploring how different scholars approach a topic, students learn to frame a research question, develop research strategies, and identify and use sources. Students enrolled in these courses are guaranteed funding for at least six weeks of work during the summer following the academic year in which they take the course.

Open to sophomores and juniors. Limited to 6 students. Spring Semester. Professor Schroeder Rodriguez.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2022

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.

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 18 students. Spring semester. Professor Infante.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2015, Spring 2020, Spring 2022

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.

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Omitted 2021-2022. Professor Brenneis.

2022-23: 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.

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Limited to18 students. Omitted 2021-22. Professor Stavans.

2022-23: Offered in Spring 2023
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.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022, Spring 2023
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, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2022, 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 Infante.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022
Other years: Offered in Fall 2019, Fall 2020, Fall 2021, 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 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, Fall 2021, Fall 2022

About Amherst College

About Amherst College

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Spanish

Professors Brenneis (Chair), Schroeder Rodríguez and Stavans; Assistant Professors Coráñez Bolton*, Infante and Sánchez-Naranjo; Senior Lecturer Granda; Lecturer Piazza; Visiting Associate Professor Porter; Visiting Instructor Dixon.

The Spanish Department promotes active cultural understanding about the Spanish-speaking world, community engagement at the local and international level, and Spanish as a means of intellectual inquiry. We welcome students with all levels of knowledge and from all backgrounds to our courses and community events: beginning to advanced learners of Spanish; majors and non-majors; heritage, non-heritage, and native speakers. Our wide range of courses offer students many opportunities to develop a deep understanding of the cultures associated with the Spanish-speaking world; highly polished critical thinking and research skills; and the ability to communicate effectively in Spanish using formal and informal registers. The Department sponsors community events throughout the year that help enhance students’ language skills and cultural understanding, such as the Spanish table at Valentine Dining Hall, cultural gatherings at the Spanish Language House, film festivals, lectures, and other activities.

With faculty who specialize in the Spanish language, Applied Linguistics, Latin America, Spain, Transpacific Studies, and Latinx Studies, students are able to explore in depth the aspects of the Spanish-speaking world that most fascinate them, while understanding the roots and intersections of the centuries-long cultural, linguistic, and literary legacies that make up our fields of study. Through coursework, study abroad, and creative- and research-based projects, we offer diverse learning experiences designed to challenge students to expand their knowledge and exposure to the literatures and cultures of the Spanish-speaking world. We integrate Spanish language development and practice into all of our courses, from Spanish 101 to 400-level seminars.

The Spanish major offers Amherst students the ability to immerse themselves in the language and cultures of the Spanish-speaking world through coursework, a semester or a year in a Spanish-speaking country, a senior capstone portfolio and project, and advanced research. Students are encouraged to explore the diverse curriculum offered by the Spanish Department and the many opportunities to engage with local and international Spanish-speaking communities in order to develop their own interests related to the Spanish-speaking world.

Majors have gone on to non-profit work, teaching, medicine, graduate programs, legal advocacy, media professions, and business, among many other fields. Please consult the Department’s website to read more about our current and former students.

Our courses. Starting with the first semester of the language sequence, and throughout the program, students develop skills in reading, writing, listening, and speaking Spanish through authentic cultural and literary texts such as songs, films, podcasts, newspaper articles, short stories, plays, novels, maps, artwork, and poems, all from the Spanish-speaking world. Our course numbers correspond with a level in the sequence:

Level 1 (beginning): SPAN 101 and SPAN 102 cover the fundamentals of Spanish language and the cultures of the countries where it is spoken.
Level 2 (intermediate): SPAN 201, SPAN 202, and SPAN 205, refine Spanish language skills and cultural knowledge.
Level 3 (advanced): SPAN 301 to SPAN 399 courses hone advanced-level skills in Spanish through close readings of a wide range of literary and cultural texts from Spain, Latin America, and Latinx Studies.
Level 4 (seminars): SPAN 400 to SPAN 499 courses refine and polish written and spoken Spanish through independent research, the critical analysis of texts, sustained inquiry of a topic, public engagement, and creative work.

Placement. The Department places students to ensure the best learning environment for all language learners. Placement is based on one or more of the following: AP exams in Spanish Language or Literature, the SAT Spanish subject test, the Spanish Department placement exam, and/or the instructor’s evaluation during the add/drop period. For more information, please visit our website at www.amherst.edu/academiclife/departments/spanish.

Spanish Language Program. The Spanish Language Program at Amherst College develops students’ use of the Spanish language as a tool for communication in a variety of settings ranging from the colloquial to the academic, and as a way to engage more fully with the world around them.  We do this by working with authentic cultural and literary texts from the Spanish-speaking world, starting in the first semester of the program. Classroom time is devoted to active discussions, the development of culturally relevant projects, research and writing in the target language, and oral presentations, among other activities. By the end of the fourth semester, students can expect to have reached the Advanced Low level of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) assessment for Spanish, and be ready to proceed to SPAN 301 (Literature and Culture of the Hispanic World), or study abroad in a Spanish-speaking country. For placement information, please visit our website at www.amherst.edu/academiclife/departments/spanish.

The Spanish Major. The Spanish major consists of a minimum of eight courses at the 300 and 400 levels. SPAN 205 also counts toward the major. During academic years 2020-2021 and 2021-2022, SPAN 202 will also count toward the major. Of these eight courses, at least four must be taken from the Spanish Department offerings at Amherst College, including the senior seminar (SPAN 495), and one 400-level seminar during the student’s final year. Other courses may count toward the major with pre-approval from the advisor. These may include a maximum of one Special Topics course, three or four courses taken while studying abroad, and upper-level courses from the Spanish Departments at Smith, Mount Holyoke, or UMass. Double majors may count up to two Spanish courses taken at Amherst, the Five Colleges or an approved Study Away program toward their Spanish major requirements as well as the requirements for their second major.  All courses, at Amherst and elsewhere, must be taught in Spanish and not substantially repeat topics that the student has already studied in order to be counted for major credit. Courses in English and courses taken pass/fail may not be counted toward the major. 

We expect all Spanish majors to spend a semester or a full year in an immersive study away program in a Spanish-speaking country when feasible.

Upon graduation, a student majoring in Spanish should have attained a high degree of oral (listening and speaking), reading, and written fluency in the language; a focused grasp of the diverse Spanish-speaking cultures in Latin America, the Carribbean, the United States and Spain, as well as the interactions among these cultures; and superior writing, research and critical thinking skills.

Study Away. Study away programs offer academically-rigorous courses of study and require a solid language foundation. During academic year 2021-2022, we support rather than expect all Spanish majors to spend a semester or a full year in an immersive study abroad program where they have the possibility to enroll in courses at a local university, and where they live with a host family or in another similarly-immersive housing arrangement where only Spanish is spoken.  Students may choose from a list of pre-approved study abroad programs, or they may submit a petition for an alternate program to the Department.

Students studying abroad for one semester may count up to three courses for the major, while students studying abroad for two semesters may count up to four courses towards the major. Under either scenario, one of the courses of each study abroad semester must be a humanities course focused on literature.  If a student does not take a literature course, then the maximum number of courses they may count towards the major drops by one (three for a year-long experience; two for a semester-long experience). Art, dance, and music practice courses may not be counted for major credit while abroad, but they may count for Amherst College credit. Non-liberal arts classes such as Spanish for the Health Professions or business courses taken abroad may not be counted for Amherst College credit nor for major credit.  Spanish majors must discuss their potential classes with their Spanish major advisor before going abroad, and obtain their advisor’s approval of courses via email during their first week of classes abroad.

We highly encourage students to declare the Spanish major before going abroad. Students considering adding a Spanish major after returning from abroad should be aware that these course and program requirements will be applied retroactively.

Capstone Requirement. The Senior Seminar (SPAN 495) is offered every fall semester and, along with a public presentation in the spring, fulfills the capstone requirement. Individually and as a cohort, students complete a research, creative or community-based project as well as an online portfolio representing their trajectory through the major. Thesis students work on their thesis as their individual project.

Departmental Honors (Thesis). An honors thesis for the Spanish major is an opportunity for a student to focus on a topic in depth. Students who propose a thesis are often inspired by their experiences studying abroad and/or by their work on a research assignment in one of their courses. Thesis students work closely with their advisor beginning in the spring of their junior year to develop a topic and research plan. The subject matter must revolve around the culture, literature, language, and/or arts in Spain, Latin America, the Caribbean, the Hispanic Philippines, and/or the United States. The thesis is normally written in Spanish, but may be written in English if the topic warrants it, with Departmental approval. A thesis is typically 80-150 pages in length, and may include a creative component. Students writing a thesis take two courses. During the fall, they enroll in SPAN 495 (Senior Seminar) and work on the thesis as their individual project. In the spring, all thesis students enroll in SPAN 499 (Thesis).

All prospective thesis writers must develop, in consultation with their Spanish major advisor, a three-to-five-page thesis proposal with a bibliography of one primary source and at least five secondary sources. This proposal must be submitted to the Department for approval by the first Monday in April of the student’s junior year (or the first Monday in November for E students), along with an online questionnaire available on the Spanish Department's website. Prospective thesis students are encouraged to propose the faculty member with whom they wish to work, although the thesis advisor is ultimately determined by the Department. All student-faculty consultations and departmental approval can be accomplished via email, if the student is studying abroad. The Department will review the proposal and questionnaire, and within two weeks the Chair will notify the student if the proposal has been approved and who the designated advisor will be. Advisors will be tenured and tenure-track members of the Department. Faculty and thesis writers will determine an individualized advising schedule, responding to the proposed project. Advisors are responsible for guiding the student’s interests and making content and stylistic suggestions throughout the process. Students are responsible for regular communication with their thesis advisor and keeping up with agreed-upon writing and research goals.

After the first semester, the thesis advisor will determine if the project is advancing properly. If so, the fall semester thesis work will be deemed satisfactory and the student will register for the spring thesis course (SPAN 499). If not, the student will either receive a grade for SPAN 495 or have their first semester thesis work turned into a Special Topics course, but may not enroll in SPAN 499. Final thesis manuscripts must be submitted to the Department no later than the first week of April (November for E students). The thesis defense will take place during the third week of April (November for E students) when the student will be asked to elaborate on the development, content, and style of the thesis. The student’s advisor will serve as the defense moderator. Unless otherwise stipulated, the defense committee will be made up of tenured and tenure-track members of the Department.

As a result of the defense, a thesis might be judged fully satisfactory with no revisions requested; minor departmental revisions may be recommended; the student may be asked to make substantial revisions; or the thesis might be deemed unacceptable by departmental standards. Based on the committee’s evaluation and following the College honor system, the Department may recommend thesis students for summa cum laude, magna cum laude, or cum laude. Alternatively, the Department may deem the quality of a thesis to be insufficient for honors, in which case the student would receive rite. Latin honors are determined by the Department’s recommendation, the student’s grade point average standing in their class, and the approval of the full faculty of the College. The final version of the thesis is to be submitted to the Registrar, following College guidelines, during the last week of classes.

Special Topics. Special Topics courses can be taken by seniors who are interested in pursuing a subject matter that is a particular faculty's specialty, is not offered by the Department, and is not available at the Five Colleges. The student must have a well-defined idea of the topic and a clear and convincing reason to take the course. Special Topics courses are approved solely at the faculty’s discretion and must be proposed and approved the prior semester. Only one Special Topics course may be counted toward the major. Special Topics courses are limited to one per professor per semester, and enrollments are limited to two students per course.

Combined Majors. Students may combine the Spanish major with any other Amherst major field of study or pre-med requirements. Double majors can often complete course requirements for their other major while abroad, with the approval of their other advisor.

Interdisciplinary Majors. Interdisciplinary majors are established through the Committee on Academic Standing and Special Majors, with the endorsement and cooperation of the Department or with the approval of individual members of the Department.

*On leave 2021-22.

 

 

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: Senior Lecturer Granda. Spring semester: Lecturer Piazza. 

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2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022, Spring 2023
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, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2022, 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 and spring semesters. Lecturer Piazza, Lecturer Dixon and Assistants.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022, Spring 2023
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, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2022, 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.

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.

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

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022, Spring 2023
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, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2022, 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 class will be conducted entirely in Spanish.

Prerequisite: SPAN 201 or Spanish Placement Exam. Limited to 15 students per section. Fall and spring semesters. Senior Lecturer Granda, Lecturer Piazza and Assistants.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022, Spring 2023
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, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2022, Fall 2022

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 2021-2022.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Spring 2008, Fall 2008, Spring 2009, Fall 2009, Spring 2010, Fall 2010, Spring 2011, Fall 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Fall 2018

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 connect students with the bilingual community in Amherst or Holyoke. 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 18 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: SPAN 201, SPAN 202 or placement exam.

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

2022-23: Offered in Spring 2023
Other years: Offered in Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Spring 2021, Spring 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: Visiting Professor Porter.  Spring semester: Professor Brenneis.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022, Spring 2023
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, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2022, 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, 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, visual art, 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. A travel component is planned, pending current travel restrictions.

This course may be counted toward the Spanish Major.

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or permission of the instructor. Limited to 15 Amherst College students. Omitted 2021-22. Lecturer Granda.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2016, Spring 2017, Spring 2019, Spring 2021

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. Omitted 2021-2020.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2016, Spring 2019, Fall 2020

310 Strange Girls: Spanish Women’s Voices

(Offered as SPAN 310 and SWAG 320) 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, marginalization, 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 lively variety of texts and literary genres by well-known authors such as Emilia Pardo Bazán, Carmen Laforet, Carmen Martín Gaite, Ana Rossetti and Dulce Chacón, while also widening our focus to Afro-Spanish voices who have traditionally been excluded. Students will create their own canon by becoming the editors of an Anthology of Spanish Women’s Writing. Conducted in Spanish.

Prerequisite: Spanish 301 or permission of instructor. Fall Semester: Professor Brenneis.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2021

312 Language, Identity, and Race

Language is an integral part of identity performance and perception. Paying special attention to the topic of race, this course examines the power of language and language ideologies as exclusionary and inclusionary social tools, permitting or denying group membership. Via the analysis of literary and historical texts, linguistic and anthropological research, and digital media, students learn about the role of language variation in various Hispanic socio-political contexts. Through in-class discussions, small projects, and writing assignments, we contemplate the role of language in amplifying or contesting social inequality among Latinos in the U.S., Blacks and gays in the Caribbean, Latin American migrants in Spain, indigenous communities in México, etc. In doing so, students learn about linguistic variation in Spanish, hone their critical thinking skills, and learn to apply sociolinguistic and anthropological methodology to socio-cultural analysis. As the course is conducted in Spanish, an additional aim of the course is to sharpen second language speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills.

* No prior knowledge of anthropology or (socio)linguistics is expected.

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or permission of instructor. Limited to 18 Students. Fall Semester: Lecturer Dixon.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2021

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.

Requisite: SPAN 211, SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 18 students. Omitted 2021-22.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Fall 2009, Spring 2013, Spring 2017, Spring 2021, Fall 2022

322 A Cultural History of Dictionaries in the Hispanic World 

Taught simultaneously at Amherst and Bowdoin, the course is designed as a cultural history of Hispanic civilization through its dictionaries. What authority do they exert? Who collects them? In what way do dictionaries change? The focus will be on the role words have played in history and their political, social, and commercial value. Starting with lexicons of indigenous, slave, and immigrant languages, students will engage in an in-depth exploration of figures like Antonio de Nebrija, Sebastián de Covarrubias, Andres Bello, and Maria Moliner. There will be a discussion of the asymmetrical relationship between Spain and Latin America and the importance of gender, media, sports, and cuisine. The Tesoro de la Lengua Espanola o Castellana, the Diccionario de Autoridades, the Diccionario de la Lengua Española, the MolinerLarousse, and Clave will all be analyzed. Active research in compiling neologisms and other emerging words will be a feature of the course work. The endeavor will culminate in the publication of a scholarly book by Professors Boyle and Stavans on dictionaries in the Iberian Peninsula and Latin America. Requirements: advanced and/or near-native language skills. Taught by Professors Margaret Boyle (Bowdoin) and Ilan Stavans (Amherst). Conducted in Spanish.

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

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2021

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.

Requisite: SPAN 211, SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 18 students. Omitted 2021-22.

2022-23: Not offered
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 2021-2022. Professor Schroeder Rodríguez.

2022-23: Offered in Spring 2023
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.

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 10 students.Spring Semester: Professor Infante.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2021, Spring 2022

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.

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Omitted 2021-2022. Professor Coráñez Bolton.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022
Other years: Offered in Spring 2020, Fall 2022

348 Language Learning and Globalization

(Offered as SPAN 348 and EDST 348) As the world continues to become more and more interconnected, learning languages is increasingly related to diasporic affiliations, intercultural identities, global cosmopolitanism, and translingual practices. At the same time, advancing technologies have afforded us the ability to communicate no matter where we are in the world, facilitating and creating different opportunities that serve as a mean of relating to others on cultural and sociolinguistic levels.

How does globalization impact the way people learn languages? This is the overriding question in this course. We will begin by examining how transnationalism and diasporic flows have allowed language learners to make use of language learning practices that are not conventionally valued in the field of language teaching. Thereafter, we will explore how heritage language learners challenge monolithic representations of standardized varieties of languages and linguistic norms taught in the language classroom. Finally, we will discuss how language learners have managed to retain their local languages and cultures in the face of a globalized world. Throughout the course, we will pay attention to the subtle interplay of economic, sociocultural, political, and technological forces that contest traditional scenarios for multilingual education. The materials for the course include fiction, nonfiction, audio pieces, maps, and visual materials. Conducted in Spanish.

Prerequisite: Spanish 301 or permission of instructor. Limited to 18 students. Spring Semester: Professor Sánchez-Naranjo.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2022

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.

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 6 students. Omitted 2021-22.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022
Other years: Offered in Spring 2020, Fall 2022

357 Understanding Spanish Structure and Use

(Offered as SPAN 357 and LLAS 357) Spanish is the second-most widely spoken language in the world. With more than 400 million native speakers, it has official status in 21 countries. In the United States more than 40 million people use Spanish in their daily lives. What exactly is the Spanish language? What do you actually know when you speak Spanish? These questions are at the heart of this course. By following a bottom-up design—from smallest to largest segments of language—we will understand the basic characteristics of human language and will examine the architecture of the Spanish language: how its sounds are produced and how they combine; how its words are constructed from their component parts; how its sentences are formed; how its meanings are understood; and how its use reflects aspects of our socio-cultural behavior. As an approach to the formal study of the Spanish language, we will explore actual and diverse language data such as texts, speech samples, and songs to grasp complex linguistic phenomena. Conducted in Spanish.

Prerequisite: Spanish 202 or permission of instructor. Limited to 18 students. Fall and spring semesters. Professor Sánchez-Naranjo.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2021, Spring 2022

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.

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 18 students. Omitted 2021-2022. Professor Coráñez Bolton.

2022-23: 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 301 or consent of the instructor. Omitted 2021-2022. Professor Coráñez Bolton.

2022-23: Offered in Spring 2023
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 2021-2022. Professor Coráñez Bolton.

2022-23: 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 2021-2022 Professors Schroeder Rodríguez and Ravikumar.

2022-23: 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 2021-2022 Professors Schroeder Rodríguez and Schmalzbauer.

2022-23: 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.

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 18 students. Omitted 2021-2022

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2015, Spring 2019, Spring 2021

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 301 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 15 students. Omitted 2021-2022. Professor Infante.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2014, Spring 2017, Fall 2018

415 Bilingualism in the US

(Offered as SPAN 415 and EDST 415) 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.

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Fall Semester: Professor Sánchez-Naranjo.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2019, Fall 2021

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.

Prerequisite: 301 or consent of the instructor.  Omitted 2021-2022

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2014, Fall 2016, Spring 2021

426 Spanish Antifa

(Offered as SPAN 426 and EUST 426) Spanish Antifa heroes, saboteurs, and spies have driven the longest anti-fascist resistance in Europe. Spaniards have been at the vanguard of anti-fascism from the time of the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s, to the fight against Nazi genocide during World War II, to opposition to the populist Trump-inspired Vox party of the twenty-first century. This course will consider the men and women of diverse left-wing political beliefs who risked their lives to put down fascist movements in Spain and throughout Europe. Through an examination of primary sources such as memoirs, photographs, and newspapers as well as contemporary films, graphic novels, television series, and social media, we will explore resistance tactics, international espionage, anti-fascism through the lens of gender, revisionist histories, and the long-lasting legal and social implications of attempts to thwart authoritarian oppression. This course will also consider the legacy of fascism and anti-fascism in Spain, tracking the influence on the present-day international Antifa and contemporary social justice movements. Conducted in Spanish.

Prerequisite Spanish 301 or permission of instructor. Fall Semester: Professor Brenneis.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2021

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.  

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor.  Limited to 15 students. Omitted 2021-2022. Professor Coráñez Bolton.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2019

441 Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz

A thorough, in-depth exploration of the life and works of Mexican nun Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz (1648-1695), the most important Latin American writer and thinker of the colonial period and one of the region’s most influential figures overall. The focus will be on the three choices seventeenth-century colonial women faced: marriage, the convent, and the court. We will study churches, convents, and monasteries from religious, political, social, and dietary perspectives. There will be close readings of Sor Juana’s poetry, theater, philosophical disquisitions, autobiographical writing, and theological debates regarding Athanasius Kircher, Erasmus of Rotterdam, and René Descartes. Sor Juana’s afterlife as a feminist and contemporary pop icon will also be studied, as will similar Iberian and Latin American religious writers such as Santa Teresa de Jesús, Fray San Juan de la Cruz, Fray Luis de León, Juan Ruíz de Alarcón and Carlos de Singüenza y Góngora. Conducted in Spanish.

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

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2022

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.

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor.  Limited to 25 students. Omitted 2021-2022. Professor Stavans.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2019

448 Hybrid Identities

(Offered as SPAN-448 and LLAS-448) With a historical and transnational approach, this course will explore bi/multicultural identities and communities in the Spanish-speaking world, primarily of the contemporary period: Mestizos, Korean-Argentineans, Afro-Peruvians, Latin American and Caribbean Chinatowns, Quechua-Castillian speakers, Spanglish-speakers from the United States to Gibraltar, Moroccans and West Africans in Spanish cities, “gallegos” in Buenos Aires, Filipino-Peruvian migrants in Tokyo and so on. Through a wide-variety of empirical, literary, and cultural texts (literature, film, music, graphic novel, photography, etc.), we will put diverse cases of ethnic and linguistic hybridity in dialogue with one another to study how communities and identities are represented, remembered, and demarcated; we will examine how they reclaim autonomy and space, and negotiate their personal and collective subjectivities amongst other communities and identities. Doing so will lead us to examine pressing socio-cultural phenomena that are increasingly global, rapidly-transforming, and interconnected: post/de/colonialism, bi/multiculturalism, transculturation, diaspora, immigration, exile, religion, borders, nationalism, nostalgia, capitalism, and structural in/exclusion. To help us study these issues and think of solutions, we will bring in theorists who have written on local and global hybridity (e.g., Bhabha, Spivek, Anzaldúa, Hall, Appiah). Inevitably, we will also discuss how these issues implicate us and our identities here in Amherst, MA in 2022. Students will have the opportunity to apply their knowledge as well as communicate personally with individuals who identify as bi/multicultural through a one-on-one interview project and invited speakers. Conducted in Spanish. 

Prerequisite: Spanish 301 or permission of instructor. Spring Semester: Visiting Associate Professor Megan Saltzman.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2022

451 Translation Roots of a US Literary Landscape

(Offered as SPAN 451 and LLAS 451) This course highlights literary connections between the United States and the Spanish-speaking world via translation. Through a study of texts from the late nineteenth century to the present, we will look at the role of translation in literary histories and current literary activities. We will examine how writers have translated in order to practice and enhance their creative writing. We will use translation as a way to access and analyze literary texts. We will also think about translation as professional and collaborative activities. We will study the work of José Martí (Cuba), Julia de Burgos (Puerto Rico), Silvina Ocampo (Argentina), Felipe Alfau (Catalonia-Spain), Salvador Dalí (Catalonia-Spain), Achy Obejas (Cuba), and Urayoán Noel (Puerto Rico), among others. In addition, we will explore ways of contributing with translational activities to our own literary landscape in the Amherst area by possibly collaborating with local institutions such as the Emily Dickinson Museum, the Eric Carle Museum, and the Amazing World of Dr. Seuss Museum. Conducted in Spanish.

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or permission of the instructor.  Limited to 18 students. Fall Semester: Visiting Associate Professor Galasso.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2021

455 One Hundred Years of Solitude

(Offered as LLAS 455 and SPAN 455) 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. Omitted 2021-22. Professor Stavans. 

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2009, Spring 2013, Fall 2015, Fall 2018, Spring 2021

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.

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 25 students. Omitted 2021-2022

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022
Other years: Offered in Spring 2014, Spring 2017, Fall 2020, Fall 2022

461 Racism and Anti-Racism in Latinx and Latin American Cinema

(Offered as COLQ 461 and SPAN 461) In this particular research tutorial we will ask how specific film practices help normalize racist vs. anti-racist structures of feeling. We will begin with a few key historical and theoretical texts on the long-term construction of racist and anti-racist structures of feeling in Latin America and in U.S. Latinx cultures, to then explore how these are reproduced or contested in a handful of films where racism and anti-racism are at the center of the filmic text, narratively and/or audiovisually. The selection of films will be made collaboratively, as will the subsequent research and the chosen end-product, for example an academic essay, a scholarly review essay, a digital resource for teachers, and/or media activism. The course will be conducted in Spanish.

This course is a research tutorial, listed in the catalog as colloquia for juniors and seniors, and is part of a tutorial series that engages Amherst students in substantive research with faculty in the humanities and humanistic social sciences. By exploring how different scholars approach a topic, students learn to frame a research question, develop research strategies, and identify and use sources. Students enrolled in these courses are guaranteed funding for at least six weeks of work during the summer following the academic year in which they take the course.

Open to sophomores and juniors. Limited to 6 students. Spring Semester. Professor Schroeder Rodriguez.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2022

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.

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 18 students. Spring semester. Professor Infante.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2015, Spring 2020, Spring 2022

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.

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Omitted 2021-2022. Professor Brenneis.

2022-23: 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.

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Limited to18 students. Omitted 2021-22. Professor Stavans.

2022-23: Offered in Spring 2023
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.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022, Spring 2023
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, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2022, 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 Infante.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022
Other years: Offered in Fall 2019, Fall 2020, Fall 2021, 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 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, Fall 2021, Fall 2022

Admission & Financial Aid

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Spanish

Professors Brenneis (Chair), Schroeder Rodríguez and Stavans; Assistant Professors Coráñez Bolton*, Infante and Sánchez-Naranjo; Senior Lecturer Granda; Lecturer Piazza; Visiting Associate Professor Porter; Visiting Instructor Dixon.

The Spanish Department promotes active cultural understanding about the Spanish-speaking world, community engagement at the local and international level, and Spanish as a means of intellectual inquiry. We welcome students with all levels of knowledge and from all backgrounds to our courses and community events: beginning to advanced learners of Spanish; majors and non-majors; heritage, non-heritage, and native speakers. Our wide range of courses offer students many opportunities to develop a deep understanding of the cultures associated with the Spanish-speaking world; highly polished critical thinking and research skills; and the ability to communicate effectively in Spanish using formal and informal registers. The Department sponsors community events throughout the year that help enhance students’ language skills and cultural understanding, such as the Spanish table at Valentine Dining Hall, cultural gatherings at the Spanish Language House, film festivals, lectures, and other activities.

With faculty who specialize in the Spanish language, Applied Linguistics, Latin America, Spain, Transpacific Studies, and Latinx Studies, students are able to explore in depth the aspects of the Spanish-speaking world that most fascinate them, while understanding the roots and intersections of the centuries-long cultural, linguistic, and literary legacies that make up our fields of study. Through coursework, study abroad, and creative- and research-based projects, we offer diverse learning experiences designed to challenge students to expand their knowledge and exposure to the literatures and cultures of the Spanish-speaking world. We integrate Spanish language development and practice into all of our courses, from Spanish 101 to 400-level seminars.

The Spanish major offers Amherst students the ability to immerse themselves in the language and cultures of the Spanish-speaking world through coursework, a semester or a year in a Spanish-speaking country, a senior capstone portfolio and project, and advanced research. Students are encouraged to explore the diverse curriculum offered by the Spanish Department and the many opportunities to engage with local and international Spanish-speaking communities in order to develop their own interests related to the Spanish-speaking world.

Majors have gone on to non-profit work, teaching, medicine, graduate programs, legal advocacy, media professions, and business, among many other fields. Please consult the Department’s website to read more about our current and former students.

Our courses. Starting with the first semester of the language sequence, and throughout the program, students develop skills in reading, writing, listening, and speaking Spanish through authentic cultural and literary texts such as songs, films, podcasts, newspaper articles, short stories, plays, novels, maps, artwork, and poems, all from the Spanish-speaking world. Our course numbers correspond with a level in the sequence:

Level 1 (beginning): SPAN 101 and SPAN 102 cover the fundamentals of Spanish language and the cultures of the countries where it is spoken.
Level 2 (intermediate): SPAN 201, SPAN 202, and SPAN 205, refine Spanish language skills and cultural knowledge.
Level 3 (advanced): SPAN 301 to SPAN 399 courses hone advanced-level skills in Spanish through close readings of a wide range of literary and cultural texts from Spain, Latin America, and Latinx Studies.
Level 4 (seminars): SPAN 400 to SPAN 499 courses refine and polish written and spoken Spanish through independent research, the critical analysis of texts, sustained inquiry of a topic, public engagement, and creative work.

Placement. The Department places students to ensure the best learning environment for all language learners. Placement is based on one or more of the following: AP exams in Spanish Language or Literature, the SAT Spanish subject test, the Spanish Department placement exam, and/or the instructor’s evaluation during the add/drop period. For more information, please visit our website at www.amherst.edu/academiclife/departments/spanish.

Spanish Language Program. The Spanish Language Program at Amherst College develops students’ use of the Spanish language as a tool for communication in a variety of settings ranging from the colloquial to the academic, and as a way to engage more fully with the world around them.  We do this by working with authentic cultural and literary texts from the Spanish-speaking world, starting in the first semester of the program. Classroom time is devoted to active discussions, the development of culturally relevant projects, research and writing in the target language, and oral presentations, among other activities. By the end of the fourth semester, students can expect to have reached the Advanced Low level of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) assessment for Spanish, and be ready to proceed to SPAN 301 (Literature and Culture of the Hispanic World), or study abroad in a Spanish-speaking country. For placement information, please visit our website at www.amherst.edu/academiclife/departments/spanish.

The Spanish Major. The Spanish major consists of a minimum of eight courses at the 300 and 400 levels. SPAN 205 also counts toward the major. During academic years 2020-2021 and 2021-2022, SPAN 202 will also count toward the major. Of these eight courses, at least four must be taken from the Spanish Department offerings at Amherst College, including the senior seminar (SPAN 495), and one 400-level seminar during the student’s final year. Other courses may count toward the major with pre-approval from the advisor. These may include a maximum of one Special Topics course, three or four courses taken while studying abroad, and upper-level courses from the Spanish Departments at Smith, Mount Holyoke, or UMass. Double majors may count up to two Spanish courses taken at Amherst, the Five Colleges or an approved Study Away program toward their Spanish major requirements as well as the requirements for their second major.  All courses, at Amherst and elsewhere, must be taught in Spanish and not substantially repeat topics that the student has already studied in order to be counted for major credit. Courses in English and courses taken pass/fail may not be counted toward the major. 

We expect all Spanish majors to spend a semester or a full year in an immersive study away program in a Spanish-speaking country when feasible.

Upon graduation, a student majoring in Spanish should have attained a high degree of oral (listening and speaking), reading, and written fluency in the language; a focused grasp of the diverse Spanish-speaking cultures in Latin America, the Carribbean, the United States and Spain, as well as the interactions among these cultures; and superior writing, research and critical thinking skills.

Study Away. Study away programs offer academically-rigorous courses of study and require a solid language foundation. During academic year 2021-2022, we support rather than expect all Spanish majors to spend a semester or a full year in an immersive study abroad program where they have the possibility to enroll in courses at a local university, and where they live with a host family or in another similarly-immersive housing arrangement where only Spanish is spoken.  Students may choose from a list of pre-approved study abroad programs, or they may submit a petition for an alternate program to the Department.

Students studying abroad for one semester may count up to three courses for the major, while students studying abroad for two semesters may count up to four courses towards the major. Under either scenario, one of the courses of each study abroad semester must be a humanities course focused on literature.  If a student does not take a literature course, then the maximum number of courses they may count towards the major drops by one (three for a year-long experience; two for a semester-long experience). Art, dance, and music practice courses may not be counted for major credit while abroad, but they may count for Amherst College credit. Non-liberal arts classes such as Spanish for the Health Professions or business courses taken abroad may not be counted for Amherst College credit nor for major credit.  Spanish majors must discuss their potential classes with their Spanish major advisor before going abroad, and obtain their advisor’s approval of courses via email during their first week of classes abroad.

We highly encourage students to declare the Spanish major before going abroad. Students considering adding a Spanish major after returning from abroad should be aware that these course and program requirements will be applied retroactively.

Capstone Requirement. The Senior Seminar (SPAN 495) is offered every fall semester and, along with a public presentation in the spring, fulfills the capstone requirement. Individually and as a cohort, students complete a research, creative or community-based project as well as an online portfolio representing their trajectory through the major. Thesis students work on their thesis as their individual project.

Departmental Honors (Thesis). An honors thesis for the Spanish major is an opportunity for a student to focus on a topic in depth. Students who propose a thesis are often inspired by their experiences studying abroad and/or by their work on a research assignment in one of their courses. Thesis students work closely with their advisor beginning in the spring of their junior year to develop a topic and research plan. The subject matter must revolve around the culture, literature, language, and/or arts in Spain, Latin America, the Caribbean, the Hispanic Philippines, and/or the United States. The thesis is normally written in Spanish, but may be written in English if the topic warrants it, with Departmental approval. A thesis is typically 80-150 pages in length, and may include a creative component. Students writing a thesis take two courses. During the fall, they enroll in SPAN 495 (Senior Seminar) and work on the thesis as their individual project. In the spring, all thesis students enroll in SPAN 499 (Thesis).

All prospective thesis writers must develop, in consultation with their Spanish major advisor, a three-to-five-page thesis proposal with a bibliography of one primary source and at least five secondary sources. This proposal must be submitted to the Department for approval by the first Monday in April of the student’s junior year (or the first Monday in November for E students), along with an online questionnaire available on the Spanish Department's website. Prospective thesis students are encouraged to propose the faculty member with whom they wish to work, although the thesis advisor is ultimately determined by the Department. All student-faculty consultations and departmental approval can be accomplished via email, if the student is studying abroad. The Department will review the proposal and questionnaire, and within two weeks the Chair will notify the student if the proposal has been approved and who the designated advisor will be. Advisors will be tenured and tenure-track members of the Department. Faculty and thesis writers will determine an individualized advising schedule, responding to the proposed project. Advisors are responsible for guiding the student’s interests and making content and stylistic suggestions throughout the process. Students are responsible for regular communication with their thesis advisor and keeping up with agreed-upon writing and research goals.

After the first semester, the thesis advisor will determine if the project is advancing properly. If so, the fall semester thesis work will be deemed satisfactory and the student will register for the spring thesis course (SPAN 499). If not, the student will either receive a grade for SPAN 495 or have their first semester thesis work turned into a Special Topics course, but may not enroll in SPAN 499. Final thesis manuscripts must be submitted to the Department no later than the first week of April (November for E students). The thesis defense will take place during the third week of April (November for E students) when the student will be asked to elaborate on the development, content, and style of the thesis. The student’s advisor will serve as the defense moderator. Unless otherwise stipulated, the defense committee will be made up of tenured and tenure-track members of the Department.

As a result of the defense, a thesis might be judged fully satisfactory with no revisions requested; minor departmental revisions may be recommended; the student may be asked to make substantial revisions; or the thesis might be deemed unacceptable by departmental standards. Based on the committee’s evaluation and following the College honor system, the Department may recommend thesis students for summa cum laude, magna cum laude, or cum laude. Alternatively, the Department may deem the quality of a thesis to be insufficient for honors, in which case the student would receive rite. Latin honors are determined by the Department’s recommendation, the student’s grade point average standing in their class, and the approval of the full faculty of the College. The final version of the thesis is to be submitted to the Registrar, following College guidelines, during the last week of classes.

Special Topics. Special Topics courses can be taken by seniors who are interested in pursuing a subject matter that is a particular faculty's specialty, is not offered by the Department, and is not available at the Five Colleges. The student must have a well-defined idea of the topic and a clear and convincing reason to take the course. Special Topics courses are approved solely at the faculty’s discretion and must be proposed and approved the prior semester. Only one Special Topics course may be counted toward the major. Special Topics courses are limited to one per professor per semester, and enrollments are limited to two students per course.

Combined Majors. Students may combine the Spanish major with any other Amherst major field of study or pre-med requirements. Double majors can often complete course requirements for their other major while abroad, with the approval of their other advisor.

Interdisciplinary Majors. Interdisciplinary majors are established through the Committee on Academic Standing and Special Majors, with the endorsement and cooperation of the Department or with the approval of individual members of the Department.

*On leave 2021-22.

 

 

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: Senior Lecturer Granda. Spring semester: Lecturer Piazza. 

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2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022, Spring 2023
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, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2022, 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 and spring semesters. Lecturer Piazza, Lecturer Dixon and Assistants.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022, Spring 2023
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, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2022, 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.

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.

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

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022, Spring 2023
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, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2022, 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 class will be conducted entirely in Spanish.

Prerequisite: SPAN 201 or Spanish Placement Exam. Limited to 15 students per section. Fall and spring semesters. Senior Lecturer Granda, Lecturer Piazza and Assistants.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022, Spring 2023
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, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2022, Fall 2022

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 2021-2022.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Spring 2008, Fall 2008, Spring 2009, Fall 2009, Spring 2010, Fall 2010, Spring 2011, Fall 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Fall 2018

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 connect students with the bilingual community in Amherst or Holyoke. 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 18 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: SPAN 201, SPAN 202 or placement exam.

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

2022-23: Offered in Spring 2023
Other years: Offered in Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Spring 2021, Spring 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: Visiting Professor Porter.  Spring semester: Professor Brenneis.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022, Spring 2023
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, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2022, 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, 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, visual art, 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. A travel component is planned, pending current travel restrictions.

This course may be counted toward the Spanish Major.

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or permission of the instructor. Limited to 15 Amherst College students. Omitted 2021-22. Lecturer Granda.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2016, Spring 2017, Spring 2019, Spring 2021

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. Omitted 2021-2020.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2016, Spring 2019, Fall 2020

310 Strange Girls: Spanish Women’s Voices

(Offered as SPAN 310 and SWAG 320) 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, marginalization, 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 lively variety of texts and literary genres by well-known authors such as Emilia Pardo Bazán, Carmen Laforet, Carmen Martín Gaite, Ana Rossetti and Dulce Chacón, while also widening our focus to Afro-Spanish voices who have traditionally been excluded. Students will create their own canon by becoming the editors of an Anthology of Spanish Women’s Writing. Conducted in Spanish.

Prerequisite: Spanish 301 or permission of instructor. Fall Semester: Professor Brenneis.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2021

312 Language, Identity, and Race

Language is an integral part of identity performance and perception. Paying special attention to the topic of race, this course examines the power of language and language ideologies as exclusionary and inclusionary social tools, permitting or denying group membership. Via the analysis of literary and historical texts, linguistic and anthropological research, and digital media, students learn about the role of language variation in various Hispanic socio-political contexts. Through in-class discussions, small projects, and writing assignments, we contemplate the role of language in amplifying or contesting social inequality among Latinos in the U.S., Blacks and gays in the Caribbean, Latin American migrants in Spain, indigenous communities in México, etc. In doing so, students learn about linguistic variation in Spanish, hone their critical thinking skills, and learn to apply sociolinguistic and anthropological methodology to socio-cultural analysis. As the course is conducted in Spanish, an additional aim of the course is to sharpen second language speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills.

* No prior knowledge of anthropology or (socio)linguistics is expected.

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or permission of instructor. Limited to 18 Students. Fall Semester: Lecturer Dixon.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2021

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.

Requisite: SPAN 211, SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 18 students. Omitted 2021-22.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Fall 2009, Spring 2013, Spring 2017, Spring 2021, Fall 2022

322 A Cultural History of Dictionaries in the Hispanic World 

Taught simultaneously at Amherst and Bowdoin, the course is designed as a cultural history of Hispanic civilization through its dictionaries. What authority do they exert? Who collects them? In what way do dictionaries change? The focus will be on the role words have played in history and their political, social, and commercial value. Starting with lexicons of indigenous, slave, and immigrant languages, students will engage in an in-depth exploration of figures like Antonio de Nebrija, Sebastián de Covarrubias, Andres Bello, and Maria Moliner. There will be a discussion of the asymmetrical relationship between Spain and Latin America and the importance of gender, media, sports, and cuisine. The Tesoro de la Lengua Espanola o Castellana, the Diccionario de Autoridades, the Diccionario de la Lengua Española, the MolinerLarousse, and Clave will all be analyzed. Active research in compiling neologisms and other emerging words will be a feature of the course work. The endeavor will culminate in the publication of a scholarly book by Professors Boyle and Stavans on dictionaries in the Iberian Peninsula and Latin America. Requirements: advanced and/or near-native language skills. Taught by Professors Margaret Boyle (Bowdoin) and Ilan Stavans (Amherst). Conducted in Spanish.

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

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2021

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.

Requisite: SPAN 211, SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 18 students. Omitted 2021-22.

2022-23: Not offered
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 2021-2022. Professor Schroeder Rodríguez.

2022-23: Offered in Spring 2023
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.

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 10 students.Spring Semester: Professor Infante.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2021, Spring 2022

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.

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Omitted 2021-2022. Professor Coráñez Bolton.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022
Other years: Offered in Spring 2020, Fall 2022

348 Language Learning and Globalization

(Offered as SPAN 348 and EDST 348) As the world continues to become more and more interconnected, learning languages is increasingly related to diasporic affiliations, intercultural identities, global cosmopolitanism, and translingual practices. At the same time, advancing technologies have afforded us the ability to communicate no matter where we are in the world, facilitating and creating different opportunities that serve as a mean of relating to others on cultural and sociolinguistic levels.

How does globalization impact the way people learn languages? This is the overriding question in this course. We will begin by examining how transnationalism and diasporic flows have allowed language learners to make use of language learning practices that are not conventionally valued in the field of language teaching. Thereafter, we will explore how heritage language learners challenge monolithic representations of standardized varieties of languages and linguistic norms taught in the language classroom. Finally, we will discuss how language learners have managed to retain their local languages and cultures in the face of a globalized world. Throughout the course, we will pay attention to the subtle interplay of economic, sociocultural, political, and technological forces that contest traditional scenarios for multilingual education. The materials for the course include fiction, nonfiction, audio pieces, maps, and visual materials. Conducted in Spanish.

Prerequisite: Spanish 301 or permission of instructor. Limited to 18 students. Spring Semester: Professor Sánchez-Naranjo.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2022

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.

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 6 students. Omitted 2021-22.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022
Other years: Offered in Spring 2020, Fall 2022

357 Understanding Spanish Structure and Use

(Offered as SPAN 357 and LLAS 357) Spanish is the second-most widely spoken language in the world. With more than 400 million native speakers, it has official status in 21 countries. In the United States more than 40 million people use Spanish in their daily lives. What exactly is the Spanish language? What do you actually know when you speak Spanish? These questions are at the heart of this course. By following a bottom-up design—from smallest to largest segments of language—we will understand the basic characteristics of human language and will examine the architecture of the Spanish language: how its sounds are produced and how they combine; how its words are constructed from their component parts; how its sentences are formed; how its meanings are understood; and how its use reflects aspects of our socio-cultural behavior. As an approach to the formal study of the Spanish language, we will explore actual and diverse language data such as texts, speech samples, and songs to grasp complex linguistic phenomena. Conducted in Spanish.

Prerequisite: Spanish 202 or permission of instructor. Limited to 18 students. Fall and spring semesters. Professor Sánchez-Naranjo.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2021, Spring 2022

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.

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 18 students. Omitted 2021-2022. Professor Coráñez Bolton.

2022-23: 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 301 or consent of the instructor. Omitted 2021-2022. Professor Coráñez Bolton.

2022-23: Offered in Spring 2023
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 2021-2022. Professor Coráñez Bolton.

2022-23: 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 2021-2022 Professors Schroeder Rodríguez and Ravikumar.

2022-23: 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 2021-2022 Professors Schroeder Rodríguez and Schmalzbauer.

2022-23: 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.

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 18 students. Omitted 2021-2022

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2015, Spring 2019, Spring 2021

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 301 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 15 students. Omitted 2021-2022. Professor Infante.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2014, Spring 2017, Fall 2018

415 Bilingualism in the US

(Offered as SPAN 415 and EDST 415) 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.

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Fall Semester: Professor Sánchez-Naranjo.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2019, Fall 2021

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.

Prerequisite: 301 or consent of the instructor.  Omitted 2021-2022

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2014, Fall 2016, Spring 2021

426 Spanish Antifa

(Offered as SPAN 426 and EUST 426) Spanish Antifa heroes, saboteurs, and spies have driven the longest anti-fascist resistance in Europe. Spaniards have been at the vanguard of anti-fascism from the time of the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s, to the fight against Nazi genocide during World War II, to opposition to the populist Trump-inspired Vox party of the twenty-first century. This course will consider the men and women of diverse left-wing political beliefs who risked their lives to put down fascist movements in Spain and throughout Europe. Through an examination of primary sources such as memoirs, photographs, and newspapers as well as contemporary films, graphic novels, television series, and social media, we will explore resistance tactics, international espionage, anti-fascism through the lens of gender, revisionist histories, and the long-lasting legal and social implications of attempts to thwart authoritarian oppression. This course will also consider the legacy of fascism and anti-fascism in Spain, tracking the influence on the present-day international Antifa and contemporary social justice movements. Conducted in Spanish.

Prerequisite Spanish 301 or permission of instructor. Fall Semester: Professor Brenneis.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2021

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.  

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor.  Limited to 15 students. Omitted 2021-2022. Professor Coráñez Bolton.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2019

441 Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz

A thorough, in-depth exploration of the life and works of Mexican nun Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz (1648-1695), the most important Latin American writer and thinker of the colonial period and one of the region’s most influential figures overall. The focus will be on the three choices seventeenth-century colonial women faced: marriage, the convent, and the court. We will study churches, convents, and monasteries from religious, political, social, and dietary perspectives. There will be close readings of Sor Juana’s poetry, theater, philosophical disquisitions, autobiographical writing, and theological debates regarding Athanasius Kircher, Erasmus of Rotterdam, and René Descartes. Sor Juana’s afterlife as a feminist and contemporary pop icon will also be studied, as will similar Iberian and Latin American religious writers such as Santa Teresa de Jesús, Fray San Juan de la Cruz, Fray Luis de León, Juan Ruíz de Alarcón and Carlos de Singüenza y Góngora. Conducted in Spanish.

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

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2022

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.

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor.  Limited to 25 students. Omitted 2021-2022. Professor Stavans.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2019

448 Hybrid Identities

(Offered as SPAN-448 and LLAS-448) With a historical and transnational approach, this course will explore bi/multicultural identities and communities in the Spanish-speaking world, primarily of the contemporary period: Mestizos, Korean-Argentineans, Afro-Peruvians, Latin American and Caribbean Chinatowns, Quechua-Castillian speakers, Spanglish-speakers from the United States to Gibraltar, Moroccans and West Africans in Spanish cities, “gallegos” in Buenos Aires, Filipino-Peruvian migrants in Tokyo and so on. Through a wide-variety of empirical, literary, and cultural texts (literature, film, music, graphic novel, photography, etc.), we will put diverse cases of ethnic and linguistic hybridity in dialogue with one another to study how communities and identities are represented, remembered, and demarcated; we will examine how they reclaim autonomy and space, and negotiate their personal and collective subjectivities amongst other communities and identities. Doing so will lead us to examine pressing socio-cultural phenomena that are increasingly global, rapidly-transforming, and interconnected: post/de/colonialism, bi/multiculturalism, transculturation, diaspora, immigration, exile, religion, borders, nationalism, nostalgia, capitalism, and structural in/exclusion. To help us study these issues and think of solutions, we will bring in theorists who have written on local and global hybridity (e.g., Bhabha, Spivek, Anzaldúa, Hall, Appiah). Inevitably, we will also discuss how these issues implicate us and our identities here in Amherst, MA in 2022. Students will have the opportunity to apply their knowledge as well as communicate personally with individuals who identify as bi/multicultural through a one-on-one interview project and invited speakers. Conducted in Spanish. 

Prerequisite: Spanish 301 or permission of instructor. Spring Semester: Visiting Associate Professor Megan Saltzman.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2022

451 Translation Roots of a US Literary Landscape

(Offered as SPAN 451 and LLAS 451) This course highlights literary connections between the United States and the Spanish-speaking world via translation. Through a study of texts from the late nineteenth century to the present, we will look at the role of translation in literary histories and current literary activities. We will examine how writers have translated in order to practice and enhance their creative writing. We will use translation as a way to access and analyze literary texts. We will also think about translation as professional and collaborative activities. We will study the work of José Martí (Cuba), Julia de Burgos (Puerto Rico), Silvina Ocampo (Argentina), Felipe Alfau (Catalonia-Spain), Salvador Dalí (Catalonia-Spain), Achy Obejas (Cuba), and Urayoán Noel (Puerto Rico), among others. In addition, we will explore ways of contributing with translational activities to our own literary landscape in the Amherst area by possibly collaborating with local institutions such as the Emily Dickinson Museum, the Eric Carle Museum, and the Amazing World of Dr. Seuss Museum. Conducted in Spanish.

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or permission of the instructor.  Limited to 18 students. Fall Semester: Visiting Associate Professor Galasso.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2021

455 One Hundred Years of Solitude

(Offered as LLAS 455 and SPAN 455) 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. Omitted 2021-22. Professor Stavans. 

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2009, Spring 2013, Fall 2015, Fall 2018, Spring 2021

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.

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 25 students. Omitted 2021-2022

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022
Other years: Offered in Spring 2014, Spring 2017, Fall 2020, Fall 2022

461 Racism and Anti-Racism in Latinx and Latin American Cinema

(Offered as COLQ 461 and SPAN 461) In this particular research tutorial we will ask how specific film practices help normalize racist vs. anti-racist structures of feeling. We will begin with a few key historical and theoretical texts on the long-term construction of racist and anti-racist structures of feeling in Latin America and in U.S. Latinx cultures, to then explore how these are reproduced or contested in a handful of films where racism and anti-racism are at the center of the filmic text, narratively and/or audiovisually. The selection of films will be made collaboratively, as will the subsequent research and the chosen end-product, for example an academic essay, a scholarly review essay, a digital resource for teachers, and/or media activism. The course will be conducted in Spanish.

This course is a research tutorial, listed in the catalog as colloquia for juniors and seniors, and is part of a tutorial series that engages Amherst students in substantive research with faculty in the humanities and humanistic social sciences. By exploring how different scholars approach a topic, students learn to frame a research question, develop research strategies, and identify and use sources. Students enrolled in these courses are guaranteed funding for at least six weeks of work during the summer following the academic year in which they take the course.

Open to sophomores and juniors. Limited to 6 students. Spring Semester. Professor Schroeder Rodriguez.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2022

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.

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 18 students. Spring semester. Professor Infante.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2015, Spring 2020, Spring 2022

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.

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Omitted 2021-2022. Professor Brenneis.

2022-23: 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.

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Limited to18 students. Omitted 2021-22. Professor Stavans.

2022-23: Offered in Spring 2023
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.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022, Spring 2023
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, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2022, 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 Infante.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022
Other years: Offered in Fall 2019, Fall 2020, Fall 2021, 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 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, Fall 2021, Fall 2022

Regulations & Requirements

Regulations & Requirements

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Spanish

Professors Brenneis (Chair), Schroeder Rodríguez and Stavans; Assistant Professors Coráñez Bolton*, Infante and Sánchez-Naranjo; Senior Lecturer Granda; Lecturer Piazza; Visiting Associate Professor Porter; Visiting Instructor Dixon.

The Spanish Department promotes active cultural understanding about the Spanish-speaking world, community engagement at the local and international level, and Spanish as a means of intellectual inquiry. We welcome students with all levels of knowledge and from all backgrounds to our courses and community events: beginning to advanced learners of Spanish; majors and non-majors; heritage, non-heritage, and native speakers. Our wide range of courses offer students many opportunities to develop a deep understanding of the cultures associated with the Spanish-speaking world; highly polished critical thinking and research skills; and the ability to communicate effectively in Spanish using formal and informal registers. The Department sponsors community events throughout the year that help enhance students’ language skills and cultural understanding, such as the Spanish table at Valentine Dining Hall, cultural gatherings at the Spanish Language House, film festivals, lectures, and other activities.

With faculty who specialize in the Spanish language, Applied Linguistics, Latin America, Spain, Transpacific Studies, and Latinx Studies, students are able to explore in depth the aspects of the Spanish-speaking world that most fascinate them, while understanding the roots and intersections of the centuries-long cultural, linguistic, and literary legacies that make up our fields of study. Through coursework, study abroad, and creative- and research-based projects, we offer diverse learning experiences designed to challenge students to expand their knowledge and exposure to the literatures and cultures of the Spanish-speaking world. We integrate Spanish language development and practice into all of our courses, from Spanish 101 to 400-level seminars.

The Spanish major offers Amherst students the ability to immerse themselves in the language and cultures of the Spanish-speaking world through coursework, a semester or a year in a Spanish-speaking country, a senior capstone portfolio and project, and advanced research. Students are encouraged to explore the diverse curriculum offered by the Spanish Department and the many opportunities to engage with local and international Spanish-speaking communities in order to develop their own interests related to the Spanish-speaking world.

Majors have gone on to non-profit work, teaching, medicine, graduate programs, legal advocacy, media professions, and business, among many other fields. Please consult the Department’s website to read more about our current and former students.

Our courses. Starting with the first semester of the language sequence, and throughout the program, students develop skills in reading, writing, listening, and speaking Spanish through authentic cultural and literary texts such as songs, films, podcasts, newspaper articles, short stories, plays, novels, maps, artwork, and poems, all from the Spanish-speaking world. Our course numbers correspond with a level in the sequence:

Level 1 (beginning): SPAN 101 and SPAN 102 cover the fundamentals of Spanish language and the cultures of the countries where it is spoken.
Level 2 (intermediate): SPAN 201, SPAN 202, and SPAN 205, refine Spanish language skills and cultural knowledge.
Level 3 (advanced): SPAN 301 to SPAN 399 courses hone advanced-level skills in Spanish through close readings of a wide range of literary and cultural texts from Spain, Latin America, and Latinx Studies.
Level 4 (seminars): SPAN 400 to SPAN 499 courses refine and polish written and spoken Spanish through independent research, the critical analysis of texts, sustained inquiry of a topic, public engagement, and creative work.

Placement. The Department places students to ensure the best learning environment for all language learners. Placement is based on one or more of the following: AP exams in Spanish Language or Literature, the SAT Spanish subject test, the Spanish Department placement exam, and/or the instructor’s evaluation during the add/drop period. For more information, please visit our website at www.amherst.edu/academiclife/departments/spanish.

Spanish Language Program. The Spanish Language Program at Amherst College develops students’ use of the Spanish language as a tool for communication in a variety of settings ranging from the colloquial to the academic, and as a way to engage more fully with the world around them.  We do this by working with authentic cultural and literary texts from the Spanish-speaking world, starting in the first semester of the program. Classroom time is devoted to active discussions, the development of culturally relevant projects, research and writing in the target language, and oral presentations, among other activities. By the end of the fourth semester, students can expect to have reached the Advanced Low level of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) assessment for Spanish, and be ready to proceed to SPAN 301 (Literature and Culture of the Hispanic World), or study abroad in a Spanish-speaking country. For placement information, please visit our website at www.amherst.edu/academiclife/departments/spanish.

The Spanish Major. The Spanish major consists of a minimum of eight courses at the 300 and 400 levels. SPAN 205 also counts toward the major. During academic years 2020-2021 and 2021-2022, SPAN 202 will also count toward the major. Of these eight courses, at least four must be taken from the Spanish Department offerings at Amherst College, including the senior seminar (SPAN 495), and one 400-level seminar during the student’s final year. Other courses may count toward the major with pre-approval from the advisor. These may include a maximum of one Special Topics course, three or four courses taken while studying abroad, and upper-level courses from the Spanish Departments at Smith, Mount Holyoke, or UMass. Double majors may count up to two Spanish courses taken at Amherst, the Five Colleges or an approved Study Away program toward their Spanish major requirements as well as the requirements for their second major.  All courses, at Amherst and elsewhere, must be taught in Spanish and not substantially repeat topics that the student has already studied in order to be counted for major credit. Courses in English and courses taken pass/fail may not be counted toward the major. 

We expect all Spanish majors to spend a semester or a full year in an immersive study away program in a Spanish-speaking country when feasible.

Upon graduation, a student majoring in Spanish should have attained a high degree of oral (listening and speaking), reading, and written fluency in the language; a focused grasp of the diverse Spanish-speaking cultures in Latin America, the Carribbean, the United States and Spain, as well as the interactions among these cultures; and superior writing, research and critical thinking skills.

Study Away. Study away programs offer academically-rigorous courses of study and require a solid language foundation. During academic year 2021-2022, we support rather than expect all Spanish majors to spend a semester or a full year in an immersive study abroad program where they have the possibility to enroll in courses at a local university, and where they live with a host family or in another similarly-immersive housing arrangement where only Spanish is spoken.  Students may choose from a list of pre-approved study abroad programs, or they may submit a petition for an alternate program to the Department.

Students studying abroad for one semester may count up to three courses for the major, while students studying abroad for two semesters may count up to four courses towards the major. Under either scenario, one of the courses of each study abroad semester must be a humanities course focused on literature.  If a student does not take a literature course, then the maximum number of courses they may count towards the major drops by one (three for a year-long experience; two for a semester-long experience). Art, dance, and music practice courses may not be counted for major credit while abroad, but they may count for Amherst College credit. Non-liberal arts classes such as Spanish for the Health Professions or business courses taken abroad may not be counted for Amherst College credit nor for major credit.  Spanish majors must discuss their potential classes with their Spanish major advisor before going abroad, and obtain their advisor’s approval of courses via email during their first week of classes abroad.

We highly encourage students to declare the Spanish major before going abroad. Students considering adding a Spanish major after returning from abroad should be aware that these course and program requirements will be applied retroactively.

Capstone Requirement. The Senior Seminar (SPAN 495) is offered every fall semester and, along with a public presentation in the spring, fulfills the capstone requirement. Individually and as a cohort, students complete a research, creative or community-based project as well as an online portfolio representing their trajectory through the major. Thesis students work on their thesis as their individual project.

Departmental Honors (Thesis). An honors thesis for the Spanish major is an opportunity for a student to focus on a topic in depth. Students who propose a thesis are often inspired by their experiences studying abroad and/or by their work on a research assignment in one of their courses. Thesis students work closely with their advisor beginning in the spring of their junior year to develop a topic and research plan. The subject matter must revolve around the culture, literature, language, and/or arts in Spain, Latin America, the Caribbean, the Hispanic Philippines, and/or the United States. The thesis is normally written in Spanish, but may be written in English if the topic warrants it, with Departmental approval. A thesis is typically 80-150 pages in length, and may include a creative component. Students writing a thesis take two courses. During the fall, they enroll in SPAN 495 (Senior Seminar) and work on the thesis as their individual project. In the spring, all thesis students enroll in SPAN 499 (Thesis).

All prospective thesis writers must develop, in consultation with their Spanish major advisor, a three-to-five-page thesis proposal with a bibliography of one primary source and at least five secondary sources. This proposal must be submitted to the Department for approval by the first Monday in April of the student’s junior year (or the first Monday in November for E students), along with an online questionnaire available on the Spanish Department's website. Prospective thesis students are encouraged to propose the faculty member with whom they wish to work, although the thesis advisor is ultimately determined by the Department. All student-faculty consultations and departmental approval can be accomplished via email, if the student is studying abroad. The Department will review the proposal and questionnaire, and within two weeks the Chair will notify the student if the proposal has been approved and who the designated advisor will be. Advisors will be tenured and tenure-track members of the Department. Faculty and thesis writers will determine an individualized advising schedule, responding to the proposed project. Advisors are responsible for guiding the student’s interests and making content and stylistic suggestions throughout the process. Students are responsible for regular communication with their thesis advisor and keeping up with agreed-upon writing and research goals.

After the first semester, the thesis advisor will determine if the project is advancing properly. If so, the fall semester thesis work will be deemed satisfactory and the student will register for the spring thesis course (SPAN 499). If not, the student will either receive a grade for SPAN 495 or have their first semester thesis work turned into a Special Topics course, but may not enroll in SPAN 499. Final thesis manuscripts must be submitted to the Department no later than the first week of April (November for E students). The thesis defense will take place during the third week of April (November for E students) when the student will be asked to elaborate on the development, content, and style of the thesis. The student’s advisor will serve as the defense moderator. Unless otherwise stipulated, the defense committee will be made up of tenured and tenure-track members of the Department.

As a result of the defense, a thesis might be judged fully satisfactory with no revisions requested; minor departmental revisions may be recommended; the student may be asked to make substantial revisions; or the thesis might be deemed unacceptable by departmental standards. Based on the committee’s evaluation and following the College honor system, the Department may recommend thesis students for summa cum laude, magna cum laude, or cum laude. Alternatively, the Department may deem the quality of a thesis to be insufficient for honors, in which case the student would receive rite. Latin honors are determined by the Department’s recommendation, the student’s grade point average standing in their class, and the approval of the full faculty of the College. The final version of the thesis is to be submitted to the Registrar, following College guidelines, during the last week of classes.

Special Topics. Special Topics courses can be taken by seniors who are interested in pursuing a subject matter that is a particular faculty's specialty, is not offered by the Department, and is not available at the Five Colleges. The student must have a well-defined idea of the topic and a clear and convincing reason to take the course. Special Topics courses are approved solely at the faculty’s discretion and must be proposed and approved the prior semester. Only one Special Topics course may be counted toward the major. Special Topics courses are limited to one per professor per semester, and enrollments are limited to two students per course.

Combined Majors. Students may combine the Spanish major with any other Amherst major field of study or pre-med requirements. Double majors can often complete course requirements for their other major while abroad, with the approval of their other advisor.

Interdisciplinary Majors. Interdisciplinary majors are established through the Committee on Academic Standing and Special Majors, with the endorsement and cooperation of the Department or with the approval of individual members of the Department.

*On leave 2021-22.

 

 

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: Senior Lecturer Granda. Spring semester: Lecturer Piazza. 

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2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022, Spring 2023
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, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2022, 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 and spring semesters. Lecturer Piazza, Lecturer Dixon and Assistants.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022, Spring 2023
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, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2022, 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.

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.

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

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022, Spring 2023
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, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2022, 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 class will be conducted entirely in Spanish.

Prerequisite: SPAN 201 or Spanish Placement Exam. Limited to 15 students per section. Fall and spring semesters. Senior Lecturer Granda, Lecturer Piazza and Assistants.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022, Spring 2023
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, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2022, Fall 2022

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 2021-2022.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Spring 2008, Fall 2008, Spring 2009, Fall 2009, Spring 2010, Fall 2010, Spring 2011, Fall 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Fall 2018

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 connect students with the bilingual community in Amherst or Holyoke. 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 18 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: SPAN 201, SPAN 202 or placement exam.

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

2022-23: Offered in Spring 2023
Other years: Offered in Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Spring 2021, Spring 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: Visiting Professor Porter.  Spring semester: Professor Brenneis.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022, Spring 2023
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, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2022, 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, 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, visual art, 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. A travel component is planned, pending current travel restrictions.

This course may be counted toward the Spanish Major.

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or permission of the instructor. Limited to 15 Amherst College students. Omitted 2021-22. Lecturer Granda.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2016, Spring 2017, Spring 2019, Spring 2021

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. Omitted 2021-2020.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2016, Spring 2019, Fall 2020

310 Strange Girls: Spanish Women’s Voices

(Offered as SPAN 310 and SWAG 320) 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, marginalization, 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 lively variety of texts and literary genres by well-known authors such as Emilia Pardo Bazán, Carmen Laforet, Carmen Martín Gaite, Ana Rossetti and Dulce Chacón, while also widening our focus to Afro-Spanish voices who have traditionally been excluded. Students will create their own canon by becoming the editors of an Anthology of Spanish Women’s Writing. Conducted in Spanish.

Prerequisite: Spanish 301 or permission of instructor. Fall Semester: Professor Brenneis.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2021

312 Language, Identity, and Race

Language is an integral part of identity performance and perception. Paying special attention to the topic of race, this course examines the power of language and language ideologies as exclusionary and inclusionary social tools, permitting or denying group membership. Via the analysis of literary and historical texts, linguistic and anthropological research, and digital media, students learn about the role of language variation in various Hispanic socio-political contexts. Through in-class discussions, small projects, and writing assignments, we contemplate the role of language in amplifying or contesting social inequality among Latinos in the U.S., Blacks and gays in the Caribbean, Latin American migrants in Spain, indigenous communities in México, etc. In doing so, students learn about linguistic variation in Spanish, hone their critical thinking skills, and learn to apply sociolinguistic and anthropological methodology to socio-cultural analysis. As the course is conducted in Spanish, an additional aim of the course is to sharpen second language speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills.

* No prior knowledge of anthropology or (socio)linguistics is expected.

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or permission of instructor. Limited to 18 Students. Fall Semester: Lecturer Dixon.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2021

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.

Requisite: SPAN 211, SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 18 students. Omitted 2021-22.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Fall 2009, Spring 2013, Spring 2017, Spring 2021, Fall 2022

322 A Cultural History of Dictionaries in the Hispanic World 

Taught simultaneously at Amherst and Bowdoin, the course is designed as a cultural history of Hispanic civilization through its dictionaries. What authority do they exert? Who collects them? In what way do dictionaries change? The focus will be on the role words have played in history and their political, social, and commercial value. Starting with lexicons of indigenous, slave, and immigrant languages, students will engage in an in-depth exploration of figures like Antonio de Nebrija, Sebastián de Covarrubias, Andres Bello, and Maria Moliner. There will be a discussion of the asymmetrical relationship between Spain and Latin America and the importance of gender, media, sports, and cuisine. The Tesoro de la Lengua Espanola o Castellana, the Diccionario de Autoridades, the Diccionario de la Lengua Española, the MolinerLarousse, and Clave will all be analyzed. Active research in compiling neologisms and other emerging words will be a feature of the course work. The endeavor will culminate in the publication of a scholarly book by Professors Boyle and Stavans on dictionaries in the Iberian Peninsula and Latin America. Requirements: advanced and/or near-native language skills. Taught by Professors Margaret Boyle (Bowdoin) and Ilan Stavans (Amherst). Conducted in Spanish.

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

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2021

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.

Requisite: SPAN 211, SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 18 students. Omitted 2021-22.

2022-23: Not offered
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 2021-2022. Professor Schroeder Rodríguez.

2022-23: Offered in Spring 2023
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.

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 10 students.Spring Semester: Professor Infante.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2021, Spring 2022

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.

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Omitted 2021-2022. Professor Coráñez Bolton.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022
Other years: Offered in Spring 2020, Fall 2022

348 Language Learning and Globalization

(Offered as SPAN 348 and EDST 348) As the world continues to become more and more interconnected, learning languages is increasingly related to diasporic affiliations, intercultural identities, global cosmopolitanism, and translingual practices. At the same time, advancing technologies have afforded us the ability to communicate no matter where we are in the world, facilitating and creating different opportunities that serve as a mean of relating to others on cultural and sociolinguistic levels.

How does globalization impact the way people learn languages? This is the overriding question in this course. We will begin by examining how transnationalism and diasporic flows have allowed language learners to make use of language learning practices that are not conventionally valued in the field of language teaching. Thereafter, we will explore how heritage language learners challenge monolithic representations of standardized varieties of languages and linguistic norms taught in the language classroom. Finally, we will discuss how language learners have managed to retain their local languages and cultures in the face of a globalized world. Throughout the course, we will pay attention to the subtle interplay of economic, sociocultural, political, and technological forces that contest traditional scenarios for multilingual education. The materials for the course include fiction, nonfiction, audio pieces, maps, and visual materials. Conducted in Spanish.

Prerequisite: Spanish 301 or permission of instructor. Limited to 18 students. Spring Semester: Professor Sánchez-Naranjo.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2022

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.

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 6 students. Omitted 2021-22.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022
Other years: Offered in Spring 2020, Fall 2022

357 Understanding Spanish Structure and Use

(Offered as SPAN 357 and LLAS 357) Spanish is the second-most widely spoken language in the world. With more than 400 million native speakers, it has official status in 21 countries. In the United States more than 40 million people use Spanish in their daily lives. What exactly is the Spanish language? What do you actually know when you speak Spanish? These questions are at the heart of this course. By following a bottom-up design—from smallest to largest segments of language—we will understand the basic characteristics of human language and will examine the architecture of the Spanish language: how its sounds are produced and how they combine; how its words are constructed from their component parts; how its sentences are formed; how its meanings are understood; and how its use reflects aspects of our socio-cultural behavior. As an approach to the formal study of the Spanish language, we will explore actual and diverse language data such as texts, speech samples, and songs to grasp complex linguistic phenomena. Conducted in Spanish.

Prerequisite: Spanish 202 or permission of instructor. Limited to 18 students. Fall and spring semesters. Professor Sánchez-Naranjo.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2021, Spring 2022

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.

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 18 students. Omitted 2021-2022. Professor Coráñez Bolton.

2022-23: 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 301 or consent of the instructor. Omitted 2021-2022. Professor Coráñez Bolton.

2022-23: Offered in Spring 2023
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 2021-2022. Professor Coráñez Bolton.

2022-23: 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 2021-2022 Professors Schroeder Rodríguez and Ravikumar.

2022-23: 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 2021-2022 Professors Schroeder Rodríguez and Schmalzbauer.

2022-23: 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.

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 18 students. Omitted 2021-2022

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2015, Spring 2019, Spring 2021

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 301 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 15 students. Omitted 2021-2022. Professor Infante.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2014, Spring 2017, Fall 2018

415 Bilingualism in the US

(Offered as SPAN 415 and EDST 415) 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.

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Fall Semester: Professor Sánchez-Naranjo.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2019, Fall 2021

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.

Prerequisite: 301 or consent of the instructor.  Omitted 2021-2022

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2014, Fall 2016, Spring 2021

426 Spanish Antifa

(Offered as SPAN 426 and EUST 426) Spanish Antifa heroes, saboteurs, and spies have driven the longest anti-fascist resistance in Europe. Spaniards have been at the vanguard of anti-fascism from the time of the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s, to the fight against Nazi genocide during World War II, to opposition to the populist Trump-inspired Vox party of the twenty-first century. This course will consider the men and women of diverse left-wing political beliefs who risked their lives to put down fascist movements in Spain and throughout Europe. Through an examination of primary sources such as memoirs, photographs, and newspapers as well as contemporary films, graphic novels, television series, and social media, we will explore resistance tactics, international espionage, anti-fascism through the lens of gender, revisionist histories, and the long-lasting legal and social implications of attempts to thwart authoritarian oppression. This course will also consider the legacy of fascism and anti-fascism in Spain, tracking the influence on the present-day international Antifa and contemporary social justice movements. Conducted in Spanish.

Prerequisite Spanish 301 or permission of instructor. Fall Semester: Professor Brenneis.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2021

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.  

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor.  Limited to 15 students. Omitted 2021-2022. Professor Coráñez Bolton.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2019

441 Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz

A thorough, in-depth exploration of the life and works of Mexican nun Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz (1648-1695), the most important Latin American writer and thinker of the colonial period and one of the region’s most influential figures overall. The focus will be on the three choices seventeenth-century colonial women faced: marriage, the convent, and the court. We will study churches, convents, and monasteries from religious, political, social, and dietary perspectives. There will be close readings of Sor Juana’s poetry, theater, philosophical disquisitions, autobiographical writing, and theological debates regarding Athanasius Kircher, Erasmus of Rotterdam, and René Descartes. Sor Juana’s afterlife as a feminist and contemporary pop icon will also be studied, as will similar Iberian and Latin American religious writers such as Santa Teresa de Jesús, Fray San Juan de la Cruz, Fray Luis de León, Juan Ruíz de Alarcón and Carlos de Singüenza y Góngora. Conducted in Spanish.

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

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2022

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.

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor.  Limited to 25 students. Omitted 2021-2022. Professor Stavans.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2019

448 Hybrid Identities

(Offered as SPAN-448 and LLAS-448) With a historical and transnational approach, this course will explore bi/multicultural identities and communities in the Spanish-speaking world, primarily of the contemporary period: Mestizos, Korean-Argentineans, Afro-Peruvians, Latin American and Caribbean Chinatowns, Quechua-Castillian speakers, Spanglish-speakers from the United States to Gibraltar, Moroccans and West Africans in Spanish cities, “gallegos” in Buenos Aires, Filipino-Peruvian migrants in Tokyo and so on. Through a wide-variety of empirical, literary, and cultural texts (literature, film, music, graphic novel, photography, etc.), we will put diverse cases of ethnic and linguistic hybridity in dialogue with one another to study how communities and identities are represented, remembered, and demarcated; we will examine how they reclaim autonomy and space, and negotiate their personal and collective subjectivities amongst other communities and identities. Doing so will lead us to examine pressing socio-cultural phenomena that are increasingly global, rapidly-transforming, and interconnected: post/de/colonialism, bi/multiculturalism, transculturation, diaspora, immigration, exile, religion, borders, nationalism, nostalgia, capitalism, and structural in/exclusion. To help us study these issues and think of solutions, we will bring in theorists who have written on local and global hybridity (e.g., Bhabha, Spivek, Anzaldúa, Hall, Appiah). Inevitably, we will also discuss how these issues implicate us and our identities here in Amherst, MA in 2022. Students will have the opportunity to apply their knowledge as well as communicate personally with individuals who identify as bi/multicultural through a one-on-one interview project and invited speakers. Conducted in Spanish. 

Prerequisite: Spanish 301 or permission of instructor. Spring Semester: Visiting Associate Professor Megan Saltzman.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2022

451 Translation Roots of a US Literary Landscape

(Offered as SPAN 451 and LLAS 451) This course highlights literary connections between the United States and the Spanish-speaking world via translation. Through a study of texts from the late nineteenth century to the present, we will look at the role of translation in literary histories and current literary activities. We will examine how writers have translated in order to practice and enhance their creative writing. We will use translation as a way to access and analyze literary texts. We will also think about translation as professional and collaborative activities. We will study the work of José Martí (Cuba), Julia de Burgos (Puerto Rico), Silvina Ocampo (Argentina), Felipe Alfau (Catalonia-Spain), Salvador Dalí (Catalonia-Spain), Achy Obejas (Cuba), and Urayoán Noel (Puerto Rico), among others. In addition, we will explore ways of contributing with translational activities to our own literary landscape in the Amherst area by possibly collaborating with local institutions such as the Emily Dickinson Museum, the Eric Carle Museum, and the Amazing World of Dr. Seuss Museum. Conducted in Spanish.

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or permission of the instructor.  Limited to 18 students. Fall Semester: Visiting Associate Professor Galasso.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2021

455 One Hundred Years of Solitude

(Offered as LLAS 455 and SPAN 455) 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. Omitted 2021-22. Professor Stavans. 

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2009, Spring 2013, Fall 2015, Fall 2018, Spring 2021

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.

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 25 students. Omitted 2021-2022

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022
Other years: Offered in Spring 2014, Spring 2017, Fall 2020, Fall 2022

461 Racism and Anti-Racism in Latinx and Latin American Cinema

(Offered as COLQ 461 and SPAN 461) In this particular research tutorial we will ask how specific film practices help normalize racist vs. anti-racist structures of feeling. We will begin with a few key historical and theoretical texts on the long-term construction of racist and anti-racist structures of feeling in Latin America and in U.S. Latinx cultures, to then explore how these are reproduced or contested in a handful of films where racism and anti-racism are at the center of the filmic text, narratively and/or audiovisually. The selection of films will be made collaboratively, as will the subsequent research and the chosen end-product, for example an academic essay, a scholarly review essay, a digital resource for teachers, and/or media activism. The course will be conducted in Spanish.

This course is a research tutorial, listed in the catalog as colloquia for juniors and seniors, and is part of a tutorial series that engages Amherst students in substantive research with faculty in the humanities and humanistic social sciences. By exploring how different scholars approach a topic, students learn to frame a research question, develop research strategies, and identify and use sources. Students enrolled in these courses are guaranteed funding for at least six weeks of work during the summer following the academic year in which they take the course.

Open to sophomores and juniors. Limited to 6 students. Spring Semester. Professor Schroeder Rodriguez.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2022

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.

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 18 students. Spring semester. Professor Infante.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2015, Spring 2020, Spring 2022

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.

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Omitted 2021-2022. Professor Brenneis.

2022-23: 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.

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Limited to18 students. Omitted 2021-22. Professor Stavans.

2022-23: Offered in Spring 2023
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.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022, Spring 2023
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, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2022, 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 Infante.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022
Other years: Offered in Fall 2019, Fall 2020, Fall 2021, 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 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, Fall 2021, Fall 2022

Amherst College Courses

Amherst College Courses

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Spanish

Professors Brenneis (Chair), Schroeder Rodríguez and Stavans; Assistant Professors Coráñez Bolton*, Infante and Sánchez-Naranjo; Senior Lecturer Granda; Lecturer Piazza; Visiting Associate Professor Porter; Visiting Instructor Dixon.

The Spanish Department promotes active cultural understanding about the Spanish-speaking world, community engagement at the local and international level, and Spanish as a means of intellectual inquiry. We welcome students with all levels of knowledge and from all backgrounds to our courses and community events: beginning to advanced learners of Spanish; majors and non-majors; heritage, non-heritage, and native speakers. Our wide range of courses offer students many opportunities to develop a deep understanding of the cultures associated with the Spanish-speaking world; highly polished critical thinking and research skills; and the ability to communicate effectively in Spanish using formal and informal registers. The Department sponsors community events throughout the year that help enhance students’ language skills and cultural understanding, such as the Spanish table at Valentine Dining Hall, cultural gatherings at the Spanish Language House, film festivals, lectures, and other activities.

With faculty who specialize in the Spanish language, Applied Linguistics, Latin America, Spain, Transpacific Studies, and Latinx Studies, students are able to explore in depth the aspects of the Spanish-speaking world that most fascinate them, while understanding the roots and intersections of the centuries-long cultural, linguistic, and literary legacies that make up our fields of study. Through coursework, study abroad, and creative- and research-based projects, we offer diverse learning experiences designed to challenge students to expand their knowledge and exposure to the literatures and cultures of the Spanish-speaking world. We integrate Spanish language development and practice into all of our courses, from Spanish 101 to 400-level seminars.

The Spanish major offers Amherst students the ability to immerse themselves in the language and cultures of the Spanish-speaking world through coursework, a semester or a year in a Spanish-speaking country, a senior capstone portfolio and project, and advanced research. Students are encouraged to explore the diverse curriculum offered by the Spanish Department and the many opportunities to engage with local and international Spanish-speaking communities in order to develop their own interests related to the Spanish-speaking world.

Majors have gone on to non-profit work, teaching, medicine, graduate programs, legal advocacy, media professions, and business, among many other fields. Please consult the Department’s website to read more about our current and former students.

Our courses. Starting with the first semester of the language sequence, and throughout the program, students develop skills in reading, writing, listening, and speaking Spanish through authentic cultural and literary texts such as songs, films, podcasts, newspaper articles, short stories, plays, novels, maps, artwork, and poems, all from the Spanish-speaking world. Our course numbers correspond with a level in the sequence:

Level 1 (beginning): SPAN 101 and SPAN 102 cover the fundamentals of Spanish language and the cultures of the countries where it is spoken.
Level 2 (intermediate): SPAN 201, SPAN 202, and SPAN 205, refine Spanish language skills and cultural knowledge.
Level 3 (advanced): SPAN 301 to SPAN 399 courses hone advanced-level skills in Spanish through close readings of a wide range of literary and cultural texts from Spain, Latin America, and Latinx Studies.
Level 4 (seminars): SPAN 400 to SPAN 499 courses refine and polish written and spoken Spanish through independent research, the critical analysis of texts, sustained inquiry of a topic, public engagement, and creative work.

Placement. The Department places students to ensure the best learning environment for all language learners. Placement is based on one or more of the following: AP exams in Spanish Language or Literature, the SAT Spanish subject test, the Spanish Department placement exam, and/or the instructor’s evaluation during the add/drop period. For more information, please visit our website at www.amherst.edu/academiclife/departments/spanish.

Spanish Language Program. The Spanish Language Program at Amherst College develops students’ use of the Spanish language as a tool for communication in a variety of settings ranging from the colloquial to the academic, and as a way to engage more fully with the world around them.  We do this by working with authentic cultural and literary texts from the Spanish-speaking world, starting in the first semester of the program. Classroom time is devoted to active discussions, the development of culturally relevant projects, research and writing in the target language, and oral presentations, among other activities. By the end of the fourth semester, students can expect to have reached the Advanced Low level of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) assessment for Spanish, and be ready to proceed to SPAN 301 (Literature and Culture of the Hispanic World), or study abroad in a Spanish-speaking country. For placement information, please visit our website at www.amherst.edu/academiclife/departments/spanish.

The Spanish Major. The Spanish major consists of a minimum of eight courses at the 300 and 400 levels. SPAN 205 also counts toward the major. During academic years 2020-2021 and 2021-2022, SPAN 202 will also count toward the major. Of these eight courses, at least four must be taken from the Spanish Department offerings at Amherst College, including the senior seminar (SPAN 495), and one 400-level seminar during the student’s final year. Other courses may count toward the major with pre-approval from the advisor. These may include a maximum of one Special Topics course, three or four courses taken while studying abroad, and upper-level courses from the Spanish Departments at Smith, Mount Holyoke, or UMass. Double majors may count up to two Spanish courses taken at Amherst, the Five Colleges or an approved Study Away program toward their Spanish major requirements as well as the requirements for their second major.  All courses, at Amherst and elsewhere, must be taught in Spanish and not substantially repeat topics that the student has already studied in order to be counted for major credit. Courses in English and courses taken pass/fail may not be counted toward the major. 

We expect all Spanish majors to spend a semester or a full year in an immersive study away program in a Spanish-speaking country when feasible.

Upon graduation, a student majoring in Spanish should have attained a high degree of oral (listening and speaking), reading, and written fluency in the language; a focused grasp of the diverse Spanish-speaking cultures in Latin America, the Carribbean, the United States and Spain, as well as the interactions among these cultures; and superior writing, research and critical thinking skills.

Study Away. Study away programs offer academically-rigorous courses of study and require a solid language foundation. During academic year 2021-2022, we support rather than expect all Spanish majors to spend a semester or a full year in an immersive study abroad program where they have the possibility to enroll in courses at a local university, and where they live with a host family or in another similarly-immersive housing arrangement where only Spanish is spoken.  Students may choose from a list of pre-approved study abroad programs, or they may submit a petition for an alternate program to the Department.

Students studying abroad for one semester may count up to three courses for the major, while students studying abroad for two semesters may count up to four courses towards the major. Under either scenario, one of the courses of each study abroad semester must be a humanities course focused on literature.  If a student does not take a literature course, then the maximum number of courses they may count towards the major drops by one (three for a year-long experience; two for a semester-long experience). Art, dance, and music practice courses may not be counted for major credit while abroad, but they may count for Amherst College credit. Non-liberal arts classes such as Spanish for the Health Professions or business courses taken abroad may not be counted for Amherst College credit nor for major credit.  Spanish majors must discuss their potential classes with their Spanish major advisor before going abroad, and obtain their advisor’s approval of courses via email during their first week of classes abroad.

We highly encourage students to declare the Spanish major before going abroad. Students considering adding a Spanish major after returning from abroad should be aware that these course and program requirements will be applied retroactively.

Capstone Requirement. The Senior Seminar (SPAN 495) is offered every fall semester and, along with a public presentation in the spring, fulfills the capstone requirement. Individually and as a cohort, students complete a research, creative or community-based project as well as an online portfolio representing their trajectory through the major. Thesis students work on their thesis as their individual project.

Departmental Honors (Thesis). An honors thesis for the Spanish major is an opportunity for a student to focus on a topic in depth. Students who propose a thesis are often inspired by their experiences studying abroad and/or by their work on a research assignment in one of their courses. Thesis students work closely with their advisor beginning in the spring of their junior year to develop a topic and research plan. The subject matter must revolve around the culture, literature, language, and/or arts in Spain, Latin America, the Caribbean, the Hispanic Philippines, and/or the United States. The thesis is normally written in Spanish, but may be written in English if the topic warrants it, with Departmental approval. A thesis is typically 80-150 pages in length, and may include a creative component. Students writing a thesis take two courses. During the fall, they enroll in SPAN 495 (Senior Seminar) and work on the thesis as their individual project. In the spring, all thesis students enroll in SPAN 499 (Thesis).

All prospective thesis writers must develop, in consultation with their Spanish major advisor, a three-to-five-page thesis proposal with a bibliography of one primary source and at least five secondary sources. This proposal must be submitted to the Department for approval by the first Monday in April of the student’s junior year (or the first Monday in November for E students), along with an online questionnaire available on the Spanish Department's website. Prospective thesis students are encouraged to propose the faculty member with whom they wish to work, although the thesis advisor is ultimately determined by the Department. All student-faculty consultations and departmental approval can be accomplished via email, if the student is studying abroad. The Department will review the proposal and questionnaire, and within two weeks the Chair will notify the student if the proposal has been approved and who the designated advisor will be. Advisors will be tenured and tenure-track members of the Department. Faculty and thesis writers will determine an individualized advising schedule, responding to the proposed project. Advisors are responsible for guiding the student’s interests and making content and stylistic suggestions throughout the process. Students are responsible for regular communication with their thesis advisor and keeping up with agreed-upon writing and research goals.

After the first semester, the thesis advisor will determine if the project is advancing properly. If so, the fall semester thesis work will be deemed satisfactory and the student will register for the spring thesis course (SPAN 499). If not, the student will either receive a grade for SPAN 495 or have their first semester thesis work turned into a Special Topics course, but may not enroll in SPAN 499. Final thesis manuscripts must be submitted to the Department no later than the first week of April (November for E students). The thesis defense will take place during the third week of April (November for E students) when the student will be asked to elaborate on the development, content, and style of the thesis. The student’s advisor will serve as the defense moderator. Unless otherwise stipulated, the defense committee will be made up of tenured and tenure-track members of the Department.

As a result of the defense, a thesis might be judged fully satisfactory with no revisions requested; minor departmental revisions may be recommended; the student may be asked to make substantial revisions; or the thesis might be deemed unacceptable by departmental standards. Based on the committee’s evaluation and following the College honor system, the Department may recommend thesis students for summa cum laude, magna cum laude, or cum laude. Alternatively, the Department may deem the quality of a thesis to be insufficient for honors, in which case the student would receive rite. Latin honors are determined by the Department’s recommendation, the student’s grade point average standing in their class, and the approval of the full faculty of the College. The final version of the thesis is to be submitted to the Registrar, following College guidelines, during the last week of classes.

Special Topics. Special Topics courses can be taken by seniors who are interested in pursuing a subject matter that is a particular faculty's specialty, is not offered by the Department, and is not available at the Five Colleges. The student must have a well-defined idea of the topic and a clear and convincing reason to take the course. Special Topics courses are approved solely at the faculty’s discretion and must be proposed and approved the prior semester. Only one Special Topics course may be counted toward the major. Special Topics courses are limited to one per professor per semester, and enrollments are limited to two students per course.

Combined Majors. Students may combine the Spanish major with any other Amherst major field of study or pre-med requirements. Double majors can often complete course requirements for their other major while abroad, with the approval of their other advisor.

Interdisciplinary Majors. Interdisciplinary majors are established through the Committee on Academic Standing and Special Majors, with the endorsement and cooperation of the Department or with the approval of individual members of the Department.

*On leave 2021-22.

 

 

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: Senior Lecturer Granda. Spring semester: Lecturer Piazza. 

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2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022, Spring 2023
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, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2022, 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 and spring semesters. Lecturer Piazza, Lecturer Dixon and Assistants.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022, Spring 2023
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, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2022, 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.

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.

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

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022, Spring 2023
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, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2022, 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 class will be conducted entirely in Spanish.

Prerequisite: SPAN 201 or Spanish Placement Exam. Limited to 15 students per section. Fall and spring semesters. Senior Lecturer Granda, Lecturer Piazza and Assistants.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022, Spring 2023
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, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2022, Fall 2022

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 2021-2022.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Spring 2008, Fall 2008, Spring 2009, Fall 2009, Spring 2010, Fall 2010, Spring 2011, Fall 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Fall 2018

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 connect students with the bilingual community in Amherst or Holyoke. 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 18 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: SPAN 201, SPAN 202 or placement exam.

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

2022-23: Offered in Spring 2023
Other years: Offered in Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Spring 2021, Spring 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: Visiting Professor Porter.  Spring semester: Professor Brenneis.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022, Spring 2023
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, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2022, 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, 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, visual art, 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. A travel component is planned, pending current travel restrictions.

This course may be counted toward the Spanish Major.

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or permission of the instructor. Limited to 15 Amherst College students. Omitted 2021-22. Lecturer Granda.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2016, Spring 2017, Spring 2019, Spring 2021

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. Omitted 2021-2020.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2016, Spring 2019, Fall 2020

310 Strange Girls: Spanish Women’s Voices

(Offered as SPAN 310 and SWAG 320) 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, marginalization, 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 lively variety of texts and literary genres by well-known authors such as Emilia Pardo Bazán, Carmen Laforet, Carmen Martín Gaite, Ana Rossetti and Dulce Chacón, while also widening our focus to Afro-Spanish voices who have traditionally been excluded. Students will create their own canon by becoming the editors of an Anthology of Spanish Women’s Writing. Conducted in Spanish.

Prerequisite: Spanish 301 or permission of instructor. Fall Semester: Professor Brenneis.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2021

312 Language, Identity, and Race

Language is an integral part of identity performance and perception. Paying special attention to the topic of race, this course examines the power of language and language ideologies as exclusionary and inclusionary social tools, permitting or denying group membership. Via the analysis of literary and historical texts, linguistic and anthropological research, and digital media, students learn about the role of language variation in various Hispanic socio-political contexts. Through in-class discussions, small projects, and writing assignments, we contemplate the role of language in amplifying or contesting social inequality among Latinos in the U.S., Blacks and gays in the Caribbean, Latin American migrants in Spain, indigenous communities in México, etc. In doing so, students learn about linguistic variation in Spanish, hone their critical thinking skills, and learn to apply sociolinguistic and anthropological methodology to socio-cultural analysis. As the course is conducted in Spanish, an additional aim of the course is to sharpen second language speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills.

* No prior knowledge of anthropology or (socio)linguistics is expected.

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or permission of instructor. Limited to 18 Students. Fall Semester: Lecturer Dixon.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2021

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.

Requisite: SPAN 211, SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 18 students. Omitted 2021-22.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Fall 2009, Spring 2013, Spring 2017, Spring 2021, Fall 2022

322 A Cultural History of Dictionaries in the Hispanic World 

Taught simultaneously at Amherst and Bowdoin, the course is designed as a cultural history of Hispanic civilization through its dictionaries. What authority do they exert? Who collects them? In what way do dictionaries change? The focus will be on the role words have played in history and their political, social, and commercial value. Starting with lexicons of indigenous, slave, and immigrant languages, students will engage in an in-depth exploration of figures like Antonio de Nebrija, Sebastián de Covarrubias, Andres Bello, and Maria Moliner. There will be a discussion of the asymmetrical relationship between Spain and Latin America and the importance of gender, media, sports, and cuisine. The Tesoro de la Lengua Espanola o Castellana, the Diccionario de Autoridades, the Diccionario de la Lengua Española, the MolinerLarousse, and Clave will all be analyzed. Active research in compiling neologisms and other emerging words will be a feature of the course work. The endeavor will culminate in the publication of a scholarly book by Professors Boyle and Stavans on dictionaries in the Iberian Peninsula and Latin America. Requirements: advanced and/or near-native language skills. Taught by Professors Margaret Boyle (Bowdoin) and Ilan Stavans (Amherst). Conducted in Spanish.

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

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2021

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.

Requisite: SPAN 211, SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 18 students. Omitted 2021-22.

2022-23: Not offered
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 2021-2022. Professor Schroeder Rodríguez.

2022-23: Offered in Spring 2023
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.

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 10 students.Spring Semester: Professor Infante.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2021, Spring 2022

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.

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Omitted 2021-2022. Professor Coráñez Bolton.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022
Other years: Offered in Spring 2020, Fall 2022

348 Language Learning and Globalization

(Offered as SPAN 348 and EDST 348) As the world continues to become more and more interconnected, learning languages is increasingly related to diasporic affiliations, intercultural identities, global cosmopolitanism, and translingual practices. At the same time, advancing technologies have afforded us the ability to communicate no matter where we are in the world, facilitating and creating different opportunities that serve as a mean of relating to others on cultural and sociolinguistic levels.

How does globalization impact the way people learn languages? This is the overriding question in this course. We will begin by examining how transnationalism and diasporic flows have allowed language learners to make use of language learning practices that are not conventionally valued in the field of language teaching. Thereafter, we will explore how heritage language learners challenge monolithic representations of standardized varieties of languages and linguistic norms taught in the language classroom. Finally, we will discuss how language learners have managed to retain their local languages and cultures in the face of a globalized world. Throughout the course, we will pay attention to the subtle interplay of economic, sociocultural, political, and technological forces that contest traditional scenarios for multilingual education. The materials for the course include fiction, nonfiction, audio pieces, maps, and visual materials. Conducted in Spanish.

Prerequisite: Spanish 301 or permission of instructor. Limited to 18 students. Spring Semester: Professor Sánchez-Naranjo.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2022

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.

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 6 students. Omitted 2021-22.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022
Other years: Offered in Spring 2020, Fall 2022

357 Understanding Spanish Structure and Use

(Offered as SPAN 357 and LLAS 357) Spanish is the second-most widely spoken language in the world. With more than 400 million native speakers, it has official status in 21 countries. In the United States more than 40 million people use Spanish in their daily lives. What exactly is the Spanish language? What do you actually know when you speak Spanish? These questions are at the heart of this course. By following a bottom-up design—from smallest to largest segments of language—we will understand the basic characteristics of human language and will examine the architecture of the Spanish language: how its sounds are produced and how they combine; how its words are constructed from their component parts; how its sentences are formed; how its meanings are understood; and how its use reflects aspects of our socio-cultural behavior. As an approach to the formal study of the Spanish language, we will explore actual and diverse language data such as texts, speech samples, and songs to grasp complex linguistic phenomena. Conducted in Spanish.

Prerequisite: Spanish 202 or permission of instructor. Limited to 18 students. Fall and spring semesters. Professor Sánchez-Naranjo.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2021, Spring 2022

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.

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 18 students. Omitted 2021-2022. Professor Coráñez Bolton.

2022-23: 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 301 or consent of the instructor. Omitted 2021-2022. Professor Coráñez Bolton.

2022-23: Offered in Spring 2023
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 2021-2022. Professor Coráñez Bolton.

2022-23: 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 2021-2022 Professors Schroeder Rodríguez and Ravikumar.

2022-23: 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 2021-2022 Professors Schroeder Rodríguez and Schmalzbauer.

2022-23: 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.

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 18 students. Omitted 2021-2022

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2015, Spring 2019, Spring 2021

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 301 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 15 students. Omitted 2021-2022. Professor Infante.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2014, Spring 2017, Fall 2018

415 Bilingualism in the US

(Offered as SPAN 415 and EDST 415) 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.

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Fall Semester: Professor Sánchez-Naranjo.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2019, Fall 2021

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.

Prerequisite: 301 or consent of the instructor.  Omitted 2021-2022

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2014, Fall 2016, Spring 2021

426 Spanish Antifa

(Offered as SPAN 426 and EUST 426) Spanish Antifa heroes, saboteurs, and spies have driven the longest anti-fascist resistance in Europe. Spaniards have been at the vanguard of anti-fascism from the time of the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s, to the fight against Nazi genocide during World War II, to opposition to the populist Trump-inspired Vox party of the twenty-first century. This course will consider the men and women of diverse left-wing political beliefs who risked their lives to put down fascist movements in Spain and throughout Europe. Through an examination of primary sources such as memoirs, photographs, and newspapers as well as contemporary films, graphic novels, television series, and social media, we will explore resistance tactics, international espionage, anti-fascism through the lens of gender, revisionist histories, and the long-lasting legal and social implications of attempts to thwart authoritarian oppression. This course will also consider the legacy of fascism and anti-fascism in Spain, tracking the influence on the present-day international Antifa and contemporary social justice movements. Conducted in Spanish.

Prerequisite Spanish 301 or permission of instructor. Fall Semester: Professor Brenneis.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2021

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.  

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor.  Limited to 15 students. Omitted 2021-2022. Professor Coráñez Bolton.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2019

441 Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz

A thorough, in-depth exploration of the life and works of Mexican nun Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz (1648-1695), the most important Latin American writer and thinker of the colonial period and one of the region’s most influential figures overall. The focus will be on the three choices seventeenth-century colonial women faced: marriage, the convent, and the court. We will study churches, convents, and monasteries from religious, political, social, and dietary perspectives. There will be close readings of Sor Juana’s poetry, theater, philosophical disquisitions, autobiographical writing, and theological debates regarding Athanasius Kircher, Erasmus of Rotterdam, and René Descartes. Sor Juana’s afterlife as a feminist and contemporary pop icon will also be studied, as will similar Iberian and Latin American religious writers such as Santa Teresa de Jesús, Fray San Juan de la Cruz, Fray Luis de León, Juan Ruíz de Alarcón and Carlos de Singüenza y Góngora. Conducted in Spanish.

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

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2022

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.

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor.  Limited to 25 students. Omitted 2021-2022. Professor Stavans.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2019

448 Hybrid Identities

(Offered as SPAN-448 and LLAS-448) With a historical and transnational approach, this course will explore bi/multicultural identities and communities in the Spanish-speaking world, primarily of the contemporary period: Mestizos, Korean-Argentineans, Afro-Peruvians, Latin American and Caribbean Chinatowns, Quechua-Castillian speakers, Spanglish-speakers from the United States to Gibraltar, Moroccans and West Africans in Spanish cities, “gallegos” in Buenos Aires, Filipino-Peruvian migrants in Tokyo and so on. Through a wide-variety of empirical, literary, and cultural texts (literature, film, music, graphic novel, photography, etc.), we will put diverse cases of ethnic and linguistic hybridity in dialogue with one another to study how communities and identities are represented, remembered, and demarcated; we will examine how they reclaim autonomy and space, and negotiate their personal and collective subjectivities amongst other communities and identities. Doing so will lead us to examine pressing socio-cultural phenomena that are increasingly global, rapidly-transforming, and interconnected: post/de/colonialism, bi/multiculturalism, transculturation, diaspora, immigration, exile, religion, borders, nationalism, nostalgia, capitalism, and structural in/exclusion. To help us study these issues and think of solutions, we will bring in theorists who have written on local and global hybridity (e.g., Bhabha, Spivek, Anzaldúa, Hall, Appiah). Inevitably, we will also discuss how these issues implicate us and our identities here in Amherst, MA in 2022. Students will have the opportunity to apply their knowledge as well as communicate personally with individuals who identify as bi/multicultural through a one-on-one interview project and invited speakers. Conducted in Spanish. 

Prerequisite: Spanish 301 or permission of instructor. Spring Semester: Visiting Associate Professor Megan Saltzman.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2022

451 Translation Roots of a US Literary Landscape

(Offered as SPAN 451 and LLAS 451) This course highlights literary connections between the United States and the Spanish-speaking world via translation. Through a study of texts from the late nineteenth century to the present, we will look at the role of translation in literary histories and current literary activities. We will examine how writers have translated in order to practice and enhance their creative writing. We will use translation as a way to access and analyze literary texts. We will also think about translation as professional and collaborative activities. We will study the work of José Martí (Cuba), Julia de Burgos (Puerto Rico), Silvina Ocampo (Argentina), Felipe Alfau (Catalonia-Spain), Salvador Dalí (Catalonia-Spain), Achy Obejas (Cuba), and Urayoán Noel (Puerto Rico), among others. In addition, we will explore ways of contributing with translational activities to our own literary landscape in the Amherst area by possibly collaborating with local institutions such as the Emily Dickinson Museum, the Eric Carle Museum, and the Amazing World of Dr. Seuss Museum. Conducted in Spanish.

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or permission of the instructor.  Limited to 18 students. Fall Semester: Visiting Associate Professor Galasso.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2021

455 One Hundred Years of Solitude

(Offered as LLAS 455 and SPAN 455) 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. Omitted 2021-22. Professor Stavans. 

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2009, Spring 2013, Fall 2015, Fall 2018, Spring 2021

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.

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 25 students. Omitted 2021-2022

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022
Other years: Offered in Spring 2014, Spring 2017, Fall 2020, Fall 2022

461 Racism and Anti-Racism in Latinx and Latin American Cinema

(Offered as COLQ 461 and SPAN 461) In this particular research tutorial we will ask how specific film practices help normalize racist vs. anti-racist structures of feeling. We will begin with a few key historical and theoretical texts on the long-term construction of racist and anti-racist structures of feeling in Latin America and in U.S. Latinx cultures, to then explore how these are reproduced or contested in a handful of films where racism and anti-racism are at the center of the filmic text, narratively and/or audiovisually. The selection of films will be made collaboratively, as will the subsequent research and the chosen end-product, for example an academic essay, a scholarly review essay, a digital resource for teachers, and/or media activism. The course will be conducted in Spanish.

This course is a research tutorial, listed in the catalog as colloquia for juniors and seniors, and is part of a tutorial series that engages Amherst students in substantive research with faculty in the humanities and humanistic social sciences. By exploring how different scholars approach a topic, students learn to frame a research question, develop research strategies, and identify and use sources. Students enrolled in these courses are guaranteed funding for at least six weeks of work during the summer following the academic year in which they take the course.

Open to sophomores and juniors. Limited to 6 students. Spring Semester. Professor Schroeder Rodriguez.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2022

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.

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 18 students. Spring semester. Professor Infante.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2015, Spring 2020, Spring 2022

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.

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Omitted 2021-2022. Professor Brenneis.

2022-23: 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.

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Limited to18 students. Omitted 2021-22. Professor Stavans.

2022-23: Offered in Spring 2023
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.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022, Spring 2023
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, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2022, 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 Infante.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022
Other years: Offered in Fall 2019, Fall 2020, Fall 2021, 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 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, Fall 2021, Fall 2022

Five College Programs & Certificates

Five College Programs & Certificates

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Spanish

Professors Brenneis (Chair), Schroeder Rodríguez and Stavans; Assistant Professors Coráñez Bolton*, Infante and Sánchez-Naranjo; Senior Lecturer Granda; Lecturer Piazza; Visiting Associate Professor Porter; Visiting Instructor Dixon.

The Spanish Department promotes active cultural understanding about the Spanish-speaking world, community engagement at the local and international level, and Spanish as a means of intellectual inquiry. We welcome students with all levels of knowledge and from all backgrounds to our courses and community events: beginning to advanced learners of Spanish; majors and non-majors; heritage, non-heritage, and native speakers. Our wide range of courses offer students many opportunities to develop a deep understanding of the cultures associated with the Spanish-speaking world; highly polished critical thinking and research skills; and the ability to communicate effectively in Spanish using formal and informal registers. The Department sponsors community events throughout the year that help enhance students’ language skills and cultural understanding, such as the Spanish table at Valentine Dining Hall, cultural gatherings at the Spanish Language House, film festivals, lectures, and other activities.

With faculty who specialize in the Spanish language, Applied Linguistics, Latin America, Spain, Transpacific Studies, and Latinx Studies, students are able to explore in depth the aspects of the Spanish-speaking world that most fascinate them, while understanding the roots and intersections of the centuries-long cultural, linguistic, and literary legacies that make up our fields of study. Through coursework, study abroad, and creative- and research-based projects, we offer diverse learning experiences designed to challenge students to expand their knowledge and exposure to the literatures and cultures of the Spanish-speaking world. We integrate Spanish language development and practice into all of our courses, from Spanish 101 to 400-level seminars.

The Spanish major offers Amherst students the ability to immerse themselves in the language and cultures of the Spanish-speaking world through coursework, a semester or a year in a Spanish-speaking country, a senior capstone portfolio and project, and advanced research. Students are encouraged to explore the diverse curriculum offered by the Spanish Department and the many opportunities to engage with local and international Spanish-speaking communities in order to develop their own interests related to the Spanish-speaking world.

Majors have gone on to non-profit work, teaching, medicine, graduate programs, legal advocacy, media professions, and business, among many other fields. Please consult the Department’s website to read more about our current and former students.

Our courses. Starting with the first semester of the language sequence, and throughout the program, students develop skills in reading, writing, listening, and speaking Spanish through authentic cultural and literary texts such as songs, films, podcasts, newspaper articles, short stories, plays, novels, maps, artwork, and poems, all from the Spanish-speaking world. Our course numbers correspond with a level in the sequence:

Level 1 (beginning): SPAN 101 and SPAN 102 cover the fundamentals of Spanish language and the cultures of the countries where it is spoken.
Level 2 (intermediate): SPAN 201, SPAN 202, and SPAN 205, refine Spanish language skills and cultural knowledge.
Level 3 (advanced): SPAN 301 to SPAN 399 courses hone advanced-level skills in Spanish through close readings of a wide range of literary and cultural texts from Spain, Latin America, and Latinx Studies.
Level 4 (seminars): SPAN 400 to SPAN 499 courses refine and polish written and spoken Spanish through independent research, the critical analysis of texts, sustained inquiry of a topic, public engagement, and creative work.

Placement. The Department places students to ensure the best learning environment for all language learners. Placement is based on one or more of the following: AP exams in Spanish Language or Literature, the SAT Spanish subject test, the Spanish Department placement exam, and/or the instructor’s evaluation during the add/drop period. For more information, please visit our website at www.amherst.edu/academiclife/departments/spanish.

Spanish Language Program. The Spanish Language Program at Amherst College develops students’ use of the Spanish language as a tool for communication in a variety of settings ranging from the colloquial to the academic, and as a way to engage more fully with the world around them.  We do this by working with authentic cultural and literary texts from the Spanish-speaking world, starting in the first semester of the program. Classroom time is devoted to active discussions, the development of culturally relevant projects, research and writing in the target language, and oral presentations, among other activities. By the end of the fourth semester, students can expect to have reached the Advanced Low level of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) assessment for Spanish, and be ready to proceed to SPAN 301 (Literature and Culture of the Hispanic World), or study abroad in a Spanish-speaking country. For placement information, please visit our website at www.amherst.edu/academiclife/departments/spanish.

The Spanish Major. The Spanish major consists of a minimum of eight courses at the 300 and 400 levels. SPAN 205 also counts toward the major. During academic years 2020-2021 and 2021-2022, SPAN 202 will also count toward the major. Of these eight courses, at least four must be taken from the Spanish Department offerings at Amherst College, including the senior seminar (SPAN 495), and one 400-level seminar during the student’s final year. Other courses may count toward the major with pre-approval from the advisor. These may include a maximum of one Special Topics course, three or four courses taken while studying abroad, and upper-level courses from the Spanish Departments at Smith, Mount Holyoke, or UMass. Double majors may count up to two Spanish courses taken at Amherst, the Five Colleges or an approved Study Away program toward their Spanish major requirements as well as the requirements for their second major.  All courses, at Amherst and elsewhere, must be taught in Spanish and not substantially repeat topics that the student has already studied in order to be counted for major credit. Courses in English and courses taken pass/fail may not be counted toward the major. 

We expect all Spanish majors to spend a semester or a full year in an immersive study away program in a Spanish-speaking country when feasible.

Upon graduation, a student majoring in Spanish should have attained a high degree of oral (listening and speaking), reading, and written fluency in the language; a focused grasp of the diverse Spanish-speaking cultures in Latin America, the Carribbean, the United States and Spain, as well as the interactions among these cultures; and superior writing, research and critical thinking skills.

Study Away. Study away programs offer academically-rigorous courses of study and require a solid language foundation. During academic year 2021-2022, we support rather than expect all Spanish majors to spend a semester or a full year in an immersive study abroad program where they have the possibility to enroll in courses at a local university, and where they live with a host family or in another similarly-immersive housing arrangement where only Spanish is spoken.  Students may choose from a list of pre-approved study abroad programs, or they may submit a petition for an alternate program to the Department.

Students studying abroad for one semester may count up to three courses for the major, while students studying abroad for two semesters may count up to four courses towards the major. Under either scenario, one of the courses of each study abroad semester must be a humanities course focused on literature.  If a student does not take a literature course, then the maximum number of courses they may count towards the major drops by one (three for a year-long experience; two for a semester-long experience). Art, dance, and music practice courses may not be counted for major credit while abroad, but they may count for Amherst College credit. Non-liberal arts classes such as Spanish for the Health Professions or business courses taken abroad may not be counted for Amherst College credit nor for major credit.  Spanish majors must discuss their potential classes with their Spanish major advisor before going abroad, and obtain their advisor’s approval of courses via email during their first week of classes abroad.

We highly encourage students to declare the Spanish major before going abroad. Students considering adding a Spanish major after returning from abroad should be aware that these course and program requirements will be applied retroactively.

Capstone Requirement. The Senior Seminar (SPAN 495) is offered every fall semester and, along with a public presentation in the spring, fulfills the capstone requirement. Individually and as a cohort, students complete a research, creative or community-based project as well as an online portfolio representing their trajectory through the major. Thesis students work on their thesis as their individual project.

Departmental Honors (Thesis). An honors thesis for the Spanish major is an opportunity for a student to focus on a topic in depth. Students who propose a thesis are often inspired by their experiences studying abroad and/or by their work on a research assignment in one of their courses. Thesis students work closely with their advisor beginning in the spring of their junior year to develop a topic and research plan. The subject matter must revolve around the culture, literature, language, and/or arts in Spain, Latin America, the Caribbean, the Hispanic Philippines, and/or the United States. The thesis is normally written in Spanish, but may be written in English if the topic warrants it, with Departmental approval. A thesis is typically 80-150 pages in length, and may include a creative component. Students writing a thesis take two courses. During the fall, they enroll in SPAN 495 (Senior Seminar) and work on the thesis as their individual project. In the spring, all thesis students enroll in SPAN 499 (Thesis).

All prospective thesis writers must develop, in consultation with their Spanish major advisor, a three-to-five-page thesis proposal with a bibliography of one primary source and at least five secondary sources. This proposal must be submitted to the Department for approval by the first Monday in April of the student’s junior year (or the first Monday in November for E students), along with an online questionnaire available on the Spanish Department's website. Prospective thesis students are encouraged to propose the faculty member with whom they wish to work, although the thesis advisor is ultimately determined by the Department. All student-faculty consultations and departmental approval can be accomplished via email, if the student is studying abroad. The Department will review the proposal and questionnaire, and within two weeks the Chair will notify the student if the proposal has been approved and who the designated advisor will be. Advisors will be tenured and tenure-track members of the Department. Faculty and thesis writers will determine an individualized advising schedule, responding to the proposed project. Advisors are responsible for guiding the student’s interests and making content and stylistic suggestions throughout the process. Students are responsible for regular communication with their thesis advisor and keeping up with agreed-upon writing and research goals.

After the first semester, the thesis advisor will determine if the project is advancing properly. If so, the fall semester thesis work will be deemed satisfactory and the student will register for the spring thesis course (SPAN 499). If not, the student will either receive a grade for SPAN 495 or have their first semester thesis work turned into a Special Topics course, but may not enroll in SPAN 499. Final thesis manuscripts must be submitted to the Department no later than the first week of April (November for E students). The thesis defense will take place during the third week of April (November for E students) when the student will be asked to elaborate on the development, content, and style of the thesis. The student’s advisor will serve as the defense moderator. Unless otherwise stipulated, the defense committee will be made up of tenured and tenure-track members of the Department.

As a result of the defense, a thesis might be judged fully satisfactory with no revisions requested; minor departmental revisions may be recommended; the student may be asked to make substantial revisions; or the thesis might be deemed unacceptable by departmental standards. Based on the committee’s evaluation and following the College honor system, the Department may recommend thesis students for summa cum laude, magna cum laude, or cum laude. Alternatively, the Department may deem the quality of a thesis to be insufficient for honors, in which case the student would receive rite. Latin honors are determined by the Department’s recommendation, the student’s grade point average standing in their class, and the approval of the full faculty of the College. The final version of the thesis is to be submitted to the Registrar, following College guidelines, during the last week of classes.

Special Topics. Special Topics courses can be taken by seniors who are interested in pursuing a subject matter that is a particular faculty's specialty, is not offered by the Department, and is not available at the Five Colleges. The student must have a well-defined idea of the topic and a clear and convincing reason to take the course. Special Topics courses are approved solely at the faculty’s discretion and must be proposed and approved the prior semester. Only one Special Topics course may be counted toward the major. Special Topics courses are limited to one per professor per semester, and enrollments are limited to two students per course.

Combined Majors. Students may combine the Spanish major with any other Amherst major field of study or pre-med requirements. Double majors can often complete course requirements for their other major while abroad, with the approval of their other advisor.

Interdisciplinary Majors. Interdisciplinary majors are established through the Committee on Academic Standing and Special Majors, with the endorsement and cooperation of the Department or with the approval of individual members of the Department.

*On leave 2021-22.

 

 

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: Senior Lecturer Granda. Spring semester: Lecturer Piazza. 

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2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022, Spring 2023
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, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2022, 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 and spring semesters. Lecturer Piazza, Lecturer Dixon and Assistants.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022, Spring 2023
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, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2022, 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.

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.

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

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022, Spring 2023
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, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2022, 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 class will be conducted entirely in Spanish.

Prerequisite: SPAN 201 or Spanish Placement Exam. Limited to 15 students per section. Fall and spring semesters. Senior Lecturer Granda, Lecturer Piazza and Assistants.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022, Spring 2023
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, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2022, Fall 2022

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 2021-2022.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Spring 2008, Fall 2008, Spring 2009, Fall 2009, Spring 2010, Fall 2010, Spring 2011, Fall 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Fall 2018

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 connect students with the bilingual community in Amherst or Holyoke. 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 18 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: SPAN 201, SPAN 202 or placement exam.

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

2022-23: Offered in Spring 2023
Other years: Offered in Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Spring 2021, Spring 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: Visiting Professor Porter.  Spring semester: Professor Brenneis.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022, Spring 2023
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, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2022, 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, 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, visual art, 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. A travel component is planned, pending current travel restrictions.

This course may be counted toward the Spanish Major.

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or permission of the instructor. Limited to 15 Amherst College students. Omitted 2021-22. Lecturer Granda.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2016, Spring 2017, Spring 2019, Spring 2021

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. Omitted 2021-2020.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2016, Spring 2019, Fall 2020

310 Strange Girls: Spanish Women’s Voices

(Offered as SPAN 310 and SWAG 320) 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, marginalization, 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 lively variety of texts and literary genres by well-known authors such as Emilia Pardo Bazán, Carmen Laforet, Carmen Martín Gaite, Ana Rossetti and Dulce Chacón, while also widening our focus to Afro-Spanish voices who have traditionally been excluded. Students will create their own canon by becoming the editors of an Anthology of Spanish Women’s Writing. Conducted in Spanish.

Prerequisite: Spanish 301 or permission of instructor. Fall Semester: Professor Brenneis.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2021

312 Language, Identity, and Race

Language is an integral part of identity performance and perception. Paying special attention to the topic of race, this course examines the power of language and language ideologies as exclusionary and inclusionary social tools, permitting or denying group membership. Via the analysis of literary and historical texts, linguistic and anthropological research, and digital media, students learn about the role of language variation in various Hispanic socio-political contexts. Through in-class discussions, small projects, and writing assignments, we contemplate the role of language in amplifying or contesting social inequality among Latinos in the U.S., Blacks and gays in the Caribbean, Latin American migrants in Spain, indigenous communities in México, etc. In doing so, students learn about linguistic variation in Spanish, hone their critical thinking skills, and learn to apply sociolinguistic and anthropological methodology to socio-cultural analysis. As the course is conducted in Spanish, an additional aim of the course is to sharpen second language speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills.

* No prior knowledge of anthropology or (socio)linguistics is expected.

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or permission of instructor. Limited to 18 Students. Fall Semester: Lecturer Dixon.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2021

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.

Requisite: SPAN 211, SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 18 students. Omitted 2021-22.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Fall 2009, Spring 2013, Spring 2017, Spring 2021, Fall 2022

322 A Cultural History of Dictionaries in the Hispanic World 

Taught simultaneously at Amherst and Bowdoin, the course is designed as a cultural history of Hispanic civilization through its dictionaries. What authority do they exert? Who collects them? In what way do dictionaries change? The focus will be on the role words have played in history and their political, social, and commercial value. Starting with lexicons of indigenous, slave, and immigrant languages, students will engage in an in-depth exploration of figures like Antonio de Nebrija, Sebastián de Covarrubias, Andres Bello, and Maria Moliner. There will be a discussion of the asymmetrical relationship between Spain and Latin America and the importance of gender, media, sports, and cuisine. The Tesoro de la Lengua Espanola o Castellana, the Diccionario de Autoridades, the Diccionario de la Lengua Española, the MolinerLarousse, and Clave will all be analyzed. Active research in compiling neologisms and other emerging words will be a feature of the course work. The endeavor will culminate in the publication of a scholarly book by Professors Boyle and Stavans on dictionaries in the Iberian Peninsula and Latin America. Requirements: advanced and/or near-native language skills. Taught by Professors Margaret Boyle (Bowdoin) and Ilan Stavans (Amherst). Conducted in Spanish.

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

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2021

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.

Requisite: SPAN 211, SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 18 students. Omitted 2021-22.

2022-23: Not offered
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 2021-2022. Professor Schroeder Rodríguez.

2022-23: Offered in Spring 2023
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.

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 10 students.Spring Semester: Professor Infante.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2021, Spring 2022

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.

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Omitted 2021-2022. Professor Coráñez Bolton.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022
Other years: Offered in Spring 2020, Fall 2022

348 Language Learning and Globalization

(Offered as SPAN 348 and EDST 348) As the world continues to become more and more interconnected, learning languages is increasingly related to diasporic affiliations, intercultural identities, global cosmopolitanism, and translingual practices. At the same time, advancing technologies have afforded us the ability to communicate no matter where we are in the world, facilitating and creating different opportunities that serve as a mean of relating to others on cultural and sociolinguistic levels.

How does globalization impact the way people learn languages? This is the overriding question in this course. We will begin by examining how transnationalism and diasporic flows have allowed language learners to make use of language learning practices that are not conventionally valued in the field of language teaching. Thereafter, we will explore how heritage language learners challenge monolithic representations of standardized varieties of languages and linguistic norms taught in the language classroom. Finally, we will discuss how language learners have managed to retain their local languages and cultures in the face of a globalized world. Throughout the course, we will pay attention to the subtle interplay of economic, sociocultural, political, and technological forces that contest traditional scenarios for multilingual education. The materials for the course include fiction, nonfiction, audio pieces, maps, and visual materials. Conducted in Spanish.

Prerequisite: Spanish 301 or permission of instructor. Limited to 18 students. Spring Semester: Professor Sánchez-Naranjo.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2022

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.

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 6 students. Omitted 2021-22.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022
Other years: Offered in Spring 2020, Fall 2022

357 Understanding Spanish Structure and Use

(Offered as SPAN 357 and LLAS 357) Spanish is the second-most widely spoken language in the world. With more than 400 million native speakers, it has official status in 21 countries. In the United States more than 40 million people use Spanish in their daily lives. What exactly is the Spanish language? What do you actually know when you speak Spanish? These questions are at the heart of this course. By following a bottom-up design—from smallest to largest segments of language—we will understand the basic characteristics of human language and will examine the architecture of the Spanish language: how its sounds are produced and how they combine; how its words are constructed from their component parts; how its sentences are formed; how its meanings are understood; and how its use reflects aspects of our socio-cultural behavior. As an approach to the formal study of the Spanish language, we will explore actual and diverse language data such as texts, speech samples, and songs to grasp complex linguistic phenomena. Conducted in Spanish.

Prerequisite: Spanish 202 or permission of instructor. Limited to 18 students. Fall and spring semesters. Professor Sánchez-Naranjo.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2021, Spring 2022

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.

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 18 students. Omitted 2021-2022. Professor Coráñez Bolton.

2022-23: 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 301 or consent of the instructor. Omitted 2021-2022. Professor Coráñez Bolton.

2022-23: Offered in Spring 2023
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 2021-2022. Professor Coráñez Bolton.

2022-23: 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 2021-2022 Professors Schroeder Rodríguez and Ravikumar.

2022-23: 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 2021-2022 Professors Schroeder Rodríguez and Schmalzbauer.

2022-23: 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.

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 18 students. Omitted 2021-2022

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2015, Spring 2019, Spring 2021

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 301 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 15 students. Omitted 2021-2022. Professor Infante.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2014, Spring 2017, Fall 2018

415 Bilingualism in the US

(Offered as SPAN 415 and EDST 415) 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.

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Fall Semester: Professor Sánchez-Naranjo.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2019, Fall 2021

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.

Prerequisite: 301 or consent of the instructor.  Omitted 2021-2022

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2014, Fall 2016, Spring 2021

426 Spanish Antifa

(Offered as SPAN 426 and EUST 426) Spanish Antifa heroes, saboteurs, and spies have driven the longest anti-fascist resistance in Europe. Spaniards have been at the vanguard of anti-fascism from the time of the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s, to the fight against Nazi genocide during World War II, to opposition to the populist Trump-inspired Vox party of the twenty-first century. This course will consider the men and women of diverse left-wing political beliefs who risked their lives to put down fascist movements in Spain and throughout Europe. Through an examination of primary sources such as memoirs, photographs, and newspapers as well as contemporary films, graphic novels, television series, and social media, we will explore resistance tactics, international espionage, anti-fascism through the lens of gender, revisionist histories, and the long-lasting legal and social implications of attempts to thwart authoritarian oppression. This course will also consider the legacy of fascism and anti-fascism in Spain, tracking the influence on the present-day international Antifa and contemporary social justice movements. Conducted in Spanish.

Prerequisite Spanish 301 or permission of instructor. Fall Semester: Professor Brenneis.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2021

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.  

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor.  Limited to 15 students. Omitted 2021-2022. Professor Coráñez Bolton.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2019

441 Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz

A thorough, in-depth exploration of the life and works of Mexican nun Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz (1648-1695), the most important Latin American writer and thinker of the colonial period and one of the region’s most influential figures overall. The focus will be on the three choices seventeenth-century colonial women faced: marriage, the convent, and the court. We will study churches, convents, and monasteries from religious, political, social, and dietary perspectives. There will be close readings of Sor Juana’s poetry, theater, philosophical disquisitions, autobiographical writing, and theological debates regarding Athanasius Kircher, Erasmus of Rotterdam, and René Descartes. Sor Juana’s afterlife as a feminist and contemporary pop icon will also be studied, as will similar Iberian and Latin American religious writers such as Santa Teresa de Jesús, Fray San Juan de la Cruz, Fray Luis de León, Juan Ruíz de Alarcón and Carlos de Singüenza y Góngora. Conducted in Spanish.

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

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2022

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.

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor.  Limited to 25 students. Omitted 2021-2022. Professor Stavans.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2019

448 Hybrid Identities

(Offered as SPAN-448 and LLAS-448) With a historical and transnational approach, this course will explore bi/multicultural identities and communities in the Spanish-speaking world, primarily of the contemporary period: Mestizos, Korean-Argentineans, Afro-Peruvians, Latin American and Caribbean Chinatowns, Quechua-Castillian speakers, Spanglish-speakers from the United States to Gibraltar, Moroccans and West Africans in Spanish cities, “gallegos” in Buenos Aires, Filipino-Peruvian migrants in Tokyo and so on. Through a wide-variety of empirical, literary, and cultural texts (literature, film, music, graphic novel, photography, etc.), we will put diverse cases of ethnic and linguistic hybridity in dialogue with one another to study how communities and identities are represented, remembered, and demarcated; we will examine how they reclaim autonomy and space, and negotiate their personal and collective subjectivities amongst other communities and identities. Doing so will lead us to examine pressing socio-cultural phenomena that are increasingly global, rapidly-transforming, and interconnected: post/de/colonialism, bi/multiculturalism, transculturation, diaspora, immigration, exile, religion, borders, nationalism, nostalgia, capitalism, and structural in/exclusion. To help us study these issues and think of solutions, we will bring in theorists who have written on local and global hybridity (e.g., Bhabha, Spivek, Anzaldúa, Hall, Appiah). Inevitably, we will also discuss how these issues implicate us and our identities here in Amherst, MA in 2022. Students will have the opportunity to apply their knowledge as well as communicate personally with individuals who identify as bi/multicultural through a one-on-one interview project and invited speakers. Conducted in Spanish. 

Prerequisite: Spanish 301 or permission of instructor. Spring Semester: Visiting Associate Professor Megan Saltzman.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2022

451 Translation Roots of a US Literary Landscape

(Offered as SPAN 451 and LLAS 451) This course highlights literary connections between the United States and the Spanish-speaking world via translation. Through a study of texts from the late nineteenth century to the present, we will look at the role of translation in literary histories and current literary activities. We will examine how writers have translated in order to practice and enhance their creative writing. We will use translation as a way to access and analyze literary texts. We will also think about translation as professional and collaborative activities. We will study the work of José Martí (Cuba), Julia de Burgos (Puerto Rico), Silvina Ocampo (Argentina), Felipe Alfau (Catalonia-Spain), Salvador Dalí (Catalonia-Spain), Achy Obejas (Cuba), and Urayoán Noel (Puerto Rico), among others. In addition, we will explore ways of contributing with translational activities to our own literary landscape in the Amherst area by possibly collaborating with local institutions such as the Emily Dickinson Museum, the Eric Carle Museum, and the Amazing World of Dr. Seuss Museum. Conducted in Spanish.

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or permission of the instructor.  Limited to 18 students. Fall Semester: Visiting Associate Professor Galasso.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2021

455 One Hundred Years of Solitude

(Offered as LLAS 455 and SPAN 455) 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. Omitted 2021-22. Professor Stavans. 

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2009, Spring 2013, Fall 2015, Fall 2018, Spring 2021

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.

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 25 students. Omitted 2021-2022

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022
Other years: Offered in Spring 2014, Spring 2017, Fall 2020, Fall 2022

461 Racism and Anti-Racism in Latinx and Latin American Cinema

(Offered as COLQ 461 and SPAN 461) In this particular research tutorial we will ask how specific film practices help normalize racist vs. anti-racist structures of feeling. We will begin with a few key historical and theoretical texts on the long-term construction of racist and anti-racist structures of feeling in Latin America and in U.S. Latinx cultures, to then explore how these are reproduced or contested in a handful of films where racism and anti-racism are at the center of the filmic text, narratively and/or audiovisually. The selection of films will be made collaboratively, as will the subsequent research and the chosen end-product, for example an academic essay, a scholarly review essay, a digital resource for teachers, and/or media activism. The course will be conducted in Spanish.

This course is a research tutorial, listed in the catalog as colloquia for juniors and seniors, and is part of a tutorial series that engages Amherst students in substantive research with faculty in the humanities and humanistic social sciences. By exploring how different scholars approach a topic, students learn to frame a research question, develop research strategies, and identify and use sources. Students enrolled in these courses are guaranteed funding for at least six weeks of work during the summer following the academic year in which they take the course.

Open to sophomores and juniors. Limited to 6 students. Spring Semester. Professor Schroeder Rodriguez.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2022

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.

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 18 students. Spring semester. Professor Infante.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2015, Spring 2020, Spring 2022

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.

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Omitted 2021-2022. Professor Brenneis.

2022-23: 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.

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Limited to18 students. Omitted 2021-22. Professor Stavans.

2022-23: Offered in Spring 2023
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.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022, Spring 2023
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, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2022, 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 Infante.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022
Other years: Offered in Fall 2019, Fall 2020, Fall 2021, 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 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, Fall 2021, Fall 2022

Honors & Fellowships

Honors & Fellowships

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Spanish

Professors Brenneis (Chair), Schroeder Rodríguez and Stavans; Assistant Professors Coráñez Bolton*, Infante and Sánchez-Naranjo; Senior Lecturer Granda; Lecturer Piazza; Visiting Associate Professor Porter; Visiting Instructor Dixon.

The Spanish Department promotes active cultural understanding about the Spanish-speaking world, community engagement at the local and international level, and Spanish as a means of intellectual inquiry. We welcome students with all levels of knowledge and from all backgrounds to our courses and community events: beginning to advanced learners of Spanish; majors and non-majors; heritage, non-heritage, and native speakers. Our wide range of courses offer students many opportunities to develop a deep understanding of the cultures associated with the Spanish-speaking world; highly polished critical thinking and research skills; and the ability to communicate effectively in Spanish using formal and informal registers. The Department sponsors community events throughout the year that help enhance students’ language skills and cultural understanding, such as the Spanish table at Valentine Dining Hall, cultural gatherings at the Spanish Language House, film festivals, lectures, and other activities.

With faculty who specialize in the Spanish language, Applied Linguistics, Latin America, Spain, Transpacific Studies, and Latinx Studies, students are able to explore in depth the aspects of the Spanish-speaking world that most fascinate them, while understanding the roots and intersections of the centuries-long cultural, linguistic, and literary legacies that make up our fields of study. Through coursework, study abroad, and creative- and research-based projects, we offer diverse learning experiences designed to challenge students to expand their knowledge and exposure to the literatures and cultures of the Spanish-speaking world. We integrate Spanish language development and practice into all of our courses, from Spanish 101 to 400-level seminars.

The Spanish major offers Amherst students the ability to immerse themselves in the language and cultures of the Spanish-speaking world through coursework, a semester or a year in a Spanish-speaking country, a senior capstone portfolio and project, and advanced research. Students are encouraged to explore the diverse curriculum offered by the Spanish Department and the many opportunities to engage with local and international Spanish-speaking communities in order to develop their own interests related to the Spanish-speaking world.

Majors have gone on to non-profit work, teaching, medicine, graduate programs, legal advocacy, media professions, and business, among many other fields. Please consult the Department’s website to read more about our current and former students.

Our courses. Starting with the first semester of the language sequence, and throughout the program, students develop skills in reading, writing, listening, and speaking Spanish through authentic cultural and literary texts such as songs, films, podcasts, newspaper articles, short stories, plays, novels, maps, artwork, and poems, all from the Spanish-speaking world. Our course numbers correspond with a level in the sequence:

Level 1 (beginning): SPAN 101 and SPAN 102 cover the fundamentals of Spanish language and the cultures of the countries where it is spoken.
Level 2 (intermediate): SPAN 201, SPAN 202, and SPAN 205, refine Spanish language skills and cultural knowledge.
Level 3 (advanced): SPAN 301 to SPAN 399 courses hone advanced-level skills in Spanish through close readings of a wide range of literary and cultural texts from Spain, Latin America, and Latinx Studies.
Level 4 (seminars): SPAN 400 to SPAN 499 courses refine and polish written and spoken Spanish through independent research, the critical analysis of texts, sustained inquiry of a topic, public engagement, and creative work.

Placement. The Department places students to ensure the best learning environment for all language learners. Placement is based on one or more of the following: AP exams in Spanish Language or Literature, the SAT Spanish subject test, the Spanish Department placement exam, and/or the instructor’s evaluation during the add/drop period. For more information, please visit our website at www.amherst.edu/academiclife/departments/spanish.

Spanish Language Program. The Spanish Language Program at Amherst College develops students’ use of the Spanish language as a tool for communication in a variety of settings ranging from the colloquial to the academic, and as a way to engage more fully with the world around them.  We do this by working with authentic cultural and literary texts from the Spanish-speaking world, starting in the first semester of the program. Classroom time is devoted to active discussions, the development of culturally relevant projects, research and writing in the target language, and oral presentations, among other activities. By the end of the fourth semester, students can expect to have reached the Advanced Low level of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) assessment for Spanish, and be ready to proceed to SPAN 301 (Literature and Culture of the Hispanic World), or study abroad in a Spanish-speaking country. For placement information, please visit our website at www.amherst.edu/academiclife/departments/spanish.

The Spanish Major. The Spanish major consists of a minimum of eight courses at the 300 and 400 levels. SPAN 205 also counts toward the major. During academic years 2020-2021 and 2021-2022, SPAN 202 will also count toward the major. Of these eight courses, at least four must be taken from the Spanish Department offerings at Amherst College, including the senior seminar (SPAN 495), and one 400-level seminar during the student’s final year. Other courses may count toward the major with pre-approval from the advisor. These may include a maximum of one Special Topics course, three or four courses taken while studying abroad, and upper-level courses from the Spanish Departments at Smith, Mount Holyoke, or UMass. Double majors may count up to two Spanish courses taken at Amherst, the Five Colleges or an approved Study Away program toward their Spanish major requirements as well as the requirements for their second major.  All courses, at Amherst and elsewhere, must be taught in Spanish and not substantially repeat topics that the student has already studied in order to be counted for major credit. Courses in English and courses taken pass/fail may not be counted toward the major. 

We expect all Spanish majors to spend a semester or a full year in an immersive study away program in a Spanish-speaking country when feasible.

Upon graduation, a student majoring in Spanish should have attained a high degree of oral (listening and speaking), reading, and written fluency in the language; a focused grasp of the diverse Spanish-speaking cultures in Latin America, the Carribbean, the United States and Spain, as well as the interactions among these cultures; and superior writing, research and critical thinking skills.

Study Away. Study away programs offer academically-rigorous courses of study and require a solid language foundation. During academic year 2021-2022, we support rather than expect all Spanish majors to spend a semester or a full year in an immersive study abroad program where they have the possibility to enroll in courses at a local university, and where they live with a host family or in another similarly-immersive housing arrangement where only Spanish is spoken.  Students may choose from a list of pre-approved study abroad programs, or they may submit a petition for an alternate program to the Department.

Students studying abroad for one semester may count up to three courses for the major, while students studying abroad for two semesters may count up to four courses towards the major. Under either scenario, one of the courses of each study abroad semester must be a humanities course focused on literature.  If a student does not take a literature course, then the maximum number of courses they may count towards the major drops by one (three for a year-long experience; two for a semester-long experience). Art, dance, and music practice courses may not be counted for major credit while abroad, but they may count for Amherst College credit. Non-liberal arts classes such as Spanish for the Health Professions or business courses taken abroad may not be counted for Amherst College credit nor for major credit.  Spanish majors must discuss their potential classes with their Spanish major advisor before going abroad, and obtain their advisor’s approval of courses via email during their first week of classes abroad.

We highly encourage students to declare the Spanish major before going abroad. Students considering adding a Spanish major after returning from abroad should be aware that these course and program requirements will be applied retroactively.

Capstone Requirement. The Senior Seminar (SPAN 495) is offered every fall semester and, along with a public presentation in the spring, fulfills the capstone requirement. Individually and as a cohort, students complete a research, creative or community-based project as well as an online portfolio representing their trajectory through the major. Thesis students work on their thesis as their individual project.

Departmental Honors (Thesis). An honors thesis for the Spanish major is an opportunity for a student to focus on a topic in depth. Students who propose a thesis are often inspired by their experiences studying abroad and/or by their work on a research assignment in one of their courses. Thesis students work closely with their advisor beginning in the spring of their junior year to develop a topic and research plan. The subject matter must revolve around the culture, literature, language, and/or arts in Spain, Latin America, the Caribbean, the Hispanic Philippines, and/or the United States. The thesis is normally written in Spanish, but may be written in English if the topic warrants it, with Departmental approval. A thesis is typically 80-150 pages in length, and may include a creative component. Students writing a thesis take two courses. During the fall, they enroll in SPAN 495 (Senior Seminar) and work on the thesis as their individual project. In the spring, all thesis students enroll in SPAN 499 (Thesis).

All prospective thesis writers must develop, in consultation with their Spanish major advisor, a three-to-five-page thesis proposal with a bibliography of one primary source and at least five secondary sources. This proposal must be submitted to the Department for approval by the first Monday in April of the student’s junior year (or the first Monday in November for E students), along with an online questionnaire available on the Spanish Department's website. Prospective thesis students are encouraged to propose the faculty member with whom they wish to work, although the thesis advisor is ultimately determined by the Department. All student-faculty consultations and departmental approval can be accomplished via email, if the student is studying abroad. The Department will review the proposal and questionnaire, and within two weeks the Chair will notify the student if the proposal has been approved and who the designated advisor will be. Advisors will be tenured and tenure-track members of the Department. Faculty and thesis writers will determine an individualized advising schedule, responding to the proposed project. Advisors are responsible for guiding the student’s interests and making content and stylistic suggestions throughout the process. Students are responsible for regular communication with their thesis advisor and keeping up with agreed-upon writing and research goals.

After the first semester, the thesis advisor will determine if the project is advancing properly. If so, the fall semester thesis work will be deemed satisfactory and the student will register for the spring thesis course (SPAN 499). If not, the student will either receive a grade for SPAN 495 or have their first semester thesis work turned into a Special Topics course, but may not enroll in SPAN 499. Final thesis manuscripts must be submitted to the Department no later than the first week of April (November for E students). The thesis defense will take place during the third week of April (November for E students) when the student will be asked to elaborate on the development, content, and style of the thesis. The student’s advisor will serve as the defense moderator. Unless otherwise stipulated, the defense committee will be made up of tenured and tenure-track members of the Department.

As a result of the defense, a thesis might be judged fully satisfactory with no revisions requested; minor departmental revisions may be recommended; the student may be asked to make substantial revisions; or the thesis might be deemed unacceptable by departmental standards. Based on the committee’s evaluation and following the College honor system, the Department may recommend thesis students for summa cum laude, magna cum laude, or cum laude. Alternatively, the Department may deem the quality of a thesis to be insufficient for honors, in which case the student would receive rite. Latin honors are determined by the Department’s recommendation, the student’s grade point average standing in their class, and the approval of the full faculty of the College. The final version of the thesis is to be submitted to the Registrar, following College guidelines, during the last week of classes.

Special Topics. Special Topics courses can be taken by seniors who are interested in pursuing a subject matter that is a particular faculty's specialty, is not offered by the Department, and is not available at the Five Colleges. The student must have a well-defined idea of the topic and a clear and convincing reason to take the course. Special Topics courses are approved solely at the faculty’s discretion and must be proposed and approved the prior semester. Only one Special Topics course may be counted toward the major. Special Topics courses are limited to one per professor per semester, and enrollments are limited to two students per course.

Combined Majors. Students may combine the Spanish major with any other Amherst major field of study or pre-med requirements. Double majors can often complete course requirements for their other major while abroad, with the approval of their other advisor.

Interdisciplinary Majors. Interdisciplinary majors are established through the Committee on Academic Standing and Special Majors, with the endorsement and cooperation of the Department or with the approval of individual members of the Department.

*On leave 2021-22.

 

 

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: Senior Lecturer Granda. Spring semester: Lecturer Piazza. 

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2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022, Spring 2023
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, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2022, 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 and spring semesters. Lecturer Piazza, Lecturer Dixon and Assistants.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022, Spring 2023
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, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2022, 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.

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.

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

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022, Spring 2023
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, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2022, 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 class will be conducted entirely in Spanish.

Prerequisite: SPAN 201 or Spanish Placement Exam. Limited to 15 students per section. Fall and spring semesters. Senior Lecturer Granda, Lecturer Piazza and Assistants.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022, Spring 2023
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, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2022, Fall 2022

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 2021-2022.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Spring 2008, Fall 2008, Spring 2009, Fall 2009, Spring 2010, Fall 2010, Spring 2011, Fall 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Fall 2018

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 connect students with the bilingual community in Amherst or Holyoke. 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 18 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: SPAN 201, SPAN 202 or placement exam.

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

2022-23: Offered in Spring 2023
Other years: Offered in Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Spring 2021, Spring 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: Visiting Professor Porter.  Spring semester: Professor Brenneis.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022, Spring 2023
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, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2022, 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, 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, visual art, 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. A travel component is planned, pending current travel restrictions.

This course may be counted toward the Spanish Major.

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or permission of the instructor. Limited to 15 Amherst College students. Omitted 2021-22. Lecturer Granda.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2016, Spring 2017, Spring 2019, Spring 2021

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. Omitted 2021-2020.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2016, Spring 2019, Fall 2020

310 Strange Girls: Spanish Women’s Voices

(Offered as SPAN 310 and SWAG 320) 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, marginalization, 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 lively variety of texts and literary genres by well-known authors such as Emilia Pardo Bazán, Carmen Laforet, Carmen Martín Gaite, Ana Rossetti and Dulce Chacón, while also widening our focus to Afro-Spanish voices who have traditionally been excluded. Students will create their own canon by becoming the editors of an Anthology of Spanish Women’s Writing. Conducted in Spanish.

Prerequisite: Spanish 301 or permission of instructor. Fall Semester: Professor Brenneis.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2021

312 Language, Identity, and Race

Language is an integral part of identity performance and perception. Paying special attention to the topic of race, this course examines the power of language and language ideologies as exclusionary and inclusionary social tools, permitting or denying group membership. Via the analysis of literary and historical texts, linguistic and anthropological research, and digital media, students learn about the role of language variation in various Hispanic socio-political contexts. Through in-class discussions, small projects, and writing assignments, we contemplate the role of language in amplifying or contesting social inequality among Latinos in the U.S., Blacks and gays in the Caribbean, Latin American migrants in Spain, indigenous communities in México, etc. In doing so, students learn about linguistic variation in Spanish, hone their critical thinking skills, and learn to apply sociolinguistic and anthropological methodology to socio-cultural analysis. As the course is conducted in Spanish, an additional aim of the course is to sharpen second language speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills.

* No prior knowledge of anthropology or (socio)linguistics is expected.

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or permission of instructor. Limited to 18 Students. Fall Semester: Lecturer Dixon.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2021

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.

Requisite: SPAN 211, SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 18 students. Omitted 2021-22.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Fall 2009, Spring 2013, Spring 2017, Spring 2021, Fall 2022

322 A Cultural History of Dictionaries in the Hispanic World 

Taught simultaneously at Amherst and Bowdoin, the course is designed as a cultural history of Hispanic civilization through its dictionaries. What authority do they exert? Who collects them? In what way do dictionaries change? The focus will be on the role words have played in history and their political, social, and commercial value. Starting with lexicons of indigenous, slave, and immigrant languages, students will engage in an in-depth exploration of figures like Antonio de Nebrija, Sebastián de Covarrubias, Andres Bello, and Maria Moliner. There will be a discussion of the asymmetrical relationship between Spain and Latin America and the importance of gender, media, sports, and cuisine. The Tesoro de la Lengua Espanola o Castellana, the Diccionario de Autoridades, the Diccionario de la Lengua Española, the MolinerLarousse, and Clave will all be analyzed. Active research in compiling neologisms and other emerging words will be a feature of the course work. The endeavor will culminate in the publication of a scholarly book by Professors Boyle and Stavans on dictionaries in the Iberian Peninsula and Latin America. Requirements: advanced and/or near-native language skills. Taught by Professors Margaret Boyle (Bowdoin) and Ilan Stavans (Amherst). Conducted in Spanish.

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

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2021

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.

Requisite: SPAN 211, SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 18 students. Omitted 2021-22.

2022-23: Not offered
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 2021-2022. Professor Schroeder Rodríguez.

2022-23: Offered in Spring 2023
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.

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 10 students.Spring Semester: Professor Infante.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2021, Spring 2022

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.

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Omitted 2021-2022. Professor Coráñez Bolton.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022
Other years: Offered in Spring 2020, Fall 2022

348 Language Learning and Globalization

(Offered as SPAN 348 and EDST 348) As the world continues to become more and more interconnected, learning languages is increasingly related to diasporic affiliations, intercultural identities, global cosmopolitanism, and translingual practices. At the same time, advancing technologies have afforded us the ability to communicate no matter where we are in the world, facilitating and creating different opportunities that serve as a mean of relating to others on cultural and sociolinguistic levels.

How does globalization impact the way people learn languages? This is the overriding question in this course. We will begin by examining how transnationalism and diasporic flows have allowed language learners to make use of language learning practices that are not conventionally valued in the field of language teaching. Thereafter, we will explore how heritage language learners challenge monolithic representations of standardized varieties of languages and linguistic norms taught in the language classroom. Finally, we will discuss how language learners have managed to retain their local languages and cultures in the face of a globalized world. Throughout the course, we will pay attention to the subtle interplay of economic, sociocultural, political, and technological forces that contest traditional scenarios for multilingual education. The materials for the course include fiction, nonfiction, audio pieces, maps, and visual materials. Conducted in Spanish.

Prerequisite: Spanish 301 or permission of instructor. Limited to 18 students. Spring Semester: Professor Sánchez-Naranjo.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2022

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.

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 6 students. Omitted 2021-22.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022
Other years: Offered in Spring 2020, Fall 2022

357 Understanding Spanish Structure and Use

(Offered as SPAN 357 and LLAS 357) Spanish is the second-most widely spoken language in the world. With more than 400 million native speakers, it has official status in 21 countries. In the United States more than 40 million people use Spanish in their daily lives. What exactly is the Spanish language? What do you actually know when you speak Spanish? These questions are at the heart of this course. By following a bottom-up design—from smallest to largest segments of language—we will understand the basic characteristics of human language and will examine the architecture of the Spanish language: how its sounds are produced and how they combine; how its words are constructed from their component parts; how its sentences are formed; how its meanings are understood; and how its use reflects aspects of our socio-cultural behavior. As an approach to the formal study of the Spanish language, we will explore actual and diverse language data such as texts, speech samples, and songs to grasp complex linguistic phenomena. Conducted in Spanish.

Prerequisite: Spanish 202 or permission of instructor. Limited to 18 students. Fall and spring semesters. Professor Sánchez-Naranjo.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2021, Spring 2022

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.

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 18 students. Omitted 2021-2022. Professor Coráñez Bolton.

2022-23: 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 301 or consent of the instructor. Omitted 2021-2022. Professor Coráñez Bolton.

2022-23: Offered in Spring 2023
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 2021-2022. Professor Coráñez Bolton.

2022-23: 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 2021-2022 Professors Schroeder Rodríguez and Ravikumar.

2022-23: 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 2021-2022 Professors Schroeder Rodríguez and Schmalzbauer.

2022-23: 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.

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 18 students. Omitted 2021-2022

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2015, Spring 2019, Spring 2021

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 301 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 15 students. Omitted 2021-2022. Professor Infante.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2014, Spring 2017, Fall 2018

415 Bilingualism in the US

(Offered as SPAN 415 and EDST 415) 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.

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Fall Semester: Professor Sánchez-Naranjo.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2019, Fall 2021

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.

Prerequisite: 301 or consent of the instructor.  Omitted 2021-2022

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2014, Fall 2016, Spring 2021

426 Spanish Antifa

(Offered as SPAN 426 and EUST 426) Spanish Antifa heroes, saboteurs, and spies have driven the longest anti-fascist resistance in Europe. Spaniards have been at the vanguard of anti-fascism from the time of the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s, to the fight against Nazi genocide during World War II, to opposition to the populist Trump-inspired Vox party of the twenty-first century. This course will consider the men and women of diverse left-wing political beliefs who risked their lives to put down fascist movements in Spain and throughout Europe. Through an examination of primary sources such as memoirs, photographs, and newspapers as well as contemporary films, graphic novels, television series, and social media, we will explore resistance tactics, international espionage, anti-fascism through the lens of gender, revisionist histories, and the long-lasting legal and social implications of attempts to thwart authoritarian oppression. This course will also consider the legacy of fascism and anti-fascism in Spain, tracking the influence on the present-day international Antifa and contemporary social justice movements. Conducted in Spanish.

Prerequisite Spanish 301 or permission of instructor. Fall Semester: Professor Brenneis.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2021

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.  

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor.  Limited to 15 students. Omitted 2021-2022. Professor Coráñez Bolton.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2019

441 Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz

A thorough, in-depth exploration of the life and works of Mexican nun Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz (1648-1695), the most important Latin American writer and thinker of the colonial period and one of the region’s most influential figures overall. The focus will be on the three choices seventeenth-century colonial women faced: marriage, the convent, and the court. We will study churches, convents, and monasteries from religious, political, social, and dietary perspectives. There will be close readings of Sor Juana’s poetry, theater, philosophical disquisitions, autobiographical writing, and theological debates regarding Athanasius Kircher, Erasmus of Rotterdam, and René Descartes. Sor Juana’s afterlife as a feminist and contemporary pop icon will also be studied, as will similar Iberian and Latin American religious writers such as Santa Teresa de Jesús, Fray San Juan de la Cruz, Fray Luis de León, Juan Ruíz de Alarcón and Carlos de Singüenza y Góngora. Conducted in Spanish.

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

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2022

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.

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor.  Limited to 25 students. Omitted 2021-2022. Professor Stavans.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2019

448 Hybrid Identities

(Offered as SPAN-448 and LLAS-448) With a historical and transnational approach, this course will explore bi/multicultural identities and communities in the Spanish-speaking world, primarily of the contemporary period: Mestizos, Korean-Argentineans, Afro-Peruvians, Latin American and Caribbean Chinatowns, Quechua-Castillian speakers, Spanglish-speakers from the United States to Gibraltar, Moroccans and West Africans in Spanish cities, “gallegos” in Buenos Aires, Filipino-Peruvian migrants in Tokyo and so on. Through a wide-variety of empirical, literary, and cultural texts (literature, film, music, graphic novel, photography, etc.), we will put diverse cases of ethnic and linguistic hybridity in dialogue with one another to study how communities and identities are represented, remembered, and demarcated; we will examine how they reclaim autonomy and space, and negotiate their personal and collective subjectivities amongst other communities and identities. Doing so will lead us to examine pressing socio-cultural phenomena that are increasingly global, rapidly-transforming, and interconnected: post/de/colonialism, bi/multiculturalism, transculturation, diaspora, immigration, exile, religion, borders, nationalism, nostalgia, capitalism, and structural in/exclusion. To help us study these issues and think of solutions, we will bring in theorists who have written on local and global hybridity (e.g., Bhabha, Spivek, Anzaldúa, Hall, Appiah). Inevitably, we will also discuss how these issues implicate us and our identities here in Amherst, MA in 2022. Students will have the opportunity to apply their knowledge as well as communicate personally with individuals who identify as bi/multicultural through a one-on-one interview project and invited speakers. Conducted in Spanish. 

Prerequisite: Spanish 301 or permission of instructor. Spring Semester: Visiting Associate Professor Megan Saltzman.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2022

451 Translation Roots of a US Literary Landscape

(Offered as SPAN 451 and LLAS 451) This course highlights literary connections between the United States and the Spanish-speaking world via translation. Through a study of texts from the late nineteenth century to the present, we will look at the role of translation in literary histories and current literary activities. We will examine how writers have translated in order to practice and enhance their creative writing. We will use translation as a way to access and analyze literary texts. We will also think about translation as professional and collaborative activities. We will study the work of José Martí (Cuba), Julia de Burgos (Puerto Rico), Silvina Ocampo (Argentina), Felipe Alfau (Catalonia-Spain), Salvador Dalí (Catalonia-Spain), Achy Obejas (Cuba), and Urayoán Noel (Puerto Rico), among others. In addition, we will explore ways of contributing with translational activities to our own literary landscape in the Amherst area by possibly collaborating with local institutions such as the Emily Dickinson Museum, the Eric Carle Museum, and the Amazing World of Dr. Seuss Museum. Conducted in Spanish.

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or permission of the instructor.  Limited to 18 students. Fall Semester: Visiting Associate Professor Galasso.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2021

455 One Hundred Years of Solitude

(Offered as LLAS 455 and SPAN 455) 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. Omitted 2021-22. Professor Stavans. 

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2009, Spring 2013, Fall 2015, Fall 2018, Spring 2021

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.

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 25 students. Omitted 2021-2022

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022
Other years: Offered in Spring 2014, Spring 2017, Fall 2020, Fall 2022

461 Racism and Anti-Racism in Latinx and Latin American Cinema

(Offered as COLQ 461 and SPAN 461) In this particular research tutorial we will ask how specific film practices help normalize racist vs. anti-racist structures of feeling. We will begin with a few key historical and theoretical texts on the long-term construction of racist and anti-racist structures of feeling in Latin America and in U.S. Latinx cultures, to then explore how these are reproduced or contested in a handful of films where racism and anti-racism are at the center of the filmic text, narratively and/or audiovisually. The selection of films will be made collaboratively, as will the subsequent research and the chosen end-product, for example an academic essay, a scholarly review essay, a digital resource for teachers, and/or media activism. The course will be conducted in Spanish.

This course is a research tutorial, listed in the catalog as colloquia for juniors and seniors, and is part of a tutorial series that engages Amherst students in substantive research with faculty in the humanities and humanistic social sciences. By exploring how different scholars approach a topic, students learn to frame a research question, develop research strategies, and identify and use sources. Students enrolled in these courses are guaranteed funding for at least six weeks of work during the summer following the academic year in which they take the course.

Open to sophomores and juniors. Limited to 6 students. Spring Semester. Professor Schroeder Rodriguez.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2022

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.

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 18 students. Spring semester. Professor Infante.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2015, Spring 2020, Spring 2022

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.

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Omitted 2021-2022. Professor Brenneis.

2022-23: 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.

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Limited to18 students. Omitted 2021-22. Professor Stavans.

2022-23: Offered in Spring 2023
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.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022, Spring 2023
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, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2022, 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 Infante.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022
Other years: Offered in Fall 2019, Fall 2020, Fall 2021, 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 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, Fall 2021, Fall 2022