Humanities: Spanish, 2012-2013
The department of Spanish aims to give students a thorough knowledge of the Spanish language and the ability to understand and interpret Spanish and Spanish American texts and cultures. In order to accomplish these general goals, the department offers a broad range of courses:
- Elementary and Intermediate language courses, which introduce and develop the basics of the language and emphasize the active use of Spanish for communication and understanding of the cultures that use it. Please note that language courses taught in the Spanish department require attendance to all classroom sessions and all tutorials. Successful language learning demands continuous study and practice, and tutorials provide crucial complementary activities to fulfill this goal. Classroom and tutorial participation are integral parts of the coursework and therefore will be part of the final grade (SPAN 001–002, 100, 101, and 102).
- Language instruction is followed by courses in literature, film, culture and civilization, and linguistics that introduce writers and significant themes as well as further develop Spanish language skills in reading, writing, speaking, and oral comprehension (Spanish courses at the 200 level).
- Advanced offerings that explore in greater depth a specific line of inquiry, literary, cultural or historical issue, or theme in Spanish and Spanish American writing and thought (Spanish courses at the 300 level).
- Courses taught in English, with readings in English or English translation, which aim to bring to a wider audience and across disciplinary boundaries important themes, issues, and accomplishments of the Spanish-speaking world (e.g.: SPAN/GNST 240: Latin American and Iberian Culture and Civilization; SPAN/COML 250: Quixotic Narratives; and SPAN 266: Iberian Orientalism and the Nation).
All students are expected to enroll in Spanish department courses at the level of placement as determined by the department at the beginning of every academic year. On occasion, requests by individual students to be moved to a higher or lower placement level will be considered, after close and detailed consultation with the student’s advisor, the course instructor and the department chairperson. Placement test results are otherwise mandatory.
Barbara Riley Levin Professor of Spanish and Comparative Literature Israel Burshatin
Associate Professor Roberto Castillo Sandoval
Visiting Associate Professor Ariana Huberman
Associate Professor Graciela Michelotti
Assistant Professor Ana López Sánchez
Assistant Professor Aurelia Gómez Unamuno
Visiting Assistant Professor Francisco Fernandez
Visiting Assistant Professor Marla Pagan-Mattos
Six courses in Spanish and Spanish American literature or film are required for a major in Spanish, along with enrollment in the senior seminar, SPAN 490 (two semesters), in which students write a senior essay. Of the six required courses, three should be at the 200 level and three at the 300 level (two of these 300 level courses must be taken at Haverford or Bryn Mawr). Students who qualify by pre-college training or study abroad may substitute 300 level courses for the 200 level offerings. The program must include at least two courses at the 200 or 300 level that focus substantially on literature prior to 1898.
Please note: Bryn Mawr courses SPAN B200 "Temas culturales" and SPAN B202 "Introducción al análisis literario"(formally cited at the 100 level) do not count for major or minor requirements.
Six courses at the 200 or 300 level, with a minimum of one course at the 300 level to be taken at Haverford or Bryn Mawr. One of the six courses should focus substantially on literature prior to 1898.
Please note: Bryn Mawr courses SPAN B200 "Temas culturales" and SPAN B202 "Introducción al análisis literario"(formally cited at the 100 level) do not count for major or minor requirements.
Students who are considered qualified will be invited to become candidates for Departmental Honors during the second semester of their senior year. Honors candidates will be expected to do superior work in upper-level literature and culture courses (3.7 average). Honors and High Honors are awarded on the basis of the quality of the senior thesis.
001 Elementary Spanish HU
Fall semester. Development of basic phonetic and structural skills. Greatest emphasis is placed on spoken Spanish, with grammar and written exercises, to develop oral proficiency. The course meets for five hours a week: three hours (3) with the instructor and two (2) hours in mandatory tutorial sections. This is a two-semester course. Both semesters are needed to receive credit. Students must register in the same section in the Spring semester even if the instructor changes. This section and 002B01 reserved for those who have not had Spanish before. Does not count toward the minor or major. Typically offered every Fall.
002 Elementary Spanish HU
Spring semester. Development of basic phonetic and structural skills. Greatest emphasis is placed on spoken Spanish, with grammar and written exercises, to develop oral proficiency. The course meets for five hours a week: three hours (3) with the instructor and two (2) hours in mandatory tutorial sections. This is a two-semester course. Both semesters are needed to receive credit. Prerequisite: SPAN 001. Does not count toward the minor or major. Typically offered every Spring.
100 Basic Intermediate HU
A course for students who have achieved a basic knowledge of Spanish but have limited experience and/or confidence communicating in the language. Students will improve their conversational and writing skills while learning about the “realities” of Spanish-speaking countries. The course meets for five hours a week: three hours (3) with the instructor and two (2) hours in mandatory tutorial sections. Prerequisite: Access only through placement exam. Does not count toward the minor or major. Typically offered every Fall.
101 Intermediate Spanish HU
Review of conversational skills and grammar and development of writing abilities. Literature readings are combined with materials from magazines, newspapers and films from Spain and Spanish America. The course meets for five hours a week: three hours (3) with the instructor and two (2) hours in mandatory tutorial sections Prerequisite: SPAN 002, placement or consent. Does not count toward the minor or major. Typically offered every Fall.
102 Advanced Intermediate Spanish HU
Refinement of writing and communicative skills. Readings are drawn from a variety of literary genres. Students are expected to involve themselves with Hispanic culture in order to improve and test their ability to use Spanish. The course meets for five hours a week: three hours (3) with the instructor and two (2) hours in mandatory tutorial sections. Prerequisite: SPAN 101, placement, or consent. Does not count toward the minor or major. Typically offered every Semester.
110 Spanish for Heritage Speakers HU
An introduction to the formal study of the Spanish language for heritage students: to reactivate the Spanish they have learned previously and develop it further, to acquire formal Spanish literacy skills and to work with students’ unique relationship to their cultural heritage. Prerequisite: SPAN 002, placement or consent of the instructor. Does not count toward the minor or major.
201 Exploring Critical Issues Through Writing HU
The course aims to provide students with the skills necessary to successfully undertake writing assignments in the upper-division Spanish courses. Students will be engaged in discussions of, and write about topics such as identity, borders and migrations, and manifestations of violence. Prerequisite: SPAN 102, placement or consent of the instructor.
203 Writing the Jewish Trajectories in Latin America HU (Cross-listed in Comparative Literature and Latin American and Iberian Studies)
"Jewish Gauchos," "Tropical Synagogues," "Poncho and Talmud," "Matza and Mate." This course will examine the native and diasporic worlds described in the apparent dichotomies that come together in the Latin American Jewish Literature. The class will trace the different trajectories of time, space and gender of the Jewish experience in Latin America, where issues of migration, memory and hybridization come to life through poetry, narrative, drama and film. Prerequisite: SPAN 102, placement or consent of the instructor.
205 Studies in the Spanish American Novel HU (Cross-listed in Comparative Literature and Latin American and Iberian Studies)
Territories: Limits and Displacements in Latin American Contemporary Narrative. This course examines the topic of territory, with a concentration on territorial limits and displacements in Latin American narrative from the 1980's to the present. The goal of the course is to analyze novels, short stories and films representing different countries and/or regions in the context of current configurations of Latin American territories. Prerequisite: SPAN 102, placement or consent of the instructor. Typically offered in alternate years.
210 Spanish and Spanish American Film Studies HU (Cross-listed in Comparative Literature and Latin American and Iberian Studies)
Exploration of films in Spanish from both sides of the Atlantic. The course will discuss approximately one movie per class from a variety of classic and more recent directors such as Luis Buñuel, Carlos Saura, Pedro Almodóvar and Lucrecia Martel among others. The class will focus on the cinematic discourse as well as the cultural and historic background of each film. The course will also provide advanced language training with particular emphasis in refining oral and writing skills. Prerequisite: SPAN 102, placement or consent of the instructor.
214 Writing the Nation: 19th-Century Literature in Latin America HU (Cross-listed in Comparative Literature and Latin American and Iberian Studies)
An examination of seminal literary texts written in Latin America in the 19th century. Novels, essays, travelogues, short stories, miscellaneous texts and poetry will be analyzed and placed in the context of the process of nation-building that took place after Independence from Spain. A goal of the course will be to establish and define the nexus between the textual and ideological formations of 19th century writings in Latin America and their counterparts in the 20th century. This course fulfills the "pre-1898" requirement. Prerequisite: SPAN 102, placement or consent of instructor.
221 Narrating Modern Mexico HU
This course approaches the reconstruction of the nation after the Mexican Revolution and its relevance in foundational narratives. Through literary texts and visual production including the Mexican Muralism, photography and films, this course analyses the Mexican Revolution and the post-revolutionary process stressing the tensions, contradictions, and debts of the Mexican Revolution to rural sectors including campesino and indigenous groups. Prerequisite: SPAN 102, placement, or consent of the instructor.
222 Rethinking Latin America in Contemporary Narrative HU (Cross-listed in Comparative Literature and Latin American and Iberian Studies)
This course explores literary texts and films produced after the ’70s that address political issues related to marginal subjects that previously were not “visible.” The course is organized around different agendas such as "indigenismo," ethnic politics and indigenous movements, post-coloniality, subalternity, sexual diversity, migration and the border, drug trafficking, and gender violence. Prerequisite: SPAN 102, placement or consent of the instructor.
230 Medieval and Golden Age Spain: Literature, Culture, and Society HU (Cross-listed in Latin American and Iberian Studies)
Introduction to the culture and literature of medieval and early modern Spain: Castilian expansion, religious diversity and cultural transformations, from the Reconquest to the Habsburgs. This course fulfills the “pre 1898” requirement. Prerequisite: SPAN 102, placement or consent of the instructor.
235 Spanish American Theater HU (Cross-listed in Comparative Literature)
An exploration of various plays produced during the 20th century in different Latin American countries and the U.S. in the context of major theatrical movements and central themes in Latin American culture and history. The readings will include works by female and male playwrights. When possible, there will be a correlation with films, based on the plays discussed in class. Prerequisite: SPAN 102, placement or consent of the instructor.
240 Latin American and Iberian Culture and Civilization HU (Cross-listed in Latin American and Iberian Studies)
An interdisciplinary exploration of Latin America and Spain. Topics will include imperial expansion, colonialism, independence, national and cultural identities, and revolution. This course is designed to serve as the introduction to the Concentration in Latin American and Iberian Studies. Required course for Latin American and Iberian Studies Concentrators. Typically offered every other spring.
248 Poetry and Politics in Spain HU (Cross-listed in Latin American and Iberian Studies)
This course examines the different ways in which poetry and poets are in the "world." Study of the relationships between poetics and power will guide a close reading of works written since 1898: poetry and national renewal after the collapse of empire, avant-garde aesthetics, the Spanish Civil War and post-war generations (Machado, García Lorca, Cernuda, Hernández, Fuertes). Prerequisite: SPAN 102, placement or consent of the instructor.
250 Quixotic Narratives HU (Cross-listed in Comparative Literature and Latin American and Iberian Studies)
Study of Cervantes, Don Quixote and of some of the works of fiction, criticism, philosophy, music, art and film which have drawn from Cervantes's novel or address its formal and thematic concerns, including self-reflexivity, nation and narration, and constructions of gender, class and "race" in narrative. Other authors read include Borges, Foucault, Laurence Sterne, Graham Greene, Vladimir Nabokov and Kathy Acker. Course taught in English. This course fulfills the “pre-1898” requirement.
266 Iberian Orientalism and the Nation HU (Cross-listed in Comparative Literature, Latin American and Iberian Studies, and African and Africana Studies)
This course examines cultural production in the frontier cultures of medieval Iberia and the patterns of collaboration and violence among Islamic, Christian and Jewish communities. Other topics include Christian Reconquest and the construction of Spanishness as race and nation; foreign depictions of Spain as Europe's exotic other; internal colonialism and Morisco resistance; and contemporary African migrations. Class conducted in English. This course fulfills the “pre-1898” requirement. Prerequisite: Freshman Writing and SPAN 102 or consent of the instructor
273 The Invention of Pablo Neruda: Poetics and Politics HU
This course deals with the principal works of Pablo Neruda's long career as a poet. Close readings of his major poems will be accompanied by an examination of the criticism and reception of Neruda's poetry at different stages of his trajectory. Special attention will be paid to the creation and elaboration of Neruda's image as a poet, cultural icon and political figure in Chile and in the Spanish-speaking world. Prerequisite: SPAN 102, placement or consent of the instructor.
280 Inter-American Dialogue: Cuba on my Mind HU
The goal of this course is to foster dialogue and understanding between Americans and Cubans by familiarizing students with the writing, thought and other cultural expressions of contemporary Cuba. Students write several short papers during the semester (including a travel journal of their trip to Cuba) and submit a final research paper based, in part, on their experiences on the island (the one-week trip to Cuba during spring break is required). Course taught in English. Prerequisite: Application which demonstrates student interest in participating in activities that will facilitate personal one-on-one contacts in Cuba. Offered occasionally.
307 Taller Literario: Writing Short Fiction in Spanish HU
A fiction-writing workshop for students whose Spanish-writing skills are at an advanced level. The class will be conducted as a combination seminar/workshop, with time devoted to discussion of syllabus readings and student work. The course will focus on essential matters of craft and technique in creative writing (point of view, voice, dialogue, narrative structure, etc.). Principally, we will be concerned with how stories work rather than what they mean. This perspective can prove a useful lens for reconsidering works long accepted as "great" and a practical method for developing individual styles and strategies of writing. Prerequisite: At least one 200-level course in Spanish, or consent of the instructor. This course assumes an advanced level of competence writing in Spanish.
312 Inquiring Minds: Inquisition, Writing, and the Early Modern Subject HU
The goal of the course is to examine the impact of the Holy Office on literature and on social and symbolic practices in early modern Spain and the Americas, with comparative study of other inquisitions in medieval Provence and England. Topics of discussion include the construction of heresy as a political act; inquisition as instrument of social control and as mode of rational inquiry; the crafting of subaltern subjects (racial, sexual and gender minorities) and the surveillance of imperial elites. Texts studied include trial dossiers, literary texts and historiography. This course fulfills the "pre-1898" requirement. Prerequisite: Spanish 200 level, placement or consent of instructor.
315 Novísima literatura hispanoamericana HU
A selection of recent, representative Latin American fiction, examined in light of the transformations in the narrative discourse after the seminal novels of the Latin American "Boom" of the ’60s and ’70s. Prerequisite: A 200-level course or consent of instructor.
320 Spanish American Colonial Writings HU (Cross-listed in Comparative Literature and Latin American and Iberian Studies)
Representative writings from the textual legacy left by Spanish discovery, conquest and colonization of the New World. Emphasis will be places on the transfiguration of historical and literary genres, and the role of Colonial literature in the formation of Latin-American identity. Readings include Columbus, Bernal Díaz, Gómara, Ercilla, Inca Garcilaso de la Vega, Cabeza de Vaca, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz and Sigüenza y Góngora. This course fulfills the “pre-1898” requirement. Prerequisite: A 200-level course or consent of the instructor.
321 Mexican Narratives after 1968 HU
The 1968 Mexican student movement, and its tragic repression in Tlaltelolco, revealed that the project of Modernization, the so-called “Mexican Miracle,” as well as the authoritarian political practices of the official party (PRI), could not fulfill the population’s social and political demands. Focused on literary texts and films, this course examines how the ’68 movement changed civil society political and social practices, how intellectuals responded by addressing (or avoiding) issues such as state violence, the youth and generation gap, gender and gay rights, and how contemporary culture revisits the '68 movement after more than 40 years of the event. Prerequisite: 200-level course and 300-level (preferred), or consent of the instructor.
322 Politics of Memory in Latin America HU (Cross-listed in Comparative Literature)
This course explores the issue of memory, the narration of political violence and the tension between truth and fiction. A selection of documents, visual archives and documentary films are compared with literary genres including testimonies memories, diaries, poetry and fiction writing. This course also compares the coup and dictatorship of Pinochet with the repression of the student movement of ’68, and the guerrilla warfare in Mexico. Prerequisite: Spanish 200-level and 300-level (preferred), or consent of the instructor.
334 Gender Dissidence in Hispanic Writing HU (Cross-listed in Comparative Literature, Gender and Sexuality Studies, and Latin American and Iberian Studies)
Study of the dissenting voices of gender and sexuality in Spain and Spanish America and U.S. Latino/a writers. Interrogation of "masculine" and "feminine" cultural constructions and "compulsory heterosexuality," as well as exemplary moments of dissent. Texts to be studied include Hispano-Arabic poetry, Fernando de Rojas's Celestina; Tirso de Molina, Don Gil de las calzas verdes; Teresa of Avila, Gloria Anzaldúa and Reinaldo Arenas. Prerequisite: A 200-level course or consent of the instructor.
340 The Moor in Spanish Literature HU (Cross-listed in African and Africana Studies)
The discourse concerning Spain's Muslims and their descendants: the Moor as other (sensual, fanatical or exemplary but flawed) and as a metaphor of power, from the Christian Reconquest and the expulsion of the Moriscos to Juan Goytisolo's Reivindicación del conde don Julián. This course fulfills the “pre-1898” requirement. Prerequisite: A 200-level course or consent of the instructor.
343 The Latin American City and its Narratives. HU (Cross-listed in Comparative Literature and Latin American and Iberian Studies)
An exploration of how literary and visual arts texts have imagined the Latin American metropolitan space. Students will reflect on the representation of urban communities in Latin American cities such as Buenos Aires, Mexico and Havana, among others. Prerequisite: A 200-level course, or consent of the instructor.
352 Evita and Her Sisters HU (Cross-listed in Comparative Literature, Gender and Sexuality Studies, and Latin American and Iberian Studies)
The representation of female historical and mythical figures in Latin American writings. Women have been writing and written about since the beginning of times in Latin America. It is the intention of this course to explore how the female subject, with an historical and/or mythical presence, is portrayed, manipulated or rewritten by authors and other cultural agents of either gender. Prerequisite: A 200-level course or consent of the instructor.
360 Learning-Teaching a Foreign Language HU (Cross-listed in Education)
This course is designed for the advanced student of Spanish, who is interested in the processes involved in learning a foreign language and/or is contemplating teaching it. Prerequisite: A 200-level course, or consent of the instructor.
365 The Politics of Language in the Spanish-Speaking World HU (Cross-listed in Linguistics)
The course will explore the relationship between (national) identity and language, and the specific outcomes of (language) policies and educational practices in societies where Spanish is spoken, generally alongside other mother tongues, often as the dominant language, but also in a minority situation. Prerequisite: A 200-level course or consent of the instructor.
385 Popular Culture, Cultural Identity and the Arts in Latin American HU (Cross-listed in Comparative Literature and Latin American and Iberian Studies)
This course will examine the interaction among mass, elite, traditional and indigenous art forms and their relationship with the dynamics of national/cultural identity in Latin America in the 19th and 20th centuries. Among the forms of expression to be studied are oral poetry and narrative: the "folleti" (19th-century melodramas by installment) to 20th-century "fotonovelas," "radionovelas" and "telenovelas," broadsides, comics, musical and political movements such as "neo-folklore," "New Song" and "Nueva Trova"; and artistic movements such as Mexican Muralism, popular dance and the cinema. Prerequisite: A 200-level course or consent of the instructor.
397 The Fictions of Roberto Bolano and the Renewal of the Latin American Novel HU (Cross-listed in Comparative Literature and Latin American and Iberian Studies)
This course will explore the transformations in Latin American fiction in the late 20th- and early 21th-centuries through an extensive examination of the works (essays, poetry, short fiction and novels) by late Chilean author Roberto Bolaño (1953-2003). Prerequisite: At least two previous courses in Spanish at the 200-level or consent of the instructor.
480 Independent Study HU
I. Burshatin/R. Castillo Sandoval
Prerequisite: Consent of the instructor. Offered occasionally.
490 Senior Departmental Studies HU
The course will consist of two one-semester parts. The first, taken in the Fall semester, will have the format of a seminar under the supervision of one Spanish Department faculty member. The purpose of this seminar will be to prepare students for the research and writing their senior theses by (1) enhancing and refining the reading tools and critical approaches to texts in Spanish acquired in previous courses; (2) elucidating and contextualizing relevant aspects of literary history, theory, and culture; (3) determining the thesis topic, key secondary sources and approach to be deployed in writing the thesis; and (4) polishing the skills and methods for successful research and proper use of available resources. Problems in literary and cultural analysis—selected with a view to their pertinence in relation to the group's interests—will be presented through close readings of works from various periods and genres and through selected works of criticism or theory. The second semester will involve the process of writing the thesis. Seminar meetings will continue—albeit in a more sporadic schedule—for progress reports while students work under the supervision of individual professors.
Courses at Bryn Mawr College
206 Composición avanzada
211 Borges y sus lectores
215 “Memoria negra”: la literatura afro-hispánica en Africa y las Américas
231 El cuento y la novela corta
260 Ariel-Calibán- el discurso americano
265 Escritoras españolas
308 Teatro del siglo de oro
309 La representación de la mujer
318 Adaptaciones literarias en el cine español
321 Surrealismo al realismo mágico
327 La novela latina
329 Brown Affect: Narrating Latina/o Lives
331 TransNation: Queer Diasporas