Hispanic Studies

Professors: Andrew Bush, Lizabeth Paravisini-Gebert; Associate Professors: Mario Cesareo, Mihai Grünfeld (Chair), Patricia KenworthyabAssistant Professor: Michael Aronnaab.

Requirements for Concentration: 10 units of courses numbered 205 and above, which must include three of the following: 226, 227, 228, 229, and at least three units at the 300-level taken on campus, including one unit each of 387 and 388. Two units must be elected in the senior year. After declaration of the concentration, all courses in the department must be taken for a letter grade.

Senior-Year Requirements: Two units at the 300-level. Students who wish to be considered for departmental honors must complete a senior thesis (Hispanic Studies 300).

Teaching Certification: Students who wish to obtain Secondary Certification in Spanish must complete, in conjunction with the program of study outlined by the education department, 8 units of 200-level courses and above in Hispanic Studies.

Correlate Sequence: 6 units in the department at the level of 205 and above. At least one of these units must be a 300-level course taken at Vassar.

Special Program: Vassar College, Wesleyan University, and Colgate University sponsor jointly a program of study in Spain. A major in Hispanic Studies is expected to participate in this program or a comparable program in Latin America during either the sophomore or junior year. Students concentrating in other fields are also accepted, within the regulations of the chair of their various departments and the Dean of Studies office. Courses offered in the Spain program are included below.

Advisers: The department.


I. Introductory

105a-106b. Elementary Spanish Language (1)

Fundamentals of the grammar and structure of the Spanish language with emphasis on oral skill and reading. Mr. Bush, Mr. Grünfeld.

Open to students with one year or less of high school Spanish.

Five 50-minute periods; one hour of laboratory or drill.

[109b. Basic Spanish Review] (1)

An intensive review of first-year Spanish. The department.

Open only to freshmen and sophomores who have had two years of high school Spanish. Students who have taken Hispanic Studies 105-106 may not take Hispanic Studies 109 for credit.

Three 50-minute periods and two hours of laboratory or drill.

Not offered in 2000/01.


II. Intermediate

205a. Intermediate Spanish (1)

Intensive study and review of Spanish grammar at the second-year level with emphasis on oral practice and writing skills. The department.

Prerequisite: Hispanic Studies 105-106 or 109, or three years of high school Spanish.

Three 50-minute periods and one hour of conversation.

207a or b. Reading and Writing about Latin American Culture (1)

An introduction to issues in Latin American culture past and present. Intensive and extensive work in essay writing and oral presentations. Assignments focus on the development of skills for research and writing in Spanish. Mr. Cesareo.

Prerequisite: Hispanic Studies 205 or four or more years of high school Spanish. Students who have taken Hispanic Studies 208 may not take Hispanic Studies 207 for credit.

208b. Reading and Writing about Spanish Culture (1)

An introduction to issues in Spanish culture past and present. Intensive and extensive work in essay writing and oral presentations. Assignments focus on the development of skills for research and writing in Spanish. The department.

Prerequisite: Hispanic Studies 205 or four or more years of high-school Spanish. Students who have taken Hispanic Studies 207 may not take Hispanic Studies 208 for credit.

217b. Methods in Interdisciplinary Analysis: Latin America (1)

This course develops a set of methodological and theoretical tools for the investigation of cultural practices such as literature, popular and mass culture, social movements, and institutions within the context of Latin American social formations. Mr. Grünfeld.

Prerequisite: Hispanic Studies 207 or 208.

Students who have taken Hispanic Studies 218 may not take Hispanic Studies 217 for credit.

218a. Methods in Interdisciplinary Analysis: Spain (1)

This course develops a set of methodological and theoretical tools for the investigation of cultural practices such as literature, popular and mass culture, social movements, and institutions within the context of Spanish social formations. Topic for 2000/01: The Spanish Civil War. Ms. Paravisini-Gebert.

Prerequisite: Hispanic Studies 207 or 208.

Students who have taken Hispanic Studies 217 may not take Hispanic Studies 218 for credit.

226a. Medieval and Early Modern Spain (1)

Studies in Spanish literary and cultural production from the time of the Reconquest to the end of the Hapsburg Empire.

Topic for 2000/01: Jews, Muslims and Christians in Medieval Spain.Power homogenizes, and absolute power homogenizes absolutely. Such has been the keynote of cultural politics in Spain from the reign of theReyes Católicos to the Franco dictatorship. But against the discourse of power stands the lived reality of cultural heterogeneity in the Iberian Peninsula. The great theoretical voice speaking for that heterogeneity has been Américo Castro, who opposed the centuries-old conflation of Catholicism and nationalism by insisting upon what we would now call the multicultural base of Spanish identity, namely the coexistence of Jews, Muslims and Christians in the medieval period. This course takes Castro's theoretical position as the point of departure for the investigation of the tri-partite convivencia, considering both its moments of harmony and of confrontation. The selection of texts and their study are interdisciplinary in nature, including the fields of literature, history, religion and architecture. While concentrating on the period 711-1492, attention is also devoted to the medieval legacy in such later writers as Cervantes. Please note that although the original language of some of the texts is Hebrew or Arabic, Galician-Portuguese or Catalan, readings, class discussion and writing assignments are in Castilian Spanish. Mr. Bush.

Prerequisite: Hispanic Studies 217 or 218.

227b. Colonial Latin America (1)

Studies in Latin American literary and cultural production from the European invasion to the crisis of the colonial system. Thematically structured, the course is anchored in the social, political, and institutional processes undergone by Latin America as a result of its incorporation into European mercantilism.

Topic for 2000/01: The Invention of America. 1492 marked the beginning of a fascinating process of "invention" of a "New World." The rhetoric of mythical and historical fabrication took myriad forms, from the insertion of descriptions of the newly-discovered lands into ancient legends of Atlantis through the myth of El Dorado, notions of noble savages and primeval forests, and projections of political and social utopias fading into banana republics. The course explores a variety of textsliterary, historical, anthropological, religious, sociologicalto trace the invention and reinvention of Latin America in the popular and scholarly imagination. Ms. Paravisini-Gebert.

Prerequisite: Hispanic Studies 217 or 218.

228b. Modern Spain (1)

Studies in Spanish literary and cultural production form the beginning of the Bourbon monarchy to the present.

Topic for 2000/01: To be announced. The department.

Prerequisite: Hispanic Studies 217 or 218.

229a. Postcolonial Latin America (1)

Studies in Latin American literary and cultural production from the emergence of the nation states to their contemporary crisis. Thematically structured, the course delves into the social, political, and institutional processes undergone by Latin America as a result of its uneven incorporation into world capitalist development.

Topic for 2000/01: Latin America and Modernity. This course examines the uneven road that led Latin American literature towards an identity anchored in the modern. We analyze a variety of textsnovels, essays, short stories, film and poetryfrom the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, in order to show how these texts construct the notion of modernity within the social and historical conditions that inform them. Mr. Grünfeld.

Prerequisite: Hispanic Studies 217 or 218.

290a or b. Field Work (1/2 or 1)

Individual projects or internships. The department.

Special permission.

Prerequisite: 1 unit of Hispanic Studies 207, 208 or above.

298. Independent Work (1/2 or 1)

Prerequisite: 2 units of Hispanic Studies 226 or above. The department.

Special permission: Students interested in pursuing an independent study must submit an application (available from the chair) detailing their project to the department by Friday of the first full week of classes each semester.


III. Advanced

Prerequisite for all advanced courses: 3 units from Hispanic Studies 217 and above or by permission of instructor.

300a or b. Senior Thesis (1)

The department.

387. Latin American Seminar (1)

A seminar offering indepth study of topics related to the literary and cultural history of Latin America. This course may be repeated for credit when the topic changes.

Topic for a semester 2000/01: Latin American Cinema. This multidisciplinary seminar will study Latin American film from a historical, aesthetic and critical perspective. The production of images and narratives will be analyzed in the context of the populist affirmation and neo-liberal crisis of the nation-state, socialism, militarization, transnational capitalism and postmodernity. Concepts borrowed from anthropology, political economy, ecology, and film theory will be introduced and used as interpretive tools. Mr. Cesareo.

Topic for b semester 2000/01: The Indigenous Experience in Latin America. In this course we study the depiction of the native people and their struggle for cultural survival and self-determination in a variety of Latin American texts such as novels, short stories, poetry, myths, paintings, movies and essays. The course examines issues such as strategies of representation by native and non-native people, cultural colonization, social injustice, resistance, integration and transculturation, and the place of the indigenous in the modern nation, among others. Our study includes pre-colonial texts such as the Popol-Vuh and Aztec poetry, films such as Naufragios, the Mission, and La sangre del condor, Diego Rivera's mural paintings, and contemporary novels such as Mario Vargas Llosa's El Hablador and Gioconda Belli's La mujer habitada. Mr. Grünfeld.

388a. Peninsular Seminar (1)

A seminar offering in depth study of topics related to the literary and cultural history of Spain.

Topic for a semester 2000/01: Novela Policiaca/Novela Negra: Detective Fiction in Spain. In recent decades, the police procedural has emerged as one of the most dynamic genres in Spanish literature. The genre's characteristic concern with justice and the law, with notions of criminality and policing, with the statutes that regulate the relationship between the individual and the state, have made the genre the ideal vehicle for the exploration of the myriad social, historical, and economic crises facing post-Franco Spain. The course examines a broad selection of texts, ranging from mass-market detective stories to "high-brow" parodies of detection. Among the authors to be discussed are Emilia Pardo Bazan, Arturo Perez Reverte, Lourdes Miquel Lopez, Rosa Montero, Eduardo Mendoza, and Alvar Valls. Ms. Paravisini-Gebert.

389b. "Nuestra America" (1)

(Same as Latin American Studies 389) This course does not count towards Hispanic Studies major or correlate sequence.

399. Senior Independent Work (1/2 or 1)

Vassar-Wesleyan-Colgate Program in Spain

210a. Spanish Language and Civilization (1)

Taught in Santiago de Compostela, this course is geared to develop linguistic skills and general knowledge of Spanish history and culture in preparation for the fall semester in Madrid. The morning session includes classes in Spanish language, literature, history, and contemporary political and social issues. A program of cultural activities and field trips organized in the afternoon introduces students to the artistic heritage of Santiago, one of Europe's foremost medieval cities, and to the cultural richness of the region of Galicia, so that their language and cultural knowledge improves in contexts beyond the classroom. One academic credit, ungraded, is awarded for this course.

212a or b. Advanced Spanish (1)

An intensive language review, focusing on grammar, conversation, and composition. Weekly oral and written exercises.

246a or b. Perfecting Spanish: Cultural Events (1)

A writingskills course in which the compositions are based on class field trips to museums, art exhibits, concerts, plays, lectures, and films.

250a. A New World: America and Spain (1)

Spanish history from the Islamic period to the discovery and conquest of the New World (eighth to seventeenth centuries). Special attention is given to the Hapsburg dynasty, the formation of an empire, the role of the Inquisition, and the Spanish reaction to the Protestant reformation.

251b. Spanish History: 1800-Present (1)

Political, social, and economic history of Spain since 1800. Topics include: the Spanish reaction to the Napoleonic invasion, social and political formations in the period of industrialization and urbanization, the origins and consequences of the Spanish Civil War, and the transition from the Franco dictatorship to the parliamentary democracy that currently exists in Spain.

252a. The Spanish Civil War (1)

A study of the major event in modern Spanish history. Special emphasis on the social and economic causes, the ideological tensions that existed in Spain and most of Europe during this period, and the internationalization of the conflict.

253b. Modern Spanish Politics (1)

A study of the development of political systems during the twentieth century. Attention is given to the origins of modern Spanish political formations, traceable in the enlightenment and throughout the nineteenth century. Special emphasis on the political party system in post-Franco Spain. Intended especially for political science majors, but all others are welcome.

255a or b. History of Spanish Painting (1)

A survey of Spanish painting from the Renaissance to Picasso, with emphasis on the masters of the Spanish school: El Greco, Velazquez, Murillo, Zurbaran, and Goya. Classes include visits to the Prado and other museums in Madrid, plus a field trip to Toledo to study El Greco in context.

256b. Women in Spain: Historical and Sociological Perspectives (1)

An historical, political, and sociological study of the role of women in Spanish society. Special emphasis given to the new legislation affecting women that emerges in postFranco Spain and to demographic analyses of women's participation in the formation of a new society from 1980 to the present. Intended especially for history, sociology, and political science majors, but all others are welcome.

258b. Introduction to Contemporary Spanish Cinema (1)

A survey of Spanish cinema from the 1960s to the present. Special emphasis is given to the political, sociological, and cultural context within which Spanish cinema has developed.

259a. Spain and the European Union (1)

Spain's formal entry into the European Economic Community (EEC) in the 1980s signaled an important moment in the country's political, economic, and social resurgence. This course focuses on the background and meaning of this event in the context of modern Spanish history, in relation to current economic trends, and with special attention to current Spanish and European political institutions. Intended especially for history and economics majors, but all others are welcome.

260a. 261b. 360a. 361b. Special Topics (1)

When necessary, students may petition for approval to enroll in a course sponsored by another American university at the Instituto Internacional. Special topics is a rubric used to record such courses or any course taken through direct enrollment at a Spanish university in Madrid.

281. Ethnography of Spanish Culture (1)

A close study of Spanish cultural formations in their traditional and contemporary context. Lectures, critical readings, and class discussions focus on such topics as the relationship between individual and collective identity, popular festivals and religious rites, urbanization, and the recent rise of immigration resulting from rapid economic development. Intended especially for anthropology majors, but all others are welcome.

363a. Modern Spanish Novel: Madrid and the Novel (1)

Analysis of the great novels from modern Spain set within Madrid, from the late nineteenth century to the present. Special attention is given to the relationship between social history and the development of narrative during this period.

372a. Modern Spanish Poetry (1)

Analysis of selections from the collections of the most influential Spanish poets, from the midnineteenth century to the present.

381b. Seminar on Literature (1)

An advanced, researchoriented seminar on a specific writer or topic in Spanish and/or Latin American Literature. Topic changes yearly. This course is normally taught by the program director and is highly recommended for Spanish majors.

386. Theater of the Golden Age (1)

A study of the plays from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the great era of Spanish drama. The course focuses especially on works by Miguel de Cervantes, Lope de Vega, Pedro Calderón de la Barca, and Tirso de Molina. Filed trips and attendance at performances help to emphasize the historical and cultural context of Golden Age drama.