Hispanic Studies Department

Professors: Andrew Bush, Patricia Kenworthy (Chair), Lizabeth Paravisini-Gebert a;Associate Professors: Michael Aronna, Mario Cesareo b, Mihai Grünfeld; Visiting Assistant Professor: Eva Maria Woods.

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

Special Program: Vassar College and Wesleyan 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 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 skills and reading.
       Open to students with one year or less of high school Spanish.
       Five 50-minute periods; one hour of laboratory or drill.
 
109a and b. Basic Spanish Review
(1)
An intensive review of first-year Spanish, designed for students who have completed two years of high school Spanish. Students who have taken Hispanic Studies 105-106 may not take Hispanic Studies 109 for credit.
       Prerequisite: Two years of high school Spanish.
       Three 50-minute periods and two hours of laboratory or drill.
 

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.
       Prerequisite: Hispanic Studies 105-106 or 109, or three years of high school Spanish.
       Three 50-minute periods.
 
206 a and b. Reading and Writing about Hispanic Culture
(1)
Reading, writing and speaking skills are developed through discussion of cultural and literary texts and audiovisual materials.
       Prerequisite: Hispanic Studies 205 or four years of high school Spanish.
       Three 50-minute periods plus one hour of oral practice.
 
216 a and b. Methods in Interdisciplinary Analysis
(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 in Spanish-speaking countries.
       Prerequisite: Hispanic Studies 206.
 
226b. 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 2003/04: Early Spanish Heroes and Scoundrels. What kinds of individuals or groups does a society select for praise or punishment, for reverence or ridicule? This course examines the depiction of heroes and scoundrels in selected historical, literary, and artistic works from the thousand-year span between the Moslem invasion of the Iberian Peninsula (711) to the decline of the Spanish Empire (1700). Ms.Kenworthy.
       Prerequisite: Hispanic Studies 216.
 
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 2003/04b: The Utopia of Latin America. The notion that Latin America constituted an ideal place for the “discovery,” recuperation or recreation of a perfect society has been a constant theme in Latin American cultural and political discourse since the time of the conquest. The utopian discourse in Latin America was informed by Greco-Roman letters and science, medieval European myth, indigenous and African experiences of lost and reconstituted societies, and the scientific and philosophical ideas concerning “natural man” of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. After independence, political and cultural rhetoric continued to redefine the concept of Latin American utopia in the context of national consolidation, economic development and scientific progress. The course explores texts, images and films of this tradition. Mr. Aronna.
       Prerequisite: Hispanic Studies 216.
 
228a. Modern Spain
(1)
Studies in Spanish literary and cultural production from the beginning of the Bourbon monarchy to the present.
       Topic for 2003/04a: Vamps and Virgins: Representations of Women in Modern Spain. Ms. Woods.
       Prerequisite: Hispanic Studies 216.
 
229a. Postcolonial Latin America
(1)
Studies in Latin American literary and cultural production from the emergence of the nation states to the present. 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 2003/04a: To be announced.
       Prerequisite: Hispanic Studies 216.
 
290a or b. Field Work
(1/2 or 1)
Individual projects or internships. The department.
       Special permission.
       Prerequisite: 1 unit of Hispanic Studies 206 or above.
 
298. Independent Work
(1/2 or 1)
Prerequisite: 2 units of Hispanic Studies 226 or above. The department.
 

III. Advanced

Prerequisite for all advanced courses: 3 units from Hispanic Studies 216 and above or by permission of instructor.
 
300a or b. Senior Thesis
(1)
The department.
 
387. Latin American Seminar
(1)
A seminar offering in-depth 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 2003/04a: Argentine Literature: Poetics of Dereliction. The seminar examines the most salient works of Argentine literary fiction from the 1930’s to the present. Works by Arlt, Borges, Sábato, Cortázar, Valenzuela, Puig, Piglia, Pizarnik, and Andahazi are read within the main literary currents that gave them form and against the changing context of Argentina’s turbulent life. Mr. Cesareo.
       Topic for 2003/04b: Latin American Avant-Garde. In this seminar we study some of the most important Latin American Avant-Garde texts from the beginning of the twentieth century. Through poetry, narrative, film, and painting we identify the aesthetics of the avant-garde movement, investigate its relationship to social commitment, nationalism, American, and feminism, and examine the relationship between Latin American and European vanguards. Authors may include: Miguel Angel Asturias, María Luisa Bombal, Oliverio Girondo, Nicolás Guillén, Vicente Huidobro, Pablo Neruda, Pablo Palacio, Magda Portal and César Vallejo. Mr. Grünfeld.
 
388b. Peninsular Seminar
(1)
A seminar offering in depth study of topics related to the literary and cultural history of Spain.
       Topic for 2003/04b: Projecting Race in Twentieth-Century Spain. Despite their symbolically central place in literary and artistic traditions in Spain, historically and socially Rrom (pejoratively know as Gypsies) and African immigrants have been persecuted and oppressed. Likewise, Basque, Catalan, and Galician cultures have been prohibited from expressing themselves due to prohibition of their language and their traditions. This course traces the construction and projection of race and peripheral nationality through a wide array of texts ranging from canonical authors and cultural anthropologists to popular writers, artists, and filmmakers. Issues discussed include the examination of paradigms that were consistently adopted throughout Spanish history to construct notions of racial alterity and thereby justify exclusion of minorities; if or how authors and filmmakers have succeeded in countering racist representations; and finally the possibility of successful self-representation of these excluded groups. Ms. Woods.
 
399. Senior Independent Work
(1/2 or 1)



Vassar-Wesleyan Program in Madrid

 
210a. or b. Spanish Language and Civilization
(1/2)
This orientation course offers an intensive language review and an introduction to selectd aspects of Spanish culture. In the fall term, this course is taught in Santiago de Compostela; in the spring term, in Granada.
 
211. Advanced Spanish Language
(1)
Study and application of the grammatical principles which underlie effective written and oral communication in Spanish.
 
212. Composition
(1)
Study and practice of various forms of prose composition, such as letters, diaries, news reports, analytic essays and research papers.
 
230. Modern Spanish Literature
(1)
An overview of the most significant literary movements, genres and authors of nineteenth- and twentieth-century Spain.
 
231. Modern Latin American Literature
(1)
Reading and analysis of selected works by twentieth-century Latin American writers.
 
232. The Short Story in Spanish
(1)
Theory and practice of the short story as exemplified by writers from Spain and Latin America.
 
233. Spanish Theater: From Drama to Performance
(1)
Study of selected Spanish plays, with special attention to the realization of the script in performance.
 
234. History of Spain
(1)
This course explores some of the pivotal moments in Spanish history, from antiquity to the present.
 
235. Spanish Cinema
(1)
An introduction to the terminology of film aesthetics and the evolution of cinema in Spain.
 
236. Spanish Art History
(1)
The art and architecture of Spain from medieval times to the present. Class visits to the principal museums and to representative neighborhoods in Madrid.
 
237. European and Spanish Law
(1)
An introduction to the fundamental texts and tenets of the Spanish legal system (civil, penal and commercial).
 
238. European and Spanish Institutions
(1)
An overview of the governmental organization of contemporary Spain (the monarchy, the parliamentary system, the judiciary, regional and local governments) and the political structure of the European Union.
 
239. European and Spanish Economy
(1)
The state of the Spanish economy since Spain joined the European Union.
 
240. Spain Today
(1)
Social, political and cultural aspects of present-day Spain as reflected in the daily press.
 
241. Geography of Spain: Space and Society
(1)
A study of the physical and human geography of Spain through the spatial analysis of topography and cultural, political, and socioeconomic systems.
 
245. Special Topics: Estudios Hispánicos
(1)
A special studies (i.e., not regularly offered) class taught in the Curso de Estudios Hispánicos at the Universidad Carlos III in Madrid.
 
250. Special Topics: Humanidades
(1/2)
Students in the Spain Program may enroll in short-term classes offered in the Curso de Humanidades at the Universidad Carlos III in Madrid.
 
260. Specials Topics: Universidad Carlos III
(1 or 1-1/2)
Students in the Spain Program may enroll in regular undergraduate classes (Asignaturas de Licenciatura) at the Universidad Carlos III in Madrid.