Hispanic Studies Department

Professors: Andrew Bush, Patricia Kenworthyb, Lizabeth Paravisini-Gebert (Director, Vassar-Wesleyan Program in Madrid); Associate Professors: Michael Aronnaa, Mario Cesareob, Mihai Grünfeld; Visiting Assistant Professor: Eva Maria Woods; Visiting Instructor: Claudia Fezzardi.

a Absent on leave, first semester.

b Absent on leave, second semester.

Requirements for Concentration: 10 units beyond the introductory level. These 10 units must include 3 units from the group Hispanic Studies 226, 227, 228, 229 and 3 units at the 300 level, including one Latin American Seminar (387) and one Peninsular Seminar (388). Two units must be elected in the senior year. After declaration of the major 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 beyond the introductory level, including at least one 300-level course.

Study Away: Majors are expected to study, usually during the junior year, in a Spanish-speaking country. The department sponsors two study away programs: the Vassar-Wesleyan Program in Madrid (academic year) and the Vassar Summer Program in Mexico (summer), open to all qualified students. The courses offered in each of these programs 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.

109b. 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.

Five 50-minute periods; one hour 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 study of cultural and literary texts and audiovisual materials.

Prerequisite: Hispanic Studies 205 or four years of high school Spanish.

Two 75-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.

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 2004/2005a: Spain on Stage. Drama, as Cicero noted, can hold a mirror up to society. This course examines how plays written and performed in the early seventeenth century (1600-1640) depict public events and social customs of Medieval and Renaissance Spain. 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 2004/2005b: The Invention of America. This course explores a variety of texts and genres that trace the process of the “invention” of the New World. We begin with the Mayan myth of creation in the Popol Vuh and examine a variety of forms of mythical, literary and historical fabrications in texts like Alvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca’s Naufragios, Bartolomé de las Casas’s Brevísima Relación, Clorinda Matto de Turner’s Aves sin nido and Eugenio Cambaceres’s En la sangre. In these and other texts we trace the invention and reinvention of Latin America in popular and scholarly imagination until the end of the nineteenth century. Mr. Grünfeld.

Prerequisite: Hispanic Studies 216.

228b. Modern Spain (1)

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

Topic for 2004/2005b: The City in Spanish Literature and Film. Understanding the experience of modernity in Spain requires an analysis of how modern Spanish cultural production has presented images of urban environments and their inhabitants. This course begins with descriptions of Spain’s capital by costumbrista writers of the eighteenth and nineteenth century. Moving on to the problematics of country/city and issues of gendered space in the realist literature of the late nineteenth century, we study how modernization mediated notions of womanhood and class ideology. The course concludes with twentieth and twentieth-first century representations of major urban centers such as Madrid and Barcelona and the thematics of race and globalization. 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 2004/2005a: Country and City in Modern Latin America. In contrast to the classical idealization of the countryside as the site of an idyllic and untroubled life and of metropolitan areas as places of vice, corruption and strife, many twentieth century Latin American texts reflect a much more complex interaction between the rural and the urban. This course examines a wide array of literary and cultural texts, ranging from officially recognized and celebrated authors and literary movements (Modernismo, novela de la tierra, Boom, etc.) to more non-canonical cultural productions, in order to assess the influence of rural and urban perspectives in the construction and development of social and national identities and in the formation of personal subjectivities. This course explores the influence of gender, ethnicity and class as factors in these perspectives, the differences in the relationship between space and subjectivity, and the crucial role of modernizing and globalizing processes in the evolution of the perception of country and city. Possible authors may include Julián del Casal, Rubén Darío, José Eustasio Rivera, Alejo Carpentier, Roberto Arlt, Mario Vargas Llosa, Cristina Peri Rossi, Julio Cortázar, Juan Villoro. Ms. Fezzardi.

Prerequisite: Hispanic Studies 216.

280a. Writing Workshop (1)

The workshop provides a space for the development of the student’s ability as reader and writer of texts in Spanish. Reading and writing assignments include journals, poetry, prose fiction, autobiography, and the essay. The theoretical readings and practical exercises are designed to enrich the students’ ability to give form, texture and voice to their writing projects. Mr. Cesareo.

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 2004/05a: Women in Film in Latin America. How have Latin American films represented women? How have women in Latin America been involved in the production, direction and reception of different national cinemas in Latin America? For this seminar, the weekly films are analyzed in conjunction with articles on cinema history, theory, and criticism. Ms. Woods.

Topic for 2004/2005b: Science Fiction, Horror and the Occult in Latin America. This seminar examines the unique origins and evolution of the literature and film of science fiction, horror and the occult in Latin America. The course focuses on the culturally heterogeneous and politically charged context of notions of nature, futurity, progress, dystopia, desire, the uncanny, anxiety, the repressed and the unknown that underlie these interrelated genres in Latin America. Mr. Aronna.

388a. Peninsular Seminar (1)

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

Topic for 2004/2005b: Don Quijote. This course offers a close reading of Cervantes’s Don Quijote, the first modern European novel, within the historical setting of imperial Spain and the cultural context of the Baroque period. Ms. Kenworthy.

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

Vassar-Wesleyan Program in Madrid

210. Spanish Language and Civilization ( 1/2)

This orientation course offers an intensive language review and an introduction to selected 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.

Vassar Summer Program in Mexico

Students in this six-week summer program in Oaxaca, Mexico take the following two courses:

204. Mexican Culture (1)

A series of workshops, lectures, excursions, readings and discussions form the basis of this examination of selected aspects of Mexican culture.

205. 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.

213. Advanced Spanish Language (1)

Study and application of the grammatical principles which underlie effective written and oral communication in Spanish.