Hispanic Studies Department

Professors: Andrew Bushab, Lizabeth Paravisini-Gebert; Associate Professors: Michael Aronna (Chair), Mario Cesareo, Mihai Grünfeld; Assistant Professor: Eva Maria Woods.

ab Absent on leave for the year.

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 two years or less of high school Spanish.

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

II. Intermediate

205a and b. 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.

206a 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.

216a 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.

Prerequisite: Hispanic Studies 216.

227b. Colonial Latin America (1)

Topic for 2006/07b: 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.

Prerequisite: Hispanic Studies 216.

229b. 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 2006/07b: Cuban Literature, Art, and Popular Culture. The course explores the configurations of Cuban national and popular culture from the 1890’s to the present. Mr. Cesareo.

Prerequisite: Hispanic Studies 216.

[281a. The Art of Public Speech and Conversation in Spanish] (1)

This oral workshop provides a space for the development of the student’s ability as reader, listener, and speaker of texts in Spanish. Reading, listening, and oral assignments include the discussion of news, politics, literature, popular and mass culture, radio and television broadcasts, films, essays, and other cultural artifacts from Latin America. The theoretical readings and practical exercises are designed to enrich the students’ ability to give oral form, texture, and voice to their thinking in everyday as well as academic contexts. Mr. Cesareo.

Prerequisite: Hispanic Studies 206 or above.

Not offered in 2006/07.

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.

Prerequisite for all advanced courses: 3 units from Hispanic Studies 216 and above or by permission of instructor.

III. Advanced

Prerequisite for all advanced courses: 3 units from Hispanic Studies 216 and above or by permission of instructor.

300b. Senior Thesis (1)

The department.

387a or b. 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 2006/07a: Science Fiction, Horror, and the Occult in Latin. 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.

Topic for 2006/07b: The Eye and the Compass: Argentine Cinema. This multidisciplinary seminar studies Argentine film production from a historical, aesthetic, and critical perspective. The production of images and narratives is analyzed in the context of the populist affirmation and neo-liberal crisis of the Argentine nation-state, militarization, transnational capitalism and postmodernity. Concepts borrowed from anthropology, political economy, ecology, and film theory are introduced and used as interpretative tools. Coursework includes viewing of films, reading of theoretical and historical scholarship, attending class discussions and writing of a 20 page-long research paper. Mr. Cesareo.

388a. Peninsular Seminar (1)

A seminar offering in-depth study of topics related to the literary and cultural history of Spain. This course may be repeated for credit when the topic changes.

Topic for 2006/07b: 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

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 two units: 204, Mexican Culture, plus one language or literature course.

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. Required of all program participants.

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 three years of high school Spanish.

220. Language Study: Advanced (1)

Study of selected topics of Spanish grammar at the advanced level.

Prerequisite: Hispanic Studies 205-206 or four or more years of high school -Spanish.

275. Mexican Literature. (1)

Reading and analysis of Mexican literary works.

Prerequisite: Hispanic Studies 216.