Hispanic Studies Department

Professors: Andrew Bush, Patricia Kenworthy, Lizabeth Paravisini-Gebert;Associate Professors: Mario Cesareo (Chair), Mihai Grünfeld; Assistant Professor: Michael Aronna; Visiting Assistant Professors: Daniel Chávez, Eva 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, 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
Fundamentals of the grammar and structure of the Spanish language with emphasis on oral skills and reading. Ms. Kenworthy, Mr. Chávez.
       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
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. Instructor to be announced.
       Three 50-minute periods and two hours of laboratory or drill.

II. Intermediate

205a.   Intermediate Spanish
Intensive study and review of Spanish grammar at the second-year level with emphasis on oral practice and writing skills. Mr. Bush, Ms. Woods, Mr. Grünfeld.
       Prerequisite: Hispanic Studies 105-106 or 109, or three years of high school Spanish.
       Three 50-minute periods.
207a.   Reading and Writing about Latin American Culture
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. Aronna.
       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.
208a or b.   Reading and Writing about Spanish Culture
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. Ms. Woods (a), Ms. Kenworthy (b).
       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
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. Cesareo.
       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
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 2002/03: Youth Culture in Spain: Subculture or Complicity? To what extent do either characters of young people and adolescents or young writers and filmmakers critique or perpetuate ideologies of patriarchy, capitalism, and nationalism? This course concentrates on questions of "youth problems," youth resistance, and the oppression of youth as seen through Spanish cultural texts. Ms. Woods.
       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
Studies in Spanish literary and cultural production from the time of the Reconquest to the end of the Hapsburg Empire.
       Topic for 2002/03: 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 217 or 218.
227b.   Colonial Latin America
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 2002/03: The Invention of America. This course explores a variety of texts and genres that trace the process of "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 fabrication that trace the invention and reinvention of Latin America in popular and scholarly imagination until the nineteenth century. Mr. Grünfeld.
       Prerequisite: Hispanic Studies 217 or 218.
228b.   Modern Spain
Studies in Spanish literary and cultural production form the beginning of the Bourbon monarchy to the present.
       Topic for 2002/03: El Macho Ibérico: Constructing Masculinity in Spanish Cultural Texts. This course is concerned with how constructions of both heterosexual and gay masculinity in Spain have supported or undermined ideologies of nationalism, the state, and Spain's exported image of itself to the rest of the world. Beginning with Enlightenment notions of the subject, the observer, and bourgeois patriarchy, we look at how masculinity was constructed, broken-down, and manipulated during Romanticism, periods of dictatorship, and finally during the Post-Franco and Post-Transitional periods in Spain. Attention is paid to novels, plays, and films. Ms.Woods.
       Prerequisite: Hispanic Studies 217 or 218.
229a.   Postcolonial Latin America
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 2002/03: Power and Ink, a Panoramic Review of the Arts, Poetry, and Revolution in the Hispanic World in the Twentieth Century. The arts of the twentieth century in Latin America and Spain were tightly related to the ideals and politics of revolution. To understand the radical change occurring in some Hispanic societies in the last 102 years, it is necessary to analyze the relations between artistic production and the motivations, dreams, compromises, and aspirations of the men and women involved in bringing about a new society. Therefore, the main focus of this class is the study and understanding of the role played by poetry, film, and the arts in imagining and living such visions of change in countries like: Mexico, Spain, Cuba, and Nicaragua, without excluding important figures from other geographies that accompanied or lead similar efforts in the transatlantic realm of the Hispanic World. Mr. Chavez.
       Prerequisite: Hispanic Studies 217 or 218.
290a or b.   Field Work
(1/2 or 1)
Individual projects or internships. The department.
       Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor.
       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
The department.
387.   Latin American Seminar
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 2002/03a: The Eye and the Compass: Argentine Cinema (1930-2001). The course explores the most salient films of Argentine cinematic production as sites where the forces of nation building, class struggle, gender formation, and everyday experience come together to form the social imaginaries and aesthetic repertoires that have helped define and problematize Argentine identities through the twentieth century. Mr. Cesareo.
       Topic for 2002/03b: Autobiography and Self-Definition in Latin America. An investigation of the historical evolution of narratives of self-definition in Latin America in the context of social, ethnic, and sexual diversity. The course examines the dynamic notion of the self in relation to family, gender, community, and nation in the memoirs, diaries, testimonies, and autobiographies of Latin America from the colonial period to the present. The course addresses a wide range of texts which posit issues of individual or communal self-definition, the presence of gender or sexual orientation in the autobiographical voice, political consciousness, and the formal innovations of the genre linked to specific aesthetic and political objectives. Mr. Aronna.
388b.   Peninsular Seminar
A seminar offering in depth study of topics related to the literary and cultural history of Spain.
       Topic for 2002/03: Don Quijote: The course offers a close and patient reading of Cervantes' Don Quijote within the historical setting of imperial Spain and the cultural context of the Baroque period. Attention is devoted to a variety of theoretical issues, such as the nature of parody, the function of symbolic exchange, and the delineation of early modern subjectivity. Some consideration is given to the seminal role of the Quijote in the development of the genre of the novel. Mr. Bush.
399.   Senior Independent Work
(1/2 or 1)
210a.   Spanish Language and Civilization
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.
212a or b.   Advanced Spanish
An intensive language review, focusing on grammar, conversation, and composition. Weekly oral and written exercises.
246a or b.   Perfecting Spanish: Cultural Events
A writing skills course in which the compositions are based on class field trips to museums, art exhibits, concerts, plays, lectures, and films.
248a or b.   The Culture of Flamenco
An introductory to the theory and practice of Flamenco dance.
249b.   Mediterranean World: Between Europe and Islam
Political and economic relations between the European nation of Spain and the Islamic nations of northern Africa.
250a.   A New World: America and Spain
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
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
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.
254b.   Art, Architecture and Design
Innovations in art, architecture and design in twentieth-century Spain.
255a or b.   History of Spanish Painting
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
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
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
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.   261
261b. Special Topics
       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.
257.   Ethnography of Spanish Culture
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.
263a or b.   Modern Spanish Narrative
Analysis of selected novels and/or short stories from modern Spain (since 1800).
264a.   Modern Spanish Poetry
Analysis of selections from the collections of the most influential Spanish poets, from the midnineteenth century to the present.
265a or b.   Spanish Theater
Analysis of selected plays from classical sixteenth and seventeenth century and/or modern twentieth-century Spain. Course includes attendance at pertinent plays in performance in Madrid.
266b.   Latin American Narrative of the Twentieth Century
Analysis of selected novels and short stories from twentieth-century Latin America.
270b.   Seminar on Literature
An advanced, research-oriented 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.