The Department of Spanish offers a comprehensive program ranging from beginning to advanced courses in language, literature, and culture. Members of its faculty hail from the United States, Spain, and Latin America, speak with a variety of accents and dialectical variants, and conduct research in a broad range of geographical areas and time periods. The Department works closely with and contributes to other departments and interdisciplinary programs, such as international and global studies, humanities, and women's and gender studies.
Students will find opportunities to hear and speak Spanish outside the classroom: at the Spanish house (see below), weekly Spanish table, monthly tertulia gatherings, and occasional events such as lectures and film screenings.
Students wishing to take Spanish to fulfill the College's general education requirement must take the departmental placement examination. Those students who have never taken Spanish should consult with the department chair in order to register for SPAN 103. Students who have taken at least two years of Spanish in high school will be placed no lower than SPAN 113. Students may not enroll at a course level beneath that indicated by the placement examination without the permission of the department chair.
The Department of Spanish maintains the Casa de España y las Américas where six or seven undergraduate residents live in a communal setting and, overseen by a graduate native speaker, use only Spanish. The house sponsors various cultural and social activities. Application forms are available from the Department of Spanish.
In all classes, students will hone skills in reading, writing, and speaking Spanish, engage with the culture of the Spanish-speaking world, and practice critical thinking.
Requirements for the Major in Spanish
The major requires successful completion of the following:
|Course Requirements 1,2|
|SPAN 301||Cultural Survey of Spain I 3||4|
|SPAN 302||Cultural Survey of Spain II 3||4|
|SPAN 303||Cultural Survey of Latin America I 3||4|
|SPAN 304||Cultural Survey of Latin America II 3||4|
|SPAN 495||Senior Seminar 4||4|
|Select four additional courses in Spanish (SPAN) 5||16|
|Select one additional course in Spanish (SPAN) numbered 400 or above 5||4|
|Total Semester Hours||40|
|A comprehensive examination 4|
|Study abroad 6|
All majors are encouraged to take a year or more of another foreign language.
Prerequisite for all courses numbered 400 or above is a semester at the 300 level, departmental permission, or placement. A Spanish major is strongly encouraged to complete SPAN 301, SPAN 302, SPAN 303, and SPAN 304 before taking more advanced courses.
The written and oral comprehensive examinations in Spanish form part of the Senior Seminar. The oral comprehensive examination consists of the presentation of the senior thesis.
As the major requires a mastery of Spanish language, Spanish and Latin American literature, and Spanish and Latin American culture, the student is expected to select courses from all of these areas.
Majors are required to spend one semester or the equivalent studying in a Spanish-speaking country. Justifiable exceptions will be considered by written petition.
Toward the end of the penultimate semester of study, Spanish majors with a minimum of 3.50 in Spanish courses may apply for permission to present themselves for departmental honors Students who demonstrate excellence in their honors paper, in the written comprehensive examination, and in the oral presentation of their work, upon the approval of the department, earn departmental honors.
Requirements for the Minor in Spanish
The minor requires successful completion of the following:
|Course Requirements 1|
|Select two of the following:||8|
|Cultural Survey of Spain I|
|Cultural Survey of Spain II|
|Cultural Survey of Latin America I|
|Cultural Survey of Latin America II|
|Select four additional courses in Spanish (SPAN) numbered 301 or above 1||16|
|Total Semester Hours||24|
With the approval of the Department chair, a maximum of two courses taken as part of a study-abroad program may be applied to the minor.
The Department of Spanish offers two study abroad programs. These include Summer in Spain, in which students hike the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route across the north of the country, and Semester in Spain, which focuses on Spain and the European Union with travel to Latin America and in recent years Cuba and Brazil.
Sewanee Semester in Spain
The Sewanee Semester in Spain program focuses on contemporary Spain and its relationship to and membership in the European Union. It is interdisciplinary in nature, with each course looking at a variety of issues from multiple perspectives. Classes meet in Madrid with professors and tutors from Madrid’s Complutense University. Three trips form part of the program: a weekend-long trip to Santiago de Compostela, a five-day trip to Morocco, and a week-long visit to the European headquarters. The program consists of the following:
|ARTH 497||Europe: A Community in the Arts||4|
|INGS 306||Spain in the European Union||4|
|SPAN 321||Advanced Spanish Language||4|
|SPAN 323||Contemporary Spanish Culture and Civilization||4|
|Total Semester Hours||16|
Sewanee Summer in Spain
The Sewanee Summer in Spain program is an interdisciplinary approach to the study of medieval Spain and the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela. Classes meet in Sewanee, in Madrid, and on the pilgrimage road in northern Spain. The program consists of the following:
|ARTH 495||Spanish Art, Western Art, and the Road to Santiago||4|
|PHED 214||Pilgrimage to Santiago||0|
|SPAN 322||Introduction to Medieval Spain and the Road to Santiago||4|
|Total Semester Hours||8|
SPAN 103 Elementary Spanish I (4)
Part I of a year-long intensive, introductory course with emphasis on the fundamentals of grammar (both written and spoken) and extensive practice in listening comprehension and reading. Four class hours per week. Prerequisite: Placement.
SPAN 104 Elementary Spanish II (4)
Part II of a year-long intensive, introductory course with emphasis on the fundamentals of grammar (both written and spoken) and extensive practice in listening comprehension and reading. Four class hours per week. Prerequisite: SPAN 103.
SPAN 113 Elementary Spanish: Accelerated Review Course (4)
An accelerated Spanish review course for those students with at least two years of high school Spanish. The course emphasizes the fundamentals of grammar (written and spoken) and practice in listening comprehension and reading. Four class hours per week. This course is not open for credit to students who have received credit for SPAN 104. Prerequisite: Placement.
SPAN 203 Intermediate Spanish (4)
SPAN 290 Cults of Personality: Individuals who Shape the Cultural Identity of Latin America (4)
This course, which is taught in English, examines the cultural impact that certain personalities have had on notions of Latin American identity through literature, film, and music. The course considers the evolution of an icon and how life and possibly death affect the way in which the world sees them. Possible personalities to be considered include Cesar Chavez, Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, Jose Marti, Simon Bolivar, Pablo Escobar, Diego Maradona, Victor Jara, and Che Guevera. Taught in English.
SPAN 291 Spanish Culture and Civilization through the Visual Arts (4)
A survey of Spanish civilization from pre-history to the present day, with an emphasis on the visual arts as cultural expression. Taught in English.
SPAN 292 Hispanic Communities in the United States (4)
A broad survey of the experience of Hispanic communities in the United States, both past and present. Topics may include migration, bilingualism, multiculturalism, identity politics, and nativism, among others. Prerequisite: SPAN 203.
SPAN 300 Introduction to Hispanic Literature (4)
Readings from a number of authors and periods introduce the student to the variety of genres, themes, and styles that predominate in the Hispanic literatures. Prerequisite: SPAN 203 or placement.
SPAN 301 Cultural Survey of Spain I (4)
A cultural survey of Spain emphasizing literature, history, and the arts from the Middle Ages to 1700. This course, along with SPAN 302, SPAN 303, and SPAN 304, constitutes the core of the major in Spanish. Students are strongly encouraged to take all four of these courses before undertaking more advanced study. Prerequisite: One 300-level course in Spanish or placement.
SPAN 302 Cultural Survey of Spain II (4)
A cultural survey of Spain emphasizing literature, history, and the arts from 1700 to the present. This course, along with SPAN 301, SPAN 303, and SPAN 304, constitutes the core of the major in Spanish. Students are strongly encouraged to take all four of these courses before undertaking more advanced study. Prerequisite: One 300-level course in Spanish or placement.
SPAN 303 Cultural Survey of Latin America I (4)
A cultural survey of Latin America emphasizing literature, history, and the arts from Pre-Columbian cultures to the nineteenth-century wars of independence. This course, along with SPAN 301, SPAN 302, and SPAN 304, constitutes the core of the major in Spanish. Students are strongly encouraged to take all four of these courses before undertaking more advanced study. Prerequisite: One 300-level course in Spanish or placement.
SPAN 304 Cultural Survey of Latin America II (4)
A cultural survey of Latin America emphasizing literature, history, and the arts from Pre-Columbian cultures to the nineteenth-century wars of independence. This course, along with SPAN 301, SPAN 302, and SPAN 303, constitutes the core of the major in Spanish. Students are strongly encouraged to take all four of these courses before undertaking more advanced study. Prerequisite: One 300-level course in Spanish or placement.
SPAN 311 Spanish Phonetics (4)
A comparative study of the sound systems of Spanish and English. The course includes instruction in the use of the International Phonetic alphabet, as well as in phonetic and linguistic terminology, with considerable emphasis placed on pronunciation and laboratory practice. Prerequisite: One course in Spanish numbered 300 or higher.
SPAN 312 Advanced Grammar and Composition (4)
An intensive and detailed review of Spanish grammar with a focus on literary and practical stylistics. Analysis of literary texts and stress on improvement in writing. Prerequisite: One course in Spanish numbered 300 or higher.
SPAN 313 Advanced Conversation (4)
Intensive oral practice, vocabulary expansion, and opportunity for extemporaneous expression. Literary materials as well as critical vocabulary and concepts are used extensively as the basis for conversation. Prerequisite: One course in Spanish numbered 300 or higher.
SPAN 314 Comparative Linguistics of English and Spanish (4)
This course involves comparative study of the Spanish and English languages, and addresses topics ranging from pronunciation and grammar to word meaning, language use, and social and dialectal variation. Though taught in English, the course supposes that students enrolling have at least some knowledge of Spanish or considerable knowledge of another Romance language. Prerequisite: One course in Spanish numbered 300 or higher.
SPAN 321 Advanced Spanish Language (4)
Grammar review and drill on colloquial speech and idioms. Expository writing will be emphasized. Tutorial visits to cultural sites form part of the work of this class, as does the language component of film study. This course is part of the Sewanee Semester in Spain. Prerequisite: Approval of the Sewanee in Spain program director required..
SPAN 322 Introduction to Medieval Spain and the Road to Santiago (4)
An introduction to the history, literature, and culture of medieval Spain. Selected texts from the Spanish medieval canon, monastic culture, and the complex relationships among Christians, Muslims, and Jews. Emphasis on the phenomenon of the pilgrimage road that crosses northern Spain. This course is part of the Sewanee Summer in Spain program. Prerequisite: One course in Spanish numbered 203 or higher or placement and approval of the Sewanee Summer in Spain program director.
SPAN 323 Contemporary Spanish Culture and Civilization (4)
An in-depth study of contemporary Spain using the city of Madrid as laboratory and extended field trip. Topics include cinema, art, family structure, education, current politics, religion, daily social patterns, unique urban structures, etc. This course is part of the Sewanee Semester in Spain. Prerequisite: Approval of the Sewanee in Spain program director required..
SPAN 324 In the “Other’s” House: A Study-Trip to Cuba (2)
An intensive, two-week course on contemporary Cuba with pre-trip meetings and a post-trip final paper. Emphasis given to the Revolution, including its achievements and consequences. Special attention to the global impact of Cuban culture. Topics include history, economics, public policy, US-Cuban relations, Afro-Cuban identity, and fine arts. Visits on-site in Cuba to museums, cultural institutions, and historic places, including interviews with key cultural and public figures. Readings and writing in Spanish expected for Spanish majors and minors, but course is also open to others.
SPAN 325 Cultural Development in the Gaucho Heartland (4)
Intensive study of Argentinian and Uruguayan history with special attention to the questions of cultural development and the evolution of the figure and national icon of the gaucho. Classwork and travel in Argentina and Uruguay. Attention to the divergent development of the two countries. Topics include basic geography of the region, history, politics, literature, film, music, and art.
SPAN 330 Middle Ages in Spanish Culture and Literature (4)
A consideration of different aspects of music, art and literature from the fall of the Roman Empire to the government of the Catholic Monarchs. Special attention is given to compositions and oral presentations. Prerequisite: One 300 level course in Spanish or placement.
SPAN 331 Spanish Prose Fiction I (4)
A study of the evolution of prose fiction from medieval times through the seventeenth century through the reading of unabridged texts. Prerequisite: One course in Spanish numbered 300 or higher.
SPAN 332 Poetry of the Iberian World (4)
A study of poetry of the Iberian world, beginning with the troubadour love songs from medieval Galicia (written in galego-portugués-the medieval language from which modern Portuguese developed), moving through aspects of the Renaissance (with special attention given to Camões' Os Lusíadas), and passing quickly to the 20th century and the poetry of Fernando Pessoa and Antonia Machado. Some attention is given to the poetry of Brazilians Carlos Drummond de Andrade and João Cabral de Melo Neto. In addition, the musical traditions of fado, flamenco, and tropicalia are explored. Prerequisite: NOND 380.
SPAN 333 Spanish Poetry and Drama I (4)
An integrated study of these two genres read in unabridged texts from the Renaissance and Golden Age. Prerequisite: One course in Spanish numbered 300 or higher.
SPAN 334 The Culture of Chivalry (4)
An exploration of various issues surrounding the figure of the mounted warrior in history and literature in the Spanish Middle Ages. Prerequisite: One course in Spanish numbered 300 or higher.
SPAN 360 Modern Spanish Literature I (4)
An advanced survey of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries with emphasis on the Enlightenment, Romanticism, Realism and Naturalism. Prerequisite: One course in Spanish numbered 300 or higher.
SPAN 361 Modern Spanish Literature II (4)
An advanced survey of the twentieth century to the present. Prerequisite: One course in Spanish numbered 300 or higher.
SPAN 362 Spanish Prose Fiction II (4)
A study of the evolution of prose fiction from the eighteenth century to the present through the reading of unabridged texts. Prerequisite: One course in Spanish numbered 300 or higher.
SPAN 363 Spanish Poetry and Drama II (4)
An integrated study of these two genres read in unabridged texts. First semester: Medieval, Renaissance, and Golden Age; second semester: 1700 to present. Prerequisite: One course in Spanish numbered 300 or higher.
SPAN 364 Spanish Women Writers (4)
Selected readings from Spanish women authors who represent various genres and time periods. In relation to each period, the course examines how selected writers portray gender, sexuality, social class, and other issues in their work. The course uses primary and secondary texts related to the authors and/or the period under consideration. Prerequisite: One course in Spanish numbered 300 or higher.
SPAN 365 Modern Spanish Drama (4)
A study of the evolution of Spanish Drama during the twentieth century. Special attention is given to the influence of historical events and literary movements that affected the development of drama. All plays are read in full unabridged texts. Prerequisite: One course in Spanish numbered 300 or higher.
SPAN 366 On the Margins of Spain (4)
This course exposes students to the often-overlooked reality of Spain as a pluricultural, plurilingual nation and to the complex interactions between the political-cultural center and its peripheral "historical nationalities": the Basque Country, Catalonia, and Galicia. Students examine what is different about literature written in minority languages and the relationship between literature and the construction or expression of identity. The course is taught in Spanish, using translations of texts and other cultural products written in Spain's minority languages, focusing especially on the contemporary period. Prerequisite: One course in Spanish numbered 300 or higher.
SPAN 380 20th- and 21st-Century Latin American Poetry (4)
A study of the major figures and movements beginning with Ruben Dario and modernismo. Special emphasis on the poetry of Huidobro, Neruda, Vallejo, Borges, Mistral, Paz, and Alegria. Prerequisite: One course in Spanish numbered 300 or higher.
SPAN 381 History of Latin American Cinema (4)
This course examines the development of Latin American cinema within a chronological framework. Students become familiar with major cinematic themes, movements, and works from Latin America. The course fosters an analysis of cinema through film language and theory, and in conjunction with Latin America's cultural and historical context. Taught in English.
SPAN 382 Post-Revolutionary Mexican Literature (4)
This course examines the literature and culture that shaped Mexico's history after the Revolution of 1910. The historical frame takes into account the period of institutionalization (1920-1940), the birth of popular and civil organization (1950-1970), and the establishment of Neoliberalism (1928-2000). Among the genres and cultural trends to be studied: historical novel, urban chronicle, testimonial narrative, detective fiction, muralismo, and contemporary Mexican film. Prerequisite: One course in Spanish numbered 300 or higher.
SPAN 383 Spanish-American Novel (4)
A general survey with focus on the contemporary period and the evolution of narrative form. Included are discussions of the indigenous forms and colonial prose forerunners of romantic and realistic novels. Prerequisite: One course in Spanish numbered 300 or higher.
SPAN 384 Contemporary Hispanic Caribbean Literature and Culture (4)
This course focuses on the cultural production of Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic. After establishing the social and historical context of the region, the course centers around the literature and film from the Cuban Revolution to today. The experience of Caribbean immigrants to the U.S. is also considered. Prerequisite: One course in Spanish numbered 300 or higher.
SPAN 385 Spanish-American Short Fiction and Film (4)
A study of the development of short fiction from Echeverria's "El Matadero" to contemporary works by Jorge Luis Borges, Julio Cortazar, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Senel Paz, etc. The course examines several films and gives special attention to their relationship to literary works. This course occasionally has a second section in English. Students may not use the English language section for the major or minor in Spanish. Prerequisite: One course in Spanish numbered 300 or higher.
SPAN 386 Contemporary Central American Literature and Film (4)
This course examines political, social and cultural processes in contemporary Central America through the lens of literature and films from or about the region. Topics include Central American revolutionary movements (1960-1996), state violence, indigenous rights, migration and Diaspora, urban marginality, gangs, the drug-trade, and U.S. involvement in the region. Prerequisite: One course in Spanish numbered 300 or higher.
SPAN 387 Latin American Women Authors (4)
Readings from Latin American women authors who represent various regions, genres, and time periods. Examines the portrayal of gender, sexuality, race/ethnicity, social class, and other issues in their work. Readings in literary theory and criticism help with the interpretations of the primary texts. Prerequisite: One course in Spanish numbered 300 or higher.
SPAN 388 Women Authors of the Hispanic Caribbean and Diaspora (4)
This course highlights the work of women authors from Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico, on the islands and in the United States. Key issues include gender, sexuality, race/ethnicity, migration, and biculturalism. Includes several literary genres and film with an emphasis on the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Prerequisite: One course in Spanish numbered 300 or higher.
SPAN 389 U.S. Latino and Latina Literature and Culture (4)
A panoramic survey of the cultural production of Latinos and Latinas, or Hispanics, in the United States. Representative works from various literary genres, films, and the visual arts serve as the basis for the examination of recurring themes, which include: identity and self-definition, biculturalism, exile, migration, social class, political and social engagement, race, gender, and sexuality. Taught in English. Prerequisite: One course in Spanish numbered 203 or higher or placement.
SPAN 390 Latin American Literature and the Environment (4)
A study of diverse ways in which Latin American literature and culture have portrayed the relationship between humans and the natural environment. Students study texts, films, and other materials from selected geographic regions to foster understanding of the cultural, political, and ecological history of environmental issues in Latin America. Prerequisite: One course in Spanish numbered 300 or higher.
SPAN 391 Contemporary Spanish and Latin American Cinema (4)
This course explores and analyzes a selection of contemporary Spanish and Latin American films directed by men and women. The course provides a panoramic view of current trends in cinema along with basic analytical and theoretical tools to better understand the film text. The course is organized thematically around topics of politics of memory, gender and sexuality, and social and global issues. Prerequisite: One course in Spanish numbered 300 or higher.
SPAN 392 Audiovisual Cultures in Latin America (4)
Based on theoretical approaches and following a chronological order, this course examines and analyzes a series of visual and auditive artistic manifestations developed by Latin American cultures. Topics include the painting, sculpture, architecture, and music of the Indian Baroque; the Casta Paintings; Mexican Muralism; the rise of the Bolero; photojournalism; the Third Cinema and the documentary tradition; the dictatorship aesthetic; the identity politics of telenovelas (soap operas); and pop music. Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or SPAN 302 or SPAN 303 or SPAN 304 or SPAN 391.
SPAN 401 Latin American Literature in Neoliberal Times (4)
An examination of the literature of Latin America in relation to the region's transition into democracy and the global market during the 1990's and up to the present. The course studies the writing of such authors and Roberto Bolaño, Fernando Vallejo, Jorge Volpi, and Diamela Eltit. Prerequisite: One course in Spanish numbered 300 or higher.
SPAN 402 Cervantes and Don Quijote (4)
This course is a close reading of Cervantes's masterpiece, together with a cultural overview of life in Spain during the 16th-17th Century as portrayed by Cervantes in his novel. Prerequisite: One course in Spanish numbered 300 or higher.
SPAN 403 Sexual Alterity in Contemporary Spanish-American Fiction (4)
A study of the most recent fiction from 1990 to the present of the Spanish American Post Boom (which began in earnest in the early 1980s). Of special interest are those works which portray "other" kinds of sexuality, "lifestyles", genders and sexual practices. General literary theory and practical criticism concerning each work serve as a base for in-class discussion. Prerequisite: One course in Spanish numbered 300 or higher.
SPAN 404 Spanish Civil War and its Legacy (4)
A study of the Republic, the Civil War, the dictatorship of Franco, and the transition to democracy. Students examine texts, films, and other materials from both sides of the conflict and give special attention to issues and controversies in contemporary Spain related to the war. Prerequisite: One course in Spanish numbered 300 or higher.
SPAN 405 Spanish Detective Novel 1975-present (4)
This course covers the evolution of the detective novel from after the death of Franco to the present day. It studies the changes in Spanish society through the Transición to the new democratic government. Prerequisite: One course in Spanish numbered 300 or higher.
SPAN 406 Cultural Icons in Latin America (4)
An exploration of how major Latin American cultural icons are represented in literature, film, the visual arts, and popular culture. This course considers the historical/literary context in which the figures first appear, as well as the appropriation of cultural icons as a strategy of political, social, artistic, and personal identification. Icons under consideration may include Sor Juana, La Malinche, Pancho Villa, la Virgen de Guadalupe, Che Guevera, Frida Kahlo, Julia de Burgos, and others. Prerequisite: One course in Spanish numbered 300 or higher.
SPAN 407 Writing the Nation: Literature, Nationalism and Search for Identity in Latin America (1810-Present) (4)
A study of national projects in Latin America from 1810 to the present. Topics include Bolivar, the wars of independence, nineteenth-century visions of progress, Vasconcelos' concept of The Cosmic Race, and contemporary movements for the inclusion of women, blacks, Native Americans, gays, and other marginalized groups in a common Latin American culture. Prerequisite: One course in Spanish numbered 300 or higher.
SPAN 408 Migrations in Latin American and Latino Literature and Film (4)
Examines the movement of peoples as portrayed in twentieth- and twenty-first-century Latin American and U.S. Latino literature and film. Explores the historical and cultural and cultural contexts of various kinds of migrations. Includes concepts and themes such as immigration and emigration, borders and borderlands, exile, Diaspora, hybridity, transculturation, and others. Prerequisite: One course in Spanish numbered 300 or higher.
SPAN 409 Marvel and Margin in Latin American Culture (4)
This course examines the recurrence of marginality and the marvelous as motifs in Latin American culture from the conquest to the present. These motifs are studied in relation to three thematic binaries: Civilization/Barbarism, Beauty/Monstrosity, and Realism/Fantasy. Students engage with relevant texts, films, and art from Latin American while paying close attention to current theoretical perspectives on the region. Prerequisite: SPAN 303 and SPAN 304.
SPAN 413 The Middle Ages after the Middle Ages (4)
This course explores the reinterpretation and use of medieval works and of the Spanish Middle Ages itself in various post-medieval contexts from the Renaissance to the 21st century. Taught in Spanish. Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or SPAN 322 or SPAN 330 or SPAN 334.
SPAN 440 Directed Readings (2 or 4)
Announced topics for selected students. May be repeated indefinitely. Prerequisite: Professor consent and prerequisite override required.
SPAN 444 Independent Study (2 or 4)
For selected students. May be repeated indefinitely. Prerequisite: Professor consent and prerequisite override required.
SPAN 450 Special Topics (4)
Study of a variable topic of special interest bearing on either Spanish or Latin American Literature. Repeatable for credit with change of topic. Prerequisite: one course in Spanish numbered 301 or higher.
SPAN 495 Senior Seminar (4)
Shared readings on key topics and concepts related to the Hispanic world. Each student also engages in research on a topic of interest, culminating in a critical research paper and an oral presentation. This seminar serves to fulfill the writing-intensive requirement within the major. Open only to seniors pursuing majors in Spanish.