Course Offerings - Catalog 2013-14

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Division of Humanities

The first two years of the Spanish program focus on establishing a practical knowledge base in the language, concentrating on speaking and writing skills. Many students who have studied several years of Spanish in high school are able to test into intermediate or advanced-level courses, providing them with a head start on a degree in Spanish. After Spanish 220 or its equivalent, majors take nine additional courses and minors take five.

The next level of courses targets advanced composition and conversation skills, explores both Peninsular and Latin American culture, and provides an introduction to literary analysis. Advanced courses concentrate primarily on the literature of Spain and Latin America, although culture always figures as an important part of all the courses offered in the Spanish program. Our curriculum also integrates the growing body of literature written by Latinos/as, individuals of Hispanic descent living in the United States. In addition to our regular rotation of courses, specialized new courses are offered which reflect both student and faculty interest.

Students are encouraged to develop their language skills both here and abroad. The Spanish program regularly offers courses in international settings through Centre’s established program of study in Mérida, México and through CentreTerm courses abroad, most recently in Nicaragua and in Spain. The program’s faculty is also available to help students gain access to reputable programs abroad at other locations.

Other activities on campus are available to those students wishing to make practical application of their language skills. The Service Learning Project provides the opportunity to interact with Latinos in the Danville area, as students become involved in community volunteer projects of their choosing. The Hispanic Society, open to all Spanish students at all skill levels, meets throughout the year for discussions related to current issues in the Hispanic world. There is also a chapter of the National Spanish Honor Society on campus, Sigma Delta Pi.

Increasingly, those individuals who possess additional language skills will have a distinct advantage on the job market. Opportunities for Spanish speakers abound in business, medicine, finance, and law, etc. Since parents want their children’s competitive edge to start early, Spanish language teachers are always in demand. U.S. Latinos represent the nation’s fastest-growing minority; the emerging Latino population makes students’ knowledge of culture especially relevant. A major or minor in Spanish is a useful complement to a major in any field.


Mary Daniels(chair), Daniel Arbino, Genny Ballard, Phyllis Bellver, Lynn Celdrán, William Costley, Jason Doroga, Maria Galvan, Nuria Sabaté-Llobera


Albert Anastasio, Celeste Hurst

Recommended First-Year/Sophomore Preparation

Students considering a major in Spanish are encouraged to plan their academic programs to include as wide a distribution of courses as possible regardless of their professional or vocational objectives. Prospective majors should consider especially taking courses in literature, history, philosophy, anthropology, government, and the fine arts.

Requirements for the Major

SPA 230* or 235*, 240*, 250, and 255;
One of SPA 260, 261, 270, 271, 280, or 290;
One SPA course numbered 301-399 and SPA 350 (Junior Seminar);
One SPA course numbered 403-499 and SPA 500 (Senior Seminar)

Requirements for the Minor

SPA 230* or 235*, 240*, 250;
One of SPA 260, 261, 270, 271, 280, or 290;
One additional SPA course numbered 301-499

*NOTE: Heritage and native speakers may place out of these courses, based on program faculty recommendation, but must take an additional 300 or higher level course or courses to satisfy requirements of the major or minor.

Spanish Courses

SPA 110, 120 Fundamentals-I, II (four credit hours each)
An introductory sequence developing all four basic communication skills (speaking, listening, writing, reading). Prerequisite: SPA 110 required for SPA 120.

SPA 121 Review of Fundamentals
A review of major grammatical concepts and vocabulary of elementary Spanish. This course is open only to incoming students by placement and others with the permission of the Spanish Program chair.

SPA 210, 220 Intermediate-I, II
An intermediate language sequence which strengthens and develops basic communication skills. Prerequisite for SPA 210: SPA 120 or 121 or placement. Prerequisite for SPA 220: SPA 210 or placement.

SPA 230 Advanced Spanish Grammar and Composition
A thorough review of basic problems of grammar and vocabulary with focus on nuances of word choices, style, and grammatical structure. This course is designed to make students' writing more accurate and organized as well as to develop a notion of style in Spanish using reading excerpts as examples. Prerequisite: SPA 220 or equivalent.

SPA 240 Advanced Conversation
Provides students with situational practice of spoken Spanish, emphasizing vocabulary building and increasing proficiency, and a review of basic grammar structures. Prerequisite: SPA 220 or equivalent.

SPA 250 Introduction to Literary Analysis
Students focus on several readings and interpretation of texts in Spanish. Texts may include literary, political, and cultural documents. The reading and analytical discussion of major genres and styles of selected Hispanic texts from Spain and Latin America familiarizes the student with basic techniques of literary analysis while further developing oral and writing skills and providing a deeper understanding of Hispanic culture and thought. All writing and discussion is done in Spanish. Prerequisite: SPA 230/235 or permission of the instructor.

SPA 255 Hispanic Linguistics
Topics of study in the Spanish language including phonetics, phonology, linguistic variation and change, and Spanish dialects spoken in the both the Old World and the New World. Students analyze important contrasts between the sounds of standard Spanish and English by means of phonetic transcription. Intensive exercises in Spanish that drill the patterns of intonation, sound combinations, and rhythm, aid the student in acquiring greater spoken fluency. Prerequisite: SPA 230 or 235 or permission of the instructor.

SPA 260, 270 Spanish Culture, Latin American Culture
A study of the character and spirit of the Hispanic people as exemplified in selected works of Spanish and Latin American literature, articles, art, film, and music. Taught in Spanish. Prerequisite: SPA 220 or placement.

SPA 261, 271 Spanish Culture Abroad, Latin American Culture Abroad
Like the on-campus courses in Spanish Culture (SPA260) and Latin American Culture (SPA270), SPA 261 and SPA 271 will also involve a study of the character and spirit of the Hispanic people as exemplified in selected works of Spanish and latin American literature, articles, art, film, and music. However, these off-campus courses, rather than take a broad-brush historical or continental perspective, will instead provide students with a unique, detailed, thematic focus on a specific region or country of the Spanish-speaking world. In SPA 261 and SPA 271, special opportunities for experiential learning may include: home-stay living; community-based learning; and numerous site visits to monuments, museums, government institutions and cultural performances. Taught in Spanish. Prerequisite: SPA 220.

SPA 280 Language and Culture of Catalunya
An intensive study of the language and a cultural overview of Catalunya and the Catalan linguistic area (Valencian Community, Balearic Islands, Andorra, Roussillon and the city of Alghero). Students engage in the study of the most important literary works and artistic periods as well as the basic historical/political background to help them to understand the always conflictive relations between Catalunya and the Spanish and French states. Prerequisite: SPA 230 or 235, and 250.

SPA 285 Language Teaching Methodology
A course dealing with curriculum, instructional strategies, technology, resources for teaching, research underlying teaching, and special methods in teaching Spanish as a second language P-12.  Considerable time is spent in clinical experiences in local public schools.  Prerequisite: SPA 230 0r 235.

SPA 290 History of the Spanish Language
This course explores the linguistic evolution of Spanish from Latin to Romance to its present status as a world language. Representative topics include a diachronic study of Spanish linguistic forms, and translations of literary texts from Old Spanish. Prerequisite: SPA 230 or 235, and 250.

NOTE: All SPA courses numbered 300 and higher have the following prerequisite: SPA 230 or 235, and 250 or permission of the instructor.

SPA 330 19th-Century Hispanic Literature and Civilization
A study of the literature of Spain and Latin America in the 19th century.

SPA 340 20th-Century Spanish Literature
A survey of the literature of Spain from 1898 to the present, including theatre, novels, poetry, and the short story. The focus of the course varies from year to year.

SPA 350 Junior Seminar
A seminar focused on the improvement of high-level skills in literary research methods, professional presentation skills, and stylistically appropriate written expression. Specific course topics vary from term to term. Prerequisite: major or minor in Spanish or permission of the instructor. 2012-2013 topics: Arte, Musica, Baile and Iberoamerican Cities.

SPA 360 20th-Century Latin American Literature.
A study of the literature of Latin America in the 20th century.

SPA 370 Latin American Colonial Literature
A reading and discussion of important texts dealing with the European discovery of the New World and the inter-cultural encounters between Native American and European cultures. Creation myths, monsters, Amazon women, and the magic and marvellous are some of the themes studied. Prerequisite: SPA 230 and 250 or permission of the instructor.

SPA 435 Hispanic Women Writers
This course provides a context of research and analysis of women writers from Spain, Mexico, Central and Latin America and the United States. The core group of texts and the related crtical/theoretical essays will ground our exploration/discussion of such issues as race, gender, sexulaity, culture, and immigration.

SPA 445 Literatura Mexicana y Yucateca
A survey of Mexican literature by reading texts from the viceregal period, independence, the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Within this panoramic retrospective of Mexican literary currents, there will be a secondary focus on literature from the Yucatan. Conducted in Mexico.

SPA 462  Bodies and Space in Argentine Culture
How do bodies react to the events that occur around them?  Can bodies be considered narratives embedded in a specific time and place? How do bodies challenge or accept political control?  How are bodies used to fit in or defy stereotypes?  In this course we will analyze contemporary Argentine works (literature, art and film) focusing on the connection between bodies and the space with which they interact. Prerequisite: SPA 250.

SPA 465 Nueva concepción de frontera e identidad: U.S. Latino/a Literature
An exploration of how identity is shaped by ethnicity, class and sexuality in works of Chicano, Puerto Rican, Mexican, Cuban, and Dominican authors writing in the United States. The course emphasizes the aesthetics of poetry, theater, and autobiography in the literature of U.S. Latino/a writers. Students analyze how these writers experiment within these genres in order to confront rapidly changing notions of identity, immigration, exile, colonization and language. Prerequisite: 260 or 270; one SPA course numbered above 300.

SPA 463 Violence in Latin America
What lies beneath violence? What explains, for instance, the existence of drug cartels in Colombia or the massive assassination of women in Ciudad Juarez? How does literature react to and recreate different types of violence (political, economic, of gender, of family)? This course will focus on contemporary problems regarding violence in the Americas with the objective to understand its origin, development and possible solutions. Some of the authors studied in the course include Mario Bellatín, Roberto Bolaño, Edmundo Paz Soldán, Angélica Gorodischer and Fernando Vallejo among others. Prerequisite: SPA 250.

SPA 464 Borders and Cultural Encounters in Latin America
An analysis of borders in Latin America, including national borders (US/Mexico, Dominican Republic/Haití) as well as other urban and cultural borders. We will study "fronteras" as zones of cultural contact and confrontations. From different materials and perspectives we will explore new trends in immigration, illegal traffic, narco networks and culture, violence and vigilance, among other issues related with frontiers. Borders are analyzed from historical perspectives to understand recent trends in a globalized world. The course contemplates the study of fiction, testimonies, films and visual arts among other cultural forms. Prerequisite: SPA 250.

SPA 500 Senior Seminar
A seminar for senior Spanish majors focused on independent research. Specific course topics vary from term to term. Prerequisite: major in Spanish.