Hispanic Studies

Department Chair: José Antonio Fábres

Faculty: Eleonora Bertranou, Patricia Bolaños, Bruce Campbell, Nelsy Echávez-Solano, Angela Erickson-Grussing, José Antonio Fábres, Tania Gómez, Alexis Howe, Christina Hennessy, Roy Ketchum, Sarah Schaaf, Marina Martín, Elena Sánchez Mora, Corey Shouse Tourino, Vilma Walter, Gladys White

The study of another language is an adventure, an exploration into the workings of minds both like and unalike our own. As human minds mold language, so language also molds human minds. A language is therefore not only a means by which we represent our thoughts; it is also a medium that presents the world to us in a certain way. When we learn a new language, we learn to see differently - we acquire a new perspective from which to view both ourselves and the world. In the literature of another language we encounter a culture revealed, extended and tested by its most critical and inventive thinkers, who use the language to explore their society's limitations and possibilities. Because the study of language liberates us from bondage to a single cultural perspective and allows us to converse with members of another culture, it has from the times of the ancient Romans been considered central to a liberal education.

Students of Hispanic Studies seek to understand an intricate contemporary culture and explore the literature and traditions that give it life. The major in Hispanic Studies, accordingly, consists of a balanced program of language, literature, culture, and linguistics, and should ideally include one or two semesters in the colleges' semester study abroad programs in Chile, Guatemala, and Spain, or at least a summer term in Spain.

A Spanish major is often interdisciplinary in nature and prepares students for a wide variety of careers, both in the United States and around the world. Some students pursue careers in teaching or go on to graduate school in their field, others enter those professions in which applicants with a broad liberal background are sought. Beyond that, the linguistic competence associated with such a major is increasingly of interest to employers in a growing number of business, service, and government fields. As a result, students often choose to join a foreign language major to an additional major.

The Department of Hispanic Studies also provides the Common Curriculum Global Language requirement in language proficiency for all CSB/SJU students. In order to fulfill this goal, all students will:

  1. Demonstrate a minimum proficiency level of Intermediate-Low, as defined by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, in at least two of the four language skills (listening, speaking, reading, and writing). Such a proficiency level means that students will have a functional command of the target language which allows them to communicate limited basic needs and ideas, and negotiate simple situations. 
  2. Be exposed to a variety of cultural contexts in which the target language is spoken, and have a functional command of the basic rules of social interaction in that language.

Assessment

The Department of Hispanic Studies conducts regular assessment of student learning in language skills as well as in the literary, linguistics and cultural components of the major. Methods of assessment include: language placement and proficiency tests for incoming students, entrance and exit examinations for majors, regular review of skills in speaking, listening, reading, writing and cultural understanding according to proficiency guidelines, a senior project written in the target language and presented in a public forum or a Student Portfolio.

Basic Requirements for all Majors and Minors:

212 is a prerequisite for 300-level courses; it also fulfills a Common Curriculum Humanities requirement (HM).

Students planning to major or minor in a language are strongly encouraged to take advantage of the colleges' study abroad options.

In order to ensure a well-balanced program, no student may apply more than 12 credits toward a major or minor in any one semester, whether on campus or abroad. Exceptions will be granted only in unusual circumstances and must be arranged in advance in consultation with the department chair. No more than 8 credits for upper division courses tranferred from another U.S. institution can be applied to the major.

Courses in literature in translation may not be counted toward a major or minor.

All majors must present a senior project or a Student Portfolio in a public forum. In consultation with a faculty advisor students choose a project appropriate to their previous course of study and/or their individual goals (399 listing).

Courses (SPAN)

111 Beginning Spanish I. (4)
An introduction to the Spanish language that provides a foundation for the four language skills: listening, speaking, writing and reading, along with an introduction to different aspects of the cultures of the Spanish-speaking peoples. The emphasis of this course is on promoting language proficiency. Vocabulary and grammatical structures will be the basis for the development of these skills in a meaningful, effective and creative manner.

112 Beginning Spanish II. (4)
The second in a series of three lower-level language courses. Emphasis remains on promoting language proficiency in listening, speaking, reading, and writing, with background information on the cultures of Spanish-speaking peoples. Class time is devoted mostly to the development of listening and speaking skills.

150 Intensive Beginner’s Spanish. (8)
An intensive Spanish course whose task oriented approach aims at helping students develop fluency in understanding, speaking, reading, and writing in Spanish. It also intends to prepare students for a deeper understanding of the civilization and culture of the Spanish-speaking world. Due to its demanding nature, this course incorporates CAI (Computer Assisted Instruction) and other technological resources to facilitate students’ language acquisition. Prerequisites: one year of foreign language learning experience and permission of instructor.

151 Intensive Beginner's Spanish I. (8)
An accelerated task oriented course that aims at helping students develop fluency in understanding, speaking, reading, and writing in Spanish. It also intends to prepare students for a deeper understanding of the civilization and culture of the Spanish-speaking world with its material and also through the living experience in the Spanish setting. This course shall cover the thematic and linguistic content of Spanish 111 and 112 in five weeks abroad in Vallodolid (Spain) and will incorporate CAI (Computer Assisted Instruction) in addition to other technological resources to facilitate students' language acquisition. Summer. 

200 Intensive Intermediate Spanish I. (8)
An accelerated task oriented course that aims at helping students develop fluency in understanding, speaking, reading, and writing in Spanish. It also intends to prepare students for a deeper understanding of the civilization and culture of the Spanish-speaking world with its material and also through the living experience in the Spanish setting. This course shall cover the thematic and linguistic content of Spanish 112 and 211 in five weeks abroad, in Valladolid (Spain) and will incorporate CAI (Computer Assisted Instruction) in addition to other technological resources to facilitate students’ language acquisition. Prerequisite: 111 or placement into 112. Summer.

211 Intermediate Spanish (4)
The third in a series of three lower-level language courses. Emphasis remains on promoting language proficiency in listening, speaking, reading, and writing, with information on the cultures of Spanish-speaking peoples. Students will expand on vocabulary and grammatical structures presented in 111 and 112 to communicate meaningfully, effectively, and with an increasing amount of fluency and creativity. This course fulfills the Common Curriculum Global Language requirement.

212 Texts and Contexts in the Hispanic World. (4)
An introduction to textual analysis in the context of the cultural histories and social issues of the Spanish-speaking world. The student will study a variety of texts, including a range of literary genres and film, with a unifying theme to be determined by the instructor. The course also reviews language structures to enhance reading, writing, and speaking skills, serving as a bridge between 111-211 and the more advanced courses in language, literature and culture. The student will learn about internship opportunities and study abroad in Central America and Spain. This course fulfills a Common Curriculum Humanities (HM)requirement. Prerequisite: 211 or equivalent.

271 Individual Learning Project. (1-4)
Supervised reading or research at the lower-division level. Permission of department chair required. Consult department for applicability towards major requirements. Not available to first-year students.

311 Written and Oral Communication. (4)
The main goal of this course is to help students improve their command of written Spanish in preparation for upper division courses in literature, culture and linguistics. Written assignments are based on a step-by-step approach to the development of writing skills through rhetorical strategies. Writing topics are related to short literary and cultural readings as well as films and other media. These materials are incorporated thematically using descriptive and narrative writing modes, and providing practice in summary, review and reaction assignments. To support the development of writing skills, the course provides a systematic review of Spanish grammatical structures, integrated with material studied in class. In addition, the course includes practice in oral expression through oral presentations and discussion. Prerequisite: 212.

312 Written and Oral Communication II. (4)
This course builds on the skills acquired in Spanish 311. Its goal is to further improve students' command of written Spanish through a continued review of grammatical structures. As in Spanish 311, thematically selected literary and cultural readings, as well as films and other media, are incorporated by means of step-by-step assignments. The focus in this course is on the argumentative and expository writing modes, providing practice in essay writing; these skills aim at an understanding of the process of preparation and completion of a research project. Strategies for oral communication are also incorporated into this course through presentations and discussions. Prerequisite: 311.

335 Spanish Culture. (4)
This course examines the political, social, cultural and historical development of Spain. The course will consider the different ethnic traditions as well as the linguistic and cultural regions that comprise present day Spain. The primary texts of the course will be approached in an interdisciplinary fashion that combines socio-historical, political and literary critical perspectives. Prerequisite: 312.

336 Latin American Culture. (4)
This course examines the political, social, cultural and historical development of the Spanish-speaking Americas. In geographic terms, the course includes countries of North, Central and South America as well as the Caribbean. Historically, the course covers the period prior to the Conquest, the Colonial era, the emergence of national identities, and current cultural trends, issues and conflicts. The primary texts of the course—whether these be literary, visual, performative, or ideological in character—will be approached in an interdisciplinary fashion that combines socio-historical, political and literary critical perspectives. Prerequisite: 312.

337 Latino Identity in the United States. (4)
The diverse population of Latino groups traces its origins to a variety of countries and their experience in the United States is quite varied. This course will examine the socio-historical background and economic and political factors that converge to shape Latino/Hispanic identities in the United States. This class will explore issues of race, class, and gender within the Latino community in the United States (Chicanos, Puerto Ricans, Cubans, Dominicans, Central and South American). Prerequisite: 312. Spring.

340 Latin American Literature: Pre-Columbian to Independence. (4)
This course examines the origins of regional literature in the period of the Spanish Conquest and colonization of the indigenous peoples of the Americas. Representative literary texts—encompassing genres such as essay, chronicle and biography among others—will serve as the basis for a study of the historical development of regional literary traditions out of the cultural conflicts and transformations of the colonial period. Prerequisite: 312.

341 Spanish Golden Age. (4)
This course will study dominant themes and trends in 16th- and 17th century Spain with a concentration on either Spanish poetry, prose, or national theater. The course may include all three genres and will be taught within the context of Hispanic and Western culture. Authors may include Garcilaso, Góngora, Cervantes, María de Zayas y Sotomayor, Lope de Vega, Tirso de Molina and Calderón.

342 Latin American Literature: Independence to Modernismo. (4)
This course examines the emergence and development of regional and national literary traditions in the Spanish-speaking Americas following Independence from Spain. Works from a variety of genres, such as poetry, essay and the novel, will be used to explore important aesthetic, economic and political manifestations of the nineteenth-century quest for autonomy and development in Latin America. Prerequisite: 312.

344 Spanish Literature: 18th-19th Century. (4)
An introduction to Spanish literature from 1700 to the turn of the twentieth century. This course studies some of the most representative literary works of neo-classicism, romanticism, costumbrismo, realism and naturalism, and examines the historical and cultural backgrounds of the texts under study. Prerequisite: 312.

345 Latin American Literature: Modernismo to Present. (4)
A study of major themes and works of contemporary narrative, criticism, poetry. This course examines the historical background of the texts under study as well as the emerging literary and cultural debates surrounding them. Prerequisite: 312.

349 Spanish Literature: 20th Century to Present. (4)
An exploration of the major themes and authors of this period of Spanish literature, including representative works from the Generation of 1898, the Generations of 1914, ’27, & ’50, los novisimos, current authors, literature by women. Works read in their historical and cultural context. Prerequisite: 312.

350 Introduction to Hispanic Linguistics. (4)
A survey of general linguistics as it applies to Spanish with attention to the major areas of the field-Spanish phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, pragmatics, historical linguistics, sociolinguistics and language acquisition. Offered every year. Prerequisites: Two courses in the sequence 310, 311, 312 or permission of instructor.

355 Seminar: Topics in Hispanic Literature. (4)
An in-depth study of a particular work, author, or theme in Hispanic literature or language. The precise subject to be studied will be announced prior to registration. Recent topics include: the picaresque novel; literature of the gaucho; women authors; Siglo de Oro; Generación de 98; Spanish drama from Lope de Vega to Buero Vallejo; Latin American short story. Prerequisites: 312 and one upper-division course in literature or culture.

356 Seminar: Topics in Hispanic Culture or Linguistics. (4)
An in-depth study of cultural issues in the Spanish-speaking world or of Hispanic linguistics. The precise subject to be studied will be announced prior to registration. Recent topics include: race, gender, ethnicity; national identity and its construction/invention; globalization; bilingualism; second-language acquisition; history of Spanish language, etc. Prerequisites: 312 and one upper-division course in literature or culture.

358 Seminar: Contemporary Hispanic Issues. (4)
The aim of this course is an intensive study on a topic in Hispanic Cultures, Literatures or Linguistics, including reading, discussion and independent research. Specific course content varies but focus is on contemporary issues. This course also questions the limits between Latin American, Caribbean and Latino identities, to propose a productive redefinition of the local and the global in the study of culture, literature and dialectology and sociolinguistics variation.
 
371 Individual Learning Project. (1-4)
Supervised reading or research at the upper-division level. Permission of department chair and completion and/or concurrent registration of 12 credits within the department required. Consult department for applicability towards major requirements. Not available to first-year students.

397 Hispanic Culture/Issues Internship. (1-4)
A practical off-campus experience with a substantial academic component, the internship represents an opportunity to apply language skills and explore issues and culture of Minnesota’s Hispanic communities through a combination of social service/professional experience and independent research. Prerequisite: 312 and approval of the department chair. A-F grading only.

398 Honors Senior Essay, Research, or Creative Project. (4)
Required for graduation with "Distinction in Hispanic Studies." Prerequisite: HONR 396 and approval of the department chair and director of the Honors Thesis program. For further information see HONR 398.

399 Senior Project. (1 credit)
All majors must present a senior project in a public forum. In consultation with a faculty advisor students choose a project appropriate to their previous course of study and/or their individual goals.

Hispanic Studies courses taught abroad

All the following courses count towards the major or minor in Hispanic Studies. Cross listed courses cannot count twice.

Viña del Mar, Chile (Fall)
ART  309 Topics in Art History: Latin American Art and Culture. (4) (FA)
SPAN 316 Spanish Conversation Abroad. (4)
SPAN 322 Topics of Conversation and Composition on Chilean and Latin American Issues. (4)
SPAN 325 Chilean Indigenous Communities. (4)
SPAN 326 Seminar on Chilean Literature. (4)
SPAN 328 History of Chile. (4)
SPAN 329 Seminar on Latin American Literature. (4) (HM)
SPAN 330 Latin American Cinema and Society. (4) (FA)
SPAN 355 Seminar: Topics in Hispanic Literature. (4) (HM)
SPAN 357 International Relations Between Latin America and the U.S. (4)
SA    398 Field Experience/Practicum. (1-4)

Quetzaltenango, Guatemala (Spring)
SPAN 216 Spanish Intermediate II. (4)
SPAN 315 Spanish Conversation Abroad. (4)
SPAN 316 Spanish Conversation Abroad. (4)
SPAN 321 Guatemalan Indigenous Communities. (4)
SPAN 336 Latin American Culture. (4)
SPAN 355 Seminar: Topics in Hispanic Literature. (4)
SPAN 356 Seminar: Topics in Hispanic Culture or Linguistics. (4) 
SPAN 363 Advanced Spanish Abroad. (4) (Meets the linguistic requirement)

Segovia, Spain (Spring)
ART   345 Culture and Art History. (4) (FA)
SPAN 324 Spanish Cinema and Society. (4) FA
SPAN 350 Introduction to Hispanic Linguistics. (4)
SPAN 355 Seminar: Topics in Hispanic Literature. (4)
SPAN 356 Seminar: Topics in Hispanic Culture or Linguistics. (4)
SPAN 359 Spain and the European Union. (4)
SPAN 363 Advanced Spanish Abroad. (4) (Meets the linguistic requirement)
SA    398 Field Experience/Practicum. (1-4)

Valladolid, Spain (Summer)
SPAN 112 Beginning Spanish II. (4)
SPAN 151 (111 + 112) Intensive Beginner's Spanish I. (8)
SPAN 200 (112 + 211) Intensive Intermediate Spanish. (8)
SPAN 211 Intermediate Spanish I. (4)
SPAN 212 Texts and Contexts in the Hispanic World. (4)
SPAN 311 Written and Oral Communication I. (4)
SPAN 312 Written and Oral Communication II. (4)
SPAN 355 Seminar: Topics in Hispanic Literature. (4)