Curriculum Overview

Spanish is the second most common spoken language in the world, and its increasing presence in the socioeconomic, political and cultural life of the United States makes the study of Spanish a valuable professional tool and enriching personal experience for those students interested in pursuing a major or minor in the language. Spanish majors and minors develop an advanced level of oral and written proficiency in the language by engaging meaningfully with cultural products and practices from the Spanish-speaking world. Furthermore, our courses foster multicultural competence as students engage with cultural and literary traditions of Spain, Latin America, and the United States.

A major in Spanish consists of nine courses above SPA 202. The required courses are: SPA 221, 222 and 321. In addition, each student must take one 300 – 400-level course in Peninsular Literature and one 300 – 400-level course in Latin American Literature, and three other elective courses among the 300-400 level offerings in the department. During their senior year, students must take one additional 400-level Research Seminar. In this final course, students prepare a substantial research project, satisfying upon its completion the writing requirement for the major. All courses for the major should be in Spanish.

A major in Spanish includes knowledge and analysis of language, literature, and cultures in the Spanish-speaking world, including Spain, Latin America, and the United States. We strive to help students achieve a high degree of proficiency in the language by developing their ability to comprehend, read critically, speak and write in Spanish while developing an appreciation and understanding of Hispanic literature and cultures. Beginning in SPA 101, course work is conducted entirely in the target language, and the student is encouraged to use Spanish beyond the classroom. The department offers Community Based Learning opportunities in the Lancaster Hispanic community that further enhance students’ intercultural awareness and competence. In addition, The Spanish Writing Center prepares students to write with precision and detail on a variety of topics and provides those in the upper-division courses with useful resources to hone their writing abilities in Spanish.

Majors interested in pursuing independent studies should prepare a preliminary proposal addressing the subject to be explored and speak with the faculty member whose line of research best aligns with the proposed topic.

A minor in Spanish consists of six courses beyond SPA 201. The required courses are SPA 202, 221, 222 and 321; one 300-400-level course; and one 400-level Research Seminar course. All courses for the minor must be in Spanish.

Majors and minors can also fulfill some requirements during their study abroad experience. The department strongly encourages students to spend a semester or year in a Spanish-speaking country, and approximately 80% of our students do so. Students are advised to have completed SPA 321 before they study abroad. A maximum of three courses will be available for transfer upon approval from the department. Spanish majors and minors regularly study in the following programs: IFSA-Butler Buenos Aires/Mendoza; IES Abroad Language & Areas Studies in Madrid; CIEE Liberal Arts program in Sevilla; SIT program in Chile (Cultural Identity, Social Justice and Community Development program). We also offer our own programs during alternate summers. See the International Programs section of the Catalog for further information.

Courses Offered 

A list of regularly offered courses follows. Please note the key for the following abbreviations: (A) Arts; (H) Humanities; (S) Social Sciences; (N) Natural Sciences with Laboratory; (LS) Language Studies requirement; (NSP) Natural Science in Perspective; (NW) Non-Western Cultures requirement.

101. Beginning Spanish I.
SPA 101 follows a proficiency-oriented, task-based approach to develop skills in reading, listening, speaking and writing preparing students to express themselves meaningfully in Spanish in simple situations ranging from describing themselves and others to talking about familiar topics in the present. The course introduces students to basic grammatical concepts and vocabulary, as well as the cultures of the Spanish-speaking world. Spanish is the primary language of instruction and class time is used for interactive practice. Offered every Fall.    
Aldea Agudo, Liu, Ryjik

102. Beginning Spanish II.
Following a communicative approach, SPA 102 builds on the reading, listening, speaking and writing skills developed in SPA 101.The course prepares students to express themselves meaningfully in Spanish and engage in situations ranging from giving instructions to talking about the past. The course expands on the grammatical concepts and vocabulary studied in SPA 101 while deepening students’ understanding of Spanish-speaking cultures. Spanish is the primary language of instruction and class time is used for interactive practice in meaningful contexts. Prerequisite: SPA 101 or equivalent.
Aldea Agudo, Liu

201. Intermediate Spanish I. (LS)
Following a communicative approach, SPA 201 builds on the reading, listening, writing and speaking skills developed in SPA 101 and 102. This course prepares students to express themselves meaningfully in increasingly complex situations, ranging from giving detailed opinions to hypothesizing about the future. The course expands on the grammatical concepts and vocabulary studied in SPA 101 and 102 and fosters critical thinking in a variety of cultural contexts. Spanish is the primary language of instruction and class time is used for interactive practice in meaningful contexts. Prerequisite: SPA 102 or placement.
Cox, Stachura, Theumer

202. Intermediate Spanish II. (H)
Following a communicative approach, SPA 202 builds on the skills developed in the SPA 101-201 sequence with an emphasis on oral and written expression. Class discussions go beyond familiar themes to place greater emphasis on cultural topics and current events. The course reviews and practices key grammatical concepts preparing students to support a personal opinion, debate ideas with others and develop hypotheses. Spanish is the primary language of instruction and class time is used for interactive practice in meaningful contexts. Prerequisite: SPA 201 or placement.
Caamaño Alegre, Ruiz-Alfaro

221. Grammar, Conversation and Composition. (H)
Oral practice directed toward greater fluency in the spoken language. Discussion and reports of current events and literary selections. Emphasis is placed on achieving fluency in the spoken language, with secondary emphasis on reading and writing. Prerequisite: SPA 202 or placement.    Anderson, Caamaño Alegre, Stachura

222. Advanced Conversation and Composition. (H)
A continuation of SPA 221. Practice directed toward greater fluency in the written language. Oral discussion and written reports on current events and contemporary cultural and literary topics. Emphasis is placed on developing students’ ability to read and write in Spanish, with a secondary emphasis on aural and oral skills. Prerequisite: SPA 221 or placement.   
Anderson, Theumer

291. Directed Reading.
Tutorial for students having completed SPA 221. Students who have a special interest may arrange a tutorial with a faculty member. Enrollment is conditional on instructor’s permission.

301. Spanish Grammar. (H)
An in-depth study of the more subtle nuances of Spanish grammar including narration in the past and the subjunctive with a strong emphasis on oral and written practice. The course includes readings about the grammatical system. SPA 221 or SPA 222.  
Anderson, Armstrong

321. Introduction to Hispanic Literature and Literary Analysis. (H)
First course dedicated to reading and interpreting literature. Introduction to the fundamentals of literature and aesthetic appreciation through careful reading, analysis and class discussion of Spanish-language texts from both sides of the Atlantic. Prerequisite: SPA 222 or permission.     
Ruiz-Alfaro, Theumer            

335. Cuentos y Cuentistas de América Latina. (H)
Cuentos y cuentistas de América Latina is an exploration of the Latin American short story in the twentieth century. This survey course focuses on the most relevant authors, literary-cultural themes, and theoretical approaches of the short story. The overall goals for the students in this course are the understanding of the short story as a unique literary genre and an appreciation of the diversity of themes and authors who are considered renown "cuentistas" of the continent. This course also focuses on the development of critical skills and of oral and written modes of performance in the Spanish language. This course fulfills the Latin American literature requirement for Spanish majors. Prerequisite: SPA 321.    
Ruiz-Alfaro

343. Cuentos del Río de La Plata. (H)
Argentina and Uruguay are the two countries that have produced the most renowned short story writers in Spanish. It could be said that Jorge Luis Borges and Julio Cortázar constitute the paradigm of the Hispanic short story of the second half of the 20th century and later years. Both writers have set the grounds for the development of the short story as a genre in Latin America. In this course we will explore the influence of Borges and Cortázar in later Argentine and Uruguayan writers.  This course fulfills the Latin American literature requirement for Spanish majors. Prerequisite: SPA 321.   Tisnado

350. Español en los Estados Unidos. (H)
Is Spanish the same as or different from other immigrant languages in the United States today? What is Spanglish and why is everyone so worked up about it? How does language relate to identity? We will consider these questions and others through sociocultural and linguistic analysis of the Spanish language in the United States. This course includes a community-based learning (CBL) component. All students will complete weekly activities to explore how concepts from class manifest in Spanish-speaking communities. Prerequisite: SPA 222 and instructor permission.
Cox

370 379, 470 479. Topics in Spanish Literature, Language or Culture.
Seminar for in-depth study of an author, theme or period. Topic chosen to be announced each semester.

390. Independent Study.
Independent study directed by the Spanish staff. Prerequisite: Permission of department chairperson.

391. Directed Reading.
Tutorial for students having completed SPA 261. Students who have a special interest may arrange a tutorial with a faculty member. Enrollment is conditional on instructor’s permission.

401. Spanish Tutorial. (H)

Extensive reading in areas of special interest and importance to the student. Regular conferences with tutor; critical papers. Prerequisite: Permission of department chairperson.

410. Research Seminar: El Boom Latinoamericano (The Latin American Boom). (H)
The Latin American Boom is a phenomenon in the history of literary movements in the 20th Century. In this course we will read some of the canonical pieces by authors that constitute the “boom.” In so doing, we will examine the characteristics of the Latin American literary boom. We will read Alejo Carpentier, Carlos Fuentes, Gabriel García Márquez and Mario Vargas Llosa, as the four biggest representatives of this movement. Prerequisite: SPA 321.  
Tisnado

412. Research Seminar: El Exilio Hispanoamericano (Spanish American Exile). (H)
There is a vast number of Latin Americans living mainly in several European countries, Canada, the United States, Australia and some Asian and African countries. Political turmoil of the Southern cone in the 1970s and 80s and in Central America in the 1980s and 90s, however, created generations of exiles that were political prisoners or even desaparecidos, or whose close relatives disappeared or were killed. Some of these exiles are writers who conveyed their experience in their works. In this course we will read poems, short stories, and novels written by these exiles as well as works by authors who have chosen to live abroad for other reasons. We will examine how the experience of exile shapes and is reflected in their works. Prerequisite: SPA 321.    
Tisnado

413. Research Seminar: Mujer, Nación y Amor (Woman, Nation, and Love). (H)
Through the analysis of novels and short stories written by Latin American female authors from different countries we will examine the construction of the concept of “Nation” in Latin America and the alternative that the female perspective offers to this construction. We will explore how gender roles have determined the idea of Nation. As part of the analysis, we will study historical and social aspects of the different countries to which the novels refer. This course fulfills the Latin American literature requirement. Prerequisite: SPA 321. Same as WGS 413.    
Tisnado

414. Research Seminar: El Detective Hispano (The Hispanic Detective). (H)
Why is detective fiction so popular? What makes so many readers or TV/film viewers want to read or watch murder or detective stories? What does the detective genre represent? How do we understand the surprise endings of detective stories? What variations have appeared (especially in Latin America) since the classic detective novel emerged? How can we understand these variations? In this seminar we will attempt to answer these questions through the analysis of detective fiction from Latin America. We will study detective novels in their specific Latin American context. Fulfills the Latin American literature requirement. Prerequisite: SPA 321.    
Tisnado

415. Research Seminar: La Novela del Dictador Hispanoamericano (Novel of the Hispanic Dictator). (H)
“La novella del dictador” is a Latin American subgenre that examines the concept of caudillismo within the Latin American countries. In this course we will explore how power and patriarchy have shaped the male dictator as a common governing figure in Latin America. We will start reading Guatemalan Miguel Angel Asturias’ El Señor Presidente—the first recognized novella del dictador—and explore other versions of the genre. Fulfills the Latin American literature requirement. Prerequisite: SPA 321.    
Tisnado

422. Research Seminar: Escritoras Españolas (Spanish Women Writers). (H)
Through the analysis of literary works by some of the most representative female writers, this course aims at a deep understanding of the role of women in Spanish society, and, particularly, of the struggle of those among them who decided to express themselves through writing. Fulfills the Peninsular literature requirement for the Spanish major. Prerequisite: SPA 321. Same as WGS 422. 
Caamaño Alegre

425. Research Seminar: Mujeres nuevas, viejas ideas: la construcción de la feminidad en la II República española y la dictadura franquista (New Women, Old Ideas: The Construction of Femininity in the Spanish II Republic and the Francoist Dictatorship). (H)
This course analyzes the existing contradictions in the construction of femininity during the Spanish Second Republic and the Francoist dictatorship through a variety of texts, genres, and women authors. It pays special attention to education, children’s literature, and the figure of the female teacher, due to their relevance in gender construction. Fulfills the Peninsular literature requirement. Prerequisite: SPA 321. Same as WGS 425.   
Caamaño Alegre

431. Research Seminar: Teatro del Siglo de Oro (Golden Age Theatre). (H)
This course looks at the significance of Golden Age Theater in Spain through an analysis of its different genres and some of its central themes. The works of major Spanish playwrights, such as Lope de Vega, Tirso de Molina, and Calderón de la Barca, will be studied from a historical, ideological, social, and literary perspective. We will also explore the main characteristics of the Early Modern period in Spain, taking into consideration socio-political, economic, religious, philosophical and aesthetic aspects of the culture as a context for and as reflected in the theater. This course fulfills the Peninsular literature requirement. Prerequisite: SPA 321.  
Ryjik

435. Research Seminar: Don Quijote (Don Quixote). (H)
The main objective of this course is to explore the complex artistic universe that Miguel de Cervantes created when he wrote Don Quixote and to learn about the author, the social commentary, and historical context, which serve as backdrops and inspirational sources for this novel. The course aims to increase students’ appreciation of literary history and acquire objective knowledge about Golden Age Spain. This course fulfills the Peninsular literature requirement. Prerequisite: SPA 321.    
Ryjik

442. Research Seminar: Prosa del siglo XIX (19th Century Prose). (H)
In this course students will read representative masterpieces of the costumbrista, psychological, realist, regionalist, and naturalist romantic schools, mainly the novel and the short story.  This course fulfills the Peninsular literature requirement. Prerequisite: SPA 321.          
Caamaño Alegre

445. Research Seminar: Latinoamérica en escena (Latin America on Stage). (H)
Latin America on Stage is an exploration of Latin American drama of the twentieth century, and an introduction to the experimental and newer trends in the genre. This survey course focuses on the most relevant schools, socio-political themes, and aesthetic practices of Latin American theater. The overall goals for the students in this course are the appreciation of the diversity of contemporary drama in the continent, as well as the development of critical skills and of oral and written modes of performance in the Spanish language.  This course fulfills the Latin American literature requirement. Prerequisite: SPA 321.    
Ruiz-Alfaro

450. Research Seminar: Musulmanes, judíos y cristianos en la España medieval. (H)
A thousand years ago, Spain was the sight of an extraordinary multicultural civilization. Muslims, Christians and Jews lived side by side and each contributed to the flowering of literature, art, science, and intellectual life. The convivencia or coexistence period lasted for several centuries and came to form the basis of modern Spanish identity. However, this reality has been obscured by the myth of an eternal, Catholic Spain that came to serve as the country’s “official” history. This Research Seminar explores the nature and contradictions of this period. Prerequisite: SPA 321.
Ryjik

485. Research Seminar: La invención de Cuba (The Invention of Cuba). (H)
Exploring the island’s complex encounters with Spain, Africa, the Soviet Union and the United States, this course takes an interdisciplinary approach to the study of Cuban culture, incorporating materials as diverse as Columbus’s diaries, Afro-Cuban fables, Castro’s speeches and contemporary Cuban cinema. As we examine the historical, ethnographic, political and literary texts that narrate the "invention" of Cuba, we will focus on the tension between the internal fabric of “Cubanness” and the external forces shaping Cuba’s national process. This course fulfills the Latin American literature requirement. Prerequisite: SPA 321.    
Theumer

486. Research Seminar: Erotismo y modernidad (Eroticism and Modernity). (H)
This course explores cultural modernity in Latin America at the turn of the 20th century, focusing on the representation of masculinity, femininity and sexuality in literature in order to better understand the transforming social, cultural and aesthetic values of the period. This course fulfills the Latin American literature requirement for Spanish majors. Prerequisite: SPA 321. Same as WGS 486.  
Theumer

490. Independent Study.
A major research project to be carried out under the supervision of a member of the department.

Topics Courses Expected to be Offered in 2019-2020 

  • Escritoras Latinoamericanas.    
  • Legal Spanish.
  • Research Seminar: Tell Me a Story.