Spanish (Hispanophone Studies)

Justin Crumbaugh, Chair

Nieves Romero-Diaz, Study Abroad Advisor for Spain and Latin America

Esther Castro, Language Program Director

Debra Morrissey, Academic Department Coordinator


105 Ciruti Language Center
413-538-2347
https://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/spanish

Overview and Contact Information

The Department of Spanish, Latina/o, and Latin American Studies engages in the multidisciplinary study of the past, current state, and emerging realities of societies and cultures of Latin America, Spain, the Caribbean, and the Latina/o heritage populations within the United States and their relations with each other and with the wider world. To that end, our courses adopt a variety of disciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches, including literary studies, film and media studies, social history, and politics.

The Department of Spanish, Latina/o, and Latin American Studies also collaborates closely with a number of other departments and programs on campus, frequently crosslisting courses with film studies, gender studies, history, and Romance languages and cultures. Regular cocurricular activities organized by the department (film series, lectures, etc.) also engage the larger college community in the interests of our students and faculty. In addition to providing opportunities for learning on campus, the department also strongly recommends that students study off campus in a Spanish-speaking context in order to enhance their language skills and to forge their own connections to place through language.

Spanish—the second most spoken language in the United States today and one of the three most spoken languages in the world— has become a crucial part of civic engagement and global citizenship. Facility with the language has been an important component of career success for many Mount Holyoke graduates in fields including government, law, business, international affairs, education, journalism, medicine, and the performing arts.

To this end, the major and minor in Spanish (Hispanophone Studies) include a variety of courses intended to facilitate proficiency in the language and contextualize and analyze issues relevant to Spanish speakers abroad and in the U.S., such as terrorism, migration, and imperialism.

Faculty

This area of study is administered by the Department of Spanish, Latina/o, and Latin American Studies:

Lowell Gudmundson, Professor of Latin American Studies and History

Dorothy Knight-Mosby, Professor of Spanish; Associate Dean of Faculty

Nieves Romero-Díaz, Professor of Spanish

Justin Crumbaugh, Associate Professor of Spanish, Latina/o and Latin American Studies

David Hernández, Assistant Professor of Spanish, Latina/o, Latin American Studies

Esther Castro, Senior Lecturer in Spanish; Spanish Language Program Director

Dimaris Barrios-Beltrán, Visiting Language Instructor in Spanish

Flávia Cunha, Language Instructor in Spanish

Elena García Frazier, Language Instructor in Spanish

Antonio Illescas, Language Instructor in Spanish

Vanessa Rosa, Mount Holyoke Fellow; Visiting Lecturer in Latina/o Studies

Ana Soltero-López, Mount Holyoke Fellow; Visiting Lecturer in Latina/o Studies

Adriana Pitetta, Visiting Lecturer in Spanish, Latina/o and Latin American Studies

Requirements for the Major

A minimum of 32 credits:

SPAN-212Preparation for Advanced Studies 4
A minimum of three 300-level courses: 112
At least one must be taken in the senior year at Mount Holyoke
Four other courses in Spanish at any level, within the following restrictions:16
Two 200-level introductory courses (above SPAN-212) must be taken prior to enrolling in any 300-level course
At least one of the courses above SPAN-212 has to concentrate on Spain and/or Latin America before 1800.
Total Credits32
1

Excluding SPAN-395 which may not be counted as one of these four courses.

Additional Specifications

  • Courses in Latin American Studies count toward the Spanish major (see next bullet about courses in English).
  • If a student spends a semester in a Spanish-speaking place or is a Spanish native speaker, two courses taught in English at Mount Holyoke by department faculty can be counted toward the major. If not, only one course taught in English (if cross-listed or approved by the department) will be allowed.
  • For one semester abroad, a student can get up to 8 credits towards her major at the 200 or 300 level, and up to 20 credits for two semesters abroad. For the major in Spanish, the department will accept no more than 8 credits taken abroad at the 300 level.
  • Decisions regarding credit transfers from study abroad will be based on academic criteria. Students should save course syllabi, written assignments, and any other relevant materials. Courses on a variety of subjects (literature, history, art, film, but also political science, economics, sociology) may count toward the major, but only if the study abroad advisor approves of the course contents and objectives.

Requirements for the Minor

A minimum of 20 credits:

SPAN-212Preparation for Advanced Studies 4
At least one 300-level course 14
Three other courses at the 200 or 300-level. One 100-level course could be substituted for one of these12
Total Credits20
1

Note: two 200-level introductory courses (above SPAN-212) must be taken prior to enrolling in a 300-level course.

Additional Specifications

  • The 300-level required course must be taken in the department.
  • No course in English can be counted toward the minor.
  • Independent Study (SPAN-395) may not be used as part of the minor.
  • No more than 8 credits toward the minor can be completed abroad. Spanish minors should take all their courses abroad in Spanish.

Teacher Licensure

Students interested in pursuing licensure in the field of Spanish can combine their course work in Spanish with a minor in education. In some instances course work in the major coincides with course work required for licensure; in other cases, it does not. For specific course requirements for licensure within the major of Spanish (Hispanophone Studies), please consult your advisor or the chair of the Department of Spanish, Latina/o, and Latin American Studies. Further information about the minor in education and the Teacher Licensure program is available in other sections of the catalog, or consult Ms. Lawrence in the psychology and education department.

Licensure also requires a formal application as well as passing scores on the Massachusetts Test of Educator Licensure (MTEL) in both the literacy component and the subject matter component. Copies of the test objectives for the MTEL are available in the Department of Spanish, Latina/o, and Latin American Studies and in the Department of Psychology and Education.

Additional information about the Licensure Program, including application materials, can be found on the Teacher Licensure Program website.

Course Advice

Placement

Students with no prior knowledge of Spanish can enroll in SPAN-101.

Any student with prior course work in Spanish must do the following:

  1. take an online placement test within two months of registration, and
  2. complete a language questionnaire (located in the online First-Year Curriculum Guide).

Upon reviewing both the questionnaire and placement test results, the department may require a level change.

Notes

Students are strongly encouraged to take their language courses in close succession, without lapses between one level and the next.

Students who have previously taken Spanish courses at Mount Holyoke and who wish to continue their study of Spanish must have the prerequisites stipulated for specific courses.

All courses satisfy distribution requirements unless indicated otherwise.

All courses are conducted in Spanish unless indicated otherwise.

Students contemplating study abroad in Spain or Latin America are encouraged to elect a Spanish course in the first semester of their first year.

Course Offerings

SPAN-101 Elementary Spanish

Fall and Spring. Credits: 4

A dynamic and interactive introduction to Spanish and Spanish American cultures. Covers the basic grammar structures of the Spanish language through extensive use of video, classroom practice, and weekly conversation sessions with a native language assistant. Assumes no previous study of Spanish.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Language
D. Barrios-Beltrán, F. Cunha, E. García Frazier, A. Pitetta

SPAN-199 Preparation for Intermediate Spanish

Fall and Spring. Credits: 4

A fast-paced review of basic Spanish grammar. Stresses Spanish and Spanish American culture through readings, films, and weekly conversation sessions with a native language assistant.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Language
D. Barrios-Beltrán, E. Castro, J. Crumbaugh, F. Cunha , E. Garcia-Frazier, A. Illescas
Prereq: SPAN-101 or SPAN-103.

SPAN-201 Intermediate Spanish

Fall and Spring. Credits: 4

Strives for mastery of complex grammatical structures and continues work on writing and reading skills. Frequent compositions, selected literary readings, class discussions, and debates on films and current events. Weekly conversation sessions with a native language assistant. May be taken without Spanish 199 to satisfy the language requirement.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Language
F. Cunha, E. García Frazier, A. Illescas, The department
Prereq: SPAN-199.
Advisory: Spanish 199 or by obtaining a qualifying score on placement exam

SPAN-209 Composition and Culture

Fall and Spring. Credits: 4

Emphasis on written expression in Spanish through frequent assignments emphasizing difficult grammatical structures or idiomatic usages, sentence and paragraph structure, making smooth transitions, writing the short essay, writing descriptions, engaging in personal or business correspondence, analyzing texts, doing library research, and drafting and completing research papers. Students will comment on each other's work in the classroom and/or via the use of email or Web sites and will practice techniques of self-editing and self-criticism.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Language
Other Attribute(s): Speaking-Intensive, Writing-Intensive
E. Castro-Cuenca
Prereq: SPAN-201. Coreq: SPAN-209L.

SPAN-212 Preparation for Advanced Studies

Fall and Spring. Credits: 4

This course will equip students of Spanish with a variety of skills that prepare them for upper-division courses. Specific areas of study will include introduction to literary genres and movements; practice in critical reading and writing; study of figures of speech, rhetoric, and style; presentation of oral reports; use of library resources. In addition, students acquire basic knowledge of the geography, history, and culture of the Hispanic world.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Language
Other Attribute(s): Speaking-Intensive
N. Romero-Díaz
Prereq: SPAN-201 or SPAN-209.

SPAN-217 Portuguese for Spanish Speakers I

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

This course is specially designed for students who are proficient in Spanish or another Romance language. This previous knowledge will be drawn upon to promote fast and solid acquisition of linguistic skills in Portuguese. Course conducted in Portuguese. Upon successful completion of the course, students should be able to: interact with other students and the instructor in Portuguese; describe and compare people, places, and things in Portuguese; communicate future plans in Portuguese; narrate and understand past events in Portuguese; offer and understand advice and directions in Portuguese; give and understand opinions in Portuguese; and hypothesize in Portuguese.

Crosslisted as: LATAM-217
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Language
F. Cunha
Prereq: SPAN-201, placement test, or instructor permission.
Advisory: Spanish placement test, Spanish 201, or permission of instructor if you have proficiency in other Romance languages.
Notes: Students with proficiency in other Romance languages should seek permission of the instructor.

SPAN-227 Portuguese for Spanish Speakers - Intermediate

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

The goal of this course is to offer students sophisticated linguistic tools that will allow them to interact and communicate in Portuguese in socio-cultural contexts that go beyond their immediate personal experience and daily life. The course is designed for students who have previous experience with Portuguese and are already familiar with the majority of the grammatical structures of the language. Through the use of authentic written texts, videos, and songs, students will broaden and deepen their reading, writing, listening, and speaking abilities in Portuguese. Course taught in Portuguese.

Crosslisted as: LATAM-227
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Language
F. Cunha
Prereq: SPAN-217.

SPAN-230 Identities & Intersections

SPAN-230CA Identities & Intersections: An Introduction: 'Constructing (Our) America'

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

Who are we? This is the question that Latin American writers, artists, philosophers and politicians have attempted to answer through fiction, nonfiction, visual arts, and film. Through representative cultural texts from figures such as D. F. Sarmiento, José Martí, Gabriela Mistral, Marta Rojas, and Hugo Chávez, we will explore discourses of identity, different sociopolitical positions, and the representation of race and gender in the construction of 'latinoamericanidad.'

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Language; Multicultural Perspectives
Other Attribute(s): Speaking-Intensive, Writing-Intensive
D. Mosby
Prereq: SPAN-212.

SPAN-240 Visual Cultures: An Introduction

SPAN-240CN Visual Cultures, An Introduction: 'Introduction to Spanish and Latin American Cinema'

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

This course offers a broad introduction to the history, politics and aesthetics of Latin American and Spanish cinema. The course also introduces students to the basic terminology and methodologies of film studies.

Crosslisted as: FLMST-203
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Language
Other Attribute(s): Speaking-Intensive, Writing-Intensive
J. Crumbaugh
Prereq: SPAN-212.
Notes: Taught in Spanish.

SPAN-250 Concepts and Practices of Power

SPAN-250MG Concepts and Practices of Power: 'Spanish Migrations'

Spring. Credits: 4

This course examines migration and transnational movements in relation to Spain. Students will explore the implications of migration and the significance of self and public imaging in the definition of a Spanish national identity. After studying the participation of Spanish emigrants during the '50s and the '60s in the reconstruction of Europe, the class will organize its discussion around the main immigrant groups present in contemporary Spain: from Africa (Moroccan and Sub-Saharan), from Asia (Pakistani and Chinese), and from Latin America (Dominican and Equatorian). We will analyze different type of discourses, from literature and film to music and social media.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Language
Other Attribute(s): Speaking-Intensive, Writing-Intensive
N. Romero-Díaz
Prereq: SPAN-212.
Notes: Taught in Spanish; can be counted toward IR major

SPAN-250MV Concepts and Practices of Power: 'Moving Latin America: An Introduction to the Continent Through Its Social Movements'

Spring. Credits: 4

This interdisciplinary course provides an introduction to the political and cultural landscape of Latin America through the lenses of some of its social movements. It focuses on some of the region's most recent polemics and political innovations in order to establish the foundation for a deeper understanding of contemporary Latin America while interrogating its geopolitical boundaries. Some themes are the impact of social movements on national policy shifts, the significance of indigenous groups for political discourse, or the use of human right agendas in local contexts.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Language; Multicultural Perspectives
Other Attribute(s): Speaking-Intensive, Writing-Intensive
A. Pitetta
Prereq: SPAN-212.
Notes: Taught in Spanish.

SPAN-260 Studies in Language and Society

A broad introduction to the study of specific form/meaning relations in the linguistic system of Spanish and the function of language in society. Topics may include, but are not limited to, languages in contact, bilingualism, teaching methodology, translation and interpretation, sociolinguistics, phonetics and phonology, morpho-syntax, semantics and pragmatics. The specific course contents and examples examined will vary each semester.

SPAN-260BL Studies in Language and Society: An Introduction: 'Being Bilingual'

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

This course will introduce students to key issues and concepts in the study of bilingualism with a focus on communities in which Spanish interacts with other languages in Latin America, Spain, and the United States. One of the main goals of the course is to create awareness about the multidimensional nature of bilingualism as an individual, socio-political, cultural, and a psycholinguistic phenomenon. Topics will include degrees of bilingualism and the notion of "bilingual continua", language acquisition and language processing, relations between language and identity, the linguistic effects of other languages in different Spanish varieties, language maintenance and language loss, language policies and bilingual education.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Multicultural Perspectives
Other Attribute(s): Speaking-Intensive, Writing-Intensive
E. Castro
Prereq: SPAN-209.

SPAN-260CN Studies in Language and Society: An Introduction: 'Spanish Across the Continents'

Fall. Credits: 4

This course will introduce students to the various varieties of Spanish throughout the world including North and South America, Spain, North Africa and regions where Judeo-Spanish is spoken. Topics will include the historical reasons for the presence and development of Spanish in different regions and the main causes of language variation, such as contact with other languages and social factors. The analysis of oral texts (audio and video recordings) will be a main component of the coursework.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Multicultural Perspectives
Other Attribute(s): Speaking-Intensive, Writing-Intensive
E. Castro
Prereq: SPAN-209 or higher.

SPAN-295 Independent Study

Fall and Spring. Credits: 1 - 4

The department
Instructor permission required.

SPAN-330 Adv. Studies in Ident. & Intersection

This course will concentrate on the various literary genres and cultural movements that have shaped Latin America from modernismo to the present. Topics will focus on different genres and the expression of diverse ideologies through literature.

SPAN-330BW Advanced Studies in Identities and Intersections: 'De Brujas y Lesbiana and Other "Bad Women" in the Spanish Empire'

Fall. Credits: 4

During the Spanish Empire (16th-18th centuries), witches, prostitutes, transvestite warriors, lesbians and daring noblewomen and nuns violated the social order by failing to uphold the expected sexual morality of the ideal woman. They were silenced, criticized, punished, and even burned at the stake. Students will study contradictory discourses of good and evil and beauty and ugliness in relation to gender in the Spanish Empire. We will analyze historical and literary texts as well as film versions of so-called "bad" women -- such as the Celestina, Elena/o de Céspedes, Catalina de Erauso and Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz.

Crosslisted as: GNDST-333BW
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Language
Other Attribute(s): Speaking-Intensive, Writing-Intensive
N. Romero-Díaz
Prereq: Two 200-level Spanish courses above SPAN-212.

SPAN-330EB Advanced Studies in Identities and Intersections: 'Treading the Ebony Path'

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

The study of Afro-Hispanic literature has grown recently with the recovery and reexamination of lost texts and forgotten authors, as well as the desire of contemporary authors to contest the invisibility and racial ideologies in their national literatures. We will examine texts by Afro-descendant authors of in the Spanish-speaking world of the nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first centuries. We will read a variety of genres and discuss the construction and meaning of "race," color, national and cultural identity--which are in constant dialogue with dominant discourses. Secondary objectives include the development of research and writing skills and rudimentary theoretical orientation.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Language; Multicultural Perspectives
Other Attribute(s): Speaking-Intensive, Writing-Intensive
D. Mosby
Prereq: Two 200-level Spanish courses above SPAN-212.

SPAN-340 Advanced Studies in Visual Cultures

A broad introduction to the study of visual representation in Latin American, Spanish, and U.S. Latina/o culture. Students will examine the articulation of a variety of topics in media such as film, television, fine arts, Internet, and/or video. The specific course contents and examples will vary each semester.

SPAN-340MW Advanced Studies in Visual Cultures: 'Memory (of) War'

Spring. Credits: 4

The medium of cinema has shown persistent concern with war and memory, and has constituted a heated battleground for rememberance and erasure of the past. Through cinema, in other words, we most clearly see both memories of war and subsequent wars among competing memories. The Spanish Civil War (1936-1939), the repressive military regime of Francisco Franco (1939-1975), and recent attempts to "recuperate" memory all dramatize these dynamics and raise a number of larger questions. How do destruction and devastation register through the visual? What happens when we attempt to police memory (through censorship, propaganda, etc.)? What and why do people choose to remember or forget?

Crosslisted as: FLMST-370MW, CST-349MW
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Language
Other Attribute(s): Speaking-Intensive, Writing-Intensive
J. Crumbaugh
Prereq: Two courses in Spanish at the 200-level above SPAN-212.

SPAN-340PA Advanced Studies in Visual Cultures: 'Natural's Not in It: Pedro Almodóvar'

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

This course studies the films of Pedro Almodóvar, European cinema's favorite bad boy turned acclaimed auteur. On the one hand, students learn to situate films within the context of contemporary Spanish history (the transition to democracy, the advent of globalization, etc.) in order to consider the local contours of postmodern aesthetics. On the other hand, the films provide a springboard to reflect on larger theoretical and ethical debates. For instance, what can a weeping transvestite teach us about desire? What happens when plastic surgery and organ transplants become metaphors? Under what circumstances, if any, can spectators find child prostitution cute?

Crosslisted as: FLMST-380PA
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
Other Attribute(s): Speaking-Intensive, Writing-Intensive
J. Crumbaugh
Prereq: SPAN-212.
Notes: Weekly evening screenings. Taught in English.

SPAN-350 Advanced Studies in Concepts and Practices of Power

SPAN-350QH Advanced Studies in Concepts and Practices of Power: 'Queering the Horror: Militancy, Sadism, and Transvestism in Representations of of the Southern Cone 1970-1989'

Fall. Credits: 4

The bloody dictatorships that took place during the 1970s and 1980s in the Southern Cone left behind a legacy of political violence, torture, sexual abuse, and disappearance of political dissidents. The Southern Cone states themselves became sadistic death machines like never before in these countries' histories. Bodies became territories of punishment and discipline as well as of struggle, resistance, and difference. We will analyze the way in which recent cultural production (film, novel, short stories, and theatre) of the Southern Cone and historical texts imagine and represent those "body struggles" through transvestite and queer bodies and dissident women's bodies, and by replacing the masculine icons of the left-wing militants and the state military terrorists of the 1970s.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Language; Multicultural Perspectives
A. Pitetta
Prereq: Two 200-level Spanish courses above SPAN-212.
Notes: Taught in Spanish.

SPAN-350QT Advanced Studies in Concepts and Practices of Power: 'Slanted Subjects: Queer Theories and Literatures in Latin America'

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

This class will interrogate the limits and possibilities of talking about a slanted or queer subject position with the context of Latin American literature. Looking at texts from the Caribbean, Central America and South America, we will explore the construction of a queer subjectivity through literature, film and visual art. We will pay careful attention to the intersections of class, race, gender, and sexuality to speak of queerness not only as a sexual orientation, but also as a decolonial intervention. Readings will draw from philosophy as well as literature.

Crosslisted as: GNDST-333XX
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
Other Attribute(s): Speaking-Intensive, Writing-Intensive
T. Daly
Prereq: Two 200-level Spanish courses above SPAN-212.

SPAN-360 Advanced Studies in Language and Society

This interdisciplinary seminar will focus on a comparative study of Romance languages or literatures. Topics will vary from semester to semester. Seminar discussions will be conducted in English, but students wishing to obtain language credit are expected to read works in at least one original language. Papers will be written in either English or the Romance language of the student's choice.

SPAN-360MD Advanced Studies in Language and Society: 'Mothers & Daughters'

Spring. Credits: 4

Study of this crucial and problematic relationship in modern novels, short stories, and films from Romance cultures. Exploration of the mother-daughter bond as literary theme, social institution, psychological dynamic, and metaphor for female creativity. Readings include Western myths and diverse theories of family arrangements (Rousseau, Freud, Rich, Walker, Benjamin, Irigaray, Juhasz, Giorgio, Mernissi, Nnaemeka). Authors and films will be grouped cross-culturally by theme and chosen from among: Colette, Ernaux, Roy, Ferrante, Martin Gaite, Ramondino, Beyala, Bouraoui; films: Children of Montmartre (La maternelle); Indochine; The Silences of the Palace; My Mother Likes Women, Delwende; Indochine.

Crosslisted as: ROMLG-375MD, ITAL-361MD, FREN-321MD, GNDST-333MD
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
E. Gelfand
Advisory: For Language Majors: two courses in culture and literature at the 200 level. Also open to non-language majors with no prerequisite.
Notes: Note: Students wishing to obtain 300-level credit in French, Italian, or Spanish must read texts and write papers in the Romance language for which they wish to receive credit.

SPAN-360TR Advanced Studies in Language and Society: 'Into Translation: Connecting Words and Worlds in English and Spanish'

Spring. Credits: 4

This course will explore the different components of the translation process from a multidimensional perspective: translation as a textual activity, translation as communication, and as a cognitive and learning processes. The main objective will be for students to develop their theoretical and practical understanding of the translation process through the analysis of translations, discussions of the main issues in the field, and extensive practice of translation of different types of texts between English and Spanish.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Language
E. Castro
Prereq: Two courses in Spanish at the 200-level above 212.

SPAN-395 Independent Study

Fall and Spring. Credits: 1 - 8

The department
Instructor permission required.