Course Offerings - Catalog 2011-12

Print this page  PRINT THIS PAGE


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 eight 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 translation, hotel management, 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.


Phyllis Bellver (chair), Carmen Arranz, Genny Ballard, Mary Daniels, Patricia Finch, Maria Galvan, Julie James, Sebastian Reyes, Nuria Sabaté-Llobera


Paige Farris, Jonathan PinQue

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 210, 220 or equivalent;
SPA 230, 240, 250 and one of SPA 260, 261, 270 or 271;
SPA 390 or 395;
Two additional SPA courses numbered 301-399 (excluding SPA 390 and 395);
One additional SPA course numbered 301-499 (excluding SPA 390 and 395)

Requirements for the Minor

SPA 210, 220 or equivalent;
SPA 230, 240, 250 and one of SPA 260, 261, 270 or 271;
One additional SPA course numbered 301-499

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 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 122 or placement. Prerequisite for SPA 220: SPA 210.

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 220 or permission of the instructor.

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

SPA 261, 271 Spanish Culture Abroad, Spanish American Culture Abroad
Like the on-campus courses in Spanish Culture (SPA260) and Spanish American Culture (SPA270), SPA261 and SPA271 will also involve a study of the character and spirit of the Hispanic people as exemplified in selected works of Spanish and Spanish-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 SPA261 and SPA271, 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: SPA220.

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

SPA 305 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 and 250.

SPA 310 Medieval and Early Modern Spanish Literature
A study of the literature of Spain from medieval times through the early modern period (16th-17th century). The focus of the course varies from year to year.

SPA 315 Don Quijote
Analysis and interpretation of Cervantes' masterpiece. Lectures on discussion of musical, artistic, and cinematic interpretations of Don Quijote, and Don Quijote.

SPA 320 Iberian Masterpieces
A study of a work or works from key periods of Iberian literature. Works and themes will vary according to the instructor. Examples include Don Quixote by Cervantes, Fortunata y Jacinta by Perez Galdos, or the collected works of Federico Garcia Lorca.

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

SPA 335 Hispanic Women Writers
This course provides a context of research and analysis of women writers from Spain, Mexico, Central and South 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 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 345 Modern Spanish Drama
This course presents an overview of the dramatic currents of the 20th and 21st centuries plus an in-depth analysis of representative works. The class also focuses on the importance of performance of the works and spectator participation and reception.

SPA 356 Literatura Mexicana y Yucateca
A 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 357 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: SPA 230; 240; one of SPA 250, 260 or 270; and one SPA course numbered above 300.

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

SPA 370 Spanish American Literature before 1910
A survey of early indigenous traditions and subsequent written traditions in Spanish America. Special emphasis is placed on the colonial period and on modernismo, a literary movement that inaugurates modern perspectives and techniques.

SPA 380 The Contemporary Novel in Latin America
A study of the major contributors to the most critically acclaimed fiction of Latin America, beginning with writers from the “Boom” period and extending into the present day, among them: Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Carlos Fuentes, Mario Vargas Llosa, Isabel Allende, Luisa Valenzuela, and Clarice Lispector.

SPA 390 Hispanic Linguistics
Topics on the Spanish language including phonetics and phonology, morphology and syntax, semantics, linguistic change and variation, and Spanish dialects spoken both in the Old World and the New. 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 and improve everall pronunciation skills. Also includes an examination of Spanish first and second language acquisition and the speech of bilinguals, as well as code-switching.

SPA 395 History of the Spanish Language
This course treats topics within the history of the Spanish language and is concerned with the linguistic evolution of Spanish from neo-Latin to its present status as a world language. Includes a consideration of important historic, linguistic, literary, and cultural currents. Representative topics may include a diachronic study of Spanish linguistic forms, the extension of Spanish to the New World, and linguistic and literary texts in Old Spanish.

SPA 440 Advanced Spanish Conversation in Mexico
This course provides students with situational practice of spoken Spanish, emphasizing vocabulary building and increasing proficiency. SPA 440 has been designed to provide students who have completed SPA 240 with the opportunity to continue to practice the language through discussion of selected texts and topics of interest. This course will also enable students to better understand Mexican culture by preparing them to fluently express their opinions, ideas, points of view, and criticism on readings, current events, and films. Prerequisite: SPA 240.

SPA 456 Mexican History Through Film
This Spanish language course is a survey of Mexican films and documentaries, viewed chronologically according to the historical setting of the movie plots. Students learn to analyze film and trace evolving cultural imperatives from the Golden Age of Mexican film (1940s), through Buñuel and Ripstein, up to Iñárritu. Prerequisite: SPA 220.

SPA 461 Catalonia:  Politics, Language, and Identity
The purpose of this off-campus course is to give students an opportunity to witness firsthand the politics of regionalism in Spain and Europe. This is a traveling course which focuses on the issues of cultural, ethnic, political, and linguistic identity in Catalonia, a “nation” whose home lies in four different countries: Spain, France, Andorra, and the Italian island of Sardinia. There will be site visits to historic locales, government institutions, and cultural treasures of Barcelona, Girona, Perpignan and Andorra La Vella. Together, we will compare and contrast the complex political and historical developments of the region’s parts and try to understand how these, among other factors, have helped to contribute either to the development or to a gradual extinction of a Catalonian identity in each of the three countries.  When regarded within a broader scope, our study of Catalonia will lead us to gain greater perspective about the phenomenon of “regionalism” and its impact on the European community in general. Prerequisite: SPA 230.