Undergraduate Courses

For more detailed information including course description, sample reading list, and instructor, please visit the Registrar's Office.

Spanish Undergraduate Courses

Beginner's Spanish I
SPA 101 presents the basic structures and vocabulary of the Spanish language. The four skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing) are practiced and developed by means of classroom activities and materials in which language appears in a cultural context. Classes are conducted in Spanish. No credit is given for SPA 101 unless followed by SPA 102.
Instructors: Anais Holgado-Lage, Adriana Graciela Merino, Daniela Claudia Salcedo Arnaiz
Intensive Beginner's and Intermediate Spanish
SPA 103 is an intensive course that covers the most relevant structures and vocabulary from SPA 101 and SPA 102 in one term. Designed for students who have previously studied Spanish at elementary levels. Language is presented in a cultural context in order to develop the skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing.
Instructors: Andrea Faber, Dunia Catalina Méndez Vallejo
Intermediate Spanish
An intermediate language course that focuses on oral and written communication and the consolidation of listening and reading skills. In this course students will enhance their linguistic skills through the analysis and discussion of various types of texts (literature, film, visual culture, music, interviews, etc.) that focus on global and cross-cultural aspects of Spain and Latin America. In particular, the course will familiarize students with the concept of neocolonialism as a way to bridge language learning with the context in which cultural values and meanings are produced. SPA 105 prepares students for SPA 108.
Instructors: Nadia Cervantes Pérez, Luis Gonçalves, Paloma Moscardó-Vallés
Intermediate/Advanced Spanish
An intermediate/advanced language course that consolidates and expands the skills acquired in beginner's Spanish. Students will continue to develop their ability to comprehend and communicate in Spanish while using the four basic skills: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. The course's linguistic goals are achieved in the context of examining the history, cultural production, practices, language, and current reality of the U.S. Latino community. Materials include oral, written and audiovisual texts. By the end of the course, students will be able to express more complex ideas, orally and in writing, with greater grammatical accuracy.
Instructors: Jeannie Byrne, Luis Gonçalves, Anais Holgado-Lage, Manuel Malia
Advanced Spanish
SPA 108 develops fluency and accuracy in speaking and writing by focusing on functional language in context. It aims to strengthen and consolidate comprehension and production of oral and written Spanish with an emphasis on cultural awareness and cross-cultural communication. Through a series of current and thought-provoking texts, images, films, paintings, and related activities, this course enhances linguistic proficiency and language performance while reflecting on important aspects of the history, art, society, language and cultural identity of two of the largest Spanish-speaking urban communities: Mexico City and Los Angeles.
Instructors: Monserrat Bores Martinez
Medical Spanish
An advanced Spanish-language course that focuses on medical and health-related topics. Its main goal is to provide students with the tools to be able to interact with native-Spanish speakers in health settings. Students will improve their general communication skills and learn specific vocabulary needed for conducting a medical interview. Aspects of Latino culture in the health and medical fields are explored by means of examining authentic texts and through the contribution of guest speakers. The course includes a project in which students will interact with the local Latino community.
Instructors: Paloma Moscardó-Vallés
Studies in Spanish Language and Style
An advanced language course designed to increase students' fluency and accuracy in Spanish with an integrated approach to content: classes and assignments draw on various types of texts (literature, film, visual media) that focus on Madrid and Buenos Aires. Students hone their linguistic skills by engaging in discussions about the urban environment, and its cultural and artistic productions. The course aims to raise intercultural awareness and to explore the contexts in which cultural values and meanings are created. Reading and writing assignments cover different genres, and verbal interaction and personal production are actively encouraged.
Instructors: Gorka Bilbao Terreros, Mariana Bono, Monserrat Bores Martinez
Spanish Language and Culture through Cinema
A course designed to improve speaking abilities while learning about Hispanic cultures and cinema in context. The course aims to provide the students with lexical and grammatical tools to allow them to engage in formal and informal discussion on a variety of topics informed by the films provided. Additionally, there will be several writing exercises throughout the semester that will help students improve their writing abilities. By the end of the course, students should have a better command of all linguistic skills, especially listening comprehension, fluency and accuracy in their speech.
Instructors: Gorka Bilbao Terreros, Nadia Cervantes Pérez
Introduction to Spanish-English Translation
This course offers an introduction to translation practice for the Spanish-English language pair, focusing primarily on the task of translating from Spanish into English. The course is conducted in Spanish and follows a communicative approach to translation, with a good balance between theory and praxis. Materials are drawn from a range of disciplines, such as humanities, social sciences, popular culture, and the media. Students are encouraged to think critically and creatively about language, and will heighten their awareness of the linguistic, textual and cultural differences between English and Spanish.
Instructors: Sylvia Zetterstrand
Hispanic Studies: Introduction to Cultural Analysis
An introduction to the analysis of contemporary cultural texts (narrative, poetry, film, photography) from Latin America and Spain, with the support of various theoretical ideas. The course's main objective is to provide students with a set of strong conceptual, analytical and linguistic skills, which will be of great help in 300-level literature/culture courses.
Instructors: Manuel-Angel G. Loureiro
Contemporary Issues in Spain
What is happening in Spain today? How did culture, society and politics get affected by the 2008 financial turmoil and by the European debt crisis? Using films and documentaries (and various materials: newspaper articles, YouTube clips, graffiti, etc), we will study topics such as urban struggles, social movements, global crisis, historical memory, emigration, multiculturalism, gender identities, urban cultures, collective fictions and digital cultures. Those who are planning to apply for the Princeton-in-Spain program and/or pursue a certificate in Spanish or concentration in the Department will find this course to be a fantastic passport.
Instructors: Germán Labrador Méndez
Of Shipwreck and Other Disasters
Flotsam. Jetsam. Hunger. Nudity. Lone survivors washed ashore. What can tales of shipwreck tell us about the cultures, societies and technologies that produce them? We read narratives and watch films of disaster and survival from the sixteenth century to the present, with an eye to how these texts can challenge or reinforce the myths that empires and nation-states tell about themselves and others.
Instructors: Nicole D. Legnani
Identity in the Hispanic World
What does it mean to be Latin American? Hispanic? Spanish? Peruvian? Latina/o/x? How are national and alternate identities constructed and why? How are ideas of belonging to the body politic defined in Spain, Latin America, and in Spanish-speaking communities in the United States from within and without? Our course will engage this question by surveying and analyzing literary, historical, and visual productions from the time of the foundation of the Spanish empire to the present time.
Instructors: Christina H. Lee
Advanced Spanish Language and Style
SPA 307 is an advanced language course. Its main purpose is to develop and reinforce accuracy and fluency in both writing and speaking Spanish. Students will also learn to identify linguistic features that characterize different genres, as well as social and cultural factors that aid in the interpretation and understanding of different texts and types of speech. More specifically, the course aims at providing the tools for discourse analysis, raising awareness of the social and ideological values that permeate discursive practices, and developing autonomy and proficiency as an advanced learner of Spanish language.
Instructors: Alberto Bruzos Moro, Sylvia Zetterstrand
Poisonous Flowers: Radical Women in Latin America
The starting point is the art show Radical Women: Latin American Art (Los Angeles, 2017). The exhibition reevaluates the contribution of Latin American, Latina, and Chicana women to contemporary art. "Poisonous Flowers" examines the productions of outstanding Latin American female whose work has challenged our understanding of politics and the arts and had significant impact on lives and histories in the region.
Instructors: Javier Enrique Guerrero
Junior Seminar: Spanish and Portuguese-Speaking Worlds
The junior seminar discusses major challenges to the study of culture, literature and society in Portuguese and Spanish-speaking countries. Focusing on text and audiovisual materials, students will acquire methodological tools to develop their own independent research projects. Topics may include: identity, memory, democracy, visual arts, health, race, gender, migration, global cities, sustainability, climate change, citizenship, and digital humanities. It is co-taught in English, with sources in English, Spanish and Portuguese. Students are welcome to use any of the three languages in their written work.
Instructors: Christina H. Lee, Nicole D. Legnani
Topics in Latin American Modernity: Latin American Literature after Latin America
This course examines recent literature and film from Latin America (~ past ten years). The course focuses on novels, essays and poems that address various issues across divergent regions, nations, movements, and experiences, including precarious life in the wake of widely implemented neo-liberal economic policies, environmental challenges, border culture, new forms of auto-fiction, young authors' reflections on a prior generations' politics, etc.
Instructors: Rachel Lee Price
Topics in Latin American Cultural Studies: Spectacles of Nature: Patagonia and the Tropics
What is nature? How is it perceived, modified, destroyed, and represented in history and culture? This course explores these questions in relation to the location of Latin American nature in modernity, through travelogues, literature, photography, and film. Focusing on legendary Patagonia and the Tropics, we'll examine the interplay between the two opposite images that have dominated modern perceptions of 'extreme' nature (and the peoples associated with it): the idea of nature as a monstrous being that has to be tamed for the sake of progress, and the idea of nature as the lost object of modern nostalgia and environmental ethos.
Instructors: Maria Gabriela Nouzeilles

Portuguese Undergraduate Courses

Introduction to Portuguese I
Students will be taught the fundamental skills of oral comprehension, speaking, reading and writing, while gaining exposure to the Portuguese-speaking world through the media, literature, film and the music of Brazil, Portugal and Lusophone Africa.
Introductory Portuguese for Spanish Speakers
Normally open to students already proficient in Spanish, this course uses that knowledge as a basis for the accelerated learning of Portuguese. Emphasis on the concurrent development of understanding, speaking, reading, and writing skills. The two-semester sequence POR 108-109 is designed to provide in only one year of study a command of the language sufficient for travel and research in Brazil and Portugal.
Instructors: Luis Gonçalves
Intermediate Portuguese
Students will further develop their language skills, especially those of comprehension and oral proficiency, through grammar review, readings, film and other activities. The two-semester sequence POR 108-109 is designed to give in only one year of study a command of the Portuguese language sufficient for travel in Brazil, Portugal and beyond.
Instructors: Andréa de Castro Melloni
Intensive Portuguese
An intensive course designed for students who have fulfilled the language requirement in Spanish or another Romance language. Knowledge of one of these languages provides the basis for the accelerated learning of Portuguese. This one-semester 'crash' course teaches fundamental communication skills--comprehension, speaking, reading and writing--and some exposure to cultural aspects of the Portuguese-speaking world, but does not offer an in-depth study of grammar.
Instructors: Andréa de Castro Melloni
Journeys in Portuguese: Studies in Language and Culture
Designed as a journey through the Lusophone world this course seeks to present the Portuguese language in context by exploring historical, social, political and cultural aspects of Brasil, Portugal, and Lusophone Africa through the media, literature, film, music and other realia. Students will increase their fluency and accuracy in both written and spoken Portuguese, broadening their vocabulary and mastery of syntax through textual analysis, discussions, oral presentations and grammar review. An advanced language course and overview of the Lusophone world, POR 208 seeks to prepare students for further study of literature and culture.
Instructors: Nicola Trowbridge Cooney
Topics in Brazilian Cultural and Social History: Sound and Sense
What happens when sound and sense meet? Do silent letters provoke sound and movement? Is sound political and does it have a grammar? We will explore how the distinction between music and mere noise informs our understanding of politics and history. In a journey through sound events, composition, performance, fiction, poetry and journalism, with a special focus on Brazil from the birth of the Republic (1889) to the present, this seminar explores the points at which the aural, the corporeal and the linguistic become entangled. Musical genres we will study include funk, tecnobrega, hip hop, samba, club music, bossa nova and more.
Instructors: Pedro Meira Monteiro
Screening Saudade
This course will explore the supposedly "untranslatable" concept of saudade from a number of angles. We will examine the political, economic, cultural and aesthetic manifestations of saudade and its myriad social implications through analysis of literary and sociology texts, music, cinema, and more from across the lusophone world. Particular attention will be paid to the prevalence of saudosismo in pop culture where classical texts and forms often make surprising appearances.
Instructors: Nicola Trowbridge Cooney