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 II
In this second course of the elementary Spanish sequence, students will continue to develop their communicative and inter-cultural competence by exploring social issues relevant to their lives, and by taking an in-depth look at the diversity of the Spanish-speaking world. Cultural and linguistic diversity is introduced through a variety of texts (expository, narrative, etc.), and strategic oral fluency is emphasized. By the end of the course, the student will perform at an intermediate proficiency level and will be ready to take SPA107.
Instructors: Adriana Graciela Merino
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: Iris Irasema Hauser
Advanced Spanish
SPA 108 is an advanced language course that aims at strengthening and consolidating comprehension and production of oral and written Spanish while fostering cultural awareness and cross-cultural examination. Students will improve their linguistic proficiency while exploring the various mechanisms that affect how our identity is constructed, negotiated, and/or imposed. Particularly, the course will examine the ways in which gender and national identities develop and consolidate themselves by exploring cultural production (journalism, literature, cinema and the visual arts, etc.) in the Spanish speaking world and beyond.
Instructors: Gorka Bilbao Terreros
Medical Spanish
An advanced Spanish-language course that focuses on medical and health topics in the hispanic world. Students will learn and practice specific vocabulary and structures useful for conducting a medical interview in Spanish. 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 telecollaboration project with students from a Colombian medical school.
Instructors: Eliot Raynor
Legal and Business Spanish
An advanced-level course on legal, international relations, and business Spanish. This course aims to familiarize students with the vocabulary, grammatical structures, style and register of the language that is used in legal (criminal), diplomatic, and business settings. Through the study of key texts, case studies and videos, students will be introduced to the basic differences between the business cultures and legal systems of the Spanish speaking countries and the Anglo-American world. This is complemented by class discussions, role-plays, presentations and independent research.
Instructors: Anna Alsina Naudi
Studies in Spanish Language and Style
SPA 207 seeks to develop advanced language skills and raise cultural awareness by studying language in its contexts of use. An exciting selection of literary and cinematic productions from the Hispanic world provide the basis for a critical discussion of cultural meanings and social relations, while offering the chance to explore difference registers and styles. SPA 207 students tackle original writing assignments that enhance their ability to express complex ideas in Spanish and hone their oral skills with debates, role-plays and projects that encourage independent learning and invite participation and collaboration.
Instructors: Iria Gonzalez-Becerra
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: Nadia Cervantes Pérez
Introduction to Latin American Cultures
An introduction to Latin American cultures and artistic and literary traditions through a wide spectrum of materials and short texts. We will discuss relevant issues in Latin American cultural, political, and social history, including the legacy of colonialism and indigenous resistance, national fictions, popular and mass culture, and gender and racial politics. Among others, we will consider short stories by Julio Cortazar and Samanta Schweblin, poems by Afro-Cuban poet Nicolás Gillén, paintings by Frida Kahlo, films by Ciro Guerra and Alfonso Cuarón, and Juan Rulfo's short masterpiece Pedro Paramo.
Instructors: Gabriela Nouzeilles
Of Shipwrecks 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
Poetics of the Weak: Pictures of Vulnerability in Spain
Children, women, the elderly, minorities, people with special conditions... Spanish culture is full of characters that represent subjects characterized as weak, helpless or subalterns. This course is an introduction to modern and contemporary Spain through the representations of these groups and the alternative social and cultural landscapes that they shape. Drawing on some basic ideas of feminism, decolonialism, queer theory, or environmentalism, we will analyze literary texts, films, comics and other genres to explore how and why vulnerability has become a central concept in the present.
Instructors: Natalia Castro Picón
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: Dunia Catalina Méndez Vallejo
Topics in Latin American Cultural Studies: Invaders as Ancestors, Gods and Vampires
Familiar and unfamiliar beings, under the guise of gods, ancestors or vampire-like creatures, dominate representations of conquest and invasion. Drawing on texts by Indigenous and Spanish authors alike, we examine the reception of these mythic beings and their place in historical narratives of the conquest of Mexico and the Andes.
Instructors: Nicole D. Legnani
Recent Experiments in Spanish Literature
The beginning of the millennium has brought new and refreshing approaches to fiction and non-fiction writing. We will examine recent novels in various genres: historical novel, testimonial poetry, auto-fiction, political narrative, chronicles, essays and also hybrids like storytelling podcasts and artist's books. In addition to reading and reflecting on these works, we will talk (in person or by Skype) with all the authors.
Instructors: Andres Barba
How to Write a Novel: Fiction Workshop
This class will use Andrés Barba's novel, A Luminous Republic (2019) as a case study to examine how one writes a novel. We will examine the writing process, the editorial review and the final publishing of the book. We will analyze, step by step, the entire journey: the research process, the first drafts, the possible endings, the editing and publication of the final work, the agent's mission, the approach to criticism, the dilemmas of translation into other languages and formats. A 360 degree approach that combines aspects of writing workshop, thinking workshop, translation and literary criticism
Instructors: Andres Barba
From the Apocalypse to the 'New Normal' (and back)
Does the coronavirus emergency irretrievably change our way to see and act in the society? Is the way we experience this crisis completely new, or does it have any link with our past experiences? In this course we will explore different cultural responses to the COVID-19 pandemic (and its likely traditions), such as the use of apocalyptic imagery to represent the crisis, the recurrence of technocratic considerations around the "govern of the experts," conspiracy discourses that reproduce dystopic readings of the world, and diverse creative paths to contest deterministic interpretation of the post-pandemic future.
Instructors: Natalia Castro Picón

Portuguese Undergraduate Courses

Introduction to Portuguese II
A continuation of POR 101. Students will continue to develop skills of oral/aural comprehension, speaking, reading and writing, while gaining further exposure to the Portuguese-speaking world through the media, literature, film and music of Brazil, Portugal and Lusophone Africa. Students who successfully complete POR 102 will place into POR 107.
Instructors: Daiane Tamanaha De Quadros
Introduction to 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 106-109 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, Daiane Tamanaha De Quadros
Intermediate Portuguese for Spanish Speakers
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 106-109 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: Marilia Librandi
Songs of Brazil: Listen & Lyrics
This course offers a close listening to some of the most important Brazilian songs. Each class will be dedicated to one or more artists (composers and interpreters) offering an in-depth study of their songs and styles. Samba, Bossa Nova, Tropicália, and other movements will be studied through listening and lyrics training, and a weekly writing blog in Portuguese. Each student will build a repertoire of favorite songs to be presented in a final collective podcast.
Instructors: Marilia Librandi
The Canon Re-signified
This course will focus on Brazilian literature through the close reading of different genres, from fiction to poetry and essays. Each class will concentrate on a single text, with a close look at the way it was crafted and a discussion of the author's biography and historical moment. Through the study of 19th-century to contemporary authors, we will discuss how a canon can be re-signified when it takes in women, Black and Indigenous writers.
Instructors: Pedro Meira Monteiro, Lilia Katri Moritz Schwarcz