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: Adriana Graciela Merino
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
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
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: Anais Holgado-Lage
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 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 project in which students will interact with the local Latino community.
Instructors: Paloma Moscardó-Vallés
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: Mariana Bono
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
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
El Género Negro: Crime Fiction
This course is an introduction to crime fiction from early 20th-century "locked room" mysteries to 21st century narco-narratives. It examines short stories, novels, films and critical writings about detective and crime fiction in Latin America and Spain. Topics include the genre's links to high and low literature, to film and to historical contexts such as immigration, state crime, drug culture and globalization. Authors include Roberto Arlt, María Elvira Bermúdez, Adolfo Bioy Casares, Roberto Bolaño, Jorge Luis Borges, Alicia Giménez Bartlett, Leonardo Padura Fuentes, Ricardo Piglia, Fernando Vallejo, and others.
Instructors: Rachel Lee Price
Introduction to Latin American Cultures
This course offers an introduction to modern Latin American literature and culture. It focuses on the complex ways in which cultural and intellectual production anticipates, participates in, and responds to political, social, and economic transformations in the 20th and 21st centuries. Through a wide spectrum of sources (essays, fiction, poetry, film, and art), students will study and discuss some of the most relevant issues in Latin American modern history, such as modernity, democracy, identity, gender, memory, and social justice.
Instructors: Javier Enrique Guerrero
Spanish in the Community
This course explores the complexities of Spanish language in the United States. Through a variety of readings, videos, and documents in Spanish and English, we will address a range of issues including the past and present of Spanish language in the US, the relationship between language and identity, and the tensions and hopes around the maintenance of Spanish in immigrant communities.
Instructors: Alberto Bruzos Moro
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 Cinema and Culture: Latin American Film - Poetics and Politics of the Third World
An exploration of a series of critically acclaimed contemporary Latin American films, accompanied by readings that provide a theoretical and historical framework for its analysis. Topics to be discussed, among others: subalternity and the Third World; sexual and racial politics; postcolonial poetics; genocide; cultural hybridism and mestizaje; dictatorship and populism; biopolitical fantasies.
Instructors: Javier Enrique Guerrero
Junior Seminar: Spanish and Portuguese-Speaking Worlds
This seminar will introduce students to theoretical concepts and tools necessary for historical, political, cultural, literary, and sociolinguistic analysis of issues of power and identity in the Luso-Hispanic and Latinx worlds. It will also serve as an introduction to diverse research objects and approaches: digital resources, bibliographical search, archives, ethnographic fieldwork, interviews, and close-reading. We aim at combining tools and strategies from two main methods of inquiry: cultural/literary analysis and qualitative research. We will offer guidance, models and practical activities to understand and apply these methodologies.
Instructors: Alberto Bruzos Moro, Germán Labrador Méndez
Topics in Latin American Literature and Ideology: Politics of Memory and Human Rights in Global Latin America
This course explores recent cultural and artistic productions that deal with human rights and political violence issues in contemporary Latin America, focusing on the politics of memory behind representations of the past in the context of a "global" marketing of memory. By working with literature, testimony, film, photography, truth commissions, and processes of museification, it analyzes different modes of figuring the past as well as the areas that these languages leave aside when memory becomes the target of a "global market" and "trauma tourism."
Instructors: Susana Draper

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.
Instructors: Daiane Tamanaha De Quadros
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
Myth, Memory and Identity Politics in Lusophone Cinema
This course will analyze the role of cinema in the construction (and deconstruction) of national and transnational discourses in the Portuguese-speaking world. We will examine a number of recurring cultural topics in a wide variety of films from Africa, Brazil and Europe, situating works within their socio-historical contexts and tracing the development of national cinemas and their interaction with global aesthetics and trends.
Instructors: Nicola Trowbridge Cooney
Topics in Brazilian Cultural and Social History: Indigenous Brazil
This course analyzes current indigenous issues in Brazil, and the struggle for human and land rights that affect the Guarani Kaiowá, Yanomamis, Krenaks, Bororos, among other ethnicities. The emergence of contemporary indigenous literature and filmography will be studied along with canonical Brazilian literature and ethnographical studies. Topics include the building of the Belo Monte dam, the Rio Doce mining disaster, the survival of languages, the spread of Indigenous traditions, and the work of Indigenous writers and filmmakers.