Spanish Undergraduate Courses
In this second course of the elementary Spanish sequence, students will continue to develop their communicative and intercultural competence by exploring social issues relevant to their lives, and by taking an in-depth look at the diversity of the Spanish-speaking world. The course integrates language and culture, and promotes all three communication modes (interpersonal, interpretative, and presentational). Cultural diversity is introduced through a variety of texts (news, short movies, podcasts, etc.). By the end of the course, the students will be able to perform at an intermediate proficiency level, and be ready for SPA 107.
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
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.
This is an advanced Spanish course focusing on health and medical topics. Its main purpose is to put students in contact with the reality of health care in the Indigenous communities of Ecuador. The first part of the semester will prepare the students for a medical caravan that will take place during Spring Break. All students are required to take part in this trip where we will collaborate with a group of eye doctors from Pennsylvania (Conestoga Eye group) who implement the work of a local clinic in Riobamba (FIBUSPAM).
An advanced Spanish-language course that focuses on medical and health topics in the Hispanic/Latino world. Students will learn and practice specific vocabulary and structures useful for conducting a medical interview in Spanish. Aspects of Latin American and Hispanic/Latino cultures 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.
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.
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 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.
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.
Offered as an overview of the social, cultural, and political aspects that forge linguistic variation in the Spanish-speaking world, students discuss issues of power, identity, globalization, policymaking, social status, gender, and ideology to understand cases of linguistic variation and change. Students will recognize particular features distinguishing one dialect from another, while gaining knowledge of the development of these differences. This course will enrich a student's view of Spanish as a social construct, either as a native/heritage speaker or as a Spanish learner, and will allow students to develop their analytical skills.
Love is the subject of the world's greatest stories. The passions aroused by Helen of Troy brought down a city and made Homer's masterpiece possible, while the foolishness of those in love inspired Shakespeare and Cervantes to create their most memorable characters. Many powerful Latin American and Spanish stories deal with the force and effects of love. In this course, we will study a group of films and literary fictions that focus on different kinds and forms of love. We will pay special attention to the forms of narrative love (quest, courting, adultery, heartbreaking), as well as the translation of love into language, body, and image.
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 essays about detective and crime fiction in Latin America (some examples from Spain). Topics include the genre's position vis-a-vis "high" and "low" literature, connections to film, relation to 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, and Fernando Vallejo.
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.
In Latin American literature, the opposition between civilization and barbarism has defined America since its "discovery" by Columbus. With a focus on the intersections of time, space, language and violence in seminal texts, we look at ways their authors position the Americas and their peoples in universal history. We will also consider the role of the public intellectual and writer as political figure and founder of new national movements. Authors include Columbus, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, Bolívar, Sarmiento, Martí, Darío, Vallejo, Borges, Arguedas, and Vargas Llosa. We read selections of major works and one full novel by Vargas Llosa.
The world we inhabit is flooded with images. They shape our perception of the past, the present, and the future. And they also serve as a vehicle of power and resistance. But how do images actually work? Who gives them meaning(s), and why? Our course will look at these questions through the lens of the rich visual culture of the Hispanic world, from the rise of the Spanish empire through the early twentieth century. From Velázquez's Las Meninas to the Virgin of Guadalupe in Tepeyac, we will learn how to place pivotal images in their historical contexts, discussing them as both witnesses, and agents, of social change and artistic innovation.
This course examines the paradoxical position of Spanish in the United States. The course aims to place the issues and controversies related to linguistic subordination and the maintenance of Spanish in the broader context of Latino communities and their social and historical position in the United States. In addition, it tries to equip students with critical resources to address topics such as the relationship between language and identity, political debates around Spanish and English, and bilingualism and the processes of racialization of linguistic minorities.
In SPA 307, students improve their linguistic abilities to become expert readers and writers in Spanish. We study the stylistic and formal features of diverse types of texts, including essays, short stories, memoirs, interviews, news, ephemera, and poetry, and we use these texts as models for our own writing. We engage in multiliteracy exercises designed to draft, edit, rewrite, and critique texts, and to reflect upon norms and expectations within and across academic cultures, as evidenced through texts. By the end of the semester, students bring together form and function to read and write sophisticated pieces. Taught in Spanish.
This undergraduate seminar seeks to examine social and cultural resistance to the Franco regime in the first twenty five years of its existence. The period that we will cover is 1939- el año de la victoria- through 1964- the year in which the Franco Regime celebrated its "XXV Años de Paz."Through the lens of lo social we will examine diverse cultural production, including poems, novels, films, and theatrical productions, that question both the discourse of peace proffered by the dictatorial regime of Francisco Franco and the common assertion that only a cultural desert existed in postwar Spain.
The ways in which individuals and societies define space and place is very revealing. The investigation of space and place-how cultures turn material, racial, and/or metaphysical settings into human landscapes defining home, neighborhood, and nation-is a deeply important optic that dramatizes social, racial, political, and religious factors. At the same time, it can be used to track the changes of these realities over time. Because of its unique mix of Jews, Christians, and Moors, medieval Iberia offers near laboratory conditions for the study of space and place in their racial, ethnic, literary, religious, and political identities.
This course explores the cultural productions surrounding narcos and cocaine in Colombia and Mexico, two countries whose imaginaries have become globally associated with drug trafficking. Beginning with the transformation of the coca leave into an illegal global commodity, passing through the emergence of the figure of the "sicario" in the 1980s, all the way to Netflix's 'Narcos' vision of the War on Drugs and cryptococaine, the course will engage critically with so-called narco-aesthetics in chronicles, movies, television series, short stories, podcasts, and art
This course will explore the discursive construction of the Amazon rainforest and its peoples throughout history in cultural production of non-indigenous, indigenous, transcultural, and collaborative origin --from travel writing to literature, cinema, and visual arts. While engaging with different discourses on Amazonia, we will study the history and impacts of colonialism, naturalism, nation-building, extractivism, and the environmentalism of the poor from an Amazonian perspective. Finally, we will examine the role of native and collaborative cultural production in the imagination of indigenous, environmental, and climate futures.
This course is an introduction to the theory and practice of oral history. Students will learn the principles and applications of oral history. The class will collaborate with the Historical Society of Princeton and the Princeton Public Library to develop the first stage of the "Voces de la Diáspora" Oral History project, a project partner of "Voices of Princeton". Discussion on readings will be combined with hands-on activities to prepare students for conducting oral history interviews in Spanish.
What is a document? How does it record and represent the real? This course studies the role of documentation in modern Latin American literature, art, and film. It traces artistic and political uses of the document as a narrative trigger, an incomplete or deceiving representation of reality, and/or an aesthetic artifact. Among other materials, we will study art and documentary photography, memory art, fiction and non fiction texts, as well as photoessays and documentary film.
When the name of Miguel de Cervantes is mentioned, readers tend to think of the character Don Quijote -most often his idealism or madness. But far beyond that, the radically new work that is Don Quijote - along with several of Cervantes - other creations -offer unorthodox and challenging perspectives on race, ethnicity, gender, class, and human nature. His theater, his highly experimental Exemplary Stories, and the Persiles all offer Mediterranean dramas of exiles, slaves, captives, renegades and male and female protagonists in the confrontation of identity and the hegemonic categories of the Spanish empire.
This course is an introduction to the practice of literary translation from Spanish to English, with a focus on fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. After a series of translation exercises, each student will select an author and work to be translated as the central project for the class, and will embark on the process of revising successive drafts. Close reading of the Spanish texts is required, as is a deep engagement with the translations of fellow students. Subjects of discussion will include style, context, the conventions of contemporary translation, and the re translation of classics.
The focus of this course is on learning how to read, transcribe, translate, and interpret by-and-large handwritten documents that concern the Spanish Crown's conquest, presence, and aspirations in the Spanish Transpacific, mainly in the Philippines from 1521 to about 1800. Most of the manuscripts we will examine were produced by European colonizers, missionaries, and their allies, but even many of those cases we will learn to detect the voices of the subjected and colonized.
Portuguese Undergraduate Courses
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.
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, Portugal, and Lusophone Africa.
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 and research in Portuguese-speaking countries.
This course will analyze the role of cinema in the construction (and deconstruction) of national and transnational identities and discourses in the Portuguese-speaking world. We will examine recurring cultural topics in a wide variety of films from Brazil, Portugal, and Lusophone Africa and Asia, situating works within their socio-historical contexts and tracing the development of national cinemas and their interaction with global aesthetics and trends. Through these cinematographic productions we will illuminate complex relationships between Portuguese-speaking societies and analyze significant cross-cultural differences and similarities.
Cuba, Brazil, and Angola share intimately linked cultural histories. Brazil and Cuba received large numbers of enslaved peoples from Angola, crucial agents in forging the two American nations' emerging modern cultures. In the 20th century the newly independent republics of Cuba and Brazil inspired anti-colonial Angolan cultural production. And in the 1970s Cuba sent massive numbers of Cuban troops to fight in the Angolan civil war. This course explores these and other aspects of a shared history characterized by both violence and flows of ideas, aesthetic forms, and political theories beyond nation and empire.