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 at elementary/low intermediate levels of proficiency. Content and language are fully integrated to develop oral and written comprehension and production.
Instructors: Manuel Malia, 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: Anna Alsina Naudi, Gorka Bilbao Terreros, Nadia Cervantes Pérez, Perla Masi, Jovana Zujevic
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: Monserrat Bores, Nadia Cervantes Pérez, Luis Gonçalves, Paloma Moscardó-Vallés, Jovana Zujevic
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, Anais Holgado-Lage, Perla Masi
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 collaborative 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
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: Gorka Bilbao Terreros, 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
Languages of Art in Contemporary Spain
An introduction to 20th century Spanish modern art, this course will study modern artistic languages such as literature, painting, sculpture, film, photography, theatre, music and dance in their historical contexts. It will examine relations between artistic styles and contemporary Iberian history. The course's main objective is to provide students with a set of strong aesthetic, analytical, and linguistic skills, which will provide a great asset in studying 300-level literature and culture courses.
Instructors: Rafael SM Paniagua
Contemporary Issues in Spain
What is happening in Spain today? 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, multiculturalism, gender identities, urban cultures, collective fictions, digital cultures, populisms and migration crisis. 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
Languages of the Americas
This course explores the vast linguistic diversity of the Americas: native languages, pidgins, creoles, mixed languages, and other languages in North, Central, and South America, including the Caribbean. We will examine historical and current issues of multilingualism to understand the relationship between language, identity, and social mobility. We will discuss how languages played a central role in colonization and nation-building processes, and how language policies contribute to linguistic loss and revitalization. This course has no prerequisites and is intended for students interested in learning more about languages in the Americas.
Instructors: Dunia Catalina Méndez Vallejo
Identity in the Hispanic World
How are ideas of belonging to the body politic defined in Spain, Latin America, and in Spanish-speaking communities in the United States? Who is "Latin America," Latinx," "Chino," "Argentine," "Guatemalan," "Indian," etc.? Who constructs these terms and why? Who do they include/exclude? Why do we need these identity markers in the first place? Our course will engage these questions by surveying and analyzing literary, historical, and visual productions from the time of the foundation of the Spanish empire to the present time in the Spanish speaking world.
Instructors: Christina H. Lee
Topics in Medieval and Early Modern Spanish Culture: Women in Medieval and Early Modern Spain
An investigation of the literary, medical and philosophical treatment of women in medieval and early modern Spain. We will consider works by both male and female authors, thus enabling us to compare ways in which women saw themselves with the ways in which they were seen by men. The cult of women as well as misandry and misogyny, and debates centering around such crucial matters as childbirth, witchcraft and the evil eye will be explored.
Instructors: Marina S. Brownlee
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: White Men Gone Wild in Colonial Latin America
An exploration of films made in the last fifty years featuring "descents into savagery" and the colonial, alphabetic texts that inspired them. Topics to be discussed, among others: primitivism and progress; coloniality; media and mediation; race and gender; intercultural dialogues; healing practices; community-based performances. Films shown with English subtitles.
Instructors: Nicole D. Legnani
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, Christina H. Lee
Topics in Latin American Modernity: The Culture of the Cuban Revolution
After Fidel Castro marched into Havana in January 1959, a cultural revolution followed the political one: literature, the arts, architecture, film, and dance sought to break with the past and proposed new, utopian ways of artmaking. This seminar will offer an overview of some of the most important cultural productions of this era, including films, novels, political essays, and architectural works, which ended by the early 1970s with the rise of censorship.
Instructors: Rubén Gallo
Topics in Latin American Literature and Ideology: The Fiction of Mario Vargas Llosa
Mario Vargas Llosa, who received the Nobel prize in 2010, is the most important living writer in Latin America. His novels offer a unique perspective on 20th century Latin American history and politics, and deal with issues that include: dictatorship, Marxism, the conflicts between rich and poor, the left and the right, and gender stereotypes and dynamics. This seminar will offer an overview of his political fiction.
Instructors: Rubén Gallo
Witchcraft, Rituals and Colonialism
This course will explore witchcraft and rituality in the Americas through accusations and identity claims. We will look at how witchcraft has been used in colonial and imperial contexts to control, sanction, and extract power from women and marginalized groups in different periods, as well as how people make claims to witchcraft and rituals as a way to thwart domination. Topics include: shamanism in Latin America, the Mexican Inquisition, Afro-Latinx and Caribbean diasporic religious systems, and the contemporary social media ritual activism of "bruja feminisms." Students will be introduced to theories of race, gender, and sexuality.
Instructors: Aisha M. Beliso-De Jesús
Museums, Archives, and Audiences in Modern Spain
This course focuses on the Spanish museographies: royal collections of objects, books and art, democratic institutions and archives, popular experiences on displaying culture agencies, critic museography and new narratives in contemporary exhibitions. Using different sources (essays, literature, catalogues, artworks, photography, films, audiovisual resources) this class will consider the museum as a relevant cultural device that shapes the social imaginaries and perceptions, in relation with gender, nation-building, the popular, nature, historical memory and democracy.
Instructors: Rafael SM Paniagua

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
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
Students will continue to develop their speaking, reading and writing skills while being exposed to realia related to the Lusophone world, such as daily news, reports, short stories, chronicles, videos, films, critical reviews, etc. Through different communicative genres, students will learn not only the language but also the culture, art and lifestyle of a range of Portuguese-speaking societies.
Instructors: 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: Luis Gonçalves
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: Nicola Trowbridge Cooney
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: 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.
Instructors: Marilia Librandi
São Paulo: Cultural and Urban Connections
This interdisciplinary course focuses on the city of São Paulo, with its vibrant cultural life, its complex social interactions, and its deep urban history. Through the analysis of literature, film, music, theatre, visual arts, and architecture, students will gain an immersive understanding of Brazil's most populous and diverse city. Topics include: The 1922 Week of Modern Art; cultural anthropology; the creation of the University of São Paulo; social movements; center and periphery.
Instructors: Marilia Librandi