Undergraduate Courses

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

Spanish Undergraduate Courses

Beginner's Spanish II
Subject associations
SPA 102

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.

Instructors
Anna Alsina Naudi
Nadia Cervantes Pérez
Nicholas J. Figueroa
Luis Gonçalves
Iris I. Hauser
Paloma Moscardó-Vallés
Dunia Catalina Méndez Vallejo
Eliot Raynor
Daniela C. Salcedo Arnaiz
Intermediate/Advanced Spanish
Subject associations
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.

Instructors
Catalina Arango
Iris I. Hauser
Perla Masi
Adriana G. Merino
Cesar Adrian Romero Fernandez
Amina B. Shabani
Advanced Spanish
Subject associations
SPA 108

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
Anais Holgado-Lage
Adriana G. Merino
Cesar Adrian Romero Fernandez
Spanish for a Medical Caravan in Ecuador
Subject associations
SPA 204

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).

Instructors
Paloma Moscardó-Vallés
Medical Spanish
Subject associations
SPA 205

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.

Instructors
Paloma Moscardó-Vallés
Legal and Business Spanish
Subject associations
SPA 206

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
Subject associations
SPA 207

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

Instructors
Gorka Bilbao Terreros
Anais Holgado-Lage
Spanish Language and Culture through Cinema
Subject associations
SPA 209

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
Amina B. Shabani
Varieties of Spanish (SA)
Subject associations
SPA 211 / LIN 211

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.

Instructors
Dunia Catalina Méndez Vallejo
A Spanish Writing Workshop (LA)
Subject associations
SPA 215

This course will teach you to write creatively and credibly in Spanish, using the writing process recursively to present your ideas in an articulate, sophisticated manner. How do we represent meaning to ourselves and others in contexts of difference? What social and historical conceptions of language are operational in our scriptural practices and cultures of scholarship? Texts are embedded in, and shaped by, communities with shared histories and social practices. By experiencing different ways of reading and writing, we will explore not only new words, but new worlds.

Instructors
Mariana Bono
Introduction to Latin American Cultures (CD or LA)
Subject associations
SPA 222 / LAS 222 / LAO 222

An introduction to Latin American cultures and artistic and literary traditions through a wide spectrum of materials. We will discuss relevant issues in Latin American cultural, political, and social history, including the legacy of colonialism and indigenous resistance, the African diaspora, national fictions, popular and mass culture, gender and racial politics. Materials: essays by Ángel Rama, short stories by Julio Cortázar and Samanta Schweblin, poems by Nicolás Guillén and Cuban son music; paintings by Mexican muralists, films by Patricio Guzmán and Jayro Bustamante, writings by indigenous activist Ailton Krenak.

Instructors
Rachel L. Price
Contemporary Issues in Spain (LA)
Subject associations
SPA 227 / EPS 227 / URB 237

An exploration of the major features of contemporary Spain from 1939 to the present with particular attention to developing an understanding the concepts of cultural identity and difference within the changing global context. The course will address the recent processes that have left a mark on the history of Spain: the fall of Francoism, the particular and controversial transition to democracy, the financial crisis of 2008, the Indignados social movement, the nationalist trends in Basque Country and Catalonia, and the latest feminist wave, among others. Discussions and frequent writing assignments.

Instructors
Natalia Castro Picón
Renee K. Congdon
Wildness, Whiteness, and Manliness in Colonial Latin America (CD or LA)
Subject associations
SPA 237 / LAS 237 / GSS 237

What did it mean to be "wild," "manly" or "white" in Early Modernity, and how do these categories function today? This course explores films made in the last fifty years, featuring "descents into savagery" and the colonial texts that inspired them. Among other topics, we'll discuss: coloniality and its effects; primitivism and progress; media and mediation; race and gender; healing practices; intercultural dialogues; and community-based performances.

Instructors
Nicole D. Legnani
Topics in Medieval and Early Modern Spanish Culture: Contested Identities: Masculine & Feminine in Medieval & Early Modern (LA)
Subject associations
SPA 301 / COM 368 / MED 301

This course offers an investigation of the literary, medical and philosophical treatment of women and men in Medieval and Early Modern Spain. We will consider fundamental works by both male and female authors, thereby enabling us to compare the ways in which each gender was regarded in and of itself and by comparison with the other. Cultural and literary contexts from the 12th to the 17th centuries will reveal a wealth of perspectives. We will encounter such topics as the cult of women, misandry and misogyny, as well as debates centering on such crucial matters as childbirth, witchcraft, and the evil eye will be explored. Taught in Spanish

Instructors
Marina S. Brownlee
Spanish in the Community (CD)
Subject associations
SPA 304 / LAO 304

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.

Instructors
Alberto Bruzos Moro
Ways of Reading and Writing in Spanish (LA)
Subject associations
SPA 307

SPA 307 is an advanced language course offering students enhanced opportunities to develop autonomy and proficiency as Spanish readers and writers, by actively engaging with a variety of textual genres. Students learn to recognize the relationship between the form of a text and the intentions of its producer, identify literal and implicit meanings, and understand them within the culture in which they are produced. By the end of the semester, students can bring together form and function to read and write sophisticated pieces and present their ideas orally in an articulate, eloquent fashion.

Instructors
Mariana Bono
Dunia Catalina Méndez Vallejo
Topics in Latin American Cultural Studies: Latin American Imaginaries of Extraction: Rubber, Bananas, and Other (LA)
Subject associations
SPA 350 / LAS 349

Global capitalism has often imagined Latin America as a collection of "raw" commodities ready to be extracted. In this class, we explore this way of conceiving the region through its cultural production. Throughout the semester, we will engage with various "exemplary" commodities, including bananas, rubber, and sugar. We will look at their representations in literature, art, movies, and economic texts, but also at how commodities themselves -as material objects with a history- have shaped aesthetical forms. This approach will serve as an entry point for understanding inequality, neocolonialism, patriarchy, and climate change in the region

Instructors
Nicolas Sanchez-Rodriguez
The Cultural Production of Amazonia (LA)
Subject associations
SPA 359 / LAS 329

This course will explore the discursive and imaginary construction of the Amazon rainforest in Latin American literature, cinema, and visual arts. It will focus on how cultural production has contributed to imagining the Amazon rainforest and advocating for its environmental justice. While engaging with the history of Amazonia and different cultural artifacts, we will study the history and ideas of colonialism, neocolonialism, extractivism, and indigenous ontologies. The course will also address how cultural production can continue informing environmental and climate activism today.

Instructors
Catalina Arango
Drag Kings: An Archeology of Spectacular Masculinities in Latinx America (LA)
Subject associations
SPA 372 / LAS 374 / LAO 372 / GSS 421

The figure of the drag king has been practically absent from Latinx American critical analysis. Taking what we call "spectacular masculinity" as our starting point, a hyperbolic masculinity that without warning usurps the space of privilege granted to the masculinity of men, this course revises the staging of spectacular masculinities as a possibility of generating a crisis in heterosexism. We will highlight notable antecedents of the contemporary DK show, and study the hegemonic masculinity and its exceptional models through a critical technology that turns up the volume on its dramatization and its prosthetic/cosmetic conditions.

Instructors
Javier E. Guerrero
Documenting the Real: Truth, Representation, & the Latin American Archive (LA)
Subject associations
SPA 374 / LAS 325

This course studies the intersection between photography and other media in modern Latin American literature, art, and culture. It traces artistic and political uses of the photographic image as a narrative device, a document, a puzzling or deceiving representation of reality, and/or an aesthetic artifact. Among other materials, we will study and analyze art and documentary photography, fiction and non fiction texts, as well as photoessays. Readings and materials include works by Roberto Bolaño, J. L. Borges, Guillermo Cabrera Infante, Graciela Iturbide, Ana Mendieta, Oscar Muñoz, Rosangela Renno, and others.

Instructors
Gabriela Nouzeilles
Translation Workshop: Spanish to English (LA)
Subject associations
SPA 380 / TRA 380

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.

Instructors
Natasha Wimmer
Almodóvar: A Critical Take (CD or LA)
Subject associations
SPA 425

This seminar interrogates the cinema of the internationally acclaimed Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar. We will address Almodóvar as a global brand and auteur who compulsively cites, recycles, and reenacts the most prestigious names and works of film history. The seminar will discuss the politics and aesthetics of Almodóvar, with special consideration of intermediality, spectatorship, gender and sexuality, and the ways the brand positions itself in a dramatically changing industry. We will review the entire Almodóvar universe, including its production company; its revision of the star system; and relationship to Spain's memory politics.

Instructors
Javier E. Guerrero

Portuguese Undergraduate Courses

Introduction to Portuguese II
Subject associations
POR 102

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
Luis Gonçalves
Introduction to Portuguese for Spanish Speakers
Subject associations
POR 106

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.

Instructors
Andréa de Castro Melloni
Luis Gonçalves
Intermediate Portuguese for Spanish Speakers
Subject associations
POR 109

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.

Instructors
Andréa de Castro Melloni
Intensive Portuguese
Subject associations
POR 199

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
Sounds and Stories: Voices in Portuguese (LA)
Subject associations
POR 261 / ECS 390 / AAS 264 / AFS 263

Short stories and music will serve as vehicles for a deeper understanding of the major political and social shifts that have affected the landscape of the Contemporary Portuguese-speaking world. We will hear an array of voices and delve into a diversity of narratives as we explore the interconnected historical, social, political, and cultural aspects of Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Portugal and Timor-Leste.

Instructors
Nicola T. Cooney
Race, Culture, and Society in the Portuguese-Speaking Atlantic: Brazil, Africa, and Portugal (CD or LA)
Subject associations
POR 328 / AAS 361 / LAS 318 / AFS 328

Through literature, film, music, and archive, we will explore how race, as a form of human hierarchization, shaped and connected the history, cultures, and social realities of Brazil, Portuguese-Speaking Africa (Angola, Mozambique, Guinea-Bissau, among others), and Portugal. We will examine how racial discourses changed throughout time and operate today in those spaces through key historical moments and topics such as slavery, colonization, race-mixing, fascism, military dictatorship, decolonization, migration, contemporary urban life, Indigenous thought, and Afro-futurism. Readings and discussions will be entirely in English.

Instructors
Rafael Cesar