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Students may complete a major or minor in Spanish. Majors may pursue state certification to teach at the secondary level.


Inés Arribas, Senior Lecturer
Dina Breña, Instructor
Peter Brampton Koelle, Lecturer
Lázaro Lima, Assistant Professor and Major Adviser
María Cristina Quintero, Professor and Chair
Enrique Sacerio-Garí, Professor and Senior Major Adviser (on leave semester II)
H. Rosi Song, Assistant Professor and Major Adviser

The major in Spanish offers a program of study in the language, literature and culture of Spain, Latin America and U.S. Latino communities. The program is designed to develop linguistic competence and critical skills, as well as a profound appreciation of the culture and civilization of the Hispanic world.

The language courses provide solid preparation and practice in spoken and written Spanish, including a thorough review of grammar and vocabulary, supplemented with cultural readings and activities. Spanish 120 prepares students for advanced work in literature and cultural studies while improving competence in the language. The introductory literature courses treat a selection of the outstanding works of Spanish and Spanish-American, and U.S. Latino literature in various periods and genres. Spanish 206 is devoted to advanced language training and affords practice in written Spanish. Spanish 240 considers the political, social and cultural history of the Hispanic and Hispanic-American peoples. Advanced literature courses deal intensively with individual authors, topics or periods of special significance.

Students in all courses are encouraged to make use of the Language Learning Center and to supplement their course work with study in Spain or Spanish America either in the summer or during their junior year.

All students who have taken Spanish at other institutions and plan to enroll in Spanish courses at Bryn Mawr must take a placement examination. The exam is administered by the Spanish department during first-year student orientation for the incoming class or on the day before classes begin for returning students.

The Department of Spanish also cooperates with the Departments of French and Italian in the Romance Languages major.

Major Requirements

Requirements for the Spanish major are Spanish 120, Spanish 206, four 200-level courses, three 300-level courses and 398 (Senior Seminar). Students whose pre-college training includes advanced work in literature may, with the permission of the department, be exempted from taking Spanish 120. Spanish 399 (Senior Essay) is optional. This major program prepares students appropriately for graduate study in Spanish.

Please note: the department offers some courses taught in English. In order to receive major and minor credit, students must do appropriate assignments in Spanish. No more than two courses taught in English may be applied toward a major, and only one toward a minor.

Independent research (Spanish 403) is offered to students recommended by the department. The work consists of independent reading, conferences and a long paper.


Departmental honors are awarded on the basis of a minimum grade point average of 3.7 in the major, the recommendation of the department and a senior essay (Spanish 399).

Minor Requirements

Requirements for a minor in Spanish are six courses in Spanish beyond Intermediate Spanish, at least one of which must be at the 300 level.

Concentration in Hispanic and Hispanic-American Studies

The Department of Spanish participates with other departments in offering a concentration in Hispanic and Hispanic-American Studies.

Teacher Certification

The department also participates in a teacher-certification program. For more information see the Education Program.

SPAN B001, B002 Elementary Spanish

Grammar, composition, conversation, listening comprehension; readings from Spain, Spanish America and the Hispanic community in the United States. This is a year-long course. One section of this course is intensive and meets nine hours a week. (Arribas, Koelle, Breña)

SPAN B101, B102 Intermediate Spanish

Intensive grammar reviews, exercises in composition and conversation, selected readings from modern Spanish. This is a year-long course. Prerequisite: 002 or placement. (Breña, Koelle, Lima, Song)

SPAN B105 Intensive Intermediate Spanish

A thorough review of grammar with intensive oral practice, frequent writing assignments, readings and oral presentations. Prerequisite: Intensive Elementary Spanish or the recommendation of the department. (Arribas)

SPAN B107 Spanish Conversation for Nonmajors

Intensive practice in conversational Spanish. This course seeks to enhance speaking proficiency through the development of vocabulary, pronunciation skills and correct grammatical usage. Students participate in daily practice of speaking on wide variety of topics, as well as give formal presentations. This course will not count towards the major or minor. Prerequisite: Spanish 102 or 105. (Koelle)

SPAN B110 Estudios culturales de España e Hispanoamérica

An introduction to the history and cultures of the Spanish-speaking world in a global context: art, folklore, geography, literature, sociopolitical issues and multicultural perspectives. This course does not count toward the major, but may be counted for the minor. Prerequisite: Spanish 102 or 105, or placement. (Lima, Division III)

SPAN B120 Introducción al análisis literario

Readings from Spanish and Spanish-American works of various periods and genres (drama, poetry, short stories). Main focus on developing analytical skills with attention to improvement of grammar. Prerequisite: Spanish 102 or 105, or placement. (Sacerio-Garí, Division III)

The prerequisite for 200-level courses is Spanish 120, placement or permission of instructor.

SPAN B206 Composición (nivel superior)

A course designed to develop a student's written expression in Spanish. This course includes a systematic study of the structure of modern Spanish and a variety of frequent written assignments. (Song)

SPAN B208 Drama y sociedad en España

A study of the rich dramatic tradition of Spain from the Golden Age (16th and 17th centuries) to the 20th century within specific cultural and social contexts. The course considers a variety of plays as manifestations of specific sociopolitical issues and problems. Topics include theater as a site for fashioning a national identity; the dramatization of gender conflicts; and plays as vehicles of protest in repressive circumstances. (Quintero, Division III) Not offered in 2005-06.

SPAN B211 Borges y sus lectores

Primary emphasis on Borges and his poetics of reading; other writers are considered to illustrate the semiotics of texts, society and traditions. (Sacerio-Garí, Division III; cross-listed as COML B212)

SPAN B215 "Memoria negra": la literatura afro-hispánica en África y las Américas

A study of the major works of African and Afro-Hispanic literatures written in Spanish with comparative examples from the literatures of the "Black Atlantic," including Lusophone African literature. The course considers how racially-marked aesthetic expression (Criollismo, Negritude, the Harlem Renaissance, etc.) fashioned literary Modernism and the ensuing "Black Atlantic" polemic. Representative writers may include Martin Bernal, Lydia Cabrera, Franz Fanon, Edouard Glissant, Nicolás Guillén, Donoto M'game, Nancy Morejón, Fernando Ortíz, Manuel Rui and Laudino Viera. (Lima, Division III; cross-listed as COML B215)

SPAN B225 La poesía hispanoamericana

Study of poetic language from the avant-garde movements to the present. Special attention to key figures. (Sacerio-Garí, Division III) Not offered in 2005-06.

SPAN B226 Cine y sociedad en la España contemporanea

This course studies Spanish culture and society through its cinema since the Civil War and Franco's dictatorship up to the present. It focuses on Spanish film both as a vehicle for ideological propaganda and as a space for political opposition. It also examines the multiple social changes undergone in Spain as the dictatorship collapsed and democracy was reinstituted. Class discussion will address issues surrounding the representation of women, homosexuality and ethnic minorities. (Arribas, Division III; cross-listed as COML B226) Not offered in 2005-06.

SPAN B227 Genealogía de la literatura latina

This course examines the emancipatory and sometimes collusive appropriation of "American" literature by Latina/os. The course begins a genealogical survey of Latino writing and cultural production from the 19th century to the present in order to contextualize the eventual rise of Latino ethnic particularisms from the '60s. We will analyze how Latina/os, often living inside two languages and cultures, inflect the national landscape by erasing both literal and linguistic "American" borders in a country made up largely of immigrants. We will analyze how the mass media constructs "insiders" and "outsiders" by delimiting access to cultural capital with demands for assimilation. (Lima, Division III) Not offered in 2005-06.

SPAN B230 Poetics of Desire in the Lyric Poetry of Renaissance Italy and Spain

A study of the evolution of the love lyric in Italy and Spain during the Renaissance and the Baroque periods. Topics include the representation of women as objects of desire and pretexts for writing; the self-fashioning and subjectivity of the lyric voice; the conflation and conflict of eroticism and idealism; theories of imitation; parody; and the feminine appropriation of the Petrarchan tradition. Although concentrating on the poetry of Italy and Spain, readings include texts from France, England and Mexico. Students seeking major credit in Spanish must do appropriate assignments in Spanish. (Quintero, Division III; cross-listed as COML B230 and ITAL B230) Not offered in 2005-06.

SPAN B231 El cuento y novela corta en España

Traces the development of the novella and short story in Spain, from its origins in the Middle Ages to our time. The writers will include Don Juan Manuel, Cervantes, Zayas, Clarin, Pardo Bazán and a number of contemporary writers. Our approach will include formal and thematic considerations, and attention will be given to social and historical contexts. Prerequisite: Spanish 120 or placement. (Quintero, Division III)

SPAN B240 Hispanic Culture and Civilization

A brief survey of the political, social and cultural history of Spain and Spanish America. Topics include Spanish nation/ state/empire, indigenous cultures, polemics about the "Indians" in the new world, Spanish-American independence, current social and economic issues, Latin America's multiculturalism and Latinos in the United States. Prerequisite: permission of instructor. (Sacerio-Garí, Division III) Not offered in 2005-06.

SPAN B260 Ariel/Calibán y el discurso americano

A study of the transformations of Ariel/Calibán as images of Latin American culture. Prerequisite: Spanish 110 or 120, or placement. (Sacerio-Garí, Division III; cross-listed as COML B260) Not offered in 2005-06.

SPAN B265 Escritoras españolas: entre tradición y renovación

Fiction by Spanish women in the 20th century. Breaking the traditional female stereotypes during and after Franco's dictatorship, the authors explore sociopolitical and cultural issues through their creative writing. Topics of discussion include gender marginality, feminist literary theory and the portrayal and role of women in modern society. (Song, Division III)

SPAN B270 Literatura y delincuencia: explorando la novela picaresca

A study of the origins, development and transformation of the picaresque genre from its origins in 16th- and 17th-century Spain through the 21st century. Using texts from Spain and Latin America as well as England, Germany and the United States, we will explore topics such as the construction of the (fictional) self, the poetics and politics of criminality, transgression in gender and class, and the feminine (and feminist) variations of the picaresque. (Quintero, Division III; cross-listed as COML B271) Not offered in 2005-06.

The prerequisite for 300-level courses is one 200-level course in Spanish or permission of instructor.

SPAN B307 Cervantes

A study of themes, structure and style of Cervantes' masterpiece Don Quijote and its impact on world literature. In addition to a close reading of the text and a consideration of narrative theory, the course examines the impact of Don Quijote on the visual arts, music, film and popular culture. (Quintero, Division III) Not offered in 2005-06.

SPAN B308 El teatro del Siglo de Oro

A study of the dramatic theory and practice of 16th- and 17th-century Spain. Topics include the treatment of honor, historical self-fashioning and the politics of the corrales and palace theater. (Quintero, Division III; cross-listed as COML B308)

SPAN B309 La representación de la mujer en la literatura española del Siglo de Oro

A study of the depiction of women in the fiction, drama and poetry of 16th- and 17th-century Spain. Topics include the construction of gender; the idealization and codification of women's bodies; the politics of feminine enclosure (convent, home, brothel, palace); and the performance of honor. The first half of the course will deal with representations of women by male authors (Lope, Calderón, Cervantes, Quevedo) and the second will be dedicated to women writers such as Teresa de Ávila, Ana Caro, María de Zayas and Juana Inés de la Cruz. (Quintero, Division III)

SPAN B310 La condición post mortem: Pos/Modernidad periférica en la narrativa y la producción cultural mexicana

A study of the figuration of "death" in Mexican literature and culture as a critique of Modernity and as one of Mexico's principle symbols of cultural identity. Analysis of the counterrevolutionary movements of the 1960s, and the rise of the post mortem aesthetic as a response to the globalization of Mexican cultural identity. (Lima, Division III) Not offered in 2005-06.

SPAN B311 Crimen y detectives en la narrativa hispánica contemporánea

An analysis of the rise of the hardboiled genre in contemporary Hispanic narrative and its contrast to classic detective fiction, as a context for understanding contemporary Spanish and Latin American culture. Discussion of pertinent theoretical implications and the social and political factors that contributed to the genre's evolution and popularity. (Song, Division III) Not offered in 2005-06.

SPAN B318 Adaptaciones literarias en el cine español

Film adaptations of literary works have been popular since the early years of cinema in Spain. This course examines the relationship between films and literature, focusing on the theory and practice of film adaptation. Attention will be paid to the political and cultural context in which these texts are being published and made into films. Prerequisite: A 200-level course in Spanish, Spanish 208. (Song, Division III)

SPAN B320 Surrealismo español: poesía, arte y cine

A multimedia study of the development of a surrealistic ethic in Spain in the 20th century as represented chiefly in the works of Federico García Lorca, Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dalí, among others. The scope and validity of the Spanish surrealistic movement will be examined in relation to its originating principles: Freud's psychoanalytic theory, and the artistic and political manifestos of the avant-garde. Through the study of works of poetry, art and film, we will also discuss the relationship between the theoretical and historical background of this artistic movement as we contrast art and politics, artistic freedom and political commitment. (Song, Division III) Not offered in 2005-06.

SPAN B329 Brown Affect: Narrating Latina and Latino Lives

This course studies the construction of Latino lives in and through autobiographies and autobiographical fiction in the context of the civil rights movement and the rise of Latino nationalism. The course will focus on the Latino subversion of genre from the bildungsroman to its more recent (post)modernist traditions to its more culturally specific grounding in the Latin American crónica. We will study how "feeling brown" has made Latino life-writing a political and literary act of self-creation. Course is taught in English. Students seeking major credit in Spanish must do appropriate assignments in Spanish. Prerequisite: Spanish 220, English 250 or equivalent. (Lima, Division III; cross-listed as ENGL B340)

SPAN B350 El cuento hispanoamericano

Special attention to the double, the fantastic and the sociopolitical thematics of short fiction in Spanish America. Authors include Quiroga, Borges, Carpentier, Rulfo, Cortázar and Valenzuela. (Sacerio-Garí, Division III) Not offered in 2005-06.

SPAN B351 Tradición y revolución: Cuba y su literatura

An examination of Cuba, its history and its literature with emphasis on the analysis of the changing cultural policies since 1959. Major topics include slavery and resistance; Cuba's struggles for freedom; the literature and film of the Revolution; and literature in exile. (Sacerio-Garí, Division III) Not offered in 2005-06.

SPAN B398 Senior Seminar

The study of special topics, critical theory and approaches with primary emphasis on Hispanic literatures. Topics will be prepared jointly with the students. (Sacerio-Garí)

SPAN B399 Senior Essay

Available to students whose proposals are approved by the department.

SPAN B403 Supervised Work

Independent reading, conferences and a long paper; offered to senior students recommended by the department. (staff)

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