2009-2010 Undergraduate Catalog


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
Lázaro Lima, Associate Professor and Major Adviser
Kaylea Mayer, Lecturer
María Cristina Quintero, Professor and Major Adviser
Enrique Sacerio-Garí, Professor, Senior Major Adviser and Chair
H. Rosi Song, Associate 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. SPAN 200 and SPAN 202 prepare 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. SPAN 206 is devoted to advanced language training and affords practice in written Spanish. Three-hundred-level 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 coursework 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 offered online by the department. Details are available from the Dean’s Office.

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

College Foreign Language Requirement

The College’s foreign language requirement may be satisfied by completing SPAN 105 (intensive) with a grade of 2.0, or by completing SPAN 101 and 102 (non-intensive) with an average grade of at least 2.0 or with a grade of at least 2.0 in SPAN 102.

Major Requirements

Requirements for the Spanish major are SPAN 200 (formerly 110, Temas culturales), SPAN 202 (formerly 120, Análisis literario), four 200-level courses, three 300-level courses, and SPAN 398 (Senior Seminar). Two courses must be in Peninsular literature, and one should focus on pre-1700 literature. Students whose training includes advanced work may, with the permission of the department, be exempted from taking SPAN 200 and/or SPAN 202. SPAN 399 (Senior Essay) is optional for majors with a grade point average of 3.7 who want to graduate with honors, and may not be counted as one of the 300-level requirements. 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 substantial reading and written work in Spanish. No more than two courses taught in English may be applied toward a major, and only one toward a minor.

Independent research (SPAN 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 (SPAN 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. At least one course should be in Peninsular literature.

Concentration in Latin American, Latino, and Iberian Peoples and Cultures

The Department of Spanish participates with other departments in offering a concentration in Latin American, Latino, and Iberian Peoples and Cultures.

Teacher Certification

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

SPAN B001, B002 Elementary Spanish (Non-Intensive)

A communicative-based language course that introduces students to grammar, vocabulary, conversation, listening comprehension, and Hispanic cultures. This is a year-long course at the end of which students are expected to advance to an intermediate-low level by ACTFL standards. (Arribas, Breña, Mayer, Language Level 1)

SPAN B001, B002 Elementary Spanish (Intensive)

An accelerated and intensive 9 hours-per-week course of Spanish at the beginner level. Grammar, composition, conversation, listening comprehension, culture, and readings from Spain, Spanish America, and the Hispanic community in the United States. This is a year-long course at the end of which students are expected to advance to an intermediate-mid level by ACTFL standards. (Arribas, Language Level 1)

SPAN B101, B102 Intermediate Spanish

Course continues practice in listening, conversation, reading and writing in Spanish while reviewing grammatical structures and presenting advanced ones. This is a year-long course at the end of which students are expected to advance to an intermediate-high or advanced level by ACTFL standards. Prerequisite: SPAN 002 or placement. (Arribas, Breña, Lima, Quintero, Song, Language Level 2)

SPAN B105 Intensive Intermediate Spanish

A thorough review of grammar with intensive oral practice, frequent writing assignments, readings, and oral presentations intended to further develop the students’languge proficiency. Prerequisite: Intensive Elementary Spanish or the recommendation of the department. (Mayer, Language Level 2)

SPAN B107 Conversación: 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 a wide variety of topics, as well as give formal presentations. Prerequisite: SPAN 102 or 105. (Song)

SPAN B200 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. Prerequisite: SPAN 102 or 105, or placement. (Lima, Division III)

SPAN B202 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: SPAN 102 or 105, or placement. (Quintero, Song, Division III)

The prerequisite for all the following 200-level courses is SPAN 200 or 202, placement, or permission of instructor.

SPAN B203 Tópicos en la literatura hispana: José Martí y equilibrio mundial

Topics course: content varies. Topic for Fall 2009: José Martí y equilibrio mundial. A study of José Martí’s humanism and political philosophy and his influence in today’s struggle for national liberation and social justice. (Sacerio-Garí, Division III)

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. (staff) Not offered in 2009-10.

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 2009-10.

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 B214 Encuentros caribeños: entre imperios y diásporas

This course examines Hispanic Caribbean literary and cultural production from the early colonial chronicles of exploration to contemporary Caribbean performance artists. By studying pivotal moments in Caribbean literary and cultural history we will engage the “New World’s” first multicultural center through the analysis of its complex legacies: racism, slavery, mestizaje, empire building and its dissolution, and emancipation. Course taught in Spanish. Prerequisite: SPAN B200 or B202, or any 200-level Spanish course, placement, or permission of instructor. (Lima, Division III) Not offered in 2009-10.

SPAN B218 Border Crossing Narratives and Films

Our view of Latin American and U.S. Latino immigration and migration has affected film and literature. Studies border crossing and (im)migration and the debates about the nature of national affiliation for the Latino “minority” and the borders these groups transgress. Examines stereotypes about border-crossers in mainstream media and literature, and how Latino and Latin-American filmmakers have attempted to subvert these images by presenting a more complex representations and experiences. Prerequisite: SPAN B202 or equivalent. (Lima, Division III)

SPAN B223 Género y modernidad en la narrativa del siglo XIX

A reading of 19th-century Spanish narrative by both men and women writers, to assess how they come together in configuring new ideas of female identity and its social domains, as the country is facing new challenges in its quest for modernity. (Song, Division III) Not offered in 2009-10.

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 2009-10.

SPAN B227 Genealogía de la literatura latina de los Estados Unidos

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 1960s. 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 2009-10.

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 Pardo Bazán, Cervantes, Clarín, Don Juan Manuel, Matute, María de Zayas, and a number of contemporary writers such as Julián Marías and Soledad Puértolas. Our approach will include formal and thematic considerations, and attention will be given to social and historical contexts. (Quintero, Division III)

SPAN B240 Historia y cultura en América Latina

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 2009-10.

SPAN B260 Ariel/Calibán y el discurso Americano

A study of the transformations of Ariel/Calibán as images of Latin American culture. (Sacerio-Garí, Division III; cross-listed as COML B260) Not offered in 2009-10.

SPAN B265 Escritoras españolas: tradición, renovación, migración

Fiction by women writers from Spain in the 20th and 21st century. Breaking the traditional female stereotypes during and after Franco’s dictatorship, the authors explore through their creative writing changing sociopolitical and cultural issues including regional identities and immigration. Topics of discussion include gender marginality, feminist studies and the portrayal of women in contemporary society. (Song, Division III)

The prerequisite for 300-level courses is SPAN 202 plus another 200-level course (numbered above 202) 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 2009-10.

SPAN B309 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 (Calderón, Cervantes, Lope, Quevedo) and the second will be dedicated to women writers such as Teresa de Ávila, Ana Caro, Juana Inés de la Cruz, and María de Zayas. (Quintero, Division III)

SPAN B310 La condición pos-mortem: pos/modernidad periférica en la narrativa e historia actual mexicana.

The figuration of “death” in Mexican literature and culture has served as a central metaphor for the critique of modernity and has become one of Mexico’s principle symbols of cultural identity. The counter revolutionary movements of the ’60s, however, initiated a series of post-mortem (after death) identity projects that served as aesthetic responses to Mexico’s considerable investment in modernity’s unfulfilled cultural, political and economic promises. This new post-mortem aesthetic has begun to reconceptualize the fictions of national progress by focusing on the corporeality of citizenship and migration. Prerequisites: one 200-level Spanish course or permission of the instructor. (Lima, Division III)

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; cross-listed as COML B312)

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 2009-10.

SPAN B321 Del surrealismo al realismo mágico

Examines artistic texts that trace the development and relationships of surrealism, lo real maravilloso americano, and magic realism. Manifestos, literary and cinematic works by Spanish and Latin American authors will be emphasized. Prerequisite: a 200-level Spanish course. (Sacerio-Garí, Division III) Not offered in 2009-10.

SPAN B327 La novela latina en la edad de la globalización

In the United States Latino literature is often construed as a “minority” literature, charting immigrant experiences. In Latin America, it is often seen as testing the limits and considered “inferior.” This course studies this phenomenon in relation to the linguistic, historical, racial, ethnic, and sexual assumptions that undergird the study of national literatures. (Lima) Not offered in 2009-10.

SPAN B331 TransNation: U.S. Latino and Latin American Queer Diasporas

Engages current U.S. Latino and Latina American debates about state formation in the construction of citizenship from the perspective of queer and transgender studies. Explores recent theoretical and cultural works to consider the challenges posed to understanding gender, sexuality, ethnic identity, nationalism, state-formation, citizenship, and the body. Analyzes the limits of cultural and theoretical interface between U.S. Latino/Latin American and Anglo-American cultural theory. Prerequisites: SPAN B202 or ENGL B250 or equivalent. (Lima, Division III) Not offered in 2009-10.

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)

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. (staff)

SPAN B403 Supervised Work

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