As Spanish continues to be the fastest growing language in our hemisphere and the numbers of Spanish speakers within the United States increase in virtually every area of the country, proficiency in the Spanish language has become more than just a college language requirement. At Bryn Mawr College, students are challenged to go beyond traditional language instruction in order to gain a greater understanding of the richness and diversity of Hispanic culture and its continuing impact on the U.S. and the world. Our courses draw upon an abundant and complex cultural legacy that includes Spanish, Latin American and Latino authors, thinkers, filmmakers, literary genres, political figures and movements: Cervantes, Teresa de Jesús, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, Elena Poniatowska, Miguel de Unamuno, Jorge Luis Borges, José Martí, Federico García Lorca, Frida Kahlo, Isabel Allende, Pablo Neruda, Gabriel García Márquez, María de Zayas, Emilia Pardo Bazán, Luis Buñuel, Alejo Carpentier, Pedro Almodóvar, Gloria Anzaldúa, the picaresque, Al-Andalus, the Jewish Diaspora, modern state-formation, the Spanish Civil War, liberation theology, and African Hispanophone literature.
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 120 (Análisis literario) 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. GNTS 245, offered in English by our affiliated program, Latin American, Latino, and Iberian Peoples and Cultures (LALIPC), introduces students to the political, social, and cultural history of the Hispanic and Hispanic-American peoples.
Many of our advanced courses are cross-listed with departments and programs such as Comparative Literature, Italian, History of Art, Film Studies, and Gender and Sexuality. The Department stresses the development of genuine competence in oral and written use of the language at all levels; and most of our courses are taught exclusively in Spanish. In addition to our counter department at Haverford College, the Spanish Department also cooperates with several other Bryn Mawr departments (i.e., economics, anthropology, history, sociology, and history of art) in offering an interdisciplinary program of study in Latin American, Latino, and Iberian Peoples and Cultures (LALIPC). This program extends the examination of society and culture into areas other than literature and is open not only to students of Spanish but to those in all the cooperating departments.
Some undergraduate majors and minors in Spanish have pursued careers as journalists, social workers, state and federal government employees, lawyers, doctors, bankers, and of course, university and secondary-school teachers. Their undergraduate training in Spanish has been essential to their chosen fields.
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