The Department of Spanish and Hispanic Studies (SHS) at Hobart and William Smith recognizes the need for communicative competence in an increasingly bilingual society. Currently, there are more than 550 million Spanish speakers around the globe. After Mexico, the US is home to the world's second largest Spanish-speaking population. More than 18% of the residents of New York State speak Spanish. The Hispanic population in the city of Geneva has reached 14% and continues to grow. Our program trains students to express themselves effectively in diverse Spanish- speaking contexts at the local and national level, while also preparing students for international travel and intercultural exchange.
The Spanish and Hispanic Studies Department supports students on their path toward successful bilingual communication, cultural literacy, and global citizenship. The ability to navigate between at least two languages is an increasingly important life skill and an integral part of a liberal arts education. Acquiring a second language and maintaining bilingualism are linked to diverse academic and personal benefits, including superior cognitive control, empathy, spatial abilities, memory retrieval, and problem-solving skills.
Spanish and Hispanic Studies offers courses for students seeking to use Spanish in personal, professional, and academic settings, including beginning and intermediate students, advanced language learners, and heritage speakers. Our students engage in critical thinking, practice translation, gain intercultural awareness, analyze literary texts, and study linguistic concepts. The program follows the communicative approach with a curricular emphasis on meaningful learning contexts, cultural understanding, authentic materials, creative expression, and language immersion.
All Spanish and Hispanic Studies students are strongly encouraged to study abroad for one semester. The department sponsors two off-campus immersion programs: one in Spain and one in Costa Rica. In these programs students live with Spanish-speaking host families and take all of their courses in the target language. Up to four courses taken in the Spain and Costa Rica programs will count for the major, three for the minor. Courses from other off-campus programs must be pre-approved by the department. For Spain and Costa Rica, the language requirement is five semesters of Spanish or the equivalent (the completion of at least one course at level II).
Spanish and Hispanic Studies courses are organized into four sequential levels: I, II, III, and IV. Courses at level I (100s) focus on fundamental language skills and must be taken in sequence. Courses at level II (200s) focus on communication and culture. Courses at level III (300-349) establish foundations of literature, culture and linguistics, and courses at level IV (350 and above) are advanced seminars on literature, culture and linguistics. Two courses at level II are required to move to level III, and two at level III, to move up to level IV. The department also offers SPNE courses, which are courses taught in English with Hispanic content.
SHS offers a disciplinary major, a disciplinary minor, and a Bilingual Education interdisciplinary minor. Only courses completed with a grade of C- or better may count toward the major or minors. No more than two CREDIT-C courses may count towards any one of the Spanish and Hispanic Studies degrees.
A Note for Heritage Speakers
Our faculty takes care to place students who have extensive familiarity with the Spanish language at home or in their community in appropriate language courses. These include, but are not limited to, SPN 225 Hispanic Media, SPN 231 Spanish for the Professions, and SPN 260 Spanish Writing Workshop. These classes support students in refining their use of Spanish for professional and academic purposes, given their focus on writing, grammar review, cross-cultural dialogue, and career development.
REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MAJOR IN SPANISH AND HISPANIC STUDIES (B.A.)
disciplinary, 11 courses
Eleven Spanish and Hispanic Studies courses, including three SPN courses from level II (200s), three SPN courses from level III (300 to 349), three SPN courses from level IV (350 and above), and two more courses which can be either SPN courses at levels III or IV, or SPNE courses. Students may apply up to four courses in department-sponsored programs in Spain and Costa Rica towards this major. Courses in non-departmental programs must be pre-approved by SHS. With the department's approval, a course at a higher level can replace a course at a lower level. In addition to completing courses, students must produce a senior portfolio before graduating. Students must consult with their major adviser or the Chair of the Department for more information about the senior portfolio requirement.
REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DISCIPLINARY MINOR IN SPANISH AND HISPANIC STUDIES
disciplinary, 6 courses
Six Spanish and Hispanic studies courses, including three courses from level II, and three courses from level III, only one of which can be an SPNE course. Students may apply three courses in department-sponsored programs in Spain and Costa Rica towards this minor. Courses in non-departmental programs must be pre-approved by the SHS Department. With the department's approval a course at a higher level can replace a course at a lower level.
REQUIREMENTS FOR THE INTERDISCIPLINARY MINOR IN SPANISH FOR BILINGUAL EDUCATION
interdisciplinary, 6 courses
Spanish for Bilingual Education offers students an exploration of Spanish-English bilingual education in the United States. Students will develop a critical understanding of cultural competency, increase their Spanish proficiency, and gain experience in the areas of teaching and research through courses in linguistics and culture, pedagogy, and language. Spanish for Bilingual Education is comprised of three courses in Spanish and Hispanic Studies, two courses in Education and one interdisciplinary elective. Coursework for the minor prepares students for careers and/or graduate study in Spanish/English bilingual education and related fields that serve the Spanish/English bilingual community in the US. Students seeking teaching careers in public schools will require separate state teacher certification and additional coursework.
Level I: Fundamental Language Skills
SPN 101 Beginning Spanish I
SPN 102 Beginning Spanish II
SPN 201 Intermediate Spanish I
SPN 202 Intermediate Spanish II
Level II: Communication and Culture
SPN 203 Spanish for Conversation and Debate
SPN 225 Hispanic Media: Contemporary Issues
SPN 231 Spanish for the Professions
SPN 260 Spanish Writing Workshop
Level III: Foundations: Literature, Culture and Linguistics
SPN 304 Body/Border
SPN 306 ¡Cómo mola! Introducción a la lingüística española
SPN 308 Culture and Identity in Spanish America
SPN 316 Voces de Mujeres
SPN 317 Arte y Revolución
SPN 318 La España del Siglo de Oro
SPN 321 Cuentos de América Latina
SPN 332 Literatura infantil
SPN 336 Spain: The Making of a Nation
SPN 340 Spanish Cinema
SPN 344 Rutas literarias de España
SPN 345 Latin American Literary Frontiers
Level IV: Seminars: Literature, Culture and Linguistics
SPN 355 Teatro: Innovations in Hispanic Drama
SPN 360 Special Topics: Hispanic Studies
SPN 361 Masterpieces of Spanish Literature
SPN 362 Two Wars, Two Generations
SPN 365 Literature and Music of the Hispanic Caribbean
SPN 372 Contemporary Spanish Novel
SPN 374 In the Shadow of Dulcinea
SPN 385 Sounds of Spanish
SPN 392 Latin American Women's Writings
SPN 410 Spanish Golden Age: Renaissance and Baroque
SPN 420 Contemporary Latin American Novel
SPN 450 Independent Study
SPN 490 Cervantes: Don Quixote
SPN 495 Honors
Courses Taught in English with Hispanic Content: BIDS and SPNE
BIDS 286 Gender, Nation, Literature
SPNE 210 Topics in Bilingual Education
SPNE 325 Special Topics: Hispanic Studies
SPNE 355 García Márquez: The Major Works
SPNE 404 Dark Love, Gay Power: Lorca and Almodóvar
SPNE 450 Independent Study
COURSES TAUGHT IN SPANISH (SPAN)
SPN 101 Beginning Spanish I Designed for students who have not taken Spanish before, this course develops the basic skills in understanding, speaking, reading, and writing the language, and introduces the student to a variety of cultural aspects of the Spanish-speaking world. Beginning Spanish I, as well as the other courses in the beginning and intermediate levels, use a combination of three weekly master classes with the regular instructor and an additional hour of laboratory practice or the equivalent, using the multimedia materials accompanying the text. This course is the first part of the beginning sequence; students who take SPN 101 in the fall are highly advised to take SPN 102 in the spring of the same academic year. (Offered fall semesters)
SPN 102 Beginning Spanish II The second part of the beginning sequence, this course increases the level of proficiency in the areas of comprehension, speaking, reading and writing, and it provides students with more ample knowledge of the multiple cultural aspects of the Spanish-speaking world. Beginning Spanish II, as well as the other courses in the beginning and intermediate levels, use a combination of three weekly master classes with the regular instructor and an additional hour of laboratory practice or the equivalent, using the multimedia materials accompanying the text. Completion of the beginning sequence or its equivalent is necessary for students who wish to advance to the intermediate level. Prerequisite: SPN 101 or equivalent. (Offered every semester)
SPN 201 Intermediate Spanish I This course is designed for students who have been placed in SPN 201, or students who have completed SPN 102, or SPN 110. The course further develops the basic language skills acquired in the beginning sequence through the intensive study of grammatical structures, continued attention to oral and written communication, and an increased emphasis on reading comprehension. Cultural awareness is emphasized through an exposure to authentic materials from the diverse cultures of the Spanish-speaking world. Intermediate Spanish I, as well as the other courses in the beginning and intermediate levels, use a combination of three weekly master classes with the regular instructor and an additional hour of laboratory practice or the equivalent, using the multimedia materials accompanying the text. This course is the first part of the intermediate sequence; students who take SPN 201 are highly advised to take SPN 202 the following semester. Students who complete the intermediate sequence plus a minimum of one course at the 200-level will meet the language criteria to apply for the department's off-campus programs in Spain and Cost Rica. Prerequisite: SPN 102 or placement in SPN 201. (Offered every semester)
SPN 202 Intermediate Spanish II The second part of the intermediate sequence, this course introduces the student to the more complex aspects of grammar, continues vocabulary build up, and emphasizes oral and written communication through discussion of authentic materials, situation dialogues, and the writing of short essays. Reading materials increase the students' ability to make connections between their own environment and the cultures of the Spanish- speaking world. Intermediate Spanish II, as well as the other courses in the beginning and intermediate levels, use a combination of three weekly master classes with the regular instructor and an additional hour of laboratory practice or the equivalent, using the multimedia materials accompanying the text. Students who complete the intermediate sequence plus a minimum of one course at the 200-level will meet the language criteria to apply for the department's off-campus programs in Spain and Costa Rica. Prerequisite: SPN 201 or placement in SPN 202. (Offered every semester)
SPN 203 Spanish for Conversation and Debate This course focuses on the Spanish grammar acquisition process with particular emphasis on speaking and listening comprehension. Short films are used each week to introduce a grammatical topic, cultural aspects and vocabulary. Examples of classroom activities include debates, skits, and other creative and interactive uses of the language. Idiomatic usage, fluency, correct grammar and appropriate vocabulary in everyday situations will be emphasized. Prerequisite: Completion of SPN 202, or the equivalent. (Travalia, offered annually)
SPN 204 Bilingual Realities Bilingual Realities will appeal to students who use Spanish in every-day life and bilingual contexts. We will study dynamic bilingual communication practices in academics, popular culture, creative writing, and public speaking. Through memoirs, manifestos, novels, music, film, and podcasts, we will explore diverse bilingual/bi-cultural life experiences and forms of expression. Topics of discussion include, but are not limited to, migration, education, social media, art, and activism. We will practice conversational fluency, grammatical precision, persuasive writing, and vocabulary building. Readings may include the following: Yo no soy tu perfecta bija mexicana by Erika L. Sanchez, De coma las muchachas Garcia perdieron el acento by Julia Alvarez, Spanglish by Ilan Stavans, AsI es coma la pierdes by Junot Diaz, La distancia entre nosotros by Reyna Grande and Poet X by Elizabeth Azevedo.
SPN 225 Hispanic Media: Contemporary Issues This course will develop students' cultural awareness through a series of written assignments organized around major journalistic and academic genres. We will investigate contemporary issues as presented in the media of Spain, Latin America and U.S. Latino communities. More specifically the course will explore such topics as immigration and multiculturalism, gender and sexuality, linguistic variety of the Spanish language, and issues of cultural identity among others. The Internet, printed, audio and visual media material will provide the foundation for class discussions, oral presentations, cultural projects and other activities. Critical readings will complement the material and provide a broader understanding of contemporary cultural realities on both sides of the Atlantic. Prerequisite: Completion of SPN 202, or the equivalent. (Rodriguez-Mansilla, offered annually)
SPN 231 Spanish for the Professions This course focuses on the use Spanish in a variety of professional careers. Students explore the vocabulary and cultural implications of using Spanish in fields such as business, health care, the legal system, social services and education. Class activities include role-playing, skits, translations, a video newscast project and a mock trial. Emphasis is placed on acquiring vocabulary, increasing cultural competence and improving oral fluency. This course is recommended for students who intend to use Spanish in a professional field, students who intend to teach Spanish to English-speakers or English to Spanish-speakers, as well as bilingual students. Prerequisite: Completion of SPN 202, or the equivalent. (Travalia, offered annually)
SPN 260 Spanish Writing Workshop This course focuses on Spanish grammar and writing. Class activities will examine challenging aspects of Spanish, while emphasizing the importance of context. Students will refine their language skills writing different types of compositions, including academic, administrative, journalistic and literary. Reading comprehension and use of idiomatic language are also important aspects of the course. Prerequisite: Completion of SPN 202, or the equivalent. (Rodriguez-Mansilla, offered annually)
SPN 304 Body/Border This course studies identity as social construction in in Latin-American feminist literature. With a focus on Mexico and the Hispanic Caribbean, we will explore literary representations of gender and body image as well as feminine myths and feminist ideologies in art, narrative, and theater. Class discussions and readings consider the ways in which writers in different parts of the Hispanic world (and on different sides of the US national border) confirm, question, and/or transgress social norms regarding gender and the body. Students will use plays, documentaries, narrative fiction, and essays to study the role of literature, language, and culture in reflecting and reshaping national and transnational attitudes about gender. Course lectures and discussions will reveal how bodily performances and gender norms shift and change as authors, and the characters they create, cross borders, switch languages, and adapt to new cultural surroundings and economic conditions. (Farnsworth, offered occasionally)
SPN 316 Voces De Mujeres Voces de mujeres explores the strategies used by modern female writers and artists to express themselves, comment on the condition of women, and foster feminist social change in Spain and Latin America. Class discussions will include issues of race, class, gender, and nation building. Additionally, the course will consider the ways in which female authors challenge traditional literary criticism and re-define terms like "woman," "gender," and "feminist." Prerequisite: two courses from level II, or equivalent. (Farnsworth, offered alternate years)
SPN 321 Cuentos de América Latina Against a background of contemporary theory on the genre, the course examines this ancestral drive to tell a story in its multifaceted manifestation in Latin America. Moving from the forms of the oral tradition (anécdota, chiste, cuento popular) to the popularly rooted stories of Bosch, Rulfo, and Allende, to the metaphysical games of Borges and Cortázar, and from the Amazon to the urban centers, from the Andes to the Caribbean, the course ends with an examination of the multi functionality of feminine voices in the present generation of women storytellers. Students sharpen their receptivity as listeners and readers as well as exercise their skills as inventors and narrators. Prerequisite: two courses from level II, or equivalent. (Offered occasionally)
SPN 332 Literatura infantil This course is an introduction to the rich tradition of children's literature in Spanish. Students will examine literary works from various Spanish-speaking countries—including Latino writers from the US—and time periods, paying particular attention to the colloquial language and cultural elements of each text. Consideration will be given to the young characters' view of the world and how issues like class, gender and identity influence that view. In addition to analyzing literary works, students will teach Spanish through literature to the youth in the Geneva community. They will also write their own children's story in Spanish. This course is highly recommended for students interested in education, community outreach, and/or creative writing. (Travalia, offered occasionally)
SPN 340 Spanish Cinema In this course we will study the production of a selected group of Spanish filmmakers from Bunuel to the present. Through film screenings, class discussions, and readings on film theory, film history, and Spanish culture, we will trace the evolution of Spanish cinema through Franco's military dictatorship and under the new democratic system. Themes of exile and censorship, gender and sexuality, religion and nationality, among others, will be explored in the context of film history, Spanish society, and in relation to other artistic manifestations of Spanish culture. By the end of the course, students will be able to demonstrate knowledge of contemporary Spanish history as represented in its cinema, as well as an understanding of a variety of themes that are both unique to Spanish society and universal to the human condition. (Liebana, offered alternate years)
SPN 344 Rutas literarias de España This course focuses on key moments in the development of Spanish Peninsular Literature from the Middle Ages to the (post) modern period. Through the analysis of poems, short stories, essays and other historical and experimental genres, this class seeks to explain and exemplify essential themes of the Spanish literary tradition: race and ethnicity; nation, Empire, and foreign influence; cultural customs and the appraisal of modernity; gender issues and the reflection on literature, individuality and artistic language. Prerequisite: two courses from level II, or equivalent. (Rodriguez-Mansilla, offered alternate years)
SPN 345 Latin American Literary Frontiers This is a survey of Latin American literature from the conquest to the twentieth century. The course covers a broad range of literary developments in Latin America including ancient indigenous literature and colonial chronicles, texts from the era of independence and romanticism, modernist and avant-garde poetry, and contemporary theatre and narrative. Class discussions examine the general characteristics of major literary movements as well as the particular cultural, social, and political messages of each text. Prerequisite: two courses from level II, or equivalent. (Offered occasionally)
SPN 355 Contemporary Theater This class will examine theater from Latin America, Spain, and the Latino population in the US. We will study the diverse methods that playwrights in these regions have developed to reflect and to critique the political and social climates in which they live; we will also discuss the role that theater plays in community- building, identity politics, and political activism. Dramatic practices such as metatheater, theater of cruelty, Brechtian techniques, and feminist drama will be discussed throughout the semester. Prerequisites: two courses from level III, or the equivalent. (Offered occasionally)
SPN 360 Topics: Hispanic Studies From the dark days of the Spanish Inquisition to the enlightened sexual politics of the present, Spain has undergone a major socio-political transformation in its treatment of homosexuality. This course will examine Lorca's theater and poetry alongside Almodóvar's thrilling and complex work. Lorca, murdered by homophobic fascist forces in 1936, and still buried in a nameless grave, is the uncontested literary leader of his generation; his sonnets of "dark love" (homoerotic love) only saw the light 50 years after his death. Almodóvar, who quickly gained a reputation as the "bad boy" of Spanish Cinema, is now universally recognized as an international icon of gay cinema and one of the great masters of his trade. Class discussions will trace the thematic connections between the two authors (freedom and oppression, gender and sexuality, love and desire, among other themes) in the larger context of the human experience. In addition, students will gain knowledge of modern Spanish history, with an emphasis on the Civil War, the Franco period and the transition from dictatorship to democracy. Prerequisite: Two courses from level III or the equivalent.
SPN 365 Literature and Music of the Hispanic Caribbean This course is an introduction to the cultural history of Cuba, Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico through the analysis of some of the main features of the literature and music of the region. Students investigate how these two expressive modalities delve into issues of gender roles, racial relations, identity (insularity, hybridity), economic dependence, religious syncretism, and a characteristic sense of humor. The study shows literature has self-consciously drawn on the oral traditions while music spontaneously draws on the written word, imitating and complementing life and each other. Prerequisite: two courses from level III, or the equivalent. (Offered alternate years)
SPN 385 Sounds of Spanish This course takes students one step further in their mastery of the Spanish language with an introduction to the mechanics of native sound production. Students will study the basic concepts of Spanish phonology and phonetics. Likewise, they will learn how to represent and interpret speech using the International Phonetic Alphabet. Non-native speakers will work with native speakers toward achieving a native-like pronunciation. Both groups of students will develop an awareness of the phonetic variation that exists in the Spanish-speaking world today. Emphasis will be placed on historical factors involved in the development of different phonetic variants, as well as the social advantages and disadvantages that characterize them. Other differences between varieties of Spanish will also be examined, such as morfosyntactical, semantic and pragmatic aspects. Prerequisite: two SPN courses from level II, or the equivalent. (Travalia, offered alternate years)
SPN 450 Independent Study
SPN 456 1/2 Credit Independent Study
SPN 495 Honors
COURSES TAUGHT IN ENGLISH (SPNE)
SPNE 210 Topics in Bilingual Education Bilingual education is a rapidly growing field in this country. Successful bilingual programs are intellectually stimulating, empowering, and culturally enriching and they draw from diverse methodologies and practices. This course explores the philosophies, approaches, and practical applications of foreign- language teaching in general and Spanish-English bilingual education in particular. Through study and community engagement, students will consider what constitutes success in Spanish-English bilingual education, how bilingualism and biculturalism contributes to our national culture and local community, and how practices and policies in bilingual education are continually evolving. Readings include the following: Bilingual Education in the 21st Century: A Global Perspective by Ofelia Garcia; Language Teaching, Research and Language Pedagogy. By Rod Ellis; Brooklyn Dreams: My Life in Public Education by Sonia Nieto and Teaching Language in Context by Alice Omaggio Hadley. (Farnsworth, Offered
SPNE 355 García Márquez: The Major Works One of the most distinguished figures of the Latin American literary landscape, and of 20th century global literature, García Márquez's work cuts across socio-historic, psychological, metaphysical and aesthetic dimensions to give the reader a true compendium of reality. Against a background of theoretical readings on magical realism, we will examine his masterpiece, One Hundred Years of Solitude, widely considered as the most influential Latin American novel. The context of ideological controversy, in an area where culture is highly charged politically, will be examined. We will also focus on particular problems of translation, highlighting significant differences between the two languages. We will consider the network of popular culture (folkloric tales, "vallenato" music) of the Caribbean coast of Colombia, which is at the root of Márquez's writing. Other readings include: Chronicle of a Death Foretold, The Autumn of the Patriarch, Love in the Time of Cholera, Of Love and Other Demons, and the biographical-critical interviews conducted by Apuleyo Mendoza in The Smell of Guava. Prerequisites: Open to all; recommended for sophomores or above. (Offered alternate years)
SPNE 404 Dark Love, Gay Power: Lorca and Almodóvar In the decades since the end of Franco's dictatorship, Spain has undergone a major socio-political transformation in its treatment of homosexuality. Lorca, murdered by fascist forces in 1936, is still buried in a nameless grave, and his "Sonnets of Dark Love" (homoerotic love) were not published until 1983. Almodóvar, whose "Law of Desire" made him an international icon of gay cinema, continues to be hailed as the leader of his generation. This course will examine Lorca's theater and poetry alongside Almodóvar's work. Class discussions will trace the thematic connections between the two authors (freedom and oppression, gender and sexuality, love and desire, among other themes) in the larger context of the human experience. Prerequisite: Junior or Senior status. (Libana, offered alternate years)
SPNE 450 Independent Study
SPNE 456 1/2 Credit Independent Study