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Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Department of Languages & Literatures

Spanish - Uxmal in Mexico


Course Descriptions

This is a general guide to the courses available in Spanish. Courses may change over time, and some courses are not available some quarters. For the most up-to-date listing of available courses, log on to PioneerWeb and view course schedules.

SPAN 1001, 1002, 1003 Beginning Spanish (4 qtr. hrs. each)
Basic grammar, syntax and vocabulary; emphasis on oral skills. Three quarter sequence.

General Overview of Topics covered in the Spanish language sequence. 

SPAN 1500 Understanding Contemporary Spain (4 qtr. hrs.)
This course examines the key political, social and cultural issues at play in contemporary Spanish society. Via the analysis of various texts –historical, sociological, literary, filmic—this course will familiarize students with the key issues that define Spanish society today. The themes that will be the primary focus of class discussions and assignments include national vs. regional identities, gender roles, multiculturalism, Spain and the European Union and the legacy of the Franco dictatorship. Students will also read short stories by contemporary Spanish authors that address these same themes in order to have the opportunity to analyze and interpret artistic representations of the key issues at play in Spanish society today. This course counts toward the Analytical Inquiry: Society and Culture requirement.

SPAN 1992 Directed Study (1-10 qtr. hrs.)

SPAN 2001, 2002, 2003 Intermediate Spanish (4 qtr. hrs. each)
Grammatical structures, close rapid conversation, reading of cultural and literary materials. Prerequisite: SPAN 1003 or equivalent. Three quarter sequence.

General Overview of Topics covered in the Spanish language sequence.

SPAN 2100 Conversation and Composition (4 qtr. hrs.)
Intensive practice in written and oral skills, grammar review, and introduction to Spanish thought and cultural patterns. Prerequisite: SPAN 2003 or equivalent.

SPAN 2300 Iberian Culture & Civilization (4 qtr. hrs.)
Intensive study of culture of Spain; manifestations of culture found in history, art, architecture, music, literature, and politics of early and modern Spain. This course counts toward the Analytical Inquiry: Society and Culture requirement. Prerequisite: SPAN 2100 or equivalent.

SPAN 2350 Latin American Culture and Societies (4 qtr. hrs.)
An introductory and interdisciplinary course on the political, historical, and cultural dynamics that have shaped Latin America, the Caribbean and U.S. Latinos. An examination of the political and intellectual movements and economic forces embedded in relations of power from pre-Colombian civilizations, colonialism, independence, nation building, and imperialism to the struggle for democracy. Analysis of diverse cultural practices such as literature, music, film, and visual art within a national and transnational context. This course counts toward the Analytical Inquiry: Society and Culture requirement. Prerequisite: SPAN 2100 or equivalent.

SPAN 2400 Latino Cultures in the United States (4 qtr. hrs.)
Interdisciplinary study of Latino contemporary issues in the United States incorporating aspects of the distinct socio-historical, political, economic, and cultural dynamics that have contributed to the shaping, development and increasing prominence of Latino communities. Includes an examination of how Latino cultural forms and practices intersect with socio-historical, economic, and political forces as a framework for understanding the Mexicano/Chicano, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Dominican and other Latino communities embedded in the very fabric of what constitutes the United States. This course counts toward the Analytical Inquiry: Society and Culture requirement. Prerequisite: SPAN 2350 or equivalent.

SPAN 2992 Directed Study (1-10 qtr. hrs.)

SPAN 3010 Latino Presence in the United States (4 qtr. hrs.)
An interdisciplinary survey about Mexican Americans (Chicanos) from 1845 to the present. Lectures, readings and discussions provide an overview of influences that continue to shape the culture, character, history, and literature of Chicanos in the United States. A major focus is an exploration of the various ways in which Chicanos have struggled to achieve social change and equality. Culture, ethnicity, language, education, immigration, economics, political action, oppression and discrimination, and current events are also included through readings of representative works including narrative, poetry, theater, and essay. Prerequisite: SPAN 2350 or 2400 or equivalent.

SPAN 3110 Critical View of Latin America through Film (4 qtr. hrs.)
This course is designed from an analytical perspective to provide a cultural and historical overview of Latin America. The class begins with feature films and documentaries that focus on the Conquest, exploration and colonization, and continues with contemporary issues of cultural, socioeconomic, and philosophical relevance. Analytical focus on indigenous issues, religion, race relations, women's issues, economic and socio-political concerns as students develop a more complete appreciation of the complex world which is Latin America. Prerequisite: SPAN 2350 or equivalent.

SPAN 3120 Mexican Film: Historical and Cultural Representation (4 qtr. hrs.)
A critical perspective on Mexican reality by examining the role of cinema as a means of cultural, historical, ideological, economic and/or political expression. The focus is on Mexican film production in relation to three important periods: the Silent Cinema, the Golden Age in Mexican film, and the Contemporary Era or "new cinema" movement. In addition to feature films, documentaries connect the evolution of Mexican cinema with specific historical and cultural periods. Prerequisite: SPAN 2350 or equivalent.

SPAN 3200 Eroticism and Nation in the Latin American Novel (4 qtr. hrs.)
A study of the foundational fictions of Latin America and their twentieth-century rewriting. Nineteenth-century novels showcasing the interplay of sentimental love, eroticism, class struggle, and political agendas in the formative years of the Latin American nations are analyzed and contrasted with twentieth-century narratives where such nation (and narrative) building is put to question. Prerequisite: SPAN 2350 or equivalent.

SPAN 3230 Musicalized Literature (4 qtr. hrs.)
Introduction to musicalized literature: a study of literary texts that provoke in the reader a sense of being related to music or prompt a "musical" experience while reading. The course focuses on various Latin American narrative texts whose relation with songs or genres of popular music is more or less explicit. The analysis aims first to illuminate their musical aspects, but also addresses other angles (social, historical, political). Basic information about several genres of popular music is provided in order to facilitate comprehension. Prerequisite: SPAN 2350 or equivalent.

SPAN 3250 Latin America Since the Conquest (4 qtr. hrs.)
An exploration of literary strategies in relation to power and domination rooted in the conquest of Latin America through the present. The focal point is the shaping of a vertical power structure by colonial and postcolonial powers such as Spain, England, France and the United States. The course examines the function of literature in sustaining as well as resisting violence, economic exploitation, identity, and the denial of humanity. Prerequisite: SPAN 2350 or equivalent.

SPAN 3280 Creative Writing in Spanish (4 qtr. hrs.)
Writing means the production of thoughts and the elaboration of perspectives that enable the writer to construct and deconstruct reality. It is working conscientiously and methodically with language to expand the boundaries of knowledge in imaginative ways through a subjective and critical perspective. This course explores these notions through theory, textual analysis, and practice. It combines literary readings of Latino/a and Latin American writers with compositional theory and literary criticism. The student will understand the creative writing process and what makes a piece successful. Prerequisite: at least one 3000 level course or equivalent.

SPAN 3290 Literature and Human Rights in Latin America (4 qtr. hrs.)
An analysis of human rights literature from the 16th century to the present within a historical, national and transnational context. A critical perspective on power in relation to political memory, collective violence, the diasporic experience, authoritarianism, official cultural discourses, consequences of globalization and social transformation, among other contested spaces. An exploration of colonial and neocolonial legacy and a testimony of the violence experienced by women, indigenous and other ethnic communities, and immigrants, among others, in areas such as Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Central America, and the United States. Prerequisite: SPAN 2350 or equivalent.

SPAN 3300 Travel Narratives (4 qtr. hrs.)
Travel accounts, rather than candid and unbiased testimonies about places and people, are challenging texts that require critical analysis. This class offers an overview of the evolution of travel narratives, from the times of the Grand Tour to contemporary accounts representing crosscultural interactions between Spaniards and their 'others.' Travelogues by authors such as Washington Irving, Domingo Faustino Sarmiento, Julio Camba and Juan Goytisolo. Prerequisite: SPAN 2300 or equivalent.

SPAN 3310 Piety and Eroticism in Spain (4 qtr. hrs.)
Cultural manifestations such as mysticism and eroticism often appearing side-by-side in early Spanish culture, art, literature, sculpture, etc.; wide use of cancioneros or early song-poetry books and manuscripts. Prerequisite: SPAN 2300 or equivalent.

SPAN 3320 Class and Gender in 19th Century Spain (4 qtr. hrs.)
Spain underwent social and political revolutions during the nineteenth century from which new values emerged. Through the analysis of literary, political and cultural texts from the late nineteenth-century, students explore the changed view of gender and class identity. Students will read and critically examine several works by prominent authors of the Spanish Realist tradition, including Benito Pérez Galdós, Leopoldo Alas (Clarín) and Emilia Pardo Bazán. Prerequisite: SPAN 2300 or equivalent.

SPAN 3330 Rebels, Lovers and Outlaws in Spanish Romanticism (4 qtr. hrs.)
This course studies the literary and cultural tropes of Spanish Romanticism. Themes discussed include the rebellion against an unjust social order, the portrayal of marginal social groups and the creation of subjectivity in the Spanish Romantic tradition. The literary genres studied are drama, essay and poetry; the primary authors include Larra, Zorrilla, Espronceda, Bécquer, and de Castro. Prerequisite: SPAN 2300 or equivalent.

SPAN 3333 The Fertile Friendship: Bunuel, Lorca, Dali and Spanish Surrealism (4 qtr. hrs.)
An interdisciplinary study of the relationships of three Spanish artists (Salvador Dalí, Federico García Lorca and Luis Buñuel) and the development of Surrealism in Spain. Through the intriguing intersections of the life and art of the painter, the poet, and the filmmaker, a better understanding of this fascinating artistic movement is achieved. Prerequisite: SPAN 2300 or equivalent.

SPAN 3400 Spanish Theatre in Performance (4 qtr. hrs.)
Reading, discussion and performance of plays written in Spanish. The focus will be on improving pronunciation, intonation and dramatic expression as well as providing a better understanding of contemporary theatrical movements in the Spanish speaking world such as teatro del absurdo, teatro posibilista or teatro campesino. The course includes a final performance (in front of a real audience) of the play. Plays by authors such as Susana Torres Molina (argentine), Federico Garcia Lorca (Spain), Emilio Carballido (Mexico), and other authors from the Spanish speaking world. No prior experience in theater is required. Prerequisite: SPAN 2300 or SPAN 2350 or equivalent.

SPAN 3410 Death and Dying in the Medieval, Renaissance & Golden Age (4 qtr. hrs.)
Attitudes regarding human mortality; presentation and analysis of these attitudes in literature, the arts, historical, philosophical, social and theological sources; classroom discussions complemented by selected readings and media presentations. Prerequisite: SPAN 2300 or equivalent.

SPAN 3420 Contemporary Film in Spain (4 qtr. hrs.)
Through contemporary Spanish film and essays this course examines the representation of key cultural aspects of Spanish society, such as national and regional identities, immigration, and gender issues. Students critically evaluate the causes, cultural manifestations and consequences of the social themes studied first by reading about them and then by viewing films that consider the same issues. They learn to identify the formal elements of film and develop a critical vocabulary with which they analyze and write about them. Prerequisite: SPAN 2300 or equivalent.

SPAN 3525 Transgressing Borders: Latina Writers in the United States (4 qtr. hrs.)
An introduction to the written and oral tradition of Latina writers of Mexican heritage in the United States from the 19th century to the present. The course reflects on how Latinas position themselves, and are positioned within the context of history, culture, and society. It includes an exploration of identity construction and transgression, literary and cultural myths, icons, and archetypes, and the geopolitical and symbolic space of writing. Prerequisite: SPAN 2350 or SPAN 2400 or equivalent.

SPAN 3600 Caribbean Blackness: Conflictive Identity (4 qtr. hrs.)
Introduces the student to the Caribbean region, particularly examining cultural characteristics of the Spanish speaking Caribbean, with an emphasis on race relations and the contributions of peoples of African descent. The focus is interdisciplinary and includes readings on anthropology, religion, and history among other subjects, together with close readings of literary texts. Prerequisite: SPAN 2350 or equivalent.

SPAN 3650 The Andean World: Artistic Representations of Power, Resistance and Social Change (4 qtr. hrs.)
Survey of Andean literature and art created during the nineteenth, twentieth and twenty-first centuries; artists' portrayals of strategies for resistance and the struggle for social justice in modern Andean society. Study of a wide variety of genres including short stories, novels, testimonials, poetry, essays, songs, visual art and film. Class discussions, theoretical texts and student analyses focus on the central theme of representations of power, resistance and social change in the Andes. Prerequisite: SPAN 2350 or equivalent.

SPAN 3660 The Fantastic Short Story in Latin America (4 qtr. hrs.)
Introduction to the genre of the fantastic short story in nineteenth- and twentieth-century Latin American literature. Study of the rise of the short story genre in Latin America and the ways in which we can understand the Fantastic and its relationship to the Gothic and the Magical Real. Assigned readings by authors such as Horacio Quiroga, Jorge Luis Borges, Julio Cortazar, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Carlos Fuentes, Silvina Ocampo and Rosario Ferre. Class discussions, theoretical texts and student analyses focus on a text's themes, literary devices, and writing styles, as well as metatextual and historical references. Prerequisite: SPAN 2350 or equivalent.

SPAN 3670 Exploring the Amazon: A Literary, Filmic and Ethnographic Journey (4 qtr. hrs.)
Introduces the student to the Amazonian region of South America and the ways in which this fascinating landscape and the diverse peoples who inhabit it have been portrayed and exploited by "outsider" novelists, filmmakers, explorers, anthropologists, businessmen, and scientists beginning in the sixteenth century. This course also includes a survey of texts selected from the oral traditions of indigenous Amazonian groups such as the Ashanika, Machiguenga, Cashinahua and Ese'eja. Assigned readings underscore the course's interdisciplinary focus and encourage students to hone their course reading and analytical writing skills through the study of anthropological, historical, literary and filmic texts. Prerequisite: SPAN 2350 or equivalent.

SPAN 3680 Food, Power and Identity in Latin American Literatures and Cultures (4 qtr. hrs.)
A study of culinary representations and the role of food in Latin American literature, film, culture and politics. Assigned texts include short stories, novels, films and a selection of literary, historical and political essays that relate to food politics and poetics. A review of key food policies and politics throughout colonial and contemporary Latin America reveal legacies of colonial power struggles, as well as the important intersections between food and constructions of identity, nationality, and socioeconomic and cultural emancipation. The course also explores themes such as the art of cooking as a tool for seduction, culinary witchcraft, and contemporary national and regional struggles to achieve food sovereignty in an era of globalization and neoliberal politics. Prerequisite: SPAN 2350 or equivalent.

SPAN 3702, 3703, 3704, 3705 Topics in Spanish (4 qtr. hrs. each)
Selected topics, genres, authors and/or literary, cultural, sociopolitical, or historical movements in the Spanish-speaking world. Course with same number but with a different topic may be repeated for credit. Prerequisite: at least one of SPAN 2300, 2350 or equivalent.

SPAN 3990 Senior Seminar (4 qtr. hrs.)
This is the capstone course of the Spanish major and requires students to complete an in depth, scholarly study of a topic or issue pertinent to their seminar's central theme(s). Spanish majors must take a minimum of one senior seminar and this course must be taken at DU once a student has reached senior standing.
A selection of seminar topics includes Latin American Popular Culture, Contemporary Spanish Novel, pre-Columbian and Colonial Andean Literature and Culture, Puerto Rican Literature and Society, Layqas, Ñakáqs and Saqras: Representations of the 'Supernatural' in Quechua Oral Traditions, Latin American Narrative, El Romancero, Contemporary Socio-Political Poetry in Latin America, Latin American Women Poets, Masterpieces of Latin American Literature Prerequisites: SPAN 2300, 2350 (or equivalent) and at least twelve credits at the 3000 level.

SPAN 3991 Independent Study (1 to 4 qtr. hrs.)

SPAN 3992 Directed Study (1-10 qtr. hrs.)

SPAN 3997 Internship in Spanish (1 to 4 qtr. hrs.)

SPAN 3998 Honors Thesis (1 to 10 qtr. hrs.)