Hispanic Studies

Department of Languages, Cultures and Literatures

  • MIRKO M. HALL, chair
  • DOUG P. BUSH
  • RAFAEL E. HERNÁNDEZ
  • CATHERINE JONES
  • STEFANIA LICATA

Mission

The mission of the Department of Languages, Cultures and Literatures is to enable Converse students to embrace diversity and complexity in the world through communication in other languages and knowledge of other cultures. The department will achieve this goal by preparing students in the following areas:

  1. competence in oral comprehension, speaking, reading, and writing of the target language;
  2. knowledge of the culture and literature of the major language;
  3. preparation to enter an advanced degree program, public service, business, or the professions.

The Department of Languages, Cultures and Literatures offers a Bachelor of Arts degree with the majors of German Studies and Hispanic Studies. Students majoring in German Studies or Hispanic Studies must complete 30 credit hours in courses numbered 202 and above.

The General Education Program is a requirement for all degrees. The requirements listed below are approved for the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Fine Arts.

ENG 101 3 hours
Language and Culture 9 hours
MTH 108 or higher 3 hours
One course designated as Quantitative Reasoning 3–4 hours
Health and Well-Being Wellness 2 hours
Activity course 1–2 hours
Humanities 6 hours
Literature 3 hours
Fine Arts 6 hours
Natural Science 7–8 hours
Social Science 6 hours
Total 49–52 hours

Graduation requirements but not a separate course:

  • First Year Seminar
  • Writing Intensive course
  • Non-European/non-Anglophone course
  • Capstone experience

Calculation of Major and Minor GPA in Languages, Cultures and Literature

To earn a major or minor in German Studies or Hispanic Studies, or a minor in French and Francophone Studies, students must have a minimum GPA of 2.0 across all of their required and elective courses on the Degree Completion Form for that specific program.

Elective credits beyond the required number may not be considered in the calculation.

For the major in German Studies, this GPA includes the allowance of two elective courses from other departments with a substantial Germanic component. For the major in Hispanic Studies, this GPA includes the allowance of one elective course, either SPN 400 or HST 477. Transfer credits from other institutions do not figure into the calculation for major or minor GPAs.

Degrees and Certificates

Classes

SPN 101–102 : ELEMENTARY SPANISH

A course for beginners designed to initiate students not only into a foreign language, but also into a new and exciting culture. Up-to-date teaching methods and techniques are employed throughout the program.

Credits

6

SPN 125 : FIRST-YEAR SEMINAR

First-Year Seminars constitute a common and academically significant experience in a student’s first year at Converse University. All incoming first- year students are required to take a 3-credit hour FYS in the fall semester, choosing from a variety of discipline specific topics. Each FYS carries the corresponding departmental prefix, but with the common course number (except for designated honors sections). Each FYS course is designed to have no more than 18 students, and counts in some designated category of the General Education Program. Strong writing and speaking components are required elements of the course.

Credits

3

SPN 199H : FRESHMAN HONORS SEMINAR

The course is designed to encourage student participation in the intellectual processes through class discussion, research and writing, special projects, problem solving, and evaluation and defense of positions. When the subject matter duplicates that of another course, credit toward graduation will be granted for only one of the courses.

Credits

3

SPN 202 : INTERMEDIATE SPANISH

This course will emphasize speaking and listening with progressively increased practice in reading and writing.

Credits

3

Prerequisites

SPN 201 or placement in SPN 202.

SPN 203 : SPANISH FOR HERITAGE SPEAKERS

This course is designed to review Spanish grammar and improve writing focusing on bilingual speakers’ needs. Based on the identity of the Hispanic community in the United States, this course will complement the language skills of heritage speakers by making them reach a more in-depth knowledge of the language. Entirely taught in Spanish, the course will ultimately raise the students’ level of sophistication in Spanish as they use the language in more formal contexts.

Credits

3

Prerequisites

SPN 202, or permission of instructor.

SPN 205 : CONVERSATION AND COMPOSITION

Through conversation and composition, this course expands these skills beyond the basics by building students’ oral proficiency using interactional and communicative language and by strengthening writing skills through targeted compositions and other writing activities. Also, the course ultimately aims to develop students’ critical thinking abilities and awareness of Hispanic cultures. Class held entirely in Spanish.

Credits

3

Prerequisites

SPN 202, or permission of instructor.

SPN 265 : LANGUAGE, CULTURE AND LITERATURE STUDY SEMINAR

Students will study the target language and enroll in a foreign study program or participate in a Converse designed program, studying the language and discussing important topics on culture and contemporary life. Grades in the course will be determined either by the native language teacher or by a Converse professor, based on class participation, tests and graded assignments. Offered during Jan Term or Summer Terms, contingent upon sufficient enrollment. Non-European/non-Anglophone.

Credits

3

SPN 299H : INTERDISCIPLINARY HONORS COURSE

This course is team taught by members in two departments and is open to Nisbet Honors Program participants and to others who meet Honors Program guidelines. All students registering for these courses must register not only through the Honors Program but also with their adviser and the Registrar’s Office.

SPN 300 : SPANISH PENINSULAR CULTURE

Study of the origin, formation and manifestations of the values of the people of Spain and the institutions which reflect them. Emphasizes history, geography, environment, social trends, and sociopolitical events. Class held in Spanish with opportunity for oral, written, reading and comprehension skill building. Offered every other Fall Term. Writing Intensive.

Credits

3

Prerequisites

SPN 202, or permission of instructor.

SPN 301 : LATIN AMERICAN CULTURE

Study of the origin, formation and manifestations of Latin American values and the institutions which reflect them in the Americas and the Caribbean. Emphasizes history, geography, environment, contemporary trends, and sociopolitical events. Class held in Spanish with opportunity for oral, written, reading and comprehension skill building. Offered every other Fall Term. Non-European/non-Anglophone. Writing Intensive.

Credits

3

Prerequisites

SPN 202, or permission of instructor.

SPN 302 : CONVERSING AND WRITING ON SPANISH AND LATIN AMERICAN LITERATURES

Helps to develop further, through conversation and composition, the facility in the language necessary to study literature in courses in which lectures, readings, discussion, and papers are in Spanish. Emphasizes analysis and criticism of Spanish and Latin American literatures. Non-European/non-Anglophone.

Credits

3

Prerequisites

SPN 202, or permission of instructor.

SPN 303 : CONVERSING AND WRITING ON THE PROFESSIONS

Helps to develop further, through conversation and composition, the ability in the language necessary to function in professional fields such as banking, law, medicine, social services, education, architecture, planning, sales, economics and business.

Credits

3

Prerequisites

SPN 202, or permission of instructor.

SPN 304 : SURVEY OF SPANISH LITERATURE: AN INTRODUCTION TO THE SPANISH MIND

A study of Spanish literature through the centuries in its historical, artistic, and philosophical context. Class held in Spanish with opportunity for oral, written, reading, and comprehension skill building. Centuries and readings will vary. Writing Intensive.

Credits

3

Prerequisites

Permission of instructor.

SPN 306 : DON QUIJOTE

A thematic and textual study of Cervantes’s masterpiece, Don Quijote. Discuss Cervantes’s work through narrative elements explored by other authors of the Baroque period and through modern critical approaches. The novel will be read in its entirety and the course will be conducted in Spanish. Writing Intensive.

Credits

3

Prerequisites

Permission of instructor.

SPN 307 : SPAIN: “ENLIGHTENED, ROMANTIC, REAL”

A study of the eighteenth and nineteenth century Spain through its literature, art, history and philosophy. Class held in Spanish with opportunity for oral, written, reading, and comprehension skill building.

Credits

3

Prerequisites

Permission of instructor.

SPN 308 : CONTEMPORARY SPAIN

Themes and aesthetic trends in film and literature of Spain. Readings, viewings, lectures, and discussions will examine the social, historical and political forces shaping Spain’s contemporary cultural production. This course is conducted in Spanish. Writing Intensive.

Credits

3

Prerequisites

Permission instructor.

SPN 309 : MODERN LATIN AMERICA: THE NOVEL OF THE “BOOM” AND THE POLITICAL DRAMA

Latin American literature of the last fifty years. Emphasis will be placed on artistic and historical events and on the novels and plays by the writers of the literary “boom,” including masterpieces by Nobel Prize winners. Class held in Spanish with opportunity for oral, written, reading, and comprehension skill building. Non-European/non-Anglophone.

Credits

3

Prerequisites

Permission of instructor.

SPN 310 : MODERN LATIN AMERICA: IMAGES AND SYMBOLS OF CHANGE IN POETRY AND SHORT STORY

Latin American literature of the last fifty years. Emphasis will be placed on the poems and short stories by the writers of the literary “boom,” including masterpieces by Nobel Prize winners. Class held in Spanish with opportunity for oral, written, reading, and comprehension skill building. Non-European/non-Anglophone.

Credits

3

Prerequisites

Permission of instructor.

SPN 311 : CONTEMPORARY LATINO AMERICAN THEATRE

Latino American theatre has an extensive history, dating back to long before the conquest of the Americas by Europeans. Throughout the centuries, indigenous memory, Spanish Catholicism and political upheaval have intermixed to create a potent combination, leading to the breadth of theatre we know today. But not all Latin American theatre has its roots in these heady streams—fun and frivolous works have their place too. We will explore the serious and sublime, the silly and crowd-pleasing—the theatre of Contemporary Latino America. Non-European/non-Anglophone.

Credits

3

Prerequisites

SPN 205 or Permission of Instructor.

SPN 312 : AFRO-HISPANOPHONE PERSPECTIVES ON MIGRATION THROUGH THE MEDITERRANEAN

This course aims to provide students with the fundamental knowledge to understand migration in the Mediterranean area through the Afro-Hispanophone (Equatorial Guinea and Moroccan) perspective. Specifically, it jointly considers two contemporary processes occurring between Africa and Europe: the circulation of cultures across the globe and the border-crossing of migrant subjects. Through the study of a broad variety of texts including novels, poems, theater and art produced by Equatorial Guinea and Moroccan authors (artists and writers), the course is specifically designed to link people and places, and to investigate the cultural impact and interrelations between these two continents. Non-European/non-Anglophone.

Credits

3

Prerequisites

SPN 205 or Permission of Instructor.

SPN 314 : SPECIAL TOPICS IN HISPANIC STUDIES

This interdisciplinary seminar explores a special topic in the language, culture, and literature of Spain and the Latino Americas. Particular emphasis is placed on the transnational and multicultural contexts of Hispanic cultural studies. Topics may include transatlantic/border studies, gender studies, sexuality, mass media, and colonialism. This seminar may be repeated as long as the course topic is different. Depending on content, it may also be considered Non-European/non-Anglophone.


 

Credits

3

Prerequisites

Prerequisite SPN 202 or approval of coordinator.

SPN 314H : SPECIAL TOPICS IN HISPANIC STUDIES

This course aims to provide students with the fundamental knowledge to understand the African Migration in the Mediterranean with a specific focus on Spain. Through the study of a broad variety of scholarly articles, movies and documentaries we will address questions regarding borders, identity, political and ethical issues that migration poses. The selection of texts and audio-visual materials encourages students to explore the phenomena of migration under the perspective of migrant subjects and to link it with other geographies. It will help us to think how social images about Africa were constructed through a Eurocentric lens between the twentieth and the twenty-first centuries. Classes will be taught in English and will include lectures, discussions, audio-visual material, students’ presentations and a final research project.


 

Credits

3

SPN 365 : LANGUAGE, CULTURE AND LITERATURE STUDY SEMINAR

Students will study the target language and enroll in a foreign study program or participate in a Converse designed program, studying the language and discussing important topics on culture and contemporary life. Grades in the course will be determined either by the native language teacher or by a Converse professor, based on class participation, tests and graded assignments. Offered during Jan Term or Summer Terms, contingent upon sufficient enrollment.

SPN 400 : INTRODUCTION TO LATINX STUDIES

Latinos, Latina/os, Latinx, Chicanos, Boricuas, Nuyoricans, Cubanos, Dominicanos, Salvadoreños, Hispanics. US Latinos go by many different identities and now number more than 50 million—the largest minority group in the country. In this class we look at Latinx cultural production from literature to theory to television, broken down into thematic units including historical contexts, immigrant stories, transnational identities, feminisms, queer identities and Latinos in entertainment. Class held in English. Non-European/non-Anglophone.

Credits

3

SPN 415 : ADVANCED GRAMMAR

A study of more complex grammatical structures and vocabulary usage. Class held primarily in Spanish with emphasis on integrating the material into appropriate oral and written context.

Credits

3

Prerequisites

SPN 202 and required entrance exam.

SPN 490 : DIRECTED INDEPENDENT STUDY

This course allows students to pursue a course of study not covered by regular offerings in Spanish. Both teacher and student will select the topic of study according to the student’s needs and interests. Non-European/non-Anglophone.

Credits

3

SPN 496 : FOREIGN LANGUAGE INTERNSHIP

An internship in business or a public or private agency requiring the use of the student’s foreign language skills. Pass/fail grading.

Prerequisites

One course numbered 300 or above and permission of the instructor.

SPN 499 : SENIOR SEMINAR

A final course for majors treating topics in Spanish language and contemporary Spanish and Latin American cultures and literatures. Students complete a bilingual portfolio—including personal statement, independent research project, and public presentation—that highlights their experiences, accomplishments, and scholarly work in the program. Non-European/non-Anglophone. Capstone.

Credits

3