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Hispanic Literatures and Cultures

Spanish is the second most widely spoken language in the world and the second language of the United States. In our society, knowing Spanish is not just an asset; it is increasingly a necessity. The Spanish language program offers a sequence of courses ranging from basic to advanced. Students at all levels develop proficiency in speaking, listening, reading, and writing while also studying the cultures and societies of the contemporary Spanish-speaking world. The Hispanic Literatures and Cultures concentration enables students to develop advanced Spanish skills while acquiring a solid background in the complex history, literature, cultures, and intellectual traditions of Spain, Latin America, and the Latinx-U.S. The department offers a variety of courses on topics related to literary history and theory; multicultural contact; linguistics and the history of the language; visual culture, film, and performance studies. Interdisciplinarity is a hallmark of the department, and students in this concentration are encouraged to broaden their perspectives by taking relevant courses in other departments. Most choose to strengthen their academic preparation by participating in a study abroad program in Spain or Latin America and by engaging with Latin American and Latinx communities in the United States.

Concentration Requirements and Overview of the Curriculum

The concentration requires a minimum of ten courses: one required course, HISP 0650 Advanced Spanish through Literature and Film (unless waived1); up to six courses at the 700 level; and at least three courses at the 1000 level. HISP 0650 gives students fundamental tools for critical analysis while also specifically targeting the development of advanced grammar and writing skills. The 700 level encompasses panoramic courses in the literary and cultural histories of Spain, Latin America, and  the Latinx USA,  as well as introductory courses on professional and literary translation and Spanish linguistics, all of which place emphasis on continued refinement of written and oral expression in Spanish. Courses at the 1000 level focus on particular authors, genres, periods, or special topics and introduce students to major critical voices and scholarly perspectives on the materials studied.  Concentrators must take at least one Hispanic Studies course with the WRIT designation.

Students may apply up to four related courses from outside the department toward the  concentration, with prior approval from the Director of Undergraduate Studies (DUS). These courses may come from study abroad, transfer credit, and other departments and programs at Brown (e.g., Latin American and Caribbean Studies, Comparative Literature, History, Ethnic Studies, Anthropology), as long as they deal with themes related to the literatures, histories, languages2,  and/or cultures of Spain, Latin America, or the Latinx USA.  

The Hispanic Studies Literatures and Cultures concentration is designed to encourage and support language-specific study, for we believe that the linguistic cultural products of the Spanish-speaking world are most deeply appreciated in the original language. Hispanic Studies courses are therefore generally taught in Spanish, unless otherwise specified in the course description. Up to two courses taken in English or another language, whether in the department or outside, can count toward the concentration.

 
 
Required Course:
Advanced Spanish Through Literature & Film
Up to six courses at the 700-level, such as:
Hispanic Culture Through Cinema
Introducción a la lingüística hispánica
Introduction to Professional Translation and Interpretation
Encounters: Latin America in Its Literature and Culture
Intensive Survey of Spanish Literature
The Latin American Diaspora in the US
Topics in Hispanic Culture and Civilization
Wildeyed Stories
Cultural Studies in Spanish America
Screening Social Justice in the Spanish-Speaking World
Health, Illness and Medicine in Spanish and Spanish American Literature and Film
At least three 1000-level courses, such as:
Fashion and Fiction in the Early Modern Hispanic World
Don Quijote de la Mancha
Spain on Screen: 80 Years of Spanish Cinema
Short Forms: Major Works in a Minor Key
El amor en español
Hauntings: Gothic Fictions, Banditry and the Supernatural in Latin America
The Nature of Conquest: Scientific Literatures of the Americas
Tropical Fictions: Geography and Literature in Latin American Culture
Visions and Voices of Indigenous Mexico
Mujeres Malas
Literature and Film of the Cuban Revolution
Theory and Practice of Translation
Students can also take up to two cross-listed courses, such as:
Fidel Castro and Che Guevara, The Men and the Myths
Crisis and Identity in Mexico, 1519-1968
New Worlds: Reading Spaces and Places in Colonial Latin America
The Colonial and the Postcolonial Marvelous
Around Latin America in 80 Days: An Historical and Cultural Journey
Engaged Humanities: Storytelling in the Americas
Students can take up to two courses in languages other than Spanish, such as:
Ancient Maya Writing
Latinx Literature
Modern Latin America
History of the Andes from the Incas to Evo Morales
Beginning Nahuatl
Writing and Speaking Portuguese
Migration in the Americas
Total Credits = 10

Honors Thesis or Project

Students with an excellent record in their Hispanic Studies courses will be eligible to write an Honors Thesis or write and produce an Honors Project. Students pursuing honors must have a record of all A’s or a final grade of S with distinction in courses they have as S/NC. Typically, the Honors Thesis is a major research paper of approximately 40 to 80 pages in Spanish, depending on the topic and treatment necessary. Alternatively, a student may, with prior permission of the Director of Undergraduate Studies, present a film, gallery exhibition, or other appropriate project, together with a paper that clearly demonstrates the academic foundations and relevance of the project. For additional details regarding the Honors Thesis in Hispanic Studies, please refer to our website.

Capstone colloquium: Giving students an opportunity to reflect upon and celebrate their achievements in the Hispanic Literatures and Cultures concentration, there is an annual colloquium with graduating seniors, faculty and friends. Each graduating senior shares a piece of work or a text, whether studied in class or produced as an assignment, that stands out as particularly significant to their time in Hispanic Studies. This can take several forms: it can be an extract from a poem, novel, play, or critical essay; it can also be a film or music clip or piece of art; or, a translation done by the student, or an original creative text.

 

Director of Undergraduate Studies:

Silvia Sobral