Spanish

Jessica Thomas, Tomson 331
507-786-3230

wp.stolaf.edu/spanish/

(Romance Languages)

Students who study Spanish become explorers in many dimensions. They discover, among other things, that Spanish provides not only an alternative means for expressing what we see and think, but also a cultural lens predisposing and empowering its speakers to observe and reflect in unique ways.

On looking through this lens, students diversify their perceptions of the world and multiply their opportunities for interacting with it. These opportunities may include experiencing the tragic ferocity of the Spanish Civil War in the pages of Sender’s Réquiem por un campesino español, serving as an interpreter for a Latino family in Northfield, teaching art to the children of imprisoned women in Quito, Ecuador, speaking to indigenous people on the shores of Guatemala’s beautiful Lake Atitlán about their struggle to preserve the land, probing the complexity of Latin American life within the mythic dimensions of García Márquez’s Macondo, debating politics with impassioned university students in Seville, Spain, or talking into the night with a roommate from Costa Rica in the Spanish House.Whatever the channels opened — and they are countless — students who become proficient in Spanish discover that “Quien sabe dos lenguas, vale por dos.”

Overview of the Majors

In courses for the Spanish major, students gain understanding of the diversity of the Spanish-speaking world (Spain, Latin America, and the Hispanic United States) through the study of literature, non-literary texts, culture, language, and linguistics. At the same time, they develop communication, critical thinking, and analytical skills.

Level II courses are divided into two levels. In SPAN 250, the gateway course for all majors, students develop academic reading and writing skills in Spanish through textual analysis of cultural documents and literature. 270-level courses introduce students to a variety of ways to explore the Spanish-speaking world further through literature, linguistics, culture, and contemporary issues.

Level III courses build upon the analytical skills and knowledge of the Spanish-speaking world acquired by students in 270-level courses. These courses examine particular topics, genres, or critical or theoretical issues through textual analysis or analysis of linguistic data. Some of these courses focus on comparative analysis across geographical areas of the Spanish-speaking world.

Distinction

See Academic Honors

Special Programs

To encourage students to speak Spanish outside the classroom, the department organizes a weekly Spanish conversation table and sponsors an Honor House (Casa Hispánica) which serves as a venue for cultural and social activities — facilitated by a resident native speaker of Spanish — with Hispanic themes. In addition, faculty teaching Spanish collaborate with colleagues in other disciplines in developing and teaching courses with a Foreign Language Across the Curriculum credit. These courses enable students who have completed the fourth semester of college Spanish to apply and develop their proficiency in Spanish across the curriculum.

St. Olaf also operates its own Interims in Ecuador and Spain and affiliates with long-established consortia — notably CIEE, HECUA, and IES — that administer semester programs in Spain and South America, as well as off-campus programs in the United States.

 
 

Requirements for a Graduation Major

SPAN 250Family and Gender Roles in Spain: 1900 to Present1.00
SPAN 275Exploring Hispanic Literature1.00
SPAN 276Spanish as a First and Second Language1.00
SPAN 313Literature and Society in Spain 11.00
or SPAN 314 Literature and Society in Latin America
One additional level III course 11.00
Three electives above the 250 level 13.00
Total Credits8

 A maximum of two courses from abroad programs, other U.S. institutions, and any combination of the above may be counted toward the major. Courses from abroad or other U.S. institutions count as 270-level electives. Transfer credit should be approved by the department in advance.  Please contact the Spanish faculty member in charge of transfer credit. Independent study or research may not be counted in lieu of any of the courses referred to above.

Requirements for a Spanish Major with K-12 Teaching Licensure

SPAN 250Family and Gender Roles in Spain: 1900 to Present1.00
SPAN 275Exploring Hispanic Literature1.00
SPAN 276Spanish as a First and Second Language1.00
One of the following two courses1.00
Literature and Society in Spain
Literature and Society in Latin America
One additional level III Spanish course1.00
Four electives from the following 14.00
Spain's Cultural and Linguistic Legacy (abroad)
Cultural Heritage of Spain
Cultural Heritage of Latin America
Cultural Heritage of the Hispanic U.S.
Contemporary Issues in the Spanish-Speaking World
EDUC 250Second Language Acquisition1.00
EDUC 321Teaching of Reading, 5-12 (0.50)0.50
All other requirements of the K-12 teaching licensure program in Spanish 2
EDUC 352Methods in Language Instruction: World Languages and English as an Additional Language1.00
Total Credits11.5

Students are strongly encouraged to take LNGST 250 English Language and Linguistics.

A maximum of three courses above the 250 level may be counted from off-campus study. Courses from abroad or other U.S. institutions count as 270-level electives. Independent study or research may not be counted in lieu of any of the courses referred to above. (Consult World Languages Licensure Advisor.)

Additionally, students must attain a level of Intermediate High, or above, on the OPIC (Oral Proficiency Interview Computerized).

SPAN 111: Introduction to Spanish Language and the Spanish-Speaking World I

Students begin learning Spanish in an intercultural context. The course introduces the Spanish-speaking world through exploration of topics, for example: the geography of the Spanish speaking world; Mexico, our neighbor; and ecotourism. In-class speaking, listening, reading, and writing activities are complemented by attendance at two required culture tables. Open only to students with no prior experience in Spanish or who have placed into Spanish 111. Offered fall semester and Interim. Does not count toward Spanish major.

SPAN 112: Introduction to Spanish Language and the Spanish-Speaking World II

Students continue learning Spanish in an intercultural context. The course continues to examine the Spanish-speaking world through exploration of topics, for example: cities and urban life; housing; and the historical roots of culinary traditions and food production. In-class speaking, listening, reading, and writing activities are complemented by attendance at two required culture tables. Offered each semester and Interim. Does not count toward Spanish major.
Prerequisite: SPAN 111 or placement into SPAN 112.

SPAN 231: Intercultural Connections in Global Wrld: U.S. & Spanish-Speaking Wrld

Through exploring the material and human diversity of the Spanish-speaking world and important connections among the United States, the Spanish-speaking countries of Latin America, and Spain, students develop increasingly complex skills for analyzing and communicating in Spanish. An examination of geography, environmental challenges and solutions, development, demographic changes, and ethnic diversity highlights the intersection of cultural, economic, and environmental realities. Required attendance at three conversation tables. This intermediate I-level Spanish course is offered each semester and during Interim. Does not count toward Spanish major.
Prerequisite: SPAN 112 or placement into SPAN 231.

SPAN 232: Latinx Experiences in the United States

Students explore the diverse cultural histories and identities of Mexican-Americans, Cuban-Americans, and Puerto Ricans (among other Latinx groups) by considering how ethnicity, race, language, gender, and social class manifest themselves in U.S. histories of citizenry, immigration, economy, and education through generations of Latinxs. Class activities foster analysis of historical and autobiographical texts to reflect on how power and privilege intersect and shape students' own experiences. Attendance at cultural events required. This intermediate II-level Spanish course is offered every semester and during Interim. Does not count toward Spanish major.
Prerequisite: SPAN 231 or placement.

SPAN 233: Intermediate Spanish II in Ecuador (abroad)

This course provides students with an intensive linguistic and cultural immersion experience in Ecuador. In-class activities focus on development of language skills and cross-cultural awareness. Outside of class, students improve their language proficiency and explore the cultural identity of Ecuador through a three-and-a-half-week home stay with a family in Quito; excursions and activities in and around the city of Quito; and field trips to the indigenous market of Otavalo, the Amazon region, and other areas in rural Ecuador. This intermediate II-level Spanish course is offered during Interim. Apply through International and Off-Campus Studies. Completes foreign language requirement. Open to first-year students. Not open to students who have completed SPAN 232. Does not count toward Spanish major.
Prerequisite: SPAN 231 with a minimum grade of B- or equivalent preparation.

SPAN 240: Politics and Environment in Puerto Rico (off-campus)

This academic civic engagement course explores the culture of Puerto Rico, including its politics, national identity, folklore, and the environment. Students travel to Puerto Rico (a territory of the U.S.A.), where they read and analyze authentic materials in Spanish and participate in talks and discussions with local professors, college students, and community leaders. Among the topics explored are colonialism, religion, citizenship, tourism, gentrification, natural disasters, race, and sustainability. Offered periodically during Interim. Apply through International and Off-Campus Studies.
Prerequisites: SPAN 232 or SPAN 233 or placement into SPAN 250.

SPAN 250: Family and Gender Roles in Spain: 1900 to Present

Students explore the topic of family and gender roles in Spanish society by analyzing cultural documents (literary and non-literary texts, including at least one substantive literary work). This cultural analysis provides for the development of critical reading and writing skills (e.g., description, narration, exposition, and argumentation). Taught in Spanish. Offered each semester. Also counts toward women's and gender studies and Latin American studies majors and family studies and women's and gender studies concentrations.
Prerequisite: SPAN 232 or placement into SPAN 250.

SPAN 270: Spain's Cultural and Linguistic Legacy (abroad)

This topics course explores a Spanish peninsular cultural, literary, and/or linguistic theme from a base in Spain through analysis and discussion of texts, guest lectures, excursions to appropriate cultural sites, field research, and related experiential activities. Sample topics include: Christians, Jews, and Muslims in Spain; Spain's Autonomous Communities; and Spain's Multilingual and Multicultural Landscape. Taught in Spanish. Offered alternate years during Interim. Apply through International and Off-Campus Studies. Also counts toward Latin American studies major.
Prerequisite: SPAN 250.

SPAN 271: Cultural Heritage of Spain

Students examine the diverse elements that have shaped Spanish culture through an exploration of political, social, economic, religious, and artistic topics. They develop critical analysis skills through reading, discussion, and written and/or oral projects. This course includes the study of selected literary and non-literary texts, including at least one substantive literary work. Taught in Spanish. Offered periodically.. Also counts toward Latin American studies major.
Prerequisite: SPAN 250.

SPAN 272: Cultural Heritage of Latin America

Students examine the diverse elements that have shaped Latin American culture through an exploration of political, social, economic, religious, and artistic topics. They develop critical analysis skills through reading, discussion, and written and/or oral projects. The course features the study of selected literary and non-literary texts, including at least one substantive literary work. Taught in Spanish. Offered periodically. Also counts toward Latin American studies major.
Prerequisite: SPAN 250.

SPAN 273: Cultural Heritage of the Hispanic U.S.

Students examine the diverse elements that have shaped the cultures of U.S. Hispanics and Latinx through an exploration of political, social, economic, religious, and artistic topics. They develop critical analysis through reading, discussion, and written and/or oral projects. Students examine processes of identity and inclusion, and its connections to historical narratives. Students analyze materials through an intersectional lens of race, colorism, language, generational differences, class, gender, and sexuality. Taught in Spanish. Offered every three semesters. Also counts toward race and ethnic studies major and concentration.
Prerequisite: SPAN 250.

SPAN 274: Contemporary Issues in the Spanish-Speaking World

Students analyze selected contemporary issues in Spain, Latin America, and/or the Hispanic U.S. Using readings from the press, academic sources, and governmental as well as non-governmental documents, students read, discuss, and write about issues at an advanced level of linguistic and analytical sophistication. The course includes study of at least one substantive literary work. Possible themes include love, family and marriage, or crossing borders and the challenges of migration. Taught in Spanish. Offered alternate years during Interim. Also counts toward Latin American studies major and management studies concentration.
Prerequisite: SPAN 250.

SPAN 275: Exploring Hispanic Literature

In this introduction to literary terminology and to principles of literary analysis across genres, literary texts (including poetry, short stories, theater, and novel) are studied in their socio-historical context. In different semesters, the focus may be literature of the Mexican Revolution, urban and rural life, or another topic chosen by the instructor. Taught in Spanish. Offered each semester.
Prerequisite: SPAN 250.

SPAN 276: Spanish as a First and Second Language

Students explore the processes involved in the acquisition of Spanish as a first and second language and the variation present in the language of both native and non-native speakers of Spanish from Spain, Latin America, and the U.S. Hispanic linguistics are studied with special attention paid to socio-cultural as well as structural aspects. The course includes the study of at least one substantive literary work. Taught in Spanish. Offered each semester. Also counts toward race and ethnic studies major and linguistic studies and race and ethnic studies concentrations.
Prerequisite: SPAN 250.

SPAN 294: Academic Internship

SPAN 298: Independent Study

SPAN 311: Language in Society

What is the role of language in our society? What is the impact of bilingualism in the U.S.? Students explore such questions from current Spanish socio-linguistics research. Through analysis of data, students examine issues of language contact, variation and change, language and gender, language and power, and/or language planning. May be repeated if topic is different. This course includes the study of at least one substantive literary work. Taught in Spanish. Offered alternate years. Also counts toward race and ethnic studies major and linguistic studies and race and ethnic studies concentrations.
Prerequisites: SPAN 250 and SPAN 276.

SPAN 312: Voices of the Spanish-Speaking World

Students examine political, economic, religious and/or social issues through textual analysis of literary and/or non-literary works representing diverse voices of the Spanish-speaking world (e.g. indigenous people, women, non-Castilian nationalities in Spain, or Afro-Hispanic groups). The course includes study of at least one substantive literary work. Sample topics include: Women and Repression or The Afro-Hispanic Struggle for Identity. May be repeated if topic is different. Taught in Spanish. Offered annually.
Prerequisites: SPAN 250 and at least one 270-level course.

SPAN 313: Literature and Society in Spain

Students explore one or more periods, genres, or topics of Spanish literature from its beginnings to the 21st century. Selected literary works are analyzed within their socio-historical and cultural contexts and in reference to pertinent critical or theoretical issues. Sample topics include: Sin and the Church in Medieval Literature, The Stage as Political Propaganda in Imperial Spain, and Federico García Lorca: Voices of the Oppressed. May be repeated if topic is different. Taught in Spanish. Offered annually.
Prerequisite: SPAN 275.

SPAN 314: Literature and Society in Latin America

Students explore one or more periods, genres, or topics from Pre-Columbian times to the 21st century. Selected literary works are analyzed within their socio-historical and cultural contexts and in reference to pertinent critical or theoretical issues. Sample topics include: The Shaping of Latin America; Personalism and Politics; Love and Magical Realism; and Literary Representations of Kitchens, Cooking, and Eating in Latin America. May be repeated if topic is different. Taught in Spanish. Offered annually.
Prerequisite: SPAN 275.

SPAN 315: Comparative "Hispanidades"

Students explore a topic pertinent to more than one geographic area of the Spanish-speaking world (Spain, Latin America, and/or the Hispanic U.S.). Students focus on comparative analysis through reading, discussion and writing in Spanish. The course includes study of at least one substantive literary work. Sample topics include: Dictatorship and Literature, and Language and Identity. May be repeated if topic is different. Taught in Spanish. Offered periodically.
Prerequisite: SPAN 250 and at least one 270-level course.

SPAN 394: Academic Internship

SPAN 398: Independent Research

SPAN 399: Seminar in Literature

Seminars engage students in in-depth study of a specified topic through readings, research and oral and written student reports. Special attention is paid to theoretical and bibliographic issues. Topics vary according to the areas of expertise and professional interests of departmental faculty. May be repeated if topic is different. Taught in Spanish. Offered alternate years.
Prerequisites: SPAN 250 and at least one 270-level course.

Chair, 2020-2021

Maggie A. Broner

Associate Professor of Romance Languages - Spanish

Hispanic linguistics; culture; second language acquisition

Gwendolyn Barnes-Karol

Professor of Romance Languages - Spanish

Peninsular literature and culture; contemporary Spain; orality and literacy; second language acquisition

Kris A. Cropsey

Visiting Instructor in Romance Languages - Spanish

Hispanic linguistics; sociolinguistics; second language acquisition; teacher education

Marit K. Hanson

Visitng Instructor of Romance Languages - Spanish

Amy M. Hill Cosimini

Visiting Assistant Professor of Romance Languages - Spanish

Kristina Medina-Vilariño

Associate Professor of Romance Languages-Spanish

Caribbean Studies; 20th- and 21st-century Latin American studies; contemporary Latino studies; race and ethnic studies

Maria del Carmen Moreno-Diaz

Assistant Professor of Romance Languages

Leon Narvaez

Professor of Romance Languages - Spanish

Hispanic culture, language, and literature; migration and other interdisciplinary studies

Jonathan P. O'Conner

Associate Professor of Romance Languages-Spanish

Peninsular early modern/golden age literature and cultures; cultural and intellectual histories; humanism; colonial Latin America

Ariel T. Strichartz

Associate Professor of Romance Languages - Spanish

contemporary Latin American theater and narrative; Argentine theater; literary food studies; memory studies