Course Descriptions


The following list contains the undergraduate courses offered for Fall 2018:

  • SPA 1111 - Introductory Spanish I
  • SPA 1112 - Introductory Spanish II
  • SPA 1121 - Intermediate Spanish I
  • SPA 1122 - Intermediate Spanish II
  • SPA 1130 - Spanish for Heritage Speakers
  • SPA 1131 - Conversation & Composition I
  • SPA 1132 - Conversation & Composition II
  • SPA 1138 - Advanced Grammar
  • SPA 1140 - Writing and Stylistics in Spanish
  • SPA 2220-  Literature and Culture of Spain
  • SPA 2993 - Internship: Community Interpreter with the Villanova Law School
  • SPA 3044 - Contemp. Peninsular Narrative
  • SPA 3074 - Hispanic Cinema
  • SPA 3412 001 - Topics: Colonial Literature
  • SPA 3412 002 - Topics: Women Writers of Spain
  • SPA 3412 003 -Topics: Narratives of War on Drugs
  • SPA 3412 004 - Topics: Sickness in the Middle Ages
  • SPA 3412 005- Topics: Habana in Cuban Lit and Film 
  • SPA 3970 - Research Seminar

In the Summer all coures are taught as distance learning courses online.

Complete list of courses:

SPA 1111: Introductory Spanish I

Description:  Groundwork Spanish, including oral proficiency, aural comprehension, and reading; for students with no prior knowledge of Spanish. Supplementary language laboratory work and oral drills. 

SPA 1112: Introductory Spanish II

Description:  Groundwork Spanish, including oral proficiency, aural comprehension, and reading; for students with no prior knowledge of Spanish. Supplementary language laboratory work and oral drills.   

SPA 1121: Intermediate Spanish I

Description:  Review of grammar, composition, reading and conversation.  Students should have completed SPA 1111 and 1112 or the equivalent. 

SPA 1122: Intermediate Spanish II

Description:  Review of grammar, composition, reading and conversation. Students should have completed SPA 1121 or the equivalent.

SPA 1130: Span. for Heritage Speakers I (equivalent to 1131)

Description:  Combination of reading and writing in addition to speaking. Work is individualized for needs of students. Objective is to prepare students for a more advanced course. Restricted to student with Hispanic background who have been exposed to Spanish at home, at all levels.   

SPA 1131: Conversation & Composition I

Description:  Regular practice in conversation and composition with review of grammar and continuing work on language skills in Spanish. Students should have completed SPA 1122 or the equivalent. Not suitable for native, or heritage speaker of Spanish, they should take 1130 instead.

SPA 1132: Conversation & Composition II

Description: Spanish 1132 is the continuation of a two-coursesequence. Intensive practice in conversation and composition with review of grammar as well as an introduction to the analysis of literary and cultural texts. As a result, students will develop their vocabulary and improve their grammatical skills, allowing them to express themselves in a sophisticated way. Students should have completed SPA 1131 or the equivalent. Uses literary and cultural readings (poetry, essays, theater, web-based media and narrative). Spanish 1132 is not recommended for Spanish Heritage Speakers.

SPA 1135: Span for Heritage Speakers II (equivalent to 1132)

Description:  Practice in conversation and composition with focus on advanced proficiency in Spanish. Course conducted in Spanish. Restricted to students with Hispanic background who have been exposed to Spanish at home. 

SPA 1138: Advanced Grammar

Description:  Intensive grammar review with special attention to literary style. Prerequisite: 1132 or equivalent.

SPA 1140: Writing & Stylistics in Span.

Description: A writing intensive course and is a requirement, in lieu of Spanish 1138, for the Spanish major.  Rather than limit itself to pure grammatical rules and theory, this course examines directly and critically literary works by recognized Hispanic authors toward the objective of exploring their various writing styles and approaches. Prerequisite: 1132 or equivalent.

SPA 2044: Latin American Novel

Description: Reading and interpretation of Spanish-American novels from the modernist period to the present.  Prerequisite: 1132 or equivalent.

SPA 2124: Creative Writing in Spanish

Description:  Designed specifically to develop the creativity and talent of the students at the same time of improving their spoken and written Spanish through daily writing practice in and out of the classroom. Prerequisite: 1132 or its equivalent.

SPA 2220: Literature & Culture of Spain

Description: The foremost works of Spanish literature from the beginnings to present day. A required course for majors. Prerequisite: 1132 or equivalent.
 Diversity Requirement 2  

SPA 2221: Lit. & Cult. of Latin America

Description:  Spanish-American literature from colonial times to the present. A required course for majors. Prerequisite: 1132 or equivalent.

SPA 2424: Saints in Spain

Description:  This course will study the evolution of the idea of sainthood between the 8th and 13th centuries. Drawing on Arabic and Latin texts in Spanish translation as well as Spanish texts, we will study issues like shared saint veneration, social norms and collective memory in Medieval Spain. Prerequisite: 1132 or equivalent.

SPA 2993: Community Interpre. Internship

Description:  A community-based experience translating & interpreting for the VU Law Clinic and the Philadelphia Hispanic community.   Prerequisite: 1132 or equivalent.
Attributes: Diversity Requirement 1 

SPA 2996: Internship

Description:  A community-based experience in the Philadelphia Hispanic community. Prerequisite: 1132 or equivalent.

SPA 3025: Faces of Modernity

Description:  Study of artistic trends in twentieth century Spain. Prerequisite: 1132 or equivalent.

SPA 3044: Contemp. Peninsular Narrative

Description:  Representative trends in 20th century Spanish novels. Prerequisite:1132 or equivalent. 

Spa 3045:  Short Story

Description:  Examines the short fiction is all its forms in the Hispanic literary tradition. Prerequisite 1132 or equivalent.

SPA 3046: The Latin American "Boom"

Description:  The contemporary novel and short story Borges, Cartazar, Asturias, Fuentes, Machado de Assis, Rulfo, Garcia Marquez. Prerequisite: 1132 or equivalent.

SPA 3054: Latin American Poetry

Description:  The development of Spanish-American poetry from colonial times to the present. Satisfies Diversity Requirement. Prerequisite:1132 or equivalent. 

Spa 3064:  Spanish Theater of 20 & 21 Centuries

Description:  A critical analysis of representative works from Jacinto Benavente to present day within the historical and socio-cultural context of the literary production of each dramatist.  Prerequisite: 1132 or equivalent.
Attributes: Diversity Requirement 2 

SPA 3074: Hispanic Cinema

Description:  Analysis of films from Spain and/or Latin America as a representation of identities and reflection of particular political and social circumstances. Prerequisite: 1132 or equivalent.
 Attributes: Cultural Studies

SPA 3214: Intro. to Spanish Linguistics

Description:  The structure of Spanish. Methods, findings, and theory of linguistic research on the sound system and the structures of present-day Spanish. The basics of abstract linguistic analysis. Hands-on introduction to the major subdisciplines of linguistics: morphology, phonetics, phonology, semantics, and syntax. Prerequisite: 1132 or equivalent.

SPA 3254:  Spanish Lyric Tradition

Description:  Examines the major themes and evolution of Spanish lyrical verse from its beginnings to present day. Prerequisite: 1132 or equivalent.

SPA 3412: Special Topic

Description:  Advanced study of topics of special interest in Spanish literary and/or cultural studies. May be repeated for credit if topic changes. Prerequisite: 1132 or equivalent.

SPA 3412 001 - Topics: Romantic Monsters and Ghosts

Objetivos del seminario Este seminario estudiará los textos principales del romanticismo español dentro del contexto europeo.  Examinaremos distintos géneros literarios en diálogo con otras artes y con la sociedad española de la época, con el fin de entender cómo pensaban y sentían las personas en el ambiente cultural que reinaba en esos momentos en España y Europa.  Diversity 2

SPA 3412 002 Women and Power in Latin America

This undergraduate course examines literature and visual arts created by women authors during the second half of twentieth-century Latin America. By looking at an array of texts, films and artistic production created in the context of dictatorships, wars, and State repression, this class offers students an introduction to issues of power, patriarchy, and feminism in Latin America. Specifically, we will focus on the Southern Cone, Peru, and Central America to analyze the ways, in which women re-elaborated, re-shaped, and represented terror and repression.

SPA 3412 003 -"U.S.-Mexico Border Narratives"

The course will explore contemporary U.S.–Mexico Border representations from a cultural studies perspective including a wide variety of fiction and non-fiction works, mass media, performances and activism. We will analyze the role of border narratives in the augmentation of contemporary discourses of nationalism, securitization and “illegality”, but also its counterparts, artistic works, novels, and cultural activism (in both sides of the border) contesting this border anxiety.    

SPA 3412 004  Topics: Memoria en la Edad Media

Description:  This course will analyze how the concepts of memory and oblivion played in the construction of Medieval society. By looking at a variety of texts from Latin and Arabic traditions, we will examine how medieval writers used memory as a vehicle of cultural transmission and as an essential tool to legitimize Christian rule in the Iberian peninsula.
We will examine textual, archaeological, visual and oral sources. The implications of memory/forgetting, place and identity creation, production and reproduction of collective/personal memory will be critically evaluated and re-contextualized within a larger cultural field.

SPA 3484: Medieval Frontiers

Description:  The Cid and other major works of the Spanish Middle Ages: early lyric, epic, ballad, prose. Prerequisite: 1132 or equivalent.

SPA 3485: Nature in Medieval Culture

Description:  La naturaleza en la culture medieval explores issues through literature: the perception of the world, the intersection between nature and religion, the relation between literature and visual arts, the importance and meaning of nature in political discourse. Prerequisite: 1132 or equivalent.

SPA 3654: Early Modern Poetry

Description: Traces the political and socio-cultural milieu of Spain's Early Modern era as reflected in the works of representative poets of Spain's renaissance period at the beginning of Europe's 16th century through Spain's baroque period ending with the close of the 17th century.  Prerequisite: 1132 or equivalent.

SPA 3744: Cervantes

Description: An interdisciplinary approach to Cervantes's work. Prerequisite: 1132 or equivalent.

SPA 3764: Drama of Golden Age

Description:  The representation of the monarch, women, minority groups, etc. in Golden Age society through its drama. Prerequisite: 1132 or equivalent.

SPA 3944: Hispanic Pop Culture

Description:   This course discusses the influence of popular culture expressions such as music, cinema, literature, sports, and food in the nation building projects in Latin America.

SPA 3970: Research Seminar

Description:  Principles and techniques of literary research. Overview of major Spanish and Spanish-American authors and representative works. Prerequisite: 1132 or equivalent.

SPA 5900: Independent Study in Spanish

Description:  Supervised study, activity or research. May be taken more than once. Prerequisite: 3000 level course, or equivalent. Complete the application for the approval of the instructor and the Department Chair. 


RLL 3450 001 "Visualizing Chican@/Puerto Rican/Latin@ Literature in the US"

This course examines representative literature and performance of Puerto Rican and other Latin@ writers living in the United States. We will study chronicles, diaries, autobiographies, and testimonials, as well as the Diaspora experience and the cultural
affirmation of identity as portrayed in short stories, drama, poetry and performance art. The course will expose the student to performative activities, literary criticism and data visualization (the last two weeks). We will finish the course learning to code in python our own graph for the final paper. Overall, the seminar offers a historical and critical grounding for Chicano/Latino writing in the US by surveying Latino literature from the nineteenth century to the present. We will read works by authors such as José Martí, Judith Ortiz Cofer, Julia de Burgos, Jesús Colón, José E. Muñoz, Piri Thomas, some of the Nuyorican Poets, Gloria Anzaldúa, Tania Bruguera, Junot Díaz and many others. The course will be taught in English.