Professor Xinda Lian, Chair
Professor Susan Paun de García; Associate Professors Dosinda Alvite, Mónica Ayala-Martínez; Assistant Professors Jason Busic, Verónica M. González López, Francisco J. López-Martín; Visiting Instructors/Assistant Professors Iliano Figueroa, Bobby Nixon, Beth Tatko; Academic Administrative Assistant Liz Barringer-Smith
Educated people spend their lives trying to grow in political, social and intellectual freedom. One kind of intellectual freedom requires us to break away from the notion that our native language is the most natural and apt means of expressing the full range of human experience. An education can start with the discovery that all words are purely conventional devices. They are nonetheless tools that stir emotions, articulate ideas, and establish relationships with others. Learning a foreign language contributes to our education by providing an intimate exercise in cultural and linguistic concepts that open up new vistas on what it can mean to be human. Also, foreign-language courses allow entry into the subjectivity of the target language on its own cultural and linguistic grounds, allowing a different and more profound redefinition of our own culture.
Our basic courses offer the opportunity to acquire the skills and knowledge to master a foreign language. Students take full advantage of that opportunity, so they can use the target language in subsequent courses dealing with the foreign culture. The Department emphasizes the use of a foreign language in most of its courses so that students can best appreciate a foreign culture from within its own mode of expression.
With a view toward career opportunities, the Department encourages integrating foreign language study with a variety of other academic areas, such as history, philosophy, international studies, environmental studies, biology, economics, political science, and English. Courses in cultural studies and literature, aside from their intrinsic worth, also present multiple perspectives on other cultures and areas of intellectual experience.
A student wishing to spend a summer, a semester, or a year abroad with programs approved by Denison should consult members of the Department and the Office of Off-Campus Studies (see Off-Campus Programs). On-campus opportunities to improve their command of the language are provided by the Language and Culture Program, language tables, foreign films, club meetings, and similar activities sponsored by the Department. There are as well subsidized field trips to museums and pertinent activities in cities across the country, and in some cases foreign countries.
Spanish Program Mission. Our mission is to enrich students' views on life by learning languages and crossing cultures in an intellectually challenging context. By working closely with professors in class and individually, students learn to value alternative perspectives and to think in diverse ways.
Spanish Program Vision. Our students become co-learners with each other and us, and competent in intercultural communication and the study of cultural discourses. They engage with a wide range of texts and develop analytic and evaluative skills to be active participants in a rapidly changing world. They connect with the world outside in multiple and significant ways: study abroad, student conferences, guest speakers, extracurricular activities, community outreach. Our program is a rigorous, intellectually stimulating, and fulfilling endeavor, responding to an ever-changing world. It integrates culture, language, and literature through and across multiple perspectives and methodologies. It also forges ties with many other departments throughout the university so that our discipline can facilitate research and the construction of knowledge across the curriculum
Goals for the Major. The program subscribes to the Standards for Foreign Language Learning in the 21st Century articulated by the "National Standards in Foreign Language Education Project".
Students engage in conversations, provide and obtain information, express feelings and emotions, and exchange opinions.
Students understand and interpret written and spoken language on a variety of topics from diverse media.
Students present information, concepts, and ideas to an audience of listeners or readers on a variety of topics.
Practices and perspectives
Students demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between the practices and perspectives of the culture studied.
Products and Perspectives
Students demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between the products and perspectives of the culture studied.
Students reinforce and further their knowledge of other disciplines through the foreign language.
Students acquire information and recognize the distinctive viewpoints that are only available through the foreign language and its cultures.
Students demonstrate understanding of the nature of language through comparisons of the language studied and their own.
Students demonstrate understanding of the concept of culture through comparisons of the cultures studied and their own, including the relationship between accepted practices, products and perspectives.
Students use the language both within and beyond the school setting.
Students show evidence of becoming life-long learners by using the language for personal enjoyment and enrichment.
Students majoring in Spanish must take a minimum of 9 courses above 213. Required courses are: Spanish 215, 220, 230. In addition, students must take 3 elective courses at the 300 level and 3 elective courses at the 400 level. Students engaged in a full-year Senior Research Project in Spanish will need only one 400-level course. All students who wish to engage in Senior Research projects are expected to submit a petition to the department during their junior year (before a study abroad experience is undertaken).
The minor in Spanish consists of at least five courses above the 213 level, including three required courses at the 200 level and two electives at the 300 or 400 level. The following courses are required: 215, 220 and 230.
Summer Abroad in Chile. The International Program "Gender and Culture in Chile and Latin America" offers an intercultural encounter and dialog between universities, allowing students to make contact with the world of Chile and Latin America and to get to know Chile's social, geographical and cultural landscapes. During their stay in Chile, students are immersed in a Spanish-speaking environment in the atmosphere of a non-traditional university, located in central Santiago.
The Language Lab. An important asset of the department is the Language Lab with its 27 Macs, zone-free DVD player, multi-standard VCR and document camera. The Lab provides support for learning activities outside and inside the classroom, ranging from grammar drills to research and collaborative writing projects, as well as discussions on authentic materials published on the Internet. The area is designed not only for individualized instruction but also for group work and small seminars that use a variety of digital materials for class discussion.
Cultural Enrichment. Each semester the Department offers students exceptional opportunities for cultural enrichment in foreign languages. These opportunities include, for example, off-campus trips to target-culture plays, movies and performances, as well as campus visits by native scholars and performers. In that way, experiences in target cultures become more readily available to our students. These opportunities are made possible through a most generous endowment bestowed on the Department of Modern Languages by the Patty Foresman Fund.
The Foresman Lounge. Located in the central hub of the department, it provides the Denison community with a space for a wide range of activities such as receptions, classes, and informal gatherings. This area has a small kitchenette with a table and chairs for sharing lunch or a coffee with our faculty. It is also equipped with a wide range of technological devices with which to enrich our students’ learning experiences. This room has a 52-inch flat screen TV that is connected to a satellite dish, which provides us with SCOLA television services from around the world. The TV is also connected to a multi-standard VCR, a zone-free DVD player and a document camera. The lounge has a ceiling-mounted data projector, which connects to a networked Mac computer, the DVD player, VCR and document camera.
General Departmental Regulations. Students planning to major in the Department are advised to begin course work in the first year. Those wishing to fulfill the basic requirement in language by continuing the one begun in secondary school will find it advantageous to begin their course work in the first year. The Department of Modern Languages strongly recommends that students complete their language requirement by the end of their sophomore year.
The Language and Culture Program. This exciting residential option gives students the opportunity to hone their language skills and to participate in special cultural events. Students who choose this residential option will live in a small community of their peers who share their enthusiasm for foreign languages and cultures. Special extracurricular activities and programming in the Language House support language acquisition and permit a closer relationship with professors and language assistants from the Department of Modern Languages.
Beginning Spanish I (SPAN-111). Students learn about the Spanish-speaking world while they start developing their Spanish linguistic skills in four basic areas (listening, speaking, reading, and writing). Students do a variety of written and oral activities that include formal and informal presentations, skits, short essays, etc. The course is conducted in Spanish. 4
Beginning Spanish II (SPAN-112). Students continue learning about the Spanish-speaking world while they solidify their Spanish linguistic skills at the ACTFL novice level in the four basic areas (listening, speaking, reading, and writing). Students do a variety of written and oral activities that include formal and informal presentations, skits, short essays, etc. The course is conducted in Spanish. Prerequisite: Spanish 111 or placement. 4
Intermediate Spanish (SPAN-211). Students further their knowledge of the Spanish-speaking world while developing a functional comprehension and use of spoken and written Spanish at the ACTFL novice-high/intermediate-low level. The course solidifies grammar structures and emphasizes the acquisition of cultural knowledge about the Spanish-speaking world through a wide variety of visual and written texts. Conducted in Spanish. Prerequisite: Spanish 112 or placement. 4
Communication Skills (SPAN-213). Students will enhance their proficiency in oral and written Spanish, in order to solidify a low-intermediate ACTFL level. Students will develop skills such as summarizing, comparing, contrasting and synthesizing. Students will practice communicational abilities through discussions, oral presentations, debates, reports and film reviews. Audiovisual materials, Internet based resources and cultural readings will be frequently used texts. Conducted in Spanish. Prerequisite: Spanish 211 or placement. 4
Writing Workshop (SPAN-215). Students will develop their writing skills through an intensive review of Spanish grammar. They will also cover advanced linguistic structures (use of idioms, que vs. cual, preposition use, etc.). Students will learn a range of composition tools (connectors, the usuage of synonymy and MLA style) which will help them expand their writing abilities and knowledge. This course is designed to develop student's writing skills in a wide variety of genres. Students will write, edit, and evaluate their work and that of their peers', following textual models. Students will solidify a low-intermediate ACTFL level. Conducted in Spanish. Prerequisite: Spanish 213 or placement. 4
Introduction to Hispanic Literature (SPAN-220). What is literature? What is it good for? How is Hispanic literature different from literature written in English? Short stories, poems, plays and essays representative of various Spanish-speaking countries are read and analyzed in this class. Students will learn and practice the skills of close reading, informed discussion and analytical writing about literature. Students will develop an understanding of the nature of literary genres and literary concepts (themes, character, conflict, point of view, figurative language). Students will develop an appreciation of literature and the ability to interpret it by writing short analytical essays, doing oral presentations, reciting poetry and performing plays. Students will achieve an intermediate-mid ACTFL level. Conducted in Spanish. Prerequisite: Spanish 215 or placement. 4
Introduction to Hispanic Cultures (SPAN-230). Students are introduced to important cultural characteristics and productions from both Latin America and Spain. This course offers a historical framework to identify, analyze and contrast fundamental cultural themes, actors and events. Students will develop analytical and critical skills to understand similarities and differences between Spain and Latin America. Students will achieve an intermediate-mid ACTFL level. Conducted in Spanish. Prerequisite: Spanish 215 or placement. 4
Translation Studies: Being Translingual and Transcultural (SPAN-314). This course introduces students to the existing world of translation. Students work with written texts, transferring text from a source language into a target language (Spanish-English and English-Spanish). This is far more than replacing one word with another: the translator must also convey the style, tone, and intent of the text. Focus is on the actual process of translation: what the translator does and why. Students will work mostly with literary and journalistic texts. Students will gain an understanding of different cultural communication styles. Students will familiarize themselves with the relationship between language and power, and the role of the translator as the "in-between" agent. Prerequisite: SPAN 215, 220 and 230. 4
Grammar in Context (SPAN-315). Students conduct an in-depth analysis of the Spanish grammatical system, which includes phonetics and phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, and pragmatics. Students will also be familiarized with diachronic and diatopic linguistic variation, the history and evolution of Spanish, translation. Written work and oral presentations in Spanish are produced at the ACTFL intermediate-high level. Students analyze the Spanish grammatical system in a wide variety of written and oral texts by completing problem-solving exercises to illustrate and demonstrate key concepts. Conducted in Spanish. Prerequisites: Spanish 215 and either Spanish 220 or Spanish 230. 4
Survey of Spanish Literature (SPAN-320). Students will analyze Spanish Literature from the Middle Ages to the Twentieth Century within its historical, sociocultural and artistic contexts. This course offers an overview of main literary periods, authors and genres. Students will examine a variety of texts and the outstanding characteristics of their authors. Students will engage in critical analysis of texts through research essays, creative projects and oral presentations, at the ACTFL intermediate-high level. Conducted in Spanish. Prerequisites: Spanish 215, Spanish 220 and Spanish 230. 4
Transatlantic Myth Busters: The Black Legend (SPAN-322). Was Inquisition an evil machine created by the Spaniards to terrorize the world? Did the Spanish Empire rule over half of the world through fear and punishment? Is Spain a barbaric country? Students will address these and other questions that arose during the 16th and 17th centuries in Europe to analyze the expansion of the Spanish Empire. In this class, we will study different power relationships between Spain and Latin America and, Spain and Europe. Through historical, literary and cultural texts students will analyze the myth known as "The Black Legend" and learn about different social and political structures and discursive strategies that sustain power. Students will also explore how these have been transformed and survive nowadays. Prerequisite: SPAN 215, 220, and 230. 4
Hispanic Culture Through Service Learning in Central Ohio (SPAN-323). Students learn about the cultures and varied history of Latino communities in the USA and use their Spanish language skills through service with local Hispanic communities. Specific questions on education and representation of Mexican Americans, Cubans Puerto Ricans and Central-Americans are explored. Written work and oral presentations in Spanish are produced at the ACTFL intermediate-high level. Students analyze texts, evaluate films and documentaries, and write journals reflecting on the students’ experiences with the Latinos we work with. 4
Survey of Latin American Literature (SPAN-325). Students will analyze texts from Pre-Columbian times to the present within their historical, sociocultural and artistic contexts. This course offers an overview of main literary periods, authors and genres. Students will examine a variety of texts and the outstanding characteristics of their authors. Students will engage in critical analysis of tests through research essays, creative projects and oral presentations, at the ACTFL intermediate-high level. Conducted in Spanish. Prerequisites: Spanish 215, Spanish 220 and Spanish 230. 4
Cultures of Spain (SPAN-330). Students will analyze how the different people of Spain conceive of and represent themselves, their attitudes, values and beliefs. Through a multidisciplinary approach, students will explore questions about national and regional identities, religious and ethnic communities, cultural movements and institutions, canon formation and popular culture. Following a historical perspective, students will examine the evolution of institutions, traditions and various artistic endeavors. Hisstorical, cultural, philosophical texts will be the basis of this class. Students will hone the skills of interpreting, relating, categorizing, and critiquing cultural works and periods. Students will write analytical essays, present oral reports and take exams as part of the course evaluation. Students will achieve an ACTFL intermediate-high level. Conducted in Spanish. Prerequisites: Spanish 215, Spanish 220 and Spanish 230. 4
Cultures of Latin America (SPAN-335). Students will analyze selected historical themes such as revolution, gender and sexual politics, Southern cone dictatorships, human rights, and memory. Students will work with a variety of texts: films, testimonies, performance art, and fine arts. Students will engage in critical analysis of texts through research essays, creative projects and oral presentations, at the ACTFL intermediate-high level. Conducted in Spanish. Prerequisites: Spanish 215, Spanish 220 and Spanish 230. 4
Seminar in Language (SPAN-415). Language is an extremely complex natural phenomenon that has inspired countless artists, philosophers, scientists, pundits, and comedians over the centuries. This course takes a scientific approach to the study and understanding of language. Students conduct an in-depth study and discussion of selected topics in language, grammar, linguistics, or translation. Written and oral presentations in Spanish are produced at the ACTFL intermediate-high/advanced-low level. Conducted in Spanish. This course involves the writing of a research paper. Prerequisites: Spanish 315, Spanish 220 and Spanish 230. 4
Seminar in Peninsular Literature (SPAN-420). Study and discussion in depth of a selected topic, writer or work from Peninsular literature. This course will involve the writing of a research paper. Conducted in Spanish. Prerequisites: 320 or 325. 4
Seminar in Latin American Literature (SPAN-425). Study and discussion in depth of a selected topic, writer or work from Latin American literature. This course will involve the writing of a research paper. Conducted in Spanish. Prerequisites: 320 or 325. 4
Seminar in Spanish Culture (SPAN-430). Students will study and discuss in depth a selected topic, artist or creative work in the culture of Peninsular Spain. Building up on cultural structures studied in previous courses, students will advance personal critiques and evaluations of creative works. Students will hone their research skills and will demonstrate them through oral presentations, in-depth discussions, creative work, research papers, poster sessions, webspaces, and wikis that meet the ACTFL intermediate-high/advanced-low level standards. Conducted in Spanish. Prerequisites: Spanish 215, Spanish 220, Spanish 230 and Spanish 330. 4
Seminar in Latin American Culture (SPAN-435). Students will study and discuss in depth a selected topic, artist, creative work or cultural period in Latin America. Students will summarize, compare and contrast, synthesize and evaluate cultural themes, actors and events. Students will hone their research skills and will demonstrate them through oral presentations, in-depth discussions, creative work, research papers, poster sessions, webspaces, and wikis that meet the ACTFL intermediate-high/advanced-low level standards. Conducted in Spanish. Prerequisites: Spanish 215, Spanish 220, Spanish 230 and Spanish 335. 4
Seminar in Hispanic Transatlantic Culture (SPAN-440). Students will engage in an in-depth study of selected topics in the frame of the Atlantic World, which addresses the relations between teh cultures of Peninsular Spain and Latin America from a transatlantic perspective. Students will question Western systems of the thought, will interrogate structures of power and will develop new connections to the realities of the Hispanic World. Students will summarize, compare and contrast, synthesize and evaluate cultural themes, actors and events. Students will hone their research skills and will demonstrate them through oral presentations, in-depth discussions, creative work, research papers, poster sessions, webspaces, and wikis that meet the ACTFL intermediate-high/advanced-low level standards. Conducted in Spanish. Prerequisites: Spanish 215, Spanish 220, Spanish 230 and two courses at the 300 level. 4