Hispanic Studies Department: Goals and Objectives
curriculum and is articulated in course syllabuses, activities and assignments at all levels
The prerequisite structure for advancement through the course levels underscores this
The structure of our course offerings follows a trajectory of increasing linguistic and
cultural competence through the acquisition of speaking, reading and analytical writing
skills in Spanish. After the initial first year and intermediate Spanish language courses
students take courses designed to develop their skills through the critical practice of the
language through cultural analysis. These courses, Reading and Writing in Hispanic
Culture (HISP 206), and Interdisciplinary Analysis (HISP 216), focus on critical reading,
thinking and writing skills in Spanish with a rigorous component of essay writing, exams
and class presentations. Subsequently the department offers 200 level literature and
culture courses that cover historical periods in Latin America and Spain recognized
across the discipline. These courses incorporate themes designed by the instructor and
promote innovation and renewal in our course offerings at this level. Finally we offer
three 300 level seminars per year focusing on specific topics in Latin America and Spain.
The seminars explore these topics in great depth and require that students participate in
the direction of the course in a highly responsible and engaged manner and regularly
require a final research paper of 16-20 pages or an alternative project.
Hispanic Studies has an optional senior thesis that all majors are encouraged to undertake. Students who would like to qualify for departmental honors must write a thesis. The thesis can be research oriented, a piece of creative writing or a translation. For those majors who opt not to write a senior thesis an additional 300 level seminar must be taken for a total of three 300 level seminars. The senior thesis is a capstone exercise that demonstrates the student's ability to synthesize their linguistic and analytical skills in Spanish while demonstrating mastery of a specific cultural text, period, genre, or performative modality.