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Hispanic Studies Department Goals and Objectives

The objectives of Hispanic Studies are manifold and interdisciplinary. The unifying foundational goal for students is the acquisition of analytical and communicative skills in written and oral Spanish as taught in the context of Latin American and Spanish cultural production. This objective posits a complementary linguistic and cultural literacy as a socially meaningful platform for the future development of this knowledge in a professional setting. These departmental objectives are communicated to the students through the requirements for the concentration and the correlate sequence as described in the College Catalogue, course descriptions, syllabuses, in class teaching, academic advising, career and post-graduate advising, and our commitment to field work and study away.n/a

The expectations for the mastery of skills occurs throughout the Hispanic Studies  curriculum and is articulated in course syllabuses, activities and assignments at all levels

The prerequisite structure for advancement through the course levels underscores this  articulation.    

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.