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Image by Deensel - Lisbon main square, available under the CC by 2.0 license. This photo has been cropped to fit the display area.

Spanish & Portuguese

As a single department with two majors—one in Spanish, the other in Portuguese and Brazilian studies—our commitment to intercultural studies reaches beyond traditional fields of national literatures, genres and languages to embrace cultural studies, environmental studies, gender and sexuality studies, the arts and more. Our courses encourage students to reconsider traditional notions of identity, nation, geography and culture from integrative and transcultural perspectives. Our curriculum reflects the fact that Spanish and Portuguese are increasingly recognized as domestic U.S. languages. We aim to integrate the heterogeneous languages and cultures we research and teach, from their inceptions on the Iberian Peninsula and in the Americas, to current linguistic and cultural manifestations in Europe, Africa and the Americas (including the United States), the Caribbean, the Atlantic and the Mediterranean.

Photo information: Lisbon main square, photo by Deensel, made available under the CC BY 2.0 license, this image was cropped to the display area

News and Events

Department News

We welcome to the department Dr. Yeongju Lee who is beginning a two-year postdoctoral fellowship in Spanish.  She recently completed her Ph.D. at Emory University with a dissertation examining the history of Latino soldiers and the Korean War through the lens of global coloniality and comparative racial/ethnic formations.  This fall she will teach a new course, SPN 246, "The Transpacific Archive of the Americas," examining historical and contemporary connections between Asia and the Americas.

Global Flex Brazil Info Session

Campus Center 102, 12:15–1:15 p.m., September 26, 2023
Students are invited to learn more about the Global Flex Brazil: Contemporary Art Parks and Cultural Centers program. This short-term, faculty-led course will take students in May 2024, to explore the thriving arts scenes and cultural centers of São Paulo and then the Inhotim Contemporary Art Institute, a massive arts complex and botanic garden in the neighboring state of Minas Gerais.

Spanish and Portuguese Dept. Study Abroad Info Session

Seelye 312, 4:15 p.m., October 3, 2023
Come learn about Smith-approved study abroad programs in Portuguese and Spanish-language locations, including Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, Mexico, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Spain, and the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands.

Brazilian Carnaval Party

Carroll Room, Campus Center, 5:30-9 p.m., February 9, 2024
Students, faculty, and staff are invited to celebrate carnival, Brazilian-style. Live music by local samba ensemble, Quarteto de Cinco, from 6-7 p.m. (approximately), followed by Brazilian student DJs. Refreshments and carnival mask-making supplies provided.

Requirements & Courses

Goals for Majors in Spanish and Portuguese

Spanish Major Learning Goals

Upon graduation our students are able to think critically and to speak, read and write with accuracy at an advanced level in Spanish, and at a low-intermediate level or higher in Portuguese. They have the ability to negotiate diverse academic, professional and social situations in Spanish with high communicative capacity. To this end, most of our classes are held in the target language, as is all student work produced in these classes, including discussions, oral presentations and written work. Our majors are able to identify and analyze a range of forms and styles of cultural expression, including diverse literary genres, visual art, film, performance and drama. Majors graduate with the capacity to think historically, to identify and utilize a variety of literary and cultural theories, to interpret original creative works, as well as develop comparative and interdisciplinary analyses.

Portuguese and Brazilian Studies Major Learning Goals

Upon graduation, our students are able to speak, read and write with accuracy at a high-intermediate to advanced level in Portuguese and to negotiate diverse academic, professional and social situations with effective communicative capacity. To this end, a number of core classes are held in the target language and engage students in a variety of communication activities, including informal conversation, discussion of authentic texts, presentations, personal essays and research papers. Beyond linguistic competency, majors graduate with a high degree of intercultural literacy, having studied aspects of Brazilian and Lusophone cultures and societies through a combination of humanities and social science perspectives.

Spanish Major

Requirements

Ten semester courses

  1. Five courses to be taken in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at Smith College.
    1. One upper-level course, a topic of SPN 245 or above
    2. One course focused on writing in Spanish and designated by the department as meeting the Spanish writing requirement
    3. One semester of Portuguese: POR 110 or POR 125
    4. Two 300-level Spanish courses, normally taken during the senior year.
  2. Five electives dealing with the languages and cultures of the Spanish-speaking world, offered by or cross-listed with the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at Smith or in approved Spanish language programs abroad.
Major Requirement Details
  • Up to two additional electives can be courses in Portuguese.
  • One elective can be a class taught in English if it deals with the cultures of the Spanish-speaking world—this includes bilingual or English-speaking U.S. Latinx communities.
  • SPN 112Y may be counted toward the elective requirement as one course.
  • For courses taken abroad, credit will be granted at the 200 level.
  • No single course can count for more than one of these requirements.

Portuguese–Brazilian Studies Major

Requirements

Nine semester courses 

  1. POR 110 and POR 111, or POR 125 and one additional elective.
  2. POR 200 or POR 215
  3. 200-level course in Brazilian or Comparative Lusophone Studies taught in Portuguese.
  4. Five additional courses related to the Portuguese-speaking world and selected from any number of fields, including literature and language, history, Africana studies, Latin American studies, anthropology, art, dance, music, economics, and government, among others. 
    1. One course must be at the 300 level.
    2. For students who take POR 125, one elective can be a course in Spanish at or above the prerequisite level for that course (SPN 220).

Spanish Minor

Requirements

Six semester courses

  1. One 200-level course, an SPN 245 topic or above
  2. One course focused on writing in Spanish, which can be fulfilled with any class designated by the department as meeting the Spanish writing requirement. The writing designation is included in the course description.
  3. Four electives taught in Spanish, offered by or cross-listed with the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at Smith, at Spanish programs in the Five Colleges or in approved Spanish-language programs abroad. SPN 112Y can be counted towards the minor as one course.

Portuguese–Brazilian Studies Minor

Requirements

Five semester courses

  1. POR 110 and POR 111, or POR 125
  2. POR 200 or POR 215
  3. 200-level course in Brazilian or Comparative Lusophone Studies Taught in Portuguese
  4. Two electives related to the Portuguese-speaking world, one of which must be at the 300 level. Courses may be selected from any number of fields, including literature and language, history, Africana studies, Latin American studies, anthropology, art, dance, music, economics and government, among others.

Courses

The department has two abbreviations for courses focused on the language and culture of two broad areas of study: POR (Portuguese-speaking world) and SPN (Spanish-speaking world).

All students planning to study Spanish at Smith must take the placement test. A student may take multiple topics of the same course. All courses in the department are taught in Spanish or Portuguese unless otherwise indicated.

POR 110 Beginning Portuguese through Music I (4 Credits)

An introduction to spoken and written Brazilian Portuguese. Emphasis on the development of oral proficiency and acquisition of reading and writing skills. Students are introduced to the Portuguese-speaking world primarily through music from Brazil, Portugal, Angola, Mozambique and Cape Verde. Students will acquire knowledge in basic grammatical patterns and strategies in daily communication. Designed for students with no background in Portuguese.

Fall

POR 111 Beginning Portuguese through Music II (4 Credits)

A continuation of POR110. Development of conversational communication, listening comprehension, reading skills and cultural knowledge through music. Prerequisite: POR 110 or permission of the instructor. Enrollment limited to 20. {F}

Fall, Spring, Annually

POR 120 Accelerated Beginning Portuguese (5 Credits)

This is an accelerated beginning language and culture course (one-semester) that presents a condensed introduction to Brazilian Portuguese with the objective of creating a foundation for students in all four language modalities: listening, reading, writing and speaking. The course also introduces aspects of the cultures and societies of Lusophone (Portuguese-speaking) countries. Students can enroll in a POR 200 course the following semester. Enrollment limited to 20. {F}

Fall, Spring

POR 125 Elementary Portuguese for Spanish Speakers (4 Credits)

A one-semester introduction to Brazilian Portuguese designed for speakers of Spanish, aimed at basic proficiency in all four language modalities: listening, speaking, reading and writing. Classes are in Portuguese and students’ individual knowledge of Spanish supports the accelerated pace of the course, with contrastive approaches to pronunciation and grammar. The course also provides an introduction to aspects of the cultures of Brazil, Portugal and Portuguese-speaking Africa, with discussion of authentic audio-visual materials and short texts. Prerequisite: SPN 220, by placement exam or equivalent. Enrollment limited to 20. {F}

Fall, Spring, Annually

POR 200 Intermediate Portuguese (4 Credits)

This course will serve as a comprehensive grammar review with a focus on Brazilian media. In addition to a grammar textbook, we will be using several other sources to stimulate class discussion, as well as to improve reading comprehension, writing skills and vocabulary-building in Portuguese, including a selection of media forms and texts, websites, television, radio and film. Prerequisite: POR 100Y, POR 110 or POR 125 or equivalent. Enrollment limited to 20. {F}

Fall

POR 201/ ARH 201 Brazilian Art Inside and Out (4 Credits)

Offered as POR 201 and ARH 201. This course serves as an introduction in English to contemporary and modern Brazilian art. Course materials and class discussions address such topics as public vs. private art spaces, national vs. global identities, the role of art as agency for social change and as site of memory, activism, resistance and transformation. {A}

Fall, Variable

POR 202 Barriers to Belonging: Youth in Brazilian Film (4 Credits)

This course will serve as an introduction in English to Brazilian Cinema through the theme of youth, identity, social barriers, and a search for belonging. Course materials, films and class discussions will address such topics as migration, belonging and displacement, coming-of-age challenges, discovery and adversity, self, society and sexuality, family and loss. Selected readings and screenings will highlight the work of Brazilian filmmakers such as Walter Salles, Ana Muylaert, Sandra Kogut, Fernando Meirelles, and others. Student assignments will encompass both critical and first-person memoir essays; students may also respond via work-and-image production (videos; digital narratives; and comics. Taught in English. {A}

Fall, Spring, Variable

POR 211 Transnational Visions on Pedagogy and Theater of the Oppressed (4 Credits)

This course combines theories and techniques created by Augusto Boal for his "Theater of the Oppressed" with those of Paulo Freire in “Pedagogy of the Oppressed." It will also involve transnational and educational perspectives that prompted Boal’s view of theater as a political act, including contributions from philosophers such as Aristoteles and Machiavelli and from playwrights such as Bertolt Brecht and Dario Fo. Students will be exposed to critical pedagogy and performance theories in the first part of the course, and, in the second part, will experiment with theatrical games based on Boal's approach. Course conducted in English. . All course content will be in English, but the students who can read Portuguese, Italian and German will have the option of reading some texts in the original versions. Cannot be taken S/U. Enrollment limited to 25. {F}{S}

Spring, Variable

POR 212/ WLT 212 Author, Authority, Authoritarianism: Writing and Resistance in the Portuguese-Speaking World (4 Credits)

Introducing translated works by celebrated Portuguese-language writers, this course explores themes of resistance, including resistance to dictatorship, patriarchy, slavery, racism and colonialism, but also more ambivalent postures of resistance toward authority assumed within particular forms of expertise and knowledge production and deployment. Discussing fiction by Machado de Assis and Clarice Lispector (Brazil), Mia Couto and Paulina Chiziane (Mozambique), Grada Kilomba (Portugal/Germany), and Nobel laureate José Saramago (Portugal), students consider historical contexts, how their work resonates with our contemporary world, literature and fictionality as sites of resistance and the sometimes fraught dynamics they reveal between authorship and authority. {L}

Fall, Spring, Variable

POR 215 Portuguese Conversation and Composition (4 Credits)

This course focuses on developing skills in both spoken and written Portuguese and is designed for students who have already learned the fundamentals of grammar. Topics for compositions, class discussions and oral reports are based on short literary texts as well as journalistic articles, music and film. Prerequisite: POR 100Y, POR 110, POR 125 or POR 200. Enrollment limited to 20. {F}

Spring, Variable

POR 220mb Topics in Portuguese and Brazilian Literature and Culture-Mapping Brazilian Culture onto an Urban Grid (4 Credits)

This course addresses a broad range of urban, social and cultural issues while also strengthening skills in oral expression, reading and writing, through the medium of short stories, essays, articles, images, music and film. In order to promote a hands-on approach to understanding culture, class assignments also encourage students to explore the Brazilian community in Boston. Prerequisite: POR 100Y or POR 125 or the equivalent. {F}{L}

Fall, Spring, Variable

POR 222 Brazil in the News: Media, Society and Popular Culture (4 Credits)

This intermediate language course will serve as a grammar review and will help students develop greater facility in oral expression, reading and writing, through work with a variety of digital, broadcast, and print media. Class discussions and assignments will consider key issues and trends in contemporary Brazilian society and culture as expressed through a selection of media forms and texts, such as newspaper and magazine articles, websites, television and radio programs, advertisements, graphic novels, and films. Conducted in Portuguese. Prerequisite: (POR 110 and POR 111) or POR 125 or the equivalent. {A}{F}{L}

Fall, Spring, Variable

POR 225 Brazil x 5 (4 Credits)

This course examines Brazil from the standpoint of its regional diversity, from which the country’s cultural richness is drawn. The class will study works of literature, visual culture, music and culinary history in order to discuss Brazil’s regional, economic and racial differences, for the purpose of analyzing its identity as a multidimensional nation. Moreover, because of the country’s size and geographical location, students interested in comparative studies within Latin America will have a chance to look at each of Brazil’s regions in relation to its closest South American and Caribbean neighbors. Course taught in Portuguese. Enrollment limited to 25. {A}{F}{L}

Variable

POR 228 Indigenous Brazil: Past, Present and Future (4 Credits)

This interdisciplinary course considers the diverse histories, cultures and experiences of Indigenous individuals and peoples in Brazil, from the precolonial period into the present and including future oriented forms of Native activism and imagination. The class addresses specific case studies and broad themes, including territorial and environmental struggles, meanings and forms of Indigenous education, indigenous movements and leaders, legal and cultural status of indigeneity in a multiracial society, indigenous artistic practices and the dynamics of intercultural exchange and influence in Brazilian society at large. Conducted in Portuguese, with activities designed to improve proficiency in reading, writing, speaking and listening. Prerequisite: POR 200 or POR 215, or another 200-level course in Brazilian or Comparative Lusophone Culture and Society taught in Portuguese. Enrollment limited to 19. {A}{F}{L}

Fall, Spring, Variable

POR 229 Brazil for All Seasons (4 Credits)

This course focuses on reviewing communicative skills, especially in spoken and written Portuguese, and is designed to build cultural knowledge and vocabulary. Course content and assignments focus on Brazil through the theme of the four seasons. Materials include short texts, including a young adult novel, music, and visual culture. Taught in Portuguese. Prerequisite: POR 100Y or POR 125 or the equivalent. {A}{F}{L}

Fall, Spring, Variable

POR 232 Popular Music, Nationhood and Globalization in the Portuguese-Speaking World (4 Credits)

An introduction to popular music genres in Portuguese-speaking nations, the historical, socio-cultural and political forces that have shaped their emergence, and ways in which they communicate ideas of nationhood. We will also explore impacts of globalization on these genres and their transnational dissemination. Our approach will involve close readings of lyrics, analysis of musical form and influence, and attention to the broader cultural contexts surrounding songs, genres and musicians. Genres may include bossa nova, MPB, and forró (Brazil); fado (Portugal); morna (Cape Verde); kuduro (Angola); marrabenta (Mozambique); and transnational forms such as rock and hop-hop. Course taught in Portuguese. {A}{F}{L}

Fall, Spring, Variable

POR 233 Borderlands of Portuguese: Multilingualism, Language Policy and Identity (4 Credits)

This course considers the shifting borders of Portuguese as a local, national and global language. The course explores language diversity within and across Lusophone countries and communities, noting differences in pronunciation and vocabulary and ways in which some varieties are esteemed and others stigmatized. Th course examines how different institutions have promoted and shaped Portuguese within and beyond officially Portuguese-speaking nations, and addresses multilingualism and ways in which Portuguese interacts with English, Spanish, Cape Verdean Creole and Indigenous languages in Brazil and Africa. Throughout, students consider views of writers and musicians as they reflect upon the language of their creative expression and what it means to be Lusophone in the world today. Course taught in Portuguese. Prerequisite: POR 125 or POR 200, or equivalent. {F}{L}

Fall, Spring, Variable

POR 299/ SPN 299/ FRN 299/ ITL 299 Teaching Romance Languages: Theories and Techniques on Second Language Acquisition (4 Credits)

Offered as FRN 299, ITL 299, POR 299 and SPN 299. The course explores the issues in world language instruction and research that are essential to the teaching of Romance languages. Special focus will be on understanding local, national and international multilingual communities as well as theories, methods, bilingualism and heritage language studies. Topics include the history of Romance languages, how to teach grammar and vocabulary, the role of instructors and feedback techniques. The critical framing provided will help students look at schools as cultural sites, centers of immigration and globalization. Class observations and scholarly readings help students understand the importance of research in the shaping of the pedagogical practice of world languages. Prerequisite: At least 4 semesters (or placement to equivalent level) of a Romance language taught at Smith (Italian, Portuguese, Spanish or French). Enrollment limited to 25. {F}{S}

Fall, Spring, Annually

POR 301 Colloquium: LGBTQ+ Brazil: Advocacy and Art (4 Credits)

This course introduces students to the broader issues related to LGBTQ+ Brazil, with a focus on gender identity, LGBTQ+ rights, activism and cultural production. The course is structured through broad categories consisting of histories, movements and chronology; geographies of identity and resistance; representations in art, literature, film and popular culture; and activism and organizations. Taught in English. Enrollment limited to 25. {A}{L}

Spring, Alternate Years

POR 381di Seminar: Topics in Portuguese and Brazilian Studies- Decolonial Imaginaries and Aesthetics (4 Credits)

In this seminar we will explore some of the entangled and contested colonial and postcolonial histories of diverse Portuguese-language communities, through the work of writers, visual artists, filmmakers, and musicians from Africa, Europe, and the Americas. We will discuss colonialism and its legacies, migratory and diasporic flows, contemporary contours of a Portuguese-language transnationalism, and decolonization as a concept encompassing a range of social activism and as expressed or envisioned in different forms of cultural production. Course conducted in Portuguese. Prerequisite: 200-level course in Brazilian or comparative Lusophone culture and society taught in Portuguese. Enrollment limited to 14. Juniors and seniors only. Instructor permission required. {A}{F}{L}

Fall, Spring, Variable

POR 381fw Seminar: Topics in Portuguese and Brazilian Studies-Multiple Lenses of Marginality: New Brazilian Filmmaking by Women (4 Credits)

This course makes reference to the pioneering legacy of key figures in Brazilian filmmaking, such as Susana Amaral, Helena Solberg and Tizuka Yamasaki. These directors’ early works addressed issues of gender and social class biases by subtly shifting the focus of their films to marginalized or peripheral subjects. We also examine the work of contemporary filmmakers, among them Lúcia Murat, Tata Amaral, Laís Bodanzky and Anna Muylaert, focusing on the ways in which they incorporate sociopolitical topics and/or gender issues. Course conducted in Portuguese. Prerequisite: 200-level course in Portuguese, or the equivalent. Juniors and seniors only. Enrollment limited to 12. Instructor permission required. {A}{F}

Fall, Spring, Variable

POR 400 Special Studies in Portuguese and Brazilian Literature (1-4 Credits)

By permission of the department, normally for senior majors.

Fall, Spring

SPN 112Y Beginning Spanish (5 Credits)

This course is for students who have had no previous experience with the language and emphasizes speaking, listening, writing, reading and "grammaring". Although it is an "elementary" course, students typically achieve an intermediate proficiency level by the end of the academic year. The course also serves as an introduction to Hispanic culture and a preparation for higher levels. Yearlong courses cannot be divided at midyear with credit for the first semester. Prerequisite: Spanish Placement Exam (https://www.smith.edu/aboutsmith/ registrar/placement-exams) or successful completion of first semester of SPN 112Y. Enrollment limited to 20. First years and sophomores only.

Fall, Spring

SPN 120 Accelerated Beginning Spanish Through Culture (5 Credits)

Aimed at students who have had some basic experience with Spanish, this course prepares them to communicate in the language about themselves and their environment, and to acquaint them with basic socio-historical aspects of the cultures of Spanish-speaking countries. Students participate in activities that involve interacting with others, presenting information and understanding the target language, which allows them to learn about the structure of the language (its grammar). Priority is given to first- and second-year students. Prerequisite: Spanish Placement Exam (https://www.smith.edu/aboutsmith/ registrar/placement-exams). Enrollment limited to 18. {F}

Fall

SPN 178/ WLT 178 Naughty Fictional Translators (4 Credits)

Offered as WLT 178 and SPN 178. This course focuses on fictional portraits of iconoclastic translators and/or interpreters. The first two months are devoted to a (relatively) "slow reading" of Don Quijote as a pioneer text in terms of attributing a central role to a fictional translator. The third month is devoted to international films and short stories--largely, but not exclusively, from the Spanish-speaking world, which has experienced a remarkable upsurge of "transfictions" (i.e., fictions about translators) since the ‘90s. Taught in English. {L}

Fall, Spring, Alternate Years

SPN 200 Intermediate Spanish (4 Credits)

The chief goals of the course are to expand vocabulary and conversational skills, strengthen grammar and learn about key social, cultural and historical issues of the Spanish-speaking world. Vocabulary and grammar are taught within the context of the specific themes chosen to enhance students’ familiarity with the "realities" of Spanish-speaking countries. Prerequisite: SPN 112Y, SPN 120 or Spanish Placement Exam (https://www.smith.edu/aboutsmith/ registrar/placement-exams). Enrollment limited to 20. {F}

Fall, Spring

SPN 210 Artful Spanish Conversation (2 Credits)

Whether or not one considers themself an “artist”, one can engage in and appreciate the meaning that can be expressed and created through engagement with artful texts and pursuits, and in this class, students do so while pursuing the art of understanding and expressing themselves in Spanish. Through engagement with various artistic texts, students work with and respond to the diverse ways a story can be shared. The class explores the art of storytelling and the meaning it carries for individuals and communities. Through this process, students improve their vocabulary, conversational and presentational skills in Spanish. Designed for students at the SPN 200 or SPN 220 level. Other interested students should consult with the instructor. Prerequisite: SPN 112Y, SPN 120 or SPN 200, or by placement. Enrollment limited to 18. (E) {A}{F}

Fall, Spring, Alternate Years

SPN 220 Contemporary Cultures in the Spanish-Speaking World (4 Credits)

This is a high-intermediate course that aims at increasing students’ ability to communicate comfortably in Spanish (orally and in writing). The course explores an array of issues relevant to the Spanish-speaking world and prepares students to think more critically and in depth about those issues, with the goal of achieving a deeper understanding of the target cultures. Materials used in the class include visual narratives (film), short stories, poems, plays and essays. Prerequisite: SPN 200 or Spanish Placement Exam (https://www.smith.edu/aboutsmith/ registrar/placement-exams). Enrollment limited to 20. {F}

Fall, Spring

SPN 225 Colloquium: Muslim Women in Film (4 Credits)

This course provides the student with the academic writing skills necessary to successfully undertake writing assignments in the upper-division Spanish courses. The course focuses on expository and argumentative writing, but some attention is devoted to writing narratives and descriptions. Grammar is reviewed within the context of the writing assignments. Fulfills the writing requirement for the major. Prerequisite: SPN 220 or sufficient proficiency in Spanish. Enrollment limited to 18. Priority given to majors, minors and second-year students planning to study abroad. {A}{F}{L}

Fall

SPN 230cv Topics in Latin American and Peninsular Culture and Society-Climate Voices (4 Credits)

Climate change is a planetary crisis, yet its impacts and the responses to it vary both geographically and culturally. This course examines climate change and cultural-ecological narratives produced in Spanish-speaking regions of the world, with particular interest in alternative, non-mainstream media. These include community radio broadcasts and theater, participatory video, photography, graphic novels and transmedia texts that uplift minority voices. In this course students work independently and collaboratively to explore who creates these narratives, why, and where and how they do so. As a final project, students create their own climate change narratives using the texts studied as examples of alternative ways of communicating knowledge. Enrollment limited to 20. {F}{L}

Fall, Spring, Variable

SPN 230dm Topics in Latin American and Peninsular Culture and Society-Domestica (4 Credits)

This course explores the realities and representation of women’s domestic labor from the thematic perspectives of precariousness (a condition and expression of subjectivity under globalization) and intimacy (understood as both an experience of affect and a condition of labor). This course uses short fiction, documentary and film from the Spanish-speaking world (the Americas and Spain) and the Portuguese-speaking world where appropriate, to explore the ways in which women’s transnational domestic labor has shaped new cultural subjects and political identities in the public as well as the private sphere. Students work on the theme of women’s domestic labor from the perspective of their choosing (for example, human rights, migration policies, racial and gendered labor regimes, neoliberal reforms and resistance). Enrollment limited to 20. Prerequisite: SPN 220 or equivalent. {F}{L}

Fall, Spring, Variable

SPN 230fc Topics in Latin American and Peninsular Culture and Society- Families in Spanish Cinema: Concepts, Theories and Representations (4 Credits)

This is an introductory course in Spanish cinema with a focus on the representation of the family. The objective is to understand how the concept of the family operates in society, and how cinema reflects and shapes the cultural, political, economic, and social understanding of what constitutes family. Studying films from different periods, the course will offer an overview of, amongst others, the role of women and the family in Francoist Spain, new LGBTQ families, immigration and Spain’s plurinational identities, and the deconstruction of the family-state in contemporary Spanish film. It will also offer an introduction to Spain’s film industry. Prerequisite: SPN 220 or equivalent. Enrollment limited to 19. {F}{L}

Fall, Spring, Variable

SPN 230mj Topics in Latin American and Peninsular Culture and Society-Maghribi Jewish Women: Cordoba, Casablanca, Tel Aviv (4 Credits)

This course examines constructions and representations of Maghribi Jewish women from the western Mediterranean to Israel. The first part of the course focuses on Jewish women in Andalusi and Maghribi texts. Students are invited to think critically about concepts such as "tolerance," "convivencia," and "dhimma," as well as what it means to be a woman and a religious minority in Muslim-majority communities. The second half of the course examines representations and realities of Jewish women of Moroccan descent in Israeli society. This part centers on questions of immigration, class, demography, gender, diaspora and identity. Enrollment limited to 19. {F}{L}

Fall, Spring, Variable

SPN 230tm Topics in Latin American and Peninsular Culture and Society-Tales and Images of Travel and Migration in Latin America (4 Credits)

This class investigates questions of contact between people in contemporary Latin American texts and films. Students will analyze how experiences of travel and migration appear in Latin American culture, configuring identities and negotiating conflicts raised by the transit of people, objects and ideas in the region. Assignments include texts written since the late 20th century and films from several countries representing internal and transnational journeys. Some theoretical writings on the cultural means of travel are also included. Prerequisite: SPN 220 or equivalent. {F}{L}

Fall, Spring, Variable

SPN 230ww Topics in Latin American and Peninsular Culture and Society-Creative Writing By and With Spanish Women Writers (4 Credits)

A quest for the self and its relation to otherness through a one-poem per class approach. Readings in modern and contemporary works by poets from both sides of the ocean, complemented by the study of related music and visual art. The course examines the consequences of political exile as a journey to the unknown (Jiménez, Cernuda, Cortázar, Neruda, Alberti) as well as the voluntary exile of the artist in search of a new aesthetic identity (Darío, Lorca, Vallejo). Special attention is given to the problems of subjectivity, gender and sexuality in the works of four women poets: Agustini, Storni, Parra and Pizarnik. {F}{L}

Fall, Spring, Variable

SPN 236 Podcasting: Storytelling and New Production in the Spanish-Speaking World (4 Credits)

Media and news production are ever evolving in our modern, high-tech world. The democratization of media, storytelling and news reporting has provided a platform for more people, with varied perspectives, to be seen and heard. This empowerment, however, has not occurred without its challenges and issues. This course will engage students in the creation of their own podcasts, inviting them to create, write, produce and share their own weekly podcasts, while learning about news production and storytelling. Students will discuss different thematic issues related to social media including ethics, morals and biases. Prerequisite: SPN 220 or equivalent. Enrollment limited to 18. (E)

Fall, Spring, Variable

SPN 241 Culturas de España (4 Credits)

A study of the Spain of today through a look at its past in art, history, film and popular culture. The course analyzes Spain’s plurality of cultures, from the past relations among Jews, Christians and Muslims, to its present ethnic and linguistic diversity. Highly recommended for students considering Study Abroad in Spain. Fulfills the writing requirement for the major. Prerequisite: SPN 220 or equivalent. Enrollment limited to 20. {F}

Spring, Variable

SPN 245fw Topics in Latin American and Peninsular Studies-Latin American Films Made by Women (4 Credits)

An overview of films made by women in Latin America since the early 2000s. The class will study works representing various countries in the region, both from well-established and emerging directors. Students will learn about the general conditions in which these women made their films, reflecting on the various ways in which gender informs the content and determines the production of those films. With the support of theoretical readings, the work of these filmmakers will offer opportunities to reflect on issues of gender and sexuality in Latin America. Enrollment limited to 20. {A}{F}

Fall, Variable

SPN 245qv Topics in Latin American and Peninsular Studies-Queer Hispanics: Queer Voices in the Spanish-Speaking Worlds (4 Credits)

This course examines the representation of gender, sex, and sexuality discourses in Latin America and Spain from the perspective of the non-heteronormative subject. Under the label of ‘queer’, the course engages with a diverse group of voices, experiences, historical and fictional figures, cultural and social representations, as well as social performances whose common denominator is to challenge or divert from patriarchal and heteronormative society. Students will consider the way in which different texts (understanding ‘text’ in a broad sense) articulate the ethics, aesthetics, and politics of gender and sexual difference, and subvert/perpetuate conventional processes and dominant representational tropes. Prerequisite: SPN 220 or equivalent. Enrollment limited to 20. {A}{F}

Fall, Spring, Variable

SPN 245tl Topics in Latin American and Peninsular Studies-SOAP:Spanish History Through Telenovelas (4 Credits)

The protagonists of the cult "hist-fi" Spanish television series "El Ministerio del Tiempo" (2015-2018) travel through the Spanish past to make sure it does not change. We travel with them to learn Spanish language and society through the ages, and how and why History is presently told that way. It fulfills the History requirement for the Spanish Major. Enrollment limited to 20. {F}{H}

Fall, Spring, Variable

SPN 245wc Topics in Latin American and Peninsular Studies-Women in Spanish Cinema (4 Credits)

Focusing on films by and about women in Spain, this transdisciplinary course will explore topics such as gender, sexuality, racism, representation of minorities, social movements and political activism. Students will also examine how digital technology and social media have transformed Spanish film and television production. Prerequisite: SPN 200-level course or placement test. Enrollment limited to 20. {A}{F}{H}

Fall, Annually

SPN 246cv Topics in Latin American Literature and Culture-El Caribe en Vaivén (4 Credits)

This course explores the complex flows of vaivén (coming and going) to, from and within the Caribbean. It examines the global, regional and local forces related to colonialism, racial capitalism and heteropatriarchy that have shaped human movements in this region. Students explore cultural expressions and critiques unveiling the manifold dimensions of race, gender, sexuality, culture and religion in Caribbean societies and diasporas. Key themes encompass undocumented migration within the Caribbean, Caribbean diasporas in the U.S. and Europe, Afro-Asian diasporas in the Caribbean and Latinx immigration to Hawaii. Prerequisite: SPN 220 or equivalent. Enrollment limited to 20. (E) {F}{L}

Fall, Spring, Annually

SPN 246mr Topics in Latin American Literature and Culture-Reinterpreting Magical Realism (4 Credits)

Magical realism has been studied as a way of representing reality that is particularly suited to Latin America. This class explores the origins of this idea in terms of how the representative strategies associated with magical realism developed historically to approach the conflictive realities of Latin America. Students read literary works associated with magical realism, including One Hundred of Solitude, by Gabriel Garcia Márquez, as well as theoretical texts from authors who have reflected on the meaning of this concept. They also learn about how more recent Latin American authors engage critically with magical realism. Prerequisite: SPN 220 or equivalent. Enrollment limited to 20. {F}{L}

Fall, Spring, Variable

SPN 246ta Topics in Latin American Literature and Culture - Transpacific Archive of the Americas (4 Credits)

This course explores literary and cultural productions from the Americas concerning transpacific histories and imaginaries, spanning from the Spanish colonial era to the present. The course discussions approach issues such as imperialism, globalization, modernization, capitalism and race/gender formations by centering transnational connections across Latin America, U.S. Latinx communities and Asia. Students study multiple genres of texts related to historical events, including the Manila galleon trade, Latin American modern nation-building, Asian diaspora in Latin America, Cold War armed conflicts in Korea and Vietnam and East Asian maquiladoras in the U.S.- Mexico border. Prerequisite: SPN 220 or equivalent. Enrollment limited to 20. {F}{H}{L}

Fall, Variable

SPN 246zn Topics in Latin American Literature and Culture-Zapatismo Now: Cultural Resistance on the "Other" Border (4 Credits)

This course explores the social and cultural expression of Zapatismo from its initial revolutionary uprising in the Mexican indigenous borderlands of Chiapas on New Year’s Eve, 1994 through its present-day global vision of an alternative world model. Through close analysis of the movement’s diverse cultural media, including communiqués, radio broadcasts, visual art, web blogs and storytelling, students examine the role of media arts and literary forms in Zapatismo’s cultural and political philosophies, as well as develop a broad understanding of Zapatismo’s influence in popular and indigenous social movements throughout Latin America and the global south. Course taught in Spanish. Prerequisites: SPN 220. Enrollment limited to 19. {A}{F}{L}

Fall, Spring, Variable

SPN 247 Race and Racism in Premodern Iberia (4 Credits)

This course challenges the dominant presentism by exploring understandings of race and racism in the context of premodern Iberia (present-day Spain and Portugal). Themes include intellectual and physical encounters between medieval kingdoms from West Africa and Europe, the construction of sameness and otherness in Iberia, and the intersection of race, class, and indigeneity in the Middle Ages. {F}{H}{L}

Fall, Spring, Annually

SPN 250sm Topics in Iberian Cultural History-Sex and the Medieval City (4 Credits)

This course examines the medieval understanding of sex and the woman’s body within an urban context. We read medieval texts on love, medicine and women’s sexuality by Iberian and North African scholars. We investigate the ways in which medieval Iberian medical traditions have viewed women’s bodies and defined their health and illness. We also address women’s role as practitioners of medicine, and how such a role was affected by the gradual emergence of “modern” medical institutions such as the hospital and the medical profession. Prerequisite: SPN 220 or equivalent. Enrollment limited to 19. {F}{H}{L}

Fall, Spring, Variable

SPN 252 Spanish Colonialism in Africa (4 Credits)

This course examines Spanish colonialism and its aftermath in Morocco and Equatorial Guinea. Topics include the development of Spanish imperialism, the Rif War of resistance (1919-26), the Civil War (1936-39), African immigration, the rise of Spanish right-wing populism, and the so-called “War on Terror” in Spain and in the rest of Europe. {F}{H}{L}

Fall, Spring, Variable

SPN 255 Colloquium: Muslim Women in Film (4 Credits)

Focusing on films by and about Muslim women from Africa, the Middle East, and Europe, this transdisciplinary course will explore one question: What do Muslim women want? Students will watch and study critically films in Farsi, Hebrew, French, Spanish, Dutch, Italian, and different Arabic dialects. Class discussion and assignments will be primarily in Spanish. Enrollment limited to 25. {A}{F}{L}

Fall, Spring, Variable

SPN 260dl Topics in Latin American Cultural History-Decolonizing Latin American Literature (4 Credits)

This course offers critical perspectives on colonialism, literatures of conquest and narratives of cultural resistance in the Americas and the Caribbean. Decolonial theories of violence, writing and representation in the colonial context inform the study of literary and cultural production of this period. Readings explore several themes including indigenous knowledge, land and the natural world; orality, literacy and visual cultures; race, rebellion and liberation; slavery, piracy and power; and the coloniality of gender.  Prerequisite:  SPN 220 or equivalent.  Enrollment limited to 19. {F}{H}{L}

Fall, Spring, Variable

SPN 260mr Topics in Latin American Cultural History-Modernization and Resistance (4 Credits)

This course looks at the ways in which Latin American authors confronted, appropriated and also resisted the paradigms of Modernity, from the post-Independence period to the mid 20th century. Through the study of primary sources and some recent re-interpretations of historical events, the class reflects on how Latin American culture was shaped by the legacy of colonialism and the persistent struggle to leave it behind. Special attention is paid to the clashing interactions between the indigenous populations, creole elites in a conflicted dialogue with the cultures of Europe and North America, and Africans brought to the continent as slaves. Class discussions will center on how cultural practices were traversed by notions of race, gender and social class, as well as by the larger geopolitical world context. Prerequisite: SPN 220 or equivalent. Enrollment limited to 20. {F}{H}{L}

Fall, Spring, Variable

SPN 291/ IDP 291 Reflecting on Your International Experience with Digital Storytelling (3 Credits)

Offered as SPN 291 and IDP 291. A course designed for students who have spent a semester, summer, Interterm or year abroad. After introducing the methodology of digital storytelling, in which images and recorded narrative are combined to create short video stories, students write and create their own stories based on their time abroad. Participants script, storyboard and produce a 3-4 minute film about the challenges and triumphs of their experience and share it with others. Prerequisite: Significant experience abroad (study abroad, praxis, internship, Global Engagement Seminar or other). For 1 additional credit that counts toward the translation concentration, students may translate and narrate their stories into the language of the country where they spent their time. Enrollment limited to 15. {A}{L}

Spring

SPN 299/ FRN 299/ ITL 299/ POR 299 Teaching Romance Languages: Theories and Techniques on Second Language Acquisition (4 Credits)

Offered as FRN 299, ITL 299, POR 299 and SPN 299. The course explores the issues in world language instruction and research that are essential to the teaching of Romance languages. Special focus will be on understanding local, national and international multilingual communities as well as theories, methods, bilingualism and heritage language studies. Topics include the history of Romance languages, how to teach grammar and vocabulary, the role of instructors and feedback techniques. The critical framing provided will help students look at schools as cultural sites, centers of immigration and globalization. Class observations and scholarly readings help students understand the importance of research in the shaping of the pedagogical practice of world languages. Prerequisite: At least 4 semesters (or placement to equivalent level) of a Romance language taught at Smith (Italian, Portuguese, Spanish or French). Enrollment limited to 25. {F}{S}

Fall, Spring, Annually

SPN 332iw Seminar: Topics in the Middle Ages Today-Islam in the West (4 Credits)

This transdisciplinary course examines the intimate, complex and longstanding relationship between Islam and the West in the context of the Iberian Peninsula from the Middle Ages until the present. Discussions focus on religious, historical, philosophical and political narratives about the place of Islam and Muslims in the West. Students are also invited to think critically about “convivencia,” “clash of civilizations,” “multiculturalism” and other theories that seek to make sense of the relationship between Islam and the West. Enrollment limited to 14. Juniors and seniors only. Instructor permission required. {F}{L}

Fall, Spring, Variable

SPN 335 Seminar: Minorities in North Africa and the Middle East (4 Credits)

Focusing on religious, ethnic, and sexual minorities, this course explores questions about belonging, rights, justice and their relevance for the study of North Africa and the Middle East. It draws from different disciplines including history, philosophy, religion, anthropology, sociology, literature, and politics to think about majority-minority relations and the making of citizens. Prerequisite: SPN255 or equivalent, and permission of the instructor. Prerequisite: SPN 255 or equivalent. Enrollment limited to 12. Juniors and seniors only. Instructor permissions required. {F}{H}{L}

Fall, Spring, Variable

SPN 337 Seminar: Difference (4 Credits)

This course examines the construction and representation of difference in Spanish cinema, focusing on class, gender, sexuality, age, religion and national origin. Students study the works of directors such as Pedro Almodóvar, Llorenç Soler, Carla Simón, Icíar Bollaín, Chus Gutiérrez, Gerardo Olivares and Montxo Armendáriz, among others. Enrollment limited to 14. Juniors and Seniors only. Instructor permission required. {F}{H}{L}

Fall, Spring, Variable

SPN 372sb Seminar:Topics in Latin American and Iberian Studies-Blackness in Spain (4 Credits)

We investigate the lives of Spaniards of African origin or individuals who lived in Spain such as: painter Juan de Pareja (Velazquez’s slave) in the 17th century, whose unique portrait by Velazquez hangs at the New York Metropolitan Museum; volunteers of the Lincoln Brigade in the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s, for example poet Langston Hughes, and nurse Salaria Kea; migrant workers; Smith alumna Lori L. Tharp, author of a travel memoir of her Junior Year Abroad, Kinky Gazpacho (2008), which she describes as a “racial coming of age.” The ultimate goal is to gain understanding of racial relations in Spain and to explore the geology of Western racism. Enrollment limited to 14. Juniors and seniors only. Instructor permission required. {A}{F}

Fall, Spring, Variable

SPN 373ds Seminar: Topics in Cultural Movements in Spanish America-Defiant Screens: Latin American Cinema After Neoliberalism (4 Credits)

The sweeping neoliberal reforms of the 1980s and 1990s had a dramatic effect in the social fabric of all Latin American countries. They also deeply impacted the region’s cinema, with many directors throughout the continent confronting head on the challenges of neoliberalism. This seminar will look at the many ways in which Latin American filmmakers explored and contested the difficult social conditions created by this market-based system of governance. The class will discuss films dealing with topics such as societal fragmentation and political agency, shifts in notions of family and gender, violence and conflict, resignifications of space, and indigeneities and social ecologies. As the continent sees political forces shifting away from the radical neoliberalism of the turn of the century, we will explore how and if these films participated in such transformations. Enrollment limited to 12. Juniors and seniors only. Instructor permission required. {A}{F}

Fall, Spring, Variable

SPN 373pl Seminar: Topics in Cultural Movements in Spanish America-Embodied Politics in Latin American Films (4 Credits)

This course examines recent Latin American films in their portrayal of bodily identities and practices that carry political weight.  Students interrogates these films' attention to issues of race, gender and sexuality, as well as their portrayal of people's interaction with the spaces they inhabit.  Most of the films are from Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Peru but are studied within the broader regional film landscape. By the end of the semester students have a general understanding of that landscape and of the way in which films dealing with embodied histories encourage political reflections. Enrollment limited to 14. Juniors and seniors only. Instructor permission required. {F}{L}

Fall, Spring, Variable

SPN 373rw Seminar: Topics in Cultural Movements in Spanish America-Radical Words: Latin American Women and the Struggle for Livable Worlds (4 Credits)

When your world is on fire, what can words do? This course explores how Latin American women intellectuals, dissidents and cultural revolutionaries (20th and early 21st centuries) have confronted unlivable realities and imagined radical alternatives. Students read works crafted on the front lines of social upheaval and in the face of ecological catastrophe, analyzing different modes of representation: testimonial, memoir, experimental fiction, visual narrative, and political manifestos. They will also gain understanding of social forces shaping the cultural imaginaries of the time: Black and Queer liberation and Indigenous sovereignty movements, struggles against state violence, and ecological, anarchist and revolutionary feminisms. Enrollment limited to 12. Juniors and seniors only. Instructor permission required. {F}{L}

Fall, Variable

SPN 400 Special Studies in Spanish and Spanish American Literature (1-4 Credits)

By permission of the department. Normally for senior majors.

Fall, Spring

SPN 430D Spanish Honors Project (4-8 Credits)

Fall, Spring

SPN 431 Spanish Honors Project (8 Credits)

Fall

Crosslisted Courses

ARH 201/ POR 201 Brazilian Art Inside and Out (4 Credits)

Offered as POR 201 and ARH 201. This course serves as an introduction in English to contemporary and modern Brazilian art. Course materials and class discussions address such topics as public vs. private art spaces, national vs. global identities, the role of art as agency for social change and as site of memory, activism, resistance and transformation. {A}

Fall, Variable

FRN 299/ ITL 299/ POR 299/ SPN 299 Teaching Romance Languages: Theories and Techniques on Second Language Acquisition (4 Credits)

Offered as FRN 299, ITL 299, POR 299 and SPN 299. The course explores the issues in world language instruction and research that are essential to the teaching of Romance languages. Special focus will be on understanding local, national and international multilingual communities as well as theories, methods, bilingualism and heritage language studies. Topics include the history of Romance languages, how to teach grammar and vocabulary, the role of instructors and feedback techniques. The critical framing provided will help students look at schools as cultural sites, centers of immigration and globalization. Class observations and scholarly readings help students understand the importance of research in the shaping of the pedagogical practice of world languages. Prerequisite: At least 4 semesters (or placement to equivalent level) of a Romance language taught at Smith (Italian, Portuguese, Spanish or French). Enrollment limited to 25. {F}{S}

Fall, Spring, Annually

FYS 129 Tierra y Vida: Land and the Ecological Imagination in U.S. Latino/a Literature (4 Credits)

Tierra y Vida explores the ecological imagination of U.S. Latinos/as as expressed in narratives from the early 20th to the 21st centuries. Expanding beyond dominant tropes of land/farm worker as the core of Latino/a ecological experience, students consider a range of texts that depict the land as a site of indigenous ecological knowledge; spiritual meaning; and ethnic, racial and gendered belonging. In dialogues between Latino/a writers and theorists students also explore the possibilities of ecological futures rooted in emancipation and liberation as alternatives to ecological imaginaries still fraught with colonial desires. Students in this course participate in a digital atlas and story-mapping project. Enrollment limited to 16 first years. WI {L}

Fall, Spring, Variable

IDP 291/ SPN 291 Reflecting on Your International Experience with Digital Storytelling (3 Credits)

Offered as SPN 291 and IDP 291. A course designed for students who have spent a semester, summer, Interterm or year abroad. After introducing the methodology of digital storytelling, in which images and recorded narrative are combined to create short video stories, students write and create their own stories based on their time abroad. Participants script, storyboard and produce a 3-4 minute film about the challenges and triumphs of their experience and share it with others. Prerequisite: Significant experience abroad (study abroad, praxis, internship, Global Engagement Seminar or other). For 1 additional credit that counts toward the translation concentration, students may translate and narrate their stories into the language of the country where they spent their time. Enrollment limited to 15. {A}{L}

Spring

LAS 150 Introduction to Latin American Studies (4 Credits)

This course is a multidisciplinary, thematically-organized introduction to the cultures and societies of Latin America and communities of Latin American descent in the United States that serves as a primary gateway to the Latin American Studies major. This course surveys a variety of topics in culture, geography, politics, history, literature, language and the arts through readings, films, music, discussions and guest lectures. The course is required for all majors in Latin American Studies. {A}{H}{S}

Fall, Spring, Variable

LAS 201of Colloquium: Topics in Latin American and Latino/a/x Studies-Organizing Freedom: Domestic Worker History and Cultures of Resistance in the Américas (4 Credits)

This course explores women’s domestic labor, studying histories and cultures of resistance of Latin American and Latine domestic workers. It asks key questions: How do the legacies of colonialism, anti-Indigeneity and anti-Blackness shape domestic labor? What strategies have domestic workers deployed in different moments and diverse geographies to dismantle systems of oppression? How have they articulated concepts of liberation, autonomy and freedom to build alternative cultures of solidarity, mutuality and well-being? Students read key histories of domestic work in Latin America, study how domestic workers organize to build international networks and consider cultural digital projects that center domestic workers. {H}{L}

Annually

LAS 301ae Seminar: Topics in Latin American and Latino/a Studies-Contesting Space: Art, Ecology, Activism (4 Credits)

What do artists have to say to activists and scientists? Students in this seminar will immerse in case studies drawn from Latin American and Latinx geographies (1970s to the present) to explore the promises and pitfalls of cultural experiments across boundaries of knowledge-making in art, ecology and activism. We will work with a range of public culture technologies--including digital storytelling, social and print media--to illuminate these “activist ecologies” for diverse publics outside academia. Open to juniors and seniors of any major. Some background in the study of the Latinx/Latin America(s) required. Enrollment limited to 12. Juniors and Seniors only. Instructor permission required. {A}{H}{S}

Fall, Spring, Variable

PHI 310la Seminar: Topics in Recent and Contemporary Philosophy- Latin American Philosophy (4 Credits)

This course provides a survey of different Latin American philosophical traditions. The course considers the existence of a Latin American philosophy in its own right and its contributions to understanding other world philosophies. The course examines different figures in Latin American thought relevant to social and political philosophy; the history of philosophy; political violence and revolutions; and race, feminism and memory. Among others, the course focuses on figures such as Guaman Poma de Ayala, Bartolomé de las Casas, Carlos Mariátegui, Enrique Dussel, Aníbal Quijano, Maria Lugones, Gloria Anzaldúa and Silvia Rivera Cusicánqui. Enrollment limited to 12. Juniors and seniors only. Instructor permission required. {H}{L}{S}

Fall, Spring, Variable

POR 212/ WLT 212 Author, Authority, Authoritarianism: Writing and Resistance in the Portuguese-Speaking World (4 Credits)

Introducing translated works by celebrated Portuguese-language writers, this course explores themes of resistance, including resistance to dictatorship, patriarchy, slavery, racism and colonialism, but also more ambivalent postures of resistance toward authority assumed within particular forms of expertise and knowledge production and deployment. Discussing fiction by Machado de Assis and Clarice Lispector (Brazil), Mia Couto and Paulina Chiziane (Mozambique), Grada Kilomba (Portugal/Germany), and Nobel laureate José Saramago (Portugal), students consider historical contexts, how their work resonates with our contemporary world, literature and fictionality as sites of resistance and the sometimes fraught dynamics they reveal between authorship and authority. {L}

Fall, Spring, Variable

SPN 178/ WLT 178 Naughty Fictional Translators (4 Credits)

Offered as WLT 178 and SPN 178. This course focuses on fictional portraits of iconoclastic translators and/or interpreters. The first two months are devoted to a (relatively) "slow reading" of Don Quijote as a pioneer text in terms of attributing a central role to a fictional translator. The third month is devoted to international films and short stories--largely, but not exclusively, from the Spanish-speaking world, which has experienced a remarkable upsurge of "transfictions" (i.e., fictions about translators) since the ‘90s. Taught in English. {L}

Fall, Spring, Alternate Years

TSX 330/ WLT 330 Capstone Seminar in Translation Studies (4 Credits)

Offered as WLT 330 and TSX 330. The capstone seminar brings together a cohort of concentrators to discuss a final translation project that each student undertakes with the guidance of their adviser in the concentration and to situate the project within the framework of larger questions that the work of translation elicits. The readings focus on renowned practitioners’ reflections on the challenges, beauties and discoveries of translating. Students compare how translations transform the original novel and question the concept of original text as it interacts with the culture and the language into which it is translated. Open to students in the Concentration in Translation Studies and World Literatures. Prerequisite: WLT 150. Enrollment limited to 12. Juniors and seniors only. Instructor permission required. {L}

Spring

WLT 204qq Topics: Writings and Rewritings-Queering Don Quixote (4 Credits)

Don Quixote de la Mancha (1605–15) is allegedly the first and most influential modern novel. We approach this hilarious masterpiece by Cervantes through a “queering” focus, i.e., as a text that exposes binary oppositions (literary, sexual, social, religious and ethnic) such as: high-low, tradition vs. individual creativity, historical vs. literary truth, man vs. woman, authenticity vs. performance, Moor vs. Christian, humorous vs. tragic. The course also covers the crucial role of Don Quixote in the development of modern and postmodern novelistic concepts (multiple narrators, fictional authors, palimpsest, dialogism). SPN 356 optional corequisite. {L}

Fall, Spring, Variable

Additional Programmatic Information

Please note the instructions for placement exams. All students should take our placement exam before enrolling in a Spanish course. Students who wish to begin learning Portuguese and have studied Spanish or are heritage- or native-speakers of Spanish should take the Spanish placement exam to determine if they can enroll in POR 125 (Elementary Portuguese for Spanish Speakers).

2023-2024 Academic Year

The live exam link below takes you away from the instructions. Please print or keep these instructions open in a second tab for reference.

The exam has two parts: an automated online exam and a short answer student questionnaire (via a Google Form, link to questionnaire provided below). Students must complete both parts.

If you have any questions, please email Professor Adrián Gras-Velázquez at agrasvelazquez@smith.edu (member of the Spanish Placement Exam team).

Students taking the Spanish Placement Exam during fall 2023 or spring 2024 semester
You should follow the instructions in Step 1. Once you have received your questionnaire copy:

Students whose last names end in A-M should email it directly to Professor Molly Falsetti-Yu at mfalsett@smith.edu 

Students whose last names end in N-Z should email it directly to Professor Adrián Gras- Velázquez at agrasvelazquez@smith.edu 

Instructions (please read these carefully and follow each step):

Step 1. To take the Spanish placement exam, go to: http://bit.ly/2tGr1Bn 

  1. You will be asked to create an account before accessing the exam.
  2. When you log in, please enter your full name (first and last) and email address only (no need for student ID number).
  3. You will be given a numerical score after completing the exam.
  4. After taking the exam, please fill out the questionnaire in the following Google Form: https://forms.gle/vq9Q4hcHq4Joy32A8
    Please use your smith.edu email address
    **Remember to write your exam score on your questionnaire.
  5. You will receive a copy of your questionnaire answers via email, send this copy to the appropriate faculty member (listed above). You will receive placement information via email from this professor.

Please do not use a dictionary or a textbook during the exam. All exams are taken under the Smith Academic Honor System:

smith.edu/about-smith/offices/student-affairs/student-handbook/academic-honor-code-0

Advisers for the Major in Spanish

Ibtissam Bouachrine, Molly Falsetti-Yu, Michelle Joffroy, Reyes Lázaro, and Maria Helena Rueda

Advisers for the Major in Portuguese-Brazilian Studies

Marguerite Itamar Harrison, Malcolm K. McNee

A Spanish or Portuguese-Brazilian studies major may desire to conduct an independent honors project. Please consult the honors directory to learn more about the requirements.

Directors

Marguerite Itamar Harrison (Portuguese and Brazilian Studies)
Reyes Lázaro (Spanish)

SPB 430D Honors Project 
Credits: 8 
Normally offered each fall 

SPB 431 Honors Project 
Credits: 8 
Normally offered each fall 

SPN 430D Honors Project 
Credits: 8 
Normally offered both fall and spring semesters 

SPN 431 Honors Project 
Credits: 8 
Normally offered each fall

Additional Course Information

The department has two abbreviations for the language and culture of three broad areas of study: POR (Portuguese-speaking world), and SPN (Spain and Spanish America). All courses are taught in Spanish or Portuguese unless otherwise indicated. Students with prior Spanish language experience must take the placement test.

In addition to the courses listed in the Smith catalog under SPN (Spanish) and POR (Portuguese), you may search for relevant courses taught in English by our faculty, listed under LAS (Latin American and Latino/a Studies), CLT (Comparative Literature) and SWG (Study of Women and Gender).

The maximum enrollment in all language course sections is 18 students unless otherwise indicated. Also, please note that the S/U option is not normally granted for language classes.

See the Smith College Course Catalog for complete information and course listings.

Courses available at Amherst, Hamsphire and Mount Holyoke colleges and the University of Massachusetts Amherst can be found in the Five College Course Guide

The department’s transdisciplinarity is reflected in the diverse academic affiliations and collaborative relationships that faculty members hold across the Smith campus and the Five Colleges. We work with Latin American and Latino/a studies, Iberian and European studies, comparative literature, Jewish studies, medieval studies, Middle East studies, environmental science and policy, theatre, art, and the study of women and gender, as well as with the concentrations in poetry, translation studies, women's education and sustainable food.

See the Smith College Catalog for cross-listed courses.

Faculty

Reyes Lazaro

Spanish & Portuguese

Associate Professor of Spanish, Director of the Translation Studies Concentration

Placeholder Image

Malcolm McNee

Spanish & Portuguese

Associate Professor of Spanish & Portuguese

Malcolm McNee

Resources

We strongly encourage and support students wishing to spend one or two semesters studying abroad in a Spanish- and/or Portuguese-speaking country. Our students have benefited tremendously from the linguistic and cultural immersion and array of specialized courses offered through approved programs in ten different countries, including Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru, Portugal, and Spain, as well as Puerto Rico and the U.S.-Mexico borderlands.

Advisers for Study Abroad

  • For Spanish-speaking countries: Members of the department
  • For Brazil & Portugal: Malcolm McNee and Marguerite Itamar Harrison

Students in the Department of Spanish & Portuguese Studies have been recipients of several prizes and fellowships.

The Gabriela Mistral Student Prize for Spanish

This prize will be awarded to a graduating Spanish major for the best senior essay or project in Spanish. Submissions, one per student, may include papers, portfolios or projects in Spanish, completed for courses or special studies during the last two semesters of study, excluding honors theses. Potential applicants should contact Spanish faculty with any questions. See the full description and application information. Submit entries to Lorraine Hedger.

The Clarice Lispector Student Prize in Portuguese

This prize will be awarded to a graduating Portuguese & Brazilian studies major or minor for the best senior essay or project in Portuguese and Brazilian Studies. Submissions, one per student, may include papers, portfolios or projects completed for courses or special studies during the last two semesters of study, excluding honors theses. If interested in being considered for the prize, please see the full description and application information. Submit entries to Lorraine Hedger.

The Cliff Becker Book Prize in Translation

White Pine Press, the Cliff Becker Endowment for the Literary Arts and the American Literary Translators Association (ALTA) awarded Chloe Hill '12 the fifth annual Cliff Becker Book Prize in Translation, which produces one volume of literary translation in English annually. In 2014, with the support of a Fulbright fellowship, Hill traveled to Brazil to work alongside Myriam Fraga translating a selection of poems.

Beinecke Scholorship

The $32,000 Beinecke Scholarship is offered for the courageous selection of graduate studies in the arts, humanities or social sciences anywhere in the world by undergraduates. Smith is allowed one nominee. Angela Acosta '17 was the department's most recent recipient.

Fulbright Fellowships

Majors in the department have gone to Brazil, Colombia, Spain, Andorra and elsewhere to pursue research, teaching and other opportunities. See the Smith Fulbright website for more information.

Honors

Students are eligible to present an honors thesis.

International Experience Grants for Spanish and Portuguese Majors

Spanish and Portuguese department faculty offer advising and support to students who wish to apply for Smith College International Experience Grants, administered by the Office of International Study. These grants provide partial funding toward international projects during interterm or the summer that deepen a student’s academic engagement. Applications for awards of between $250 and $3,500 will be considered, with an average award amount of $1,000.

Prior to selecting a program, students interested in pursuing service learning opportunities abroad are advised to consult faculty advisers along with the website of the International Volunteer Programs Association, paying special attendance to the “Why Standards” and “Volunteer Stories” links. It is especially important to consider issues related to program quality, ethics and safety when participating in international volunteer programs. See the Study Abroad website for more information on funding criteria and application deadlines and procedures.

Peer Tutoring in Spanish

SPN 112-200
Amairany Vega
Nellie Wisnia
Paula Ogalde-Carmona

SPN 100–245
Mónica Martinez

SPN 250-300s
Aida Melgarejo de Ibarra
Emilia Tamayo

All Levels
Amparo Saubidet

Peer Tutoring in Portuguese

All levels
Carla Candido da Silva

To learn more, visit the Jacobson Center website.

Spanish, Portuguese & Brazilian Studies Abroad

An aqueduct in Segovia, Spain, provided the inspiration for this photo by Giovanna Sabini-Leite ’21, exhibited in the 2017 Global Encounters Photo Contest.

SEE MORE GLOBAL ENCOUNTERS PHOTOS

Photograph of Spain by Giovanna Sabini-Leite

Contact Department of Spanish & Portuguese

Hatfield Hall

Northampton, MA 01063

Phone: 413-585-3410

Program Assistant:

Lorraine Hedger | lhedger@smith.edu