The Spanish-Speaking World: Cultural Crossings

Winter 2021
Spring 2021
Sophomore - Senior
Class Size: 25
12 16 Credits per quarter
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PLEASE NOTE: During both winter and spring quarters of this remote, two-quarter program, students can register for the 12-credit program core or for the 16-credit option (described below). The 12-credit core will integrate intensive Spanish for students at all levels, from beginning to advanced (students do not have to register for Spanish separately). The 16-credit options will include, in addition, a film series module in the winter and options for internships or project work in the spring. This year we will not be able to offer study abroad program, though spring quarter students will have opportunities for developing internships with organizations that support Latinx communities.

Spain and Latin America share not only the Spanish language, but also an intertwined history arising from dynamic, sometimes violent encounters, shaped by uneven power relationships and vibrant resistance. In this program, students will engage in intensive Spanish language study and explore cultural production by Spanish, Latin American, and US-based Latinx communities in historical context. We welcome students with any level of Spanish, from beginner to advanced. Each week will include: seminar on readings in English (or Spanish for advanced language students), Spanish language classes, and a lecture in Spanish or workshop. Writing assignments include seminar responses, synthesis essays, and some creative work.

Winter quarter will explore cultural encounters in Latin America prior to the 20th century. After a brief look at medieval Spain, we will examine violence against indigenous and Black peoples during Spain's process of imperial expansion, its subsequent decline as an empire, and how colonial institutions were contested by diverse thinkers and social movements, concluding with Latin America's struggles for independence in the 19th century. The winter quarter will consist of a 12-credit core that includes readings, lectures, workshops, and language classes; the 16-credit option will also include a 4-credit film series.

Spring quarter will turn to the 20th and 21st centuries, considering multiple perspectives on iconic historical and cultural events.  We will explore some of the following: transitions to democracy in the contexts of authoritarianism, neoliberalism, resistance and memory in the Southern Cone; revolutionary movements, indigenous communities, and the challenges of peacemaking and social transformation in Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Colombia; immigration to the United States, and ways that intersectional feminist lenses complicate and enrich our understandings of the aforementioned contexts. In each case, we will explore the interrelationships between politics and cultural production, and how literature and the political imagination impact processes of social change. In spring, the 12-credit core will again consist of readings, lectures, workshops, and language classes; for the 16-credit option, students will also be able to engage in community work with a local community organization, or develop a creative/research project. 

Remote Learning and Technology Needs: This program will be taught remotely, with 8-12 synchronous Zoom hours per week, and additional asynchronous work. There will not be any in-person work. Students will need access to reliable internet access, and a computer or other device with a video connection to participate in our program. Our approach will emphasize participation in synchronous (live) sessions; however, if students find themselves unable to participate due to technology, caregiving obligations, economic disruption, health risk, or illness, they can work with faculty to pursue alternate options to earn related credit.


Winter 2021 Registration

Course Reference Numbers

So - Sr (16): 20028
So - Sr (12): 20247
Spring 2021 Registration

Signature Required

Students must have sufficient Spanish to mesh with one of our ongoing levels. Please speak with the faculty at the academic fair for this language assessment or arrange via email if attending the academic fair is not possible. 

Course Reference Numbers

So - Sr (16): 30013
So - Sr (12): 30126

Academic details

Preparatory For

Latin American and international studies, literary and cultural studies, Spanish language, politics, history, education, writing, and human and social services. 

Maximum Enrollment
Class Standing

$50 each quarter for a required reader to be provided directly to students. 


In Person or Remote
Remote (W)
Remote (S)
Time Offered
Schedule Evergreen link
see Schedule Evergreen for detailed schedule

First Meeting

May be offered again in
DateRevision 2021-02-25 Spring quarter signature requirement added