The Spanish discipline offers courses in language, literature and film that emphasize the richness and diversity of Hispanic culture. The curriculum is designed to help students develop critical insight into the philosophy and values of another culture, expertise in Spanish, and analytical competence with literature and other forms of cultural production that reflect the experience of the Spanish-speaking world. Spanish prepares students for a wide variety of potential careers or further advanced study.
The core of the major in Spanish comprises eight courses emphasizing composition and conversation skills, cultural competence, fundamental methods of analyzing film and literature, and broad surveys of Peninsular and Latin American literature and culture. This core is complemented by an upper level sequence of four additional courses, including three electives chosen from among various options in Spanish and Latin American literature and film, and a capstone research symposium in which students develop and present their own individualized research projects.
The minor in Spanish has a six-course core of language study, supplemented by four upper-level departmental electives.
With a combination of coursework, extracurricular and service learning activities, and study abroad the program creates graduates who have practical expertise in the language and who are well-rounded in their knowledge of Spanish-speaking culture.
In addition to the academic offerings, the Morris campus has many other options for students to perfect their language skills. Community-based service learning opportunities with the local Hispanic community are available, including Plan Amistad English as a Second Language (ESL) volunteering program and the Jane Addams project. There are two Spanish-language student organizations, Vamos Juntos and Voces Unidas, as well as a weekly Spanish conversation table. The Spanish faculty organize the Festival of Spanish Language Cinema, which is held annually at the Morris Theater Cooperative. The faculty also participate in national and international film festivals in Minneapolis, Chicago, and Ecuador.
Study abroad is the most effective means by which to improve language abilities, broaden academic and personal horizons, globalize one’s world-view, expand career opportunities, and advance cross-cultural understanding and problem-solving skills. The opportunity to study abroad is a critical one for modern language majors, and the Spanish faculty is devoted and motivated to make this feasible for students.