Course Descriptions

Intensive Intermediate Spanish - SPAN 032-62 - 6 cr.

Continuing from Intensive Basic Spanish, and designed for highly motivated students who seek daily contact with the language, this course is designed to further develop students' ability to communicate satisfactorily in Spanish in everyday situations and to help them acquire skills necessary for effective speaking and writing in Spanish. Taking readings, documentaries and films as point of departure, the cultural component of the course grows significantly to include current issues encompassing the economy, politics, and culture of the Spanish-speaking areas on both sides of the Atlantic.

Intensive Advance Spanish I - SPAN 111-62 5 cr.

Like the other three courses in the Intensive Program, the course has been designed for highly motivated students who seek daily contact with the language. The course assumes prior knowledge of basic vocabulary and grammar, and places a special emphasis on mastery of some of the more difficult aspects of grammar, as well as on more formal vocabulary. All materials included have been produced by native speakers for native speakers. Through the use of selected films (-subtitles), short stories, and a history textbook, the course will broaden the student's understanding of Peninsular geography, history, culture, and current issues, including migration, the transition form dictatorship to democracy, and terrorism ( 60% of the grade depends on content).

Intensive Advance Spanish II - SPAN 112-62 5 cr

Like the other three courses in the Intensive Program, the course has been designed for highly motivated students who seek daily contact with the language. This course is the continuation of Intensive Advanced I and shares some of the same textbooks. Students continue to develop the four communicative skills: speaking, listening, reading, and writing, with an emphasis on more difficult aspects of grammar and formal vocabulary. All materials included have been produced by native speakers for native speakers. Through the use of selected films, short stories, and a history textbook, the course will broaden the student's understanding of Latin American geography, history, culture, and current issues, including migration, democratization processes, political violence, and drug-trafficking (60% of the grade is depends on content).

Oral Review - SPAN 161-62 - 3 cr.

This course develops speaking and listening skills by discussion of the interdisciplinary study of Hispanic cultures and civilizations as manifested through history, literature, and everyday discourses of culture (film, television, journalism). It addresses key changes that have occurred during the 20th century in Spain, Latin America, and the U.S. It is designed for students who have a fair command of Spanish grammar. The overall goals are to achieve greater fluency in a variety of contexts and to learn to express oneself with greater ease and accuracy. Consistent oral participation in the course is essential. The course will round out the linguistic and thematic preparation needed to take the Oral Proficiency Exam in Spanish.

Survey of Spanish American Literature II - SPAN 262-62 - 3 cr.

This course will study selected contemporary Latin American literary texts beginning with Modernismo to present day. We will put special emphasis on textual analysis, and will reflect upon formal and thematic issues in Latin American letters. Among the topics covered will be time, space, genre, narrative point of view and focalization. We will also discuss ideological questions of race, gender, class and nation formation. Among the authors and genres that will be read during the course are: 1. Poetry: Neruda and Paz; 2. Short Story: Quiroga, Borges, and Cortázar; 3. Novel: García Márquez

Latin American Literature and Society SPAN 267-62 - 3 cr.

This course will focus on a number of texts that have greatly influenced the way in which Latin American societies and collectivities have interpreted themselves –and have been interpreted– from the XIX century to present. Through these works, which belong to a variety of genres ranging from essay, poetry, short story, novel, to film, we will travel across different images born out of the way of rewriting the past, understanding the present, and dreaming the future. As a result of a tragic history, these narratives are populated by civil wars, imperialism, social inequalities, racism, exile, repression, and frustrated aspirations, but also they are full of creativity and yearning for freedom and justice. Special attention will be paid to some of the main conflicts that have shaped the modern history of Latin America: nature vs. culture; civilization vs. barbarism; modernity vs. tradition; left vs. right; democracies vs. dictatorships; etc.

Latin American Contemporary Short Story SPAN-266 - 3 cr.
A survey of Spanish American short fiction by male and female writers from the 1940s through the 1980s. The course focuses on the development of different literary strategies and their relation to specific historical, political, and social contexts. It also explores the dialogue or struggle with a dominant male tradition of writing through which women authors have shaped their particular literary and social concerns. Among writers to be studied are Borges, Cortázar, Donoso, García Márquez; Bryce Echenique, Ferré, Garro, Peri Rossi, and Valenzuela.

Nature and culture in Latin America SPAN 288/388 - 3 cr.

From a multidisciplinary perspective, this course will reflect upon the intricate relationship between culture and environment in Ecuador in particular and in Latin America in general. This course combines approaches from the natural and social sciences as well as the humanities, enriching theory with a valuable field work experience. We will begin with a brief introduction to the concepts of culture and nature that have shaped our understanding of our surrounding world. The opposition between nature and culture has been central to the representation of America since the first contact between Europe and the New World. Those first impressions and foundational texts are at the core of the debates about civilization and barbarism. We will discuss the multiple relations between Western culture and the different autochthonous cultures which have resulted in different types and grades of cultural crossbreeding. While cultural diversity is one of the main pillars for the understanding of Latin America's reality, ecological diversity is and has been the treasure coveted by nationals and foreigners. This course will analyze the role played by that ecological diversity in the historical, social and cultural development of the region, and how this development has contributed to destroy, preserve, or endanger that natural balance. The main objective of a course of this sort is to reinforce the knowledge acquired through classes, discussions, and readings, with the fieldwork experience in a priviledge and extraordinary natural setting. Participants will spend one week in each of the ecological stations, Tiputini and Galápagos.

Race, Gender and Ethnicity in Latin America SPAN 397 - 3 cr.

This course examines concepts of race, gender and ethnicity in Latin American in general, and Ecuador in particular. The course has two closely linked components: classroom discussion on theories of race, gender and ethnicity and two weeks of related field activities, one in Riobamba and one in Quito.

A) Riobamba: During this week students will partake in various activities at USFQ's new campus in the colonial city of Riobamba, capital of the Chimborazo province. Inasmuch as the campus specializes in academic disciplines such as Andean anthropology, politics, archeology, history and sociology among others, students will be able to take advantage of this wonderful and enriching resource to further their understanding of the principal issues discussed in class. Students will visit and work with various indigenous communities and NGOs whose work is centered on issues pertaining to race, gender and/or ethnicity. In addition, students will visit Casa Condor as a paradigmatic example of development programs generated and sustained by an actual indigenous community. Lastly, students will participate in a series of lectures by guest speakers, films and other field related trips within the province.

B) Quito: During this week students will have the opportunity to visit different indigenous organizations and engage in informative discussions with their respective leaders. Such associations include: 1. CONAIE (Confederación de Nacionalidades Indígenas del Ecuador). Since 1990 CONAIE has been one of the main protagonists in the political life of Ecuador. The majority of the indigenous populations of Ecuador belong to this organization. 2. FEINE (Federación Ecuatoriana de Indígenas Evangélicos), an association that includes the protestant indigenous communities and is actively involved in the political and social life of the country. Since the beginning of the 20th century North American missionaries have evangelized many of the natives and have successfully founded evangelical churches in various communities since the 60s. 3. FENOCIN (Federación Nacional de Organizaciones Campesinas Indígenas y Negras), an organization that includes indigenous people, Afro-Ecuadorian workers and farmers of the Sierra region of Ecuador. FENOCIN discretely participates in the political and social arena as well.

Students will also visit the National Congress of Ecuador where they will meet with Salvador Quishpe, a representative of Pachakutik. As the political branch of CONAIE, Pachakutik has directly participated in the elections since 1996. Presently, it has 11 representatives in Congress, 4 provincial governors and controls 18 municipalities. In addition, students will also visit institutes such as INDESIC (Instituto para el Desarrollo Social y de las Investigaciones Científicas) and DINEIB (Dirección Nacional de Educación Intercultural Bilingüe). INDESIC is an establishment supported by the German foundation Hanns Seidal that grants scholarships to Afro-Ecuadorians and indigenous individuals so that they may pursue an education in private and state universities. INDESIC is the governmental institution that regulates bilingual education throughout the country. Since 1988, indigenous students have been educated in their native languages: Quichua, Shuar, Huaorani, etc. Other activities consist of a trip to observe a traditional ballet dance known as Saruymanta, lectures by guest speakers and various films.