Program Description

Acquiring the ability to speak and understand a language other than one's own, and gaining insight into the artistic and cultural heritage of other peoples of the world, are an integral part of a liberal arts education. The Department’s basic communication-oriented courses enable students to use spoken and written Spanish and give them some knowledge of Spanish and Latin American literature and cultural history. Advanced-level courses in literature, linguistics, and culture give students an understanding and appreciation of the language, literature, and cultures of the Hispanic peoples. Specifically, the Spanish Department’s curriculum, co-curricular activities and study abroad are designed to meet these goals:  

Outcomes for the Major:

  • Language Competence:  Students will have the necessary communication skills to succeed academically in a Spanish speaking country.
  • Textual Competence:  Students will be able to research and analyze literary, filmic, and cultural texts with attention to relevant social, artistic, political, historical, economic and linguistic issues from an interdisciplinary perspective.
  • Cultural Understanding:  Students will be able to comprehend and analyze linguistic, social, artistic, political, historical, and economic issues related to the Hispanic world in general, and especially those cultural issues related to the country in which they studied.

Outcomes for the Minor:

  • Language Competence:  Students will attain sufficient written and oral proficiency in Spanish to research, discuss, and write about topics relevant to Spanish-speaking countries.
  • Textual Competence:  Students will be able to analyze texts in Spanish with attention to relevant social, artistic, political, historical, economic, and linguistic issues.
  • Cultural Understanding:  Students will be able to comprehend and analyze linguistic, social, artistic, political, historical, and economic issues related to the Hispanic world.

The Spanish Department offers multiple opportunities for students to continue or initiate their contact with the Hispanic language and cultures while studying on campus. The Spanish Assistant organizes trips, Spanish language movies, facilitates discussions of current events, Spanish Club activities, and more. Students have the opportunity to interact with native speakers of Spanish through community-based education. Students tutor Hispanic children in after school programs, teach English to adult Spanish speakers, and help in various local non-profit, government, and church based agencies that provide services to the local Hispanic population.

Courses in the department provide sound preparation for graduate study, teaching, or careers in government, business, or social work. Since the largest minority group in the United States is Spanish speaking, and the U.S. is second only to Mexico in its number of Spanish speakers.  it is increasingly important to know Spanish and understand Hispanic cultures.

Program Requirements

Course Requirements for the Spanish Major

Spanish majors study a combination of language, linguistics, culture and literature.   The Spanish major includes 9 courses above the 300 level:

Spanish 301/302– Spanish Composition, Conversation & Culture:  Topics  -  A grade of “C” or better in 301/302 is a prerequisite for all upper level courses. 

One Elective: Any Spanish course above 301/302, taken at Gettysburg or equivalent taken abroad. 

Spanish 304- Hispanic Linguistics Today: An Introduction (Prerequisite for Spanish 380-389)

Spanish 305- The Pleasure of the Text (Prerequisite for Spanish 350-379)

One advanced class in Literature and Cultural Studies (Spanish 350-379)

One advanced class in Spanish linguistics (Spanish 380-389)

Two additional advanced classes (may be taken abroad).

Spanish 400 (Seminar): This is the senior capstone experience for all Spanish majors.

The Spanish major includes, as can be seen above, 9 courses above the 300 level. Five of these courses, including 301/302, 345, 400, and two advanced classes, must be taken at Gettysburg College.  In addition, Spanish majors must spend one semester studying abroad in a program approved by the department. It is recommended that students study abroad as soon as their schedule permits.  (Students with extensive previous experience living or studying abroad may petition the department to be exempted from this requirement.) None of these 9 courses can be taken S/U.

Course Requirements for the Spanish Minor

Six courses 301/302 and above

Three courses must be taken at Gettysburg College; must include Span 301/302
Spanish minors complete Spanish 301/302 (which must be taken at Gettysburg) and 5 other classes at the 300 level.  Students must take 3 courses at Gettysburg. Up to 3 courses may be taken at approved Study Abroad programs. None of these 6 courses can be taken S/U.

Course Listing

Course level:
100 | 200 | 300 | 400

SPAN-101 Elementary Spanish
Fundamentals of understanding, speaking, reading, and writing Spanish. Enrollment based on Spanish placement test results, except for those who have had one year or less of high school Spanish.

SPAN-102 Elementary Spanish
Fundamentals of understanding, speaking, reading, and writing Spanish. For students who have completed Spanish 101 or its equivalent, or based on Spanish placement test results.

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SPAN-201 Intermediate Spanish
Overview of Hispanic cultures through readings and films, with emphasis on written and oral expression in Spanish. Through community-based education and cultural activities students gain a deeper understanding of the vast diversity of the Hispanic world. Prerequisite: Spanish 102 or consent of department. For students who have completed Spanish 102 or its equivalent, or based on Spanish placement test results.

SPAN-202 Intermediate Spanish
Continuation of an overview of Hispanic cultures through readings and films, with more emphasis on written and oral expression in Spanish. Through community-based education and cultural activities students gain a deeper understanding of the vast diversity of the Hispanic world. For students who have completed Spanish 201, or based on Spanish placement test results.

SPAN-207 Service Learning in Argentina
An intensive summer language course centered on a cross-cultural service-learning experience in Argentina. The course integrates language classes and diverse cultural activities (folk-dancing and tango lessons, museums visits, and fieldtrips to archeological sites) with service at an orphanage and at a rural elementary school. Exposure to the cultural, social and geographical diversity of Argentina enhances linguistic as well as cultural competencies. This course may be taken after 201 or 202 as part of the two course sequence that fulfills the foreign language requirement.

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SPAN-301 Spanish Composition, Conversation, and Culture: Topics
Exercises in directed and free composition; extensive interaction with Spanish language and Hispanic cultures through readings, films and other media; group discussion and presentation of individual oral work; review of grammar and syntax at an advanced level. Organized around a central topic of importance in the Hispanic world. Prerequisite: Spanish 202, consent of department, or based on Spanish placement test results. Required for the major or minor (must achieve a “C” or better), and for the combined Spanish/LACLS major.

SPAN-302 Composition, Conversation and Culture for Heritage Learners of Spanish
Students review grammar and syntax at an advanced level while they engage in various writing styles in Spanish. Students learn various cultural aspects about the Latino community in the United States and about Latinos as a diverse group in the Spanish-speaking world through readings, films, and other media. Students acquire better understanding of Spanish as a heritage language while students discuss various Latino cultural topics and issues.

SPAN-304 Hispanic Linguistics Today: An Introduction
Overview of Spanish syntactic, morphological and phonetic variation in Spain, Latin America and elsewhere. Spanish variation is used as a vehicle to introduce linguistic theories, methods, and problems as applied to Spanish. Attention is also given to relevant linguistic topics, such as Spanish dialectology, sociolinguistics, bilingualism and field research. Offered every semester. Prerequisite: Grade of C or better in Spanish 301/302 or consent of department. Required for Spanish major and counts toward the minor.

SPAN-305 The Pleasure of the Text: Introduction to Literary/Cultural Studies
Introduction to basic critical approaches to the reading of literary and cultural texts. Through the careful study of works in different genres, students acquire a knowledge of analytical skills and critical terminology in Spanish. Prerequisite: Grade of C or higher in Spanish 301/302, or consent of department. Required for the Spanish major and counts toward the minor; or towards the combined Spanish/LACLS major, and as MI-Humanities.

SPAN-308 Cultural Topics
Advanced composition and conversation course that explores a theme related to Iberian and/or Latin American Cultures, organized around a nationality, region, artistic or historical period, or event. The course uses a variety of literary and cultural texts, and may include film, television, music, visual arts, spoken word and periodicals. Prerequisite: grade of C or better in Spanish 301/302. Counts toward the Spanish minor, or as an elective for the major, and as MI-Humanities.

SPAN-309 Spanish as a Global Language
Study of the Spanish language with a focus on comparing at least three different centuries. Includes analysis of cultural and historical factors that have influenced the development of Spanish. Several sections, each with a different topic, are offered from year to year. Prerequisite: Span 301/302 with a grade of C or better. Counts toward the Spanish minor, or as an elective for the major.

SPAN-351 Poetry and Song in the Hispanic World
A study of song lyrics and lyric poetry from the earliest transcriptions of Spanish medieval song to contemporary poems and songs of Spain and Latin America. This course focuses on the relationship between form and content, noting major influences on the poetry of each period. Appreciation is considered a primary goal as students read, recite, analyze, and discuss a wide array of verse. Alternate years. Prerequisite: Spanish 305 or consent of the department. Counts toward the Spanish major or minor, or toward the combined Spanish/LACLS major, and as MI-Humanities.

SPAN-353 The Cinema of Spain
Study of the cinema of Spain with emphasis on films made since the 1975. Examines film theory and technique. Considers how the interactions between audiences and political and commercial institutions influence movie content and film art and form. Offered alternate years. Prerequisite: Spanish 305 or consent of the department. Counts toward the Spanish major or minor, and as MI-Humanities.

SPAN-354 Nineteenth-Century Hispanic World
Study of the transatlantic nineteenth-century Hispanic world, looking particularly into its most decisive literary, historical and cultural moments. Examinations include narratives, essays, poetry and visual arts. Facilitates strategies for the interpretation of a selected corpus of texts grounded on aesthetic, cultural and ideological conflicts, creation of political contexts, and social change. Offered alternate years. Prerequisite: Spanish 305 or consent of the department. Counts toward the Spanish major or minor, or toward the combined Spanish/LACLS major, and as MI-Humanities.

SPAN-355 Hispanic Theater
Study of the drama of Spain and Spanish America through the ages. Focus varies from semester to semester, based on such aspects as literary period, common theme, historical development, and dramatic theory. Offered alternate years. Prerequisite: Spanish 305 or consent of the department. Counts toward the Spanish major or minor, or toward the combined Spanish/LACLS major, and as MI-Humanities.

SPAN-360 After the War: Memory, Violence and the Body in Contemporary Central American Literature and Film
In this course we will analyze the literature and cinema of Central America from the "official" end of the civil wars that affected the region: Guatemala (1960-1996), El Salvador (1980-1992) and Nicaragua (1979-1990). We will examine stories, short novels and cinema to understand the legacies of war and violence. We will focus much on writers and distinguished directors as well as lesser-known artists. We will study global issues such as injustice, inequality, poverty, the environment and migration for a better life. At the same time, we will consider the political, social and cultural history of Central America. By doing this, we will realize that the post-war dilemmas are still connected to other problems such as colonialism; race, gender and sexuality; war and trauma; indigenous movements and human rights. Prerequisite: Spanish 305, or consent of the department. Counts toward the Spanish major or minor, or toward the combined Spanish/LACLS major, and as MI-Humanities

SPAN-363 Plays, Poems, Prose, and Painting of Spain’s Golden Age
Texts include some of Spain’s greatest literary and artistic masterpieces. These works, which address issues of honor, gender relations, social class, ethics, national identity, and empire, remain as relevant and engaging in the 21st century as they were 400 years ago. Prerequisite: Spanish 305 or consent of the department. Counts toward the Spanish major or minor.

SPAN-367 From Realism to the Avant-Garde: Late 19th and Early 20th Century Peninsular Literature.
Studies in the essay, poetry, prose fiction, and drama of the major writers of the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries in Spain. Offered alternate years. Prerequisite: Spanish 305 or consent of the department. Counts toward the Spanish major or minor, and as MI-Humanities.

SPAN-368 20th and 21st Century Peninsular Literature and Culture
Study of major literary and cultural trends and works in Spain, beginning with the resurgence of Spanish literature in the 1940s and continuing to the present day. Offered alternate years. Prerequisite: Spanish 305 or consent of the department. Counts toward the Spanish major or minor, and as MI-Humanities.

SPAN-369 Don Quixote de la Mancha
Study of Miguel de Cervantes’ timeless masterpiece, Don Quixote de la Mancha, considered the first modern novel, Don Quixote de la Mancha, remains one of the funniest stories ever told. Besides the complete novel, readings include essays about the European political, social, and religious/philosophical climate from which this great novel arose. Prerequisite: Spanish 305 or consent of the department. Counts toward the Spanish major or minor, and as MI-Humanities.

SPAN-370 Becoming Latino/a and Chicana/o in Latino Literature
Examines the development and progression of Latina and Chicana literature written in Spanish since its emergence due to the Chicano movement during the 1960s in the United States and the massive migrations from Latin America to the United States during 1980’s. Subsequently, it analyzes the construction of self-identity through the buildungsroman genre, mainly. Discussions and readings are based on canonical Chicana and Latina texts (novels, short stories and poems) that demonstrate the influence of Latin American culture and its migration to the United States. Prerequisite: Spanish 305 or consent of the department. Counts toward the Spanish major or minor, or toward the combined Spanish/LACLS major, and as MI-Humanities.

SPAN-376 Latin Amer Contemporary Prose
Emphasis on the narrative of the 'boom' and beyond in Latin America. Major writers of the 20 & 21st centuries. Prerequisite: Spanish 305 or consent of the department. Counts toward the Spanish major or minor, or toward the combined Spanish/ LACLS major, and as MI-Humanities.

SPAN-378 Contemporary Literature of the Hispanic Caribbean
An advanced course focusing on the contemporary literature of the Hispanic Caribbean. The course includes an analysis of a variety of literary genres, and considers the ways in which they represent and help shape their historical and cultural contexts. Prerequisite: Spanish 305 or consent of the department. Counts toward the Spanish major or minor, or toward the combined Spanish/LACLS major, and as MI-Humanities.

SPAN-379 Colonialism, the Atlantic World and Latin America
Study of the textual productions resulting from the initial centuries of the Iberian invasion, conquest and colonization of the Americas. Readings and discussions focuses on the study of European and pre-Columbian imaginaries, and their impact on long-standing representations of Latin America. Goals include the analysis of a variety of discursive practices integrated into the process of colonization and how they have pervaded the understanding of Latin America. Offered alternate years. Prerequisite: Spanish 305 or consent of the department. Counts toward the Spanish major or minor, or toward the combined Spanish/LACLS major, and as MI-Humanities.

SPAN-380 Sounds of Spanish: Phonology and Phonetics
Introduction to Spanish phonetic and phonemic theory and analysis, applied to improve pronunciation skills. Study of variation in pronunciation in Spain and Latin America. Three lecture hours and one practice. Prerequisite: Spanish 304 or consent of the department. Counts toward the Spanish major or minor, and as MI-Social Science.

SPAN-381 Spanish Pragmatics: Language and its Cultural Frontiers
An advanced Spanish linguistic survey of language that focuses on the relationship between linguistic forms and their users across Latin America and the United States. This course exposes students to linguistic, sociological and anthropological approaches to language and culture. This course also examines how context contributes to the meaning of utterances in the Spanish language. Prerequisite: Spanish 304 or consent of the department. Counts toward the Spanish major or minor, and as MI-Social Science.

SPAN-382 Spanish Morphosyntaxis: From the Word to the Sentence
Synchronic study of different linguistic theories that analyze Spanish words and sentences. The course presents a broad view of Spanish syntax and morphology, taking into account the results of recent research, but not assuming familiarity with current theories. A combined descriptive and theoretical approach is used to help students understand how different elements of the Spanish language relate to one another and why Spanish is spoken the way it is today. Prerequisite: Spanish 304 or consent of the department. Counts toward the Spanish major or minor, and as MI-Social Science.

SPAN-383 Spanish in Contact
Introduction to linguistic issues that have arisen in areas of contact between Spanish and other languages (English, Quechua, Catalan, and African languages, among others). Social and linguistic features will be addressed. A range of contact situations throughout the Spanish speaking world will be reviewed, with a view to gaining a better understanding of linguistic change in general. Prerequisite: Spanish 304 or consent of the department. Counts toward the Spanish major or minor, and as MI-Social Science.

SPAN-384 Spanish Sociolinguistics
An introduction to sociolinguistics, with a focus on research conducted on the Spanish language. Throughout this course students will examine the theoretic framework and methodologies associated with the study of linguistic variation. At the end of the course students will be able to identify linguistic variables, formulate a hypothesis, and choose and apply a methodology to investigate the variable using data from a spoken corpus. Prerequisite: Spanish 304 or consent of the department. Counts toward the Spanish major or minor.

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SPAN-400 Seminar
Directed and specialized studies in Spanish. Course is taken by seniors during the final semester in order to complete their undergraduate work. Offered every spring. Prerequisite: Limited to seniors, except with permission of the department. Required for Spanish majors.

SPAN-450 Individualized Study-Tutorial
Individualized tutorial counting toward the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded A-F

SPAN-451 Individualized Study-Tutorial
Individualized tutorial counting toward the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded S/U

SPAN-452 Individualized Study-Tutorial
Individualized tutorial not counting in the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded A-F

SPAN-453 Individualized Study-Tutorial
Individualized tutorial not counting in the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded S/U

SPAN-460 Individualized Study-Research
Individualized research counting toward the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded A-F

SPAN-461 Individualized Study-Research
Individualized research counting toward the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded S/U

SPAN-462 Individualized Study-Research
Individualized research not counting in the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded A-F

SPAN-463 Individualized Study-Research
Individualized research not counting in the minimum requirements in a major or minor graded S/U

SPAN-464 Senior Capstone

SPAN-470 Individualized Study-Internship
Internship counting toward the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded A-F

SPAN-471 Individualized Study-Intern
Internship counting toward the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded S/U

SPAN-472 Individualized Study-Internship
Internship not counting in the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded A-F

SPAN-473 Individualized Study-Internship
Internship not counting in the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded S/U

SPAN-474 Summer Internship
Summer Internship graded A-F, counting in the minimum requirements for a major or minor only with written permission filed in the Registrar's Office.

SPAN-475 Service Learning Hispanic Comm
Summer Internship graded S/U, counting in the minimum requirements for a major or minor only with written permission filed in the Registrar's Office

SPAN-477 Service Learning Hispanic Comm
Half credit internship, graded S/U.

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