Undegraduate Course Information - Fall 2021

SPA 312-001: Civilizations and Cultures of Spain

Ana Rueda

MWF 11-11:50 am

This course is designed to broaden the student’s knowledge of the geographical, historical, economic, political and cultural aspects of Spain. The issues and approaches covered in this class are part of history, human geography, literature, art, film, politics, economics, and sociology. Following an introductory section, the course will focus on modern and contemporary topics that run through Spain’s corridors of time, mainly modern (19thcentury) and contemporary (20th-21stcentury) society. We will use the textbook, structured around three key categories (History, Society, Culture), to encourage critical thinking about traditional notions that are under constant revision. All students are expected to actively participate in class discussions about the readings and other materials assigned and to engage in critical inquiry on select themes and concepts. The course will be conducted entirely in Spanish and class assignments—oral and written—must also be completed in the target language.



SPA 330: Spanish and Globalization

Haralambos Symeonidis

Languages are the essential medium in which the ability to communicate across culture develops. Knowledge of one or several languages enables us to perceive new horizons, to think globally, and to increase our understanding of ourselves and of our neighbors. Languages are, then, the very lifeline of globalization: without language (or communication), there would be no globalization; and vice versa, without globalization, there would be no world languages (e.g., English, Chinese, French, Spanish, and so on). When economists (and linguists) write about globalization and its profound effects on modern societies, they routinely overlook the extraordinary nature of language as an economic good. This course highlights the economic importance of language in our current globalization. In doing so, it examines how and why certain languages (e.g., English) have acquired great social and economic value, while others (e.g., old regional dialects of France) have become relegated to a marginal status at best.

In this course we will trace some of these debates and discussions surrounding language issues in a global era, attempting to identify those aspects of globalization of particular interest when it comes to explaining language behavior. We will seek to identify some of the key agents acting as the forces of globalization on language processes and will discuss the nature of this relationship. We will explore how far any discussion and analysis of globalization and world languages are of any particular and specific relevance to an understanding of the case of Spanish and the languages of what is commonly referred to as the Spanish-speaking world.


SPA 372: Spanish Cinema:  From Silent Film to the Latest Trends

Carmen Moreno-Nuño

This course aims to introduce students to the analysis and interpretation of cinema in general and Spanish cinema in particular. Special attention will be given to topics such as the role of cinema in nation formation, cinema and censorship, changing gender roles, Spain’s transition from dictatorship to democracy, and current trends in Spanish film.



Haralambos Symeonidis

The Eurovision Song Contest is the world's biggest popular music event held annually in May, it includes entries from almost every European country and attracts over a hundred million viewers, making it one of the most-watched television events in Europe. Eurovision is organised by the European Broadcasting Union whose membership comprises public television broadcasters from European countries. In the contest, the public television broadcasters send a singer and song to represent their countries, and audiences from each of them submit their votes to select the winner, whose country then earns the right to host the event the following year

This course uses Eurovision to examine major political issues that have accompanied European integration since 1945. In doing so, it requires students to analyse the cultural, political and social significance of entries through their lyrics, music, costumes and dances, as well as the media commentary that accompanied them. Students will look at how countries use the contest to define themselves within a European context, be it to assert their national distinctiveness or to affirm their "Europeanness." Some of the questions that are addressed throughout the course are: * How has European integration been promoted through popular culture, and how has popular music become one of the prime cultural phenomena connecting Europeans? * How are Europe and "Europeanness" defined through Eurovision in cultural, geographic, political and social terms, especially as some of its participants are not members of the European Union? * How has Eurovision been used to promote issues concerning environmental awareness, gay rights, ethnic minorities and peace campaigns, and what effect has it had on these in Europe? What is Spain’s cultural and linguistic role in the contest?


SPA 423 Advanced Spanish Translation

Heather Campbell-Speltz


SPA 423 is designed to build on the skills that students acquired in SPA 323, as well as to further hone communicative skills in the Spanish language. Students will produce more advanced translation tasks, focusing on specific fields of production such as legal, medical, community and literary translation. In the Service-Learning portion, students will produce a translation into Spanish for a local non-profit according to that organization’s needs. The class will also address professionalization and provide the opportunity to interact with professional interpreters currently practicing in different specialties.  The class provides students with both hands-on experience and a basis for further Translations Studies if they so desire. 



Yanira B. Paz

T/TR 12:30-1:43 pm


The purpose of this course is to deepen the study of the Spanish language and its structure by providing an introduction to Spanish linguistics. The course begins with an exploration of the sound system of Spanish and its theoretical representation. Building on this, the discussion continues with topics in Spanish morphology, syntax, and history of the Spanish language. The goal of this course is to present students with a level of linguistic information that enables them to consolidate their competence in Spanish, to make connections between the structures of Spanish and English, and to familiarize them with other relevant issues in contemporary Hispanic linguistics.  The class will be conducted entirely in Spanish.

Prereq: SPA 310 or one more 300-level course.


SPA 444: 20th & 21st Century Spanish Studies

MWF 1:00-1:50 pm


Ana Rueda

This advanced course is a critical survey of contemporary women writers that provides an overview (cultural, social, and political) of their contribution to literature. The course will call attention to topics such as gender roles, social class, displacement (war, exile, travel, immigration), love, cultural identity, and language. Class will consist primarily of discussion of the assigned readings, text analysis, some lectures, presentations and interview dramatizations.

The course is conducted in Spanish. All materials will be available on Canvas.

Prereq: SPA 310 (B or better) or permission of the instructor.


SPA 480: Hispanic Kentucky

Ruth Brown

In-person: Monday, Wednesday, Friday 12-12:50pm (some Fridays held asynchronously)

This course is designed to provide students with opportunities to engage with Lexington’s Spanish-speaking and Latinx communities and to think critically about the cultural, political and socio-economic impact of immigration by Spanish-speakers to Kentucky. We will draw on a variety of sources including student experiences in the community, journalism, visual art, podcasts, and film to inform our study of the history and current experience of los kentuquianos. While some of our readings and supplementary materials will be in English, all course assignments and class discussions will be conducted in Spanish. This course has a community service and engagement requirement of 20 hours. The instructor will help students set up their placements at a variety of community-based organizations and tutoring programs. Students can also complete some of these hours through attendance at community events and cultural programs. Pre-requisites: SPA 310, or consent of the instructor.


SPA 524: Understanding Latinx Cultures

8-weeks asynchronous on-line, weekly deadlines on Tuesday and Thursdays.

Ruth Brown

This course examines the ways in which race and ethnicity have shaped the Americas from the colonial era to the present. Focusing on race and ethnicity as socially constructed categories, and on the ideology of race and diversity in Latin America and the US (past and present), we will treat race and ethnicity as dynamic processes that shape all social institutions, belief systems, and individual experiences. Through the study of historical and contemporary sources, testimonies of personal experience, and our own independent exploration, we will explore the historical and social relationships among European, Native Americans, and Africans, looking at how these histories impact the present-day experiences of people in the United States whose ancestry originated in Latin America, or who immigrated to the US from a Spanish or Portuguese speaking country. 

Pre-requisites: Undergraduate students must have junior standing or the permission of the instructor to enroll.

Languages: This course is held primarily in English. However, undergraduate students who would like to use this class to fulfill major requirements for the BA in Spanish will be required to use Spanish for all student-produced work. Other students who prefer to submit their work in Spanish are welcome to do with the permission of the instructor.

This course may not be used to fulfill SPA requirements for a minor in Spanish. 


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