The Department of Hispanic Studies at Oberlin College is committed to offering its students an outstanding liberal-arts education in the literatures and cultures of the Spanish-speaking world, based on a solid and thorough knowledge of the Spanish language.
The program offers three levels of study, designed to meet the specific needs of each student. The first of these (Hispanic Studies 101, 102, 202, 203, 204, 304, 305, and 334) focuses mainly on learning Spanish and understanding Hispanic cultures. This stage ranges from one to six semesters depending on the student’s entry level. Our language classes use the most sophisticated technology to help develop communicative proficiency in Spanish. Since this is not possible without cultural knowledge, all language classes give ample attention to the diversity of Spanish, Latin American, and Latino cultures as well. Among our language courses is a class especially tailored for “Heritage Speakers” (students who grew up speaking Spanish but have never studied it formally).
The second level, consisting of the other classes in the 300 series, includes a wide range of courses on topics such as Latino/Latin American Folklore, Film, and History, as well as introductory literature classes.
The courses at the final or 400 level—all small-group classes taught in Spanish—are designed for Hispanic Studies majors and minors who want to focus on specific works, topics or trends of Hispanic literatures and cultures. Also included among our 400-level courses is a class on Caribbean literatures and cultures. Outstanding Hispanic Studies majors are encouraged to write an honors thesis on a topic of their interest, under the guidance of our faculty.
The department’s educational goal, then, is not merely the acquisition of knowledge. Rather, our students are offered the opportunity to experience a cultural heritage which is more rich, diverse, and alive than ever. In addition to the many courses on the language, literature, film, culture, and history of the Spanish-speaking world, we offer a wide spectrum of complementary programs and activities through Oberlin’s Casa Hispánica. Furthermore, we strongly encourage our students to study abroad. Oberlin has its own, long-standing program in Córdoba, Spain (PRESHCO), and a newly established program in Puebla, Mexico. We also endorse a great variety of other programs in Spain and Latin America.
In short, participation in the Hispanic Studies Program at Oberlin will allow you to understand, appreciate, and enjoy the great diversity of human cultures. And, as has been proven by our alumni, it will open up a wide range of personal and professional opportunities.