Jun 18, 2018  
Course Catalog 2018-2019 
    
Course Catalog 2018-2019

Hispanic Studies


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Sebastiaan Faber, Professor, Department Chair
Ana Cara,  Professor
Ana María Díaz Burgos, Assistant Professor
Patrick O’Connor, Associate Professor
Claire T. Solomon, Associate Professor
Sergio Gutiérrez Negrón, Assistant Professor
Carmen Patty Tovar, Visiting Assistant Professor
Kim Tungseth-Faber, Instructor
Vannessa Pelaez-Barrios, Lecturer

Mission Statement.

The Department of Hispanic Studies at Oberlin College offers an outstanding liberal-arts education in the literatures, cultures, and histories of Latin America, Spain, and the United States, based on a solid and thorough knowledge of the Spanish language. Along with the Latin American Studies and Comparative Literature programs, it is one of several majors available that allow Oberlin students to engage with the Spanish-speaking world.

The program includes three levels of study designed to meet the specific needs of each student. The first of these (Hispanic Studies 101 and 102; 202 and 203; and 303 and/or 304, and/or 334) focuses mainly on learning Spanish and understanding Hispanic cultures.  Our language classes focus on developing communicative proficiency in Spanish. Since proficiency is not possible without cultural knowledge, all language classes give ample attention to the diversity of Spanish, Latin American, and Latinx cultures as well. Among our language courses is a class especially tailored for heritage speakers of Spanish. 

The second level, consisting of the other classes in the 300 series, includes a wide range of courses on literature, history, and culture, covering courses on literature, film, theater, history, and culture, covering topics such as Surrealism in Mexico, Cien Años de Soledad,

Inquisitorial Practices: Heretics, Torture & Fear, and ¡Stop the Presses! Journalism in the Spanish-Speaking World.

The courses at the final or 400 level are small, seminar-style classes that focus on specific works, topics or trends in the Spanish-speaking world and ask students to conduct independent research.  All Hispanic Studies majors develop an semester-long independent capstone project. Outstanding students are encouraged to write a year-long honors thesis on a topic of their choosing, under the guidance of our faculty.

Many Hispanic Studies majors take advantage of opportunities for experiential learning. The SITES program (Spanish in the Elementary Schools), for example, offered by the Education 

Program (see elsewhere in this catalog under EDUA) provides students with a rigorous training to teach Spanish in Oberlin’s elementary schools. Recent Hispanic Studies internships have included positions working with Spanish-speakers in Lorain, Ohio; editorial work; and work with refugees.

The department’s educational goal, then, is not merely the acquisition of knowledge or skills. Our students have 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 (see below). Furthermore, more than 85 percent of Hispanic Studies majors study abroad. We endorse a great variety of programs in Spain and Latin America, as well as a program located on the U.S.-Mexican border.  Language students are strongly encouraged to take advantage of our longstanding Winter Term program in Guadalajara, México.  (See the department’s website). Our students also join Winter Term trips to Central America through Oberlin Students in Solidarity with Guatemala (OSSGUA) and El Salvador (OSES).

In short, participation in the Hispanic Studies Program at Oberlin will allow you to understand, appreciate, and enjoy the great diversity of human cultures. It opens up a wide range of personal and professional opportunities. Recent graduates have gone on to graduate school and found jobs in a broad range of fields from journalism to social work, medicine, law, public health and education.

Major


For students declaring a Hispanic Studies major, the core requirements are the following: 

  • At least 9.5 courses
  • These must include HISP 304 (or equivalent).
  • These must also include two 400-level courses taken at Oberlin.
  • At least 7 of the 9.5 courses must be courses conducted in Spanish.
  • All majors will take the two-credit (half-course) HISP 501 capstone course.  (See capstone guidelines below).
  • Before taking a 400-level course, students must have taken two Spanish-taught 300-level courses above HISP 304.
     

Further recommendations:

  • Students are encouraged to take at least two of the four survey courses, combining one Spanish and one Latin American survey, as well as one pre-18th/19th century and one post-18th/19th century survey (e.g., HISP 309 and 318, or HISP 310 and 317).
     

Additional stipulations:

  • Language courses at the beginning or intermediate levels (taken at Oberlin, abroad, or at other institutions) will not count toward the major.
  • Up to 1 full course may be counted toward the major at the 300-level for a score of 5 on the AP Spanish language or literature exam.
  • Courses in the First-Year Seminar Program (FYSP) taught by Hispanic Studies faculty on topics related to the Spanish-speaking world may count toward the major, as may any other course taught at Oberlin (e.g. in History, Politics, Anthropology, Comparative American Studies, etc.) whose central focus falls within Latin American, Latinx and Iberian Studies.
  • Up to 3 full courses of transfer credit per semester, including coursework done abroad, may be counted toward the major, for a maximum of 5 courses.  This does not include any AP credit granted.
  • Students must earn minimum grades of C- or P for all courses that apply toward the major.
  • Courses taken abroad or at other institutions cannot be counted as 400-level credit.
     

Capstone Guidelines:

Students who major in Hispanic Studies will do a capstone project based on a 400-level seminar taken in the spring of their junior year or the fall of their senior year. In the spring of their senior year (the last semester for summer graduates, the penultimate semester for December graduates) they will enroll in a 2-credit/half-course Hispanic Studies Capstone course, HISP 501. As part of this course, which meets once a week for a 1.5-hour period, students will expand the term paper of their 400-level seminar into a 15-20 page research paper (written in Spanish) and prepare a 15-minute oral presentation based on the paper, to be given at the end of the semester. In consultation with their Hispanic Studies advisor, students may request permission to base their capstone work on a course taught outside of the Hispanic Studies department. An Honors project in Hispanic Studies automatically fulfills the capstone requirement.  
 

Study abroad and double majors:
All Hispanic Studies majors are strongly encouraged to spend at least one semester in a Spanish-speaking country. Students may pursue a double major, or a major/minor combination with Latin American Studies or other related fields such as Classics and the other modern languages, Sociology, Anthropology, Comparative Literature, Art, History, Comparative American Studies, or Politics
 

Minor


Minor

For students declaring a Hispanic Studies minor the core requirements are the following:

  • at least 6 courses;
  • these must include at least 5 courses at or above the 300 level, taught in Spanish, including at least one course at the 400 level taken at Oberlin.
     

Further information about the minor:

  • Language courses at the beginning or intermediate levels (taken at Oberlin, abroad or at other institutions) will not count toward the minor.
  • Up to 1 course may be counted toward the minor at the 300-level for a score of 5 on the AP Spanish language or literature exam.
  • Courses in the First-Year Seminar Program (FYSP) taught by Hispanic Studies faculty on topics related to the Spanish-speaking world may count toward the minor, as may any other course taught at Oberlin (e.g. in History, Politics, Anthropology, Comparative American Studies, etc.) whose central focus falls within Latin American, Latino/a, and Iberian Studies.
  • Up to 2 courses of transfer credit, including coursework done abroad but not counting AP credit, may be counted toward the minor.
  • Before taking a 400-level course, students must have taken two Spanish-taught 300-level courses above HISP 304.
  • Students are encouraged to take at least two of the four survey courses, combining one Spanish and one Latin American survey, as well as one pre-19th century and one post-19th century survey (e.g., HISP 309 and 318, or HISP 310 and 317).
  • Courses in which a student has earned a letter grade lower than a C- or P cannot be used to fulfill the requirements of the minor.

Advanced Placement


 A score of 5 on the Spanish language or literature AP exam - or a score of a 6 or 7 on the Spanish (Advanced) exam of the IB curriculum - automatically receives credit for 1 full academic course as Hispanic Studies 300. HISP 300 counts toward the total number of academic courses required for the major and minor.  We encourage these students to consider taking HISP 304 before taking HISP 306, 310, 317, or 318. 

Initial Placement


Students who begin Hispanic Studies at Oberlin will take HISP 101. Beyond HISP 101 the particular entry point within the sequence of language courses depends upon a student’s background in Spanish and upon the results of a placement test, administered at the beginning of each semester for those beginning HISP 102, 202, 203, and 304. The placement test is required of every student with a prior knowledge of Spanish who wishes to enroll, except for students who qualify for Hispanic Studies 300 credit through the AP or IB exams (see above). The placement exam will be available online during registration.  Please see the department’s web site at www.oberlin.edu/hispanic

Honors


The Honors Program in Hispanic Studies is a two-semester sequence of two courses of independent study, in consultation with a faculty sponsor, culminating in either an honors thesis or a special project, e.g., a translation, creative writing, or video project.  Students may be invited to participate in the program, but are also encouraged to express their interest to the faculty.  For more information see the department website.

La Casa Hispánica


Since 1962, the department has sponsored La Casa Hispánica, a language-program residence hall for students who want to live in an immersive Spanish-speaking environment featuring lectures, exhibits, concerts, movie nights, poetry readings, and dance classes.  The director and two program assistants are native Spanish speakers from Latin America and Spain. There are rooming accommodations for 28 students.  El Rincón Latino at Stevenson Dining Hall provides space to speak Spanish during mealtimes.

Cross-Referenced Course


The following courses may be taken for Hispanic Studies major credit.  Please see the full course description under the department in which the course is listed. (Keep in mind only two courses taught in English may count toward the major).

Portuguese Language and Brazilian Studies


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