Apr 15, 2024  
2023-2024 Catalog 
2023-2024 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Hispanic Studies

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Professors: Kietrys (Chair), Maiz-Peña, Peña, Sánchez y Sánchez, Willis
Associate Professors: Boyer, González
Assistant Professor: Jimenez
Visiting Assistant Professor: Acosta, Travers
Visiting Assistant Professor and CFD Postdoctoral Fellow: Sierra-Audivert
Lecturer:  Cannon, Esparragoza, Paredes, Santamaría

Language Requirement

Completion of Spanish 201 meets the language requirement for graduation.

Cultural Diversity Requirement

SPA 241, 244, 271, 272, 340, 341, 344, 346, 352, 374, 375, and 402 fulfill the cultural diversity requirement.

Placement in Spanish Courses

Students who have taken Spanish previously and who want to take Spanish courses at Davidson must take a placement test before the beginning of the semester in which they wish to enroll. The placement exam for enrollment in fall courses is available during the month of June. For enrollment in spring courses, the placement exam is available during the two weeks before WebTree opens in October. Instructions are available here. For questions, please contact the Language Coordinator, Professor Brandon Cannon 

No student who has studied Spanish in junior or senior year of high school should expect to take SPA 101 for credit without the express permission of the department.

Placement will be based on online exam score and high school experience.

Multilingual students and students for whom Spanish is their dominant language are eligible to enroll in upper-level courses, pending a conversation with the Department Chair, Dr. Kyra Kietrys.

Heritage speakers (students who speak any degree of Spanish at home) should take the placement test and consult with the Language Coordinator or Department Chair after the results of the test have been communicated.

Major Requirements (A.B. Degree)

For a major in Hispanic Studies, ten courses above SPA 201  are required, as follows:

*Students are encouraged to take SPA 271 and 272 in sequence. Students may need to deviate from the recommended sequence and should consult with the chair. Scheduling conflicts would be an example of a valid reason. (See Hispanic Studies Humanities Section below (271/272).


Minor Requirements

For a minor in Hispanic Studies, students must take a minimum of six courses conducted in Spanish at the 260 level and above (above SPA 201 , Intermediate Spanish).

  • Either SPA 271 or SPA 272 is required for Hispanic Studies Minors.
  • At least three courses must be at the 300-level or above.
  • Two of the three 300-level or above courses should be taken in residence at Davidson.
  • The department may also require Advanced Spanish Grammar 302 or 303 as one of the four upper-level courses, depending on the student’s language proficiency

Hispanic Humanities

Spanish 271 / Spanish 272 is a two-course sequence designed to be an in-depth introduction to the foundational knowledge and theoretical approaches to Hispanic cultural production from the Middle Ages to the present across primary sources, genres, geographical and temporal borders. The overarching goal is to ensure both breadth and depth before students take more focused upper-level classes at the 300 and 400 level.

Students must take SPA 260 (or its equivalent) before starting 271 and 272.

Students are encouraged to take SPA 271 and 272 in sequence. Students may need to deviate from the recommended sequence and should consult with the chair. Scheduling conflicts would be an example of a valid reason.

Professors of 300- and 400-level classes determine prerequisites for their individual courses. In case of doubts, consult with the individual professor.

Native Speakers and Heritage Speakers (that is, students from Spanish-speaking countries and students who speak Spanish at home) should consult with the chair about the most appropriate course of study. SPA 271 and/or 272 may or may not be required.

Honors Requirements

In addition to the ten major requirements, honors candidates must write a two-semester senior honors thesis (SPA 498 and 499). An oral defense of the thesis proposal is required at the end of SPA 498, and an oral defense of the thesis project is required at the end of SPA 499. Being a candidate for honors does not automatically guarantee departmental honors. The Department may confer honors or high honors in the case of exceptional academic work. See thesis details here

Service Learning

Several courses offer the opportunity for service learning. Some may require this component.

Hispanic Studies Courses

Rationale for Course Numbering

SPA 100-level courses and SPA 201 are language courses that satisfy the three-semester foreign language requirement at Davidson College. SPA 260, SPA 271 and SPA 272 are prerequisite courses focused on conversation, composition, grammar, introduction to Hispanic literatures and cultures, and textual analysis. The 300-level courses are designed for majors and minors, as well as for juniors and seniors with the desire to further their knowledge in Hispanic language, literatures, or cultures. The 400-level seminars on special topics are open to junior and senior majors and minors, or with permission of the instructor; SPA 490 is a capstone experience open only to senior majors; SPA 429 is an elective independent thesis; SPA 498 and 499 are independent research and tutorial for the honors thesis, under the direction of a faculty member.

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