Course Descriptions Spring 2023

This page lists descriptions for some of our department's literature courses available in Spring 2023. Additional courses and information will be added periodically. For a list of all courses available during the Spring 2023 semester, please view the Spring 2023 Course Calendar. For a list of every course offered by our department, please view the Course Catalog page.

Spring 2023:

SPAN 442: Special Topics in Latin American Literature and Culture: Discourses of Coloniality, 1492-2023

Instructor: Rob Bayliss


Course Description:

Drawing of a warrior attacking Mickey Mouse with the caption "Descolinizate!"

This course will examine the enduring legacy of Spain’s colonization of the Americas, with an emphasis on the critical voices of the colonized. We will study both the Eurocentric discourses developed to define and subjugate the indigenous “other” and the discourses of colonized subjects whose experience of conquest and colonization echo contemporary concerns surrounding the legacy of that experience. Modern critiques of capitalism, neoliberalism, geopolitics, and the inherited structures of race and gender emanating from Latin America will be read in dialogue with both Colonial-era and contemporary Spanish voices in order to see the enduring ties between contemporary transatlantic Hispanic relations and the history of colonization.

SPAN 448: Spanish Language and Culture for Business

Instructor: Miguel Angel Albujar Escuredo


Visit course home page

Course Description:

Cultural studies approach to contemporary Spanish American societies for students with an interest in business. Explores how individuals from Spanish American countries negotiate their place in a new cultural context, and how different groups in Spanish America perceive business (negocios). Readings include selections from literature, history, journalism, social analysis, and popular culture. Exercises help non-native speakers develop analytical skills as well as vocabulary and communication skills related to international business and professional life. Conducted in Spanish.

Prerequisite: SPAN 323, or SPAN 324 and SPAN 328, or SPAN 325, or consent of instructor. A grade of B- or higher in SPAN 323, 324 or 325 is strongly recommended for students enrolling in this course.

Satisfies: Foreign Language Proficiency (FP) , H Humanities (H)

SPAN 450: Medieval Iberian Literature and Medievalism

Instructor: Isidro Rivera


Course ID: 54044

Location: Wescoe 4025, TuTh 2:30 - 3:45pm

Flyer for SPAN 450, featuring ancient paintings of horses. Flyer transcription below:


Course Description:

This course will focus on medieval Iberian literature and its reimagining by contemporary culture. The course will study three representative medieval texts in dialogue with contemporary popular culture medievalisms. Readings and other course resources will help students to explore the cultural negotiation of legend, history, and national identity through literary production. The class work will give students opportunities to learn about Spain’s cultural heritage and the influences that shape the evolution of medieval Iberian studies. The required work will include analytical essays, oral presentations, and a final exam.

Reading list:

• Anon., Poema de mio Cid

• Anon., Historia de la donzella Teodor

• Anon., Crónica de los Reyes Católicos (selec.)

• Ashur, Granada

• Pérez-Reverte, Sidi

• San Sebastián, La visigoda

This course may be used to fulfill partially or fully the 400-level peninsular Spanish literature requirements for the Spanish major or minor. Prerequisite: SPAN 340.

For more information about the course, contact Prof. Rivera at

SPAN 453: 20th-Century Spanish Studies: Four Key Periods

Instructor: Jonathan Mayhew


Course Description:

In this course we will approach Twentieth Century Spanish literature and culture by looking at literary works, films, and music from four significant historical periods.

  • 1898: The Spanish-American war and the spirit of regeneration
  • 1927: Artistic and literary movements of the 1920s
  • 1936-30: The Spanish Civil War
  • 1975: The transition to democracy

SPAN 462: The Latin American Road Movie 

Instructor: Verónica Garibotto


This intensive eight-week course explores the ways filmmakers have employed the road movie genre to address the reconfiguration of the geographical, sociopolitical, economic, and cultural landscape of contemporary Latin America. The traveling narrative of the road movie and its focus on crossing borders—physical, metaphorical, theoretical—is ideal to reflect upon new forms of national and transnational identities across the region. Several scholars (for instance, Steven Cohan and Ina Rae Hark, The Road Movie Book) consider the road movie a US genre and claim that, when imported by other national cinemas, it merely reproduces US dreams and anxieties. Our course’s starting point is that Latin American road movies have distinctive features that speak to particular issues, tensions, and values of the region and its nations and cultures. We will discuss Argentine, Colombian, Cuban, Ecuadorian, Mexican, UK-Mexican, Uruguayan, and US-Central American road movies in order to understand these particular issues, tensions, and values. We will pay special attention to how filmic road trips have allowed for an exploration of racial, class, gender and sexuality-based representations in Latin America and the US.  

Objectives and expected outcome 

On completion of the course, students will have accomplished: 

  •  A panoramic view of the connections between the road movie genre and the construction of national and transnational identities in Latin America. 
  • Further insight into contemporary Latin American culture. 
  • The ability to analyze, think, and write critically about films. 
  • Further development of research and professional skills. 
  • Further development of oral and discussion skills. 
  • Improvement of their linguistic and cultural competence in Spanish. 

SPAN 570: Introduction to the Sociolinguistics of Spanish

Instructor: Professor Antônio R.M. Simões

Office: WES 2638 – Phone: 785.864-0285

Department Phone: 785-864-0285, 785-864-3851


Class Time and Location: TTh 1:00PM-2:15PM | Wescoe 4012

Office Hours: TTh 2:30 - 4:30pm or by appointment

SPAN 570 Flyer featuring the cover of textbook "Gramática española: Variación social". Flyer text copied below:


Textbook REQUIRED: Gramática española: Variación social, Kim Potowski and Naomi Shin, Routledge, 2018 Paperback – 2018-12-06

Course Description:

SPAN 570 is a grammar class that targets undergraduate and graduate students. As we review the subtleties of the Spanish grammar, we will study how the Spanish grammar varies depending on the region, social-cultural group, socio-political contex, and the situation in which spoken Spanish takes place. Such a variety of contexts are crucial to our undertanding of the so-called concepts of prestigious and stigmatized forms of Spanish from a historical and contemporary view. 

Students are required to contribute meaningfully to class discussions and make Powerpoint presentations with audio, on a regular basis. Powerpoint presentations are intended to train students to monitor and improve their spoken and written Spanish, as well as develop self-repair skills for their language proficiency and confidence in public presentations. 

SPAN 570 covers many of the common features of Spanish that are not typically covered in other Spanish classes. For example, students will know the use of vos instead of . Although is the most common form used in Spanish classrooms, vos is just as common as , but avoided in language courses due perhaps to its stigma and association with the language of indigenous groups bilingual in Spanish and another indigenous language. Students will learn how the forms and vos developed in Spanish-speaking regions. Students will also learn why some varieties of Spanish are stigmatized, such as the Spanish spoken in Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and other areas. What characterizes the Spanish in the different social classes? We will learn how some Spanish speakers change their way of speaking depending on the place where they are, to adapt to the different situations in which they speak Spanish, or simply because they want to keep their stigmatized Spanish as a way of showing their identity with a social group with whom they interact. This course will take students on a rare linguistic journey through the Spanish-speaking world. 

SPAN 762: The Spanish Novel Since 1939: Spanish Civil War & Memory

Instructor: Margot Versteeg


Location: Wescoe 2600, Tuesdays 4:00 - 6:00pm


Old photograph of a large crowd walking down a set of stairs


Course Description:

La Guerra civil española (1936-39) fue sin duda el episodio más dramático y transcendental en la historia española del siglo XX. Tuvo un inmenso impacto nacional pero también repercusiones internacionales. Para los españoles, este evento traumático determinó su experiencia de la modernidad. Para numerosos hombres y mujeres de fuera de España fue un momento importante en la lucha contra el fascismo.

Después de la sangrienta contienda, la Guerra civil ha inspirado gran número de artefactos culturales (narrativa, poesía, teatro, carteles, tebeos, fotografía, películas, documentales, canciones, etc.).

En este curso indagamos cómo estos diferentes productos culturales creadas en el curso de los años representan los eventos violentos y traumáticos, y cómo los autores, pero también historiadores, cineastas y fotógrafos, durante la guerra, la posguerra y después, ajustaron cuentas con la guerra, la dictadura de Franco y la Transición. En especial, y utilizando un corpus teórico proveniente de los estudios culturales, analizaremos la presencia de la violencia como una constante en el discurso cultural de este contexto histórico.

Si bien el curso se concentra en la novela, examinaremos también otras formas culturales tales como el cine, el teatro, la fotografía…