2008-09 Catalog

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Program Description

Spain and the Americas: Cultural Crossings

Last Updated: 11/25/2008

Fall and Winter quarters

Faculty: Tom Womeldorff economics, Diego de Acosta Spanish language and literature

Faculty Signature Required: Winter quarter

Major areas of study include Spanish language, Latino, Spanish and Latin American literature and history, economics and political economy.

Class Standing: This all-level program accepts up to 25% freshmen as well as supporting and encouraging those ready for advanced work.

Accepts Winter Enrollment: This program will accept new students who have appropriate background (at least one quarter of college-level Spanish or equivalent.) Contact faculty at Academic Fair or by email. New students should expect to complete some catch-up work during the December break.

The cultures of the Spanish-speaking world are the result of rich intersections and crossings of diverse social groups. In Spain, Jews, Christians and Muslims once lived side-by-side in a period of relative religious tolerance and cultural flourishing, known as the Convivencia. Christian efforts to "reconquer" the Iberian Peninsula eventually led to the forcible suppression of Jewish and Muslim communities, but these communities continued to shape and define Spanish culture. The first Spanish encounter with Latin America was an unexpected, violent cultural crossing between Spaniards, indigenous peoples of the Americas, and Africans brought to the New World as slaves. The long aftermath of this first encounter-wars of conquest, colonization, religious missions, and slavery, all in the face of continuous resistance-gave rise to new, hybrid Latin American communities, distinct both from Spanish communities and from each other. Today, cultural crossings continue as Latin Americans cross borders into the United States, and Africans and Latin Americans migrate to Spain.

In this program, we will focus on the causes and consequences of the cultural crossings that have shaped Spain, Latin America and the United States. In the process, we will engage in an intensive study of economics, literature, history and the Spanish language. Every week will include seminars on readings in English, Spanish language classes, lectures, workshops, and occasionally films.

Over the course of two quarters, we will explore historical and contemporary cultural crossings that have shaped the Spanish-speaking world. We will examine topics related to collective and individual identity, cultural purity and hybridity, and cross-cultural communication. Under what conditions have diverse cultures coexisted in the Spanish-speaking world? What conditions have interfered with peaceful coexistence and cross-cultural communication? In what ways have cultures influenced each other in Spain and the Americas? What factors have determined the flow of cultural influence? What has driven people to migrate to new homelands in the Spanish-speaking world, and how has migration changed the collective identity of uprooted communities? How have migrant groups changed the identities of their adopted countries? "What does it mean to be an "American," "Spaniard," or "Latino"?

Credits: 16 per quarter

Enrollment: 48

Books: www.tescbookstore.com

Program is preparatory for careers and future studies in Spanish language, history, literature, economics, political economy and international studies.

Planning Units: Programs for Freshmen, Culture, Text and Language, Society, Politics, Behavior and Change

Program Revisions

Date Revision
November 17th, 2008 Winter quarter enrollment details added.
November 25th, 2008 Winter enrollment field utilized.