2012-13 Catalog

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Offering Description

The Spanish-Speaking World: Cultural Crossings

Fall 2012, Winter 2013 and Spring 2013 quarters

Diego de Acosta linguistics , David Phillips (F,W) , Amaia Martiartu (F,W) Basque, Spanish, ESL, visual arts , Alice Nelson Spanish language, Latin American studies
Fields of Study
cultural studies, history, language studies, literature, study abroad and writing
Preparatory for studies or careers in
Latin American and international studies, literary and cultural studies, language, politics, history, education, film studies, writing, and human and social services.

Spain and Latin America share not only the Spanish language but also an intertwined history of complex cultural crossings. The cultures of both arose from dynamic and sometimes violent encounters, and continue to be shaped by uneven power relationships as well as vibrant forms of resistance. In this program, students will engage in an intensive study of the Spanish language and explore the literature remembered, imagined and recorded by Spaniards and Latin Americans in historical context. Every week will include seminars on readings in English, Spanish language classes, a lecture or workshop conducted in Spanish, and a Spanish-language film. There will be regular written seminar responses, synthesis essays and a winter quarter research project. Please note that Spanish language classes are integrated into the program, so students do not have to register for them separately. We welcome students with any level of Spanish, from true beginner to advanced. No previous study of Spanish is required to enter in fall.

Fall quarter, we will explore cultural crossings in Spain and Latin America prior to the 20th century through literary and historical texts. In medieval Spain, Jews, Christians and Muslims once lived side-by-side during a period of relative religious tolerance and cultural flourishing known as the convivencia . Military campaigns and the notorious tribunals of the Spanish Inquisition eventually suppressed Jewish and Muslim communities, but their cultural legacies have persisted. In the late 15th century, Spain began a process of imperial expansion marked by violence against indigenous peoples and Africans forced into slave labor; these early clashes are strikingly documented in contemporary accounts. Subsequent colonial institutions, including imposed governmental structures, encomienda , religious missions and slavery were contested by diverse resistance movements. These dynamics culminated in Latin America's independence in the 19th century and they continue to be reexamined and reimagined within Latin American cultural production today.

Winter quarter, we will turn to literature from the 20th and 21st centuries. During this time, Spain and several countries of Latin America experienced oppressive dictatorships as well as the resulting emergence of social movements that enabled democratization. The questions of language, regional identity and difference have also defined several nations' experiences, from Catalonia and the Basque region in Spain, to various indigenous communities throughout Latin America. More recently, the context of economic globalization has given rise to unprecedented levels of international migration, with flows from Latin America to Spain and the US. All of these cultural crossings have involved challenges and conflict as well as rich and vibrant exchanges expressed in literature, art and cinema.

Spring quarter offers two options for study abroad, and an option for doing internships with local Latino organizations for those who stay on campus. The Santo Tomás, Nicaragua program is coordinated with the Thurston-Santo Tomás Sister County Association and its counterpart in Nicaragua, and is open to 4-8 intermediate/advanced language students; the Quito, Ecuador program is co-coordinated with CIMAS, an Ecuadorian non-profit research organization, and is open to 15 or more students of all language levels. For students staying in Olympia, the program will have two components: an on-campus core of Spanish classes and seminars focused on Latino/a communities in the US; and the opportunity for student-originated studies through internships and project work. All classes during spring quarter, whether in Olympia or abroad, will be conducted entirely in Spanish.

Online Learning
Enhanced Online Learning
Greener Store
Required Fees
$75 per quarter in fall and winter for overnight field trips.
Internship Possibilities
Students remaining on campus in spring quarter may intern with organizations serving local Latino/a communities.
Study Abroad
Ecuador or Nicaragua, 10 weeks, spring, approximately $5600 for Ecuador (15 or more students of all language levels) or approximately $3200 for Nicaragua (4-8 intermediate/advanced language students). A deposit of $250 is due by Feb 1, 2013.
May be offered again in
Offered During