Spain and Latin America are important cultural and economic regions in today's world and their histories provide valuable lessons that pertain to our lives today. How was it that Jews, Muslims, and Christians co-existed in Spain from 711 until 1492? How did Spain negotiate its peaceful transition from a 36-year-long- repressive dictatorship to a constitutional democracy in the late 20th Century? How does the reality of Latin American mestizaje born out of the 15Th Century encounter between Europe and indigenous cultures inform the notion of diversity in 21st Century United States? How are water rights, indigenous rights, and the rights of Mother Nature respected in countries whose value in the global economy depends upon the extraction industry? The major in Spanish and Hispanic studies considers these questions along with many others about the Hispanic world.
Building on basic and intermediate language courses the major includes skills courses in reading, writing, and speaking as well as more advanced courses in the culture, history, and literature of Spain and Latin America. “Children's Literature of the Hispanic World” and “Seminar in Contemporary Hispanic Issues” are examples of electives offered. The major requires a Term III course in Segovia, Spain where students are immersed in the culture and language of the country, study its history in depth, and live with Spanish families. A required internship that allows students to communicate in Spanish is another opportunity to develop skills in the language and awareness of Hispanic culture.
My internship at the Office of Tourism in Segovia, Spain, helped me further develop my Spanish-speaking skills and enhance my ability to connect with individuals of diverse cultures from all over the world. This opportunity confirmed that interpreting and working where I could communicate in different languages would be an excellent career path for me to pursue as a post-grad.
-Dominique Del Calzo '18
Visit the College Bulletin for a full listing of Spanish and Hispanic Studies courses and descriptions.