Director of undergraduate studies: Leslie Harkema, Rm. 207, 82–90 Wall St., 432-1157,; language program director: Ame Cividanes, Rm. 210, 82–90 Wall St., 432-1159,;


Professors Rolena Adorno (Chair), Aníbal González, Roberto González Echevarría, K. David Jackson, Noël Valis

Associate Professor Susan Byrne

Assistant Professor Leslie Harkema

Senior Lectors II Sybil Alexandrov, Margherita Tortora, Sonia Valle

Senior Lectors I Marta Almeida, Maria Pilar Asensio-Manrique, Mercedes Carreras, Ame Cividanes, Sebastián Díaz, María de la Paz García, María Jordán, Rosamaría León, Juliana Ramos-Ruano, Lissette Reymundi, Lourdes Sabé-Colom, Bárbara Safille, Terry Seymour

The Department of Spanish and Portuguese provides instruction in the languages, literatures, and cultures of the Hispanic and Luso-Brazilian worlds. Courses in Portuguese and the requirements of the major are described under Portuguese; the names of faculty teaching Portuguese courses are listed above.

The major in Spanish is a liberal arts major that offers a wide range of courses in the language, literatures, and cultures of the twenty Spanish-speaking countries in Europe, Latin America, and the Caribbean. Today, Spanish is the second language of the United States, one of the three most widely spoken languages in the world, and one of the five diplomatic languages of the United Nations. The program in Spanish offers students the opportunity to acquire thorough linguistic proficiency as well as in-depth knowledge of both cultural and literary topics. The major explores literature, history, philosophy, art, and cultural studies, and provides excellent preparation for careers in law, diplomacy, medicine, business, the arts, academics, journalism, and education.

Courses numbered SPAN 110–199 include beginning and intermediate language courses designed to help students develop fluency in understanding, speaking, reading, and writing Spanish. Courses numbered SPAN 200–299 seek to provide students with a broad but solid introduction to the fields of Hispanic literatures and cultures while strengthening their linguistic competence. Courses numbered 300–499 allow students to perfect their linguistic and critical skills through study of a specific problem or issue, e.g., a literary genre, a type of literary or cultural representation, or a specific writer or text. Students desiring more information about either language or literature offerings should consult the director of undergraduate studies.

Placement Students whose test scores demonstrate advanced ability in Spanish may enroll directly in any L5 course; scores that demonstrate advanced ability include a placement of L5 on the departmental placement examination, a score of 5 on either of the Spanish Advanced Placement tests, a score of 6 or 7 on the Advanced-Level International Baccalaureate examination, or a proficiency level of C1 in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. All other students, including native speakers, who have previously studied Spanish formally or informally must take the departmental placement examination in order to enroll in a Spanish course.

Placement examination and preregistration Information about the departmental placement examination and about preregistration procedures for Spanish L1–L4 language courses is available on the departmental Web site.

Language courses Students with no previous formal or informal Spanish study ordinarily enroll in SPAN 110. Students who take SPAN 110 must continue with 120 in the following term, and no credit is awarded for 110 until 120 has been successfully completed. Students wishing to take intensive beginning Spanish may, with the instructor's permission, enroll in SPAN 125, which covers the same material as SPAN 110 and 120, but in one term. SPAN 132 and 142 are designed for heritage speakers and are available only to them. Admission to SPAN 132 and 142 is based on results of the departmental placement examination; interested students should contact the instructor.

Prerequisite Prerequisite to the major is SPAN 140, 142, or 145, or the equivalent through advanced placement or study abroad. Equivalent preparation to SPAN 140, 142, or 145 may be demonstrated by the test scores listed above under "Placement."

The standard major Beyond the prerequisite, ten term courses are required, including the senior essay. 

Requirements of the major for the Class of 2017 Students in the class of 2017 may fulfill the requirements of the major that were in place when they entered the major in Spanish, as described in previous editions of this bulletin. Alternatively, they may fulfill the requirements for the major as described for the Class of 2018 and subsequent classes.

Requirements of the major for the Class of 2018 and subsequent classes Beyond the prerequisite, ten term courses numbered SPAN 200 or higher are required, five of which must be numbered SPAN 300 or higher. A maximum of one course may be numbered SPAN 200–230. Freshman seminars taught in Spanish count toward the major in the SPAN 231–299 range.

Senior requirement Seniors write the senior essay in SPAN 491 in the spring of their senior year under the individual direction of a faculty adviser. Students expecting to complete their degree requirements in December write the senior essay in SPAN 491 in the fall of their senior year. Seniors in SPAN 491 are expected to submit their completed essay to the director of undergraduate studies at 82–90 Wall Street by 4 p.m. on April 28 in the spring term, or by 4 p.m. on December 9 in the fall term. If the essay is submitted late without an excuse from the student's residential college dean, the penalty is one letter grade, though no essay that would otherwise pass will be failed because it is late.

Intensive major Students in the intensive major fulfill the requirements for the standard major, and take an additional two courses numbered SPAN 300 or higher. 

Two majors Students electing Spanish as one of two majors should consult the director of undergraduate studies about a specialized course of study.

Courses in the Graduate School Juniors and seniors majoring in Spanish may, with permission of the instructor and the director of graduate studies, enroll in graduate literature courses in Spanish. A list of pertinent graduate courses is available at the office of the director of undergraduate studies.

Study abroad Students at the intermediate level of language study are encouraged to apply to the eight-week summer language courses offered by Yale Summer Session in New Haven and Bilbao, Spain; New Haven and Quito, Ecuador; or New Haven and Lima, Peru. Advanced students may apply for the five-week Yale Summer Session course offered in Valencia, Spain. More information about these programs is available on the Yale Summer Session Web site. For information about the Year or Term Abroad program, see under Special Arrangements in the Academic Regulations. Students who wish to count courses taken abroad toward the major should consult with the director of undergraduate studies before going abroad.


Prerequisite SPAN 140, 142, 145, or equivalent

Number of courses 10 term courses (incl senior req)

Distribution of courses 10 term courses numbered SPAN 200 or higher, 5 of which are numbered SPAN 300 or higher; max of one course numbered SPAN 200–230

Senior requirement Senior essay (SPAN 491)

Intensive major 2 addtl courses numbered SPAN 300 or higher, totaling 12 term courses


* SPAN 060a, Freshman Colloquium: Literary Studies in Spanish Noël Valis

Introduction to the study of literature in general and to some of the most important texts in Hispanic literature. Selected texts in Spanish include short stories, essays, lyric, and theater. Open to students who have placed into L5 courses. Counts toward the requirements of the Spanish major with permission of the director of undergraduate studies. Enrollment limited to freshmen. Preregistration required; see under Freshman Seminar Program.  L5, HU

* SPAN 100b, Spanish for Reading Maria Pilar Asensio-Manrique

Overview of fundamental grammar structures and basic vocabulary through comprehensive reading and translation of texts in various fields (primarily humanities and social sciences, and others as determined by student interest). No previous knowledge of Spanish needed. Conducted in English. No preregistration required. Does not satisfy the Yale College language requirement.

* SPAN 110a or b, Elementary Spanish I Staff

For students who wish to begin study of the Spanish language. Development of basic skills in understanding, speaking, reading, and writing through a functional approach to the teaching of Spanish grammar. Includes an introduction to the cultures (traditions, art, literature, music) of the Spanish-speaking world. Audiovisual materials are incorporated into class sessions. Conducted in Spanish. To be followed immediately by SPAN 120. Credit only on completion of SPAN 120.   L1RP1½ Course cr

SPAN 120a or b, Elementary Spanish II Staff

Further development of understanding, speaking, reading, and writing skills. Class sessions incorporate short authentic texts in Spanish, audiovisual materials, and film. Cultural topics of the Spanish-speaking world (traditions, art, literature, music) are included. Conducted in Spanish. After SPAN 110 or in accordance with placement results. Admits to SPAN 130 or 145.  L2RP1½ Course cr

* SPAN 125a, Intensive Elementary Spanish Maria Lourdes Sabé

An intensive beginning course in spoken and written Spanish that covers the material of SPAN 110 and 120 in one term. Conducted in Spanish. Admits to SPAN 130 or 145. Not open to students who have completed SPAN 110 or 120.  L1, L2RP2 Course cr

SPAN 130a or b, Intermediate Spanish I Staff

Development of language proficiency in listening, speaking, reading, and writing through communicative activities rather than a sequence of linguistic units. Authentic Spanish language texts, films, and videos serve as the basis for the functional study of grammar and the acquisition of a broader vocabulary. Cultural topics are presented throughout the term. Conducted in Spanish. Admits to SPAN 140.  L3RP1½ Course cr

* SPAN 132a, Spanish for Heritage Speakers I Sybil Alexandrov

A language course designed for students who have been exposed to Spanish—either at home or by living in a Spanish-speaking country—but who have little or no formal training in the language. Practice in all four communicative skills (comprehension, speaking, reading, writing), with special attention to basic grammar concepts, vocabulary building, and issues particular to heritage speakers. Admission in accordance with placement results.  L3

SPAN 140a or b, Intermediate Spanish II Staff

Continuation of SPAN 130. Development of increased proficiency in the four language skills. Greater precision in grammar usage, vocabulary enrichment, and expanded cultural awareness are achieved through communicative activities based on authentic Spanish-language texts, including a short novel. Conducted in Spanish. Admits to L5 courses.  L4RP1½ Course cr

* SPAN 142b, Spanish for Heritage Speakers II Sybil Alexandrov

Continuation of SPAN 132. Examination of complex grammar structures; consideration of problems particular to heritage speakers through the reading of both literary and journalistic texts. Practice in all communicative skills (comprehension, speaking, reading, writing). After SPAN 132 or in accordance with placement results.  L4

* SPAN 145b, Intensive Intermediate Spanish Sonia Valle

An intensive intermediate course in spoken and written Spanish that covers the material of SPAN 130 and 140 in one term. Conducted in Spanish. Admits to L5 courses. Not open to students who have completed SPAN 130 or 140.  L3, L4RP2 Course cr

* SPAN 222a / LAST 222a, Legal Spanish Mercedes Carreras

An introduction to Spanish and Latin American legal culture with a focus on the specific traits of legal language and on the development of advanced language competence. Issues such as human rights, the death penalty, the jury, contracts, statutory instruments, and rulings by the constitutional courts are explored through law journal articles, newspapers, the media, and mock trials. Enrollment limited to 18. A maximum of one course in the 200-230 range may count as an elective toward the Spanish major.  L5

* SPAN 223b / LAST 223b, Spanish in Film: An Introduction to the New Latin American Cinema Margherita Tortora

Development of proficiency in Spanish through analysis of critically acclaimed Latin American films. Includes basic vocabulary of film criticism in Spanish as well as discussion and language exercises. Enrollment limited to 18.  L5

* SPAN 225b / LAST 225b, Spanish for the Medical Professions Mercedes Carreras

Topics in health and welfare. Conversation, reading, and writing about medical issues for advanced Spanish-language students, including those considering careers in medical professions. Enrollment limited to 18.  L5

* SPAN 227a / LAST 227a, Creative Writing María Jordán

An introduction to the craft and practice of creative writing (fiction, poetry, and essays). Focus on the development of writing skills and awareness of a variety of genres and techniques through reading of exemplary works and critical assessment of student work. Emphasis on the ability to write about abstract ideas, sentiments, dreams, and the imaginary world. Enrollment limited to 18. A maximum of one course in the 200-230 range may count as an elective toward the Spanish major.  L5

* SPAN 243a or b / LAST 243a or b, Advanced Spanish Grammar Staff

A comprehensive, in-depth study of grammar intended to improve students' spoken and written command of Spanish. Linguistic analysis of literary selections; some English-to-Spanish translation. Enrollment limited to 18.   L5

SPAN 246b, Introduction to the Cultures of Spain Leslie Harkema

Study of various aspects of Spanish culture, including its continuing relation to the societies of Latin America. Examination of Spanish politics, history, religions, art forms, music, and literatures, from ancient times to the present. Primary sources and critical studies are read in the original.  L5, HU

* SPAN 250a, Composition and Analysis Leslie Harkema

Advanced practice in both written and oral expression. Readings and discussion of a range of texts from the Spanish-speaking world (literature, contemporary journalism, historical documents, and film). Multiple short papers workshopped in class to improve students’ grasp of grammar and style. Practice in personal narrative, argumentation, interpretation and analysis, and translation.    L5, HU

* SPAN 266a / LAST 266a, Studies in Latin American Literature I Rolena Adorno

Origins of Latin American literary tradition from preconquest Aztec poetry to Baroque poetry of the seventeenth century. Study of works that helped define the future Latin America, from the Caribbean, to Mexico, and to the Andes of South America. Readings from the works of fifteenth century Texcocan poet, prince Nezahualcoyotl, through to seventeenth century Mexican Baroque poet, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz.  L5, HU

SPAN 267b / LAST 267b, Studies in Latin American Literature II Roberto González Echevarría

An introduction to Latin American literature from the nineteenth century to the present. Works by Borges, García Márquez, Paz, Neruda, Cortázar, and others.  L5, HU

* SPAN 301a, Introduction to Spanish Cinema Noël Valis

The development of cinema in Spain from the 1930s to the present. Directors include Almodóvar, Amenábar, Bardem, Bigas Luna, Buñuel, Álex de la Iglesia, Médem, Erice, and Saura.  L5, HU

* SPAN 309a / HSHM 434a, Science and Religion in Spanish Narrative, 1875–1915 Leslie Harkema

The literary response to debates surrounding scientific advances and religious belief in Spanish novels and stories of the modernist era. Authors include Benito Pérez Galdós, Emilia Pardo Bazán, Santiago Ramón y Cajal, Miguel de Unamuno, and Pío Baroja. Open to students who have placed into L5 courses or who have successfully completed an L4 course in Spanish. Counts toward the Spanish major.  L5, HU

* SPAN 330b, Contemporary Spanish Autobiography Noël Valis

Exploration of several autobiographical texts produced in Spain from the eighteenth century to the twentieth, as well as other texts centered around the self, such as first-person fiction and lyrical poetry. Theoretical readings and discussions on the nature of autobiography.  Prerequisite: SPAN 140 or equivalent.  L5, HU

* SPAN 344b / LAST 344b, Narrative and Music in Hispanic Caribbean Culture Aníbal González Perez

The development of the narrative genre in Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico from its origins in the nineteenth century to the present. Focus on how music is represented and incorporated into the discourse of Hispanic Caribbean novels and stories. Authors include Villaverde, Carpentier, Cabrera Infante, Nicolás Guillén, Ana Lydia Vega, and Luis Palés Matos. Open to students who have placed into L5 courses or who have successfully completed an L4 course in Spanish. Counts toward the Spanish major.  L5, HU

* SPAN 350a / LAST 351a, Borges: Literature and Power Aníbal González Perez

An introduction to the work of Jorge Luis Borges, focusing on the relation between literature and power as portrayed in selected stories, essays, and poems. Topics include Borges and postmodernity; writing and ethics; and Borges's politics. Works include Ficciones, Otras inquisiciones, El aleph, El hacedor, El informe de Brodie, and Obra poética. Open to students who have placed into L5 courses or who have successfully completed an L4 course in Spanish. Counts toward the Spanish major.  L5, HU

* SPAN 353b, Spanish American Vanguardist Literature Aníbal González Perez

Introduction to the Vanguardist period in Spanish American cultural history. The effects of political and social change in the early twentieth century on Spanish American writers and artists. Tensions between playfulness and engagement, cosmopolitanism and regionalism, and creativity and conscience in Vanguardist works.  L5, HU

* SPAN 359a / LAST 365a, The Asian Image in Contemporary Latin American Literature Aníbal González Perez

Exploration of the image of Asians and their diaspora in Latin American literature, from the 20th century until today. Topics include: cultural contributions of migrants to Latin America from China, Japan, Lebanon, and Syria; Asian-themed works by authors such as Rubén Darío, José Juan Tablada, and Leonardo Padura Fuentes; recent works by Asian diaspora authors in Latin America, such as Carlos Yushimito, José Watanabe, and Doris Moromisoto; and visual arts by painters such as Wifredo Lam. for students with solid command of spoken and written Spanish (L5).  L5, HU

* SPAN 367b / HIST 227b, The Spanish Civil War: Words and Images Noël Valis

An introduction to the history and cultural-literary impact of the Spanish Civil War (1936–39) from national and international perspectives. Views both from within and from outside the war; women and the war; memory and the war. Authors include George Orwell, Ernest Hemingway, Javier Cercas, Alberto Méndez, Mercè Rodoreda, Ramón J. Sender, W. H. Auden, and Stephen Spender. Open to students who have placed into L5 courses or who have successfully completed an L4 course in Spanish. Counts toward the Spanish major.  L5, HU

* SPAN 387b / LITR 287b, The Borges Effect Roberto González Echevarría

Study of the decisive influence of Jorge Luis Borges on literature and literary theory; his recognizable and often acknowledged presence in the work of novelists and short-story writers, as well as in that of philosophers and literary theorists. A Borges "effect" is studied in the works of John Barth, Julio Cortázar, Gabriel García Márquez, Italo Calvino, and Umberto Eco, and in Maurice Blanchot, Michel Foucault, Gérard Genette, and Jacques Derrida, among others. Class discussions in English and readings in English or the French, Spanish or Italian originals.  HU

* SPAN 478a and SPAN 479b, Directed Readings and/or Individual Research Staff

Individual study under faculty supervision. The student must submit a bibliography and a written plan of study approved by the faculty adviser to the director of undergraduate studies. No reading or research course credit is granted without prior approval from the director of undergraduate studies. The student must meet with the instructor at least one hour a week. A final examination or essay is required.

* SPAN 491a or b, The Senior Essay Staff

A research project completed under faculty supervision and resulting in a paper of considerable length, in Spanish.