Full Time Faculty: Susana Blanco-Iglesias, Antonio Dorca, Blanca Gimeno Escudero, Galo González, Cynthia Kauffeld, Teresa Mesa Adamuz, Alicia Muñoz, Margaret Olsen (Chair), Ernesto Ortiz-Díaz, Rosa Rull Montoya, Leah Sand
Part Time Faculty: Philip Thornberry
Spanish and Portuguese are two of the most widely spoken languages in the world. There are 495 million native speakers of Spanish in the world and 210 million native speakers of Portuguese residing on five continents and in over 30 nations, including 52 million Latinos who reside in the US. Both languages have a growing presence in social media. Spanish is the second most-used language on Twitter, followed by Japanese and Portuguese, and the third most commonly used language on the Internet with a growth of 800% in the last 10 years. With 18 million students of Spanish worldwide (and increasing demand for Spanish in Brazil and China), it is estimated that by the year 2030 that 7.5% of the planet will speak Spanish. Both Spanish and Portuguese are essential languages of commerce and trade, history, science, art, and diplomacy.
The department of Hispanic and Latin American Studies actively responds to the intellectual motivations of contemporary students in its language pedagogy and curricular offerings. First, we enable our students to develop a confident proficiency in Spanish and/or Portuguese that allows them to interact effectively with native speakers in the modes of speaking, listening, reading and writing. We compel them to examine a broad range of cultural expressions, historical patterns, and social issues to ensure that they will be conversant with matters pertinent to Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking persons both in the US and abroad. Second, we strive to refine critical thinking. Our courses encourage students to confront a variety of literary, visual and cultural texts, and generate bold questions and interpretations informed by multidisciplinary critical perspectives. We believe that strong oratory skills and the development of argumentative writing ability in Spanish or Portuguese are fundamental to building the critical capacity valued by a liberal arts education. Third, we create a collaborative learning environment in which students work together, exchange ideas and benefit from their shared experience. Fourth, we encourage our students to be responsible, participatory members of a global society. With this objective in mind, we generate civic learning opportunities and sponsor internships for students who want to want to work with Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking communities in the US and abroad. Study away and the Casa Hispana student residence are integral components of our program. Study away in a Spanish- or Portuguese-speaking country is required for our majors and strongly recommended for our minors. The Casa Hispana supports our curriculum by creating a community living experience in Spanish and by providing a space for class meetings and cultural events throughout the academic year.
Students may also take Portuguese within the department of Hispanic and Latin American Studies. Portuguese is the language of Brazil, the largest and most economically powerful nation in South America. In fact, there are more Portuguese speakers in South America than Spanish speakers. It is also the language of Portugal, five African nations, and numerous other enclaves in Asia and North America. Portuguese is spoken by more people around the world than German, Russian, French, Italian, or Japanese. Students of Spanish and Latin American studies are encouraged to study Portuguese in order to acquire valuable, complementary skills and to develop a more complete view of both Latin America and the Iberian Peninsula.
Career Orientation for Hispanic Studies Majors
A number of recent Hispanic Studies majors from Macalester College have pursued graduate work in Spanish language and literature, comparative literature, linguistics, Latin American area studies, international studies, international business, education, law, economics, and medicine. Some have entered careers in Spanish immersion elementary and secondary education, bilingual or special education, the U.S. Foreign Service, human rights organizations, and commerce. Others have begun their careers in the Peace Corps or VISTA. To enhance their career opportunities, many have combined their Hispanic Studies major with complementary majors such as biology, economics, political science, anthropology, or history.
Casa Hispana (Hispanic House)
The department of Hispanic and Latin American Studies sponsors a residence next to the campus for students who are interested in living in a Spanish-speaking environment. Residents commit themselves to speaking only Spanish while in the house. Two native speakers of Spanish supervise the house and organize various activities such as community meals, lab events, movie nights, and celebrations of Hispanic culture. Residence is intended for students who have achieved at least an intermediate level of proficiency and want to improve it. Applications are accepted in March and November each year for fall residence and to fill any openings in the spring, respectively.
Formal academic study in a Spanish-speaking country is a key element of the Hispanic and Latin American Studies program and useful to foreign language students in many ways. This is an opportunity that we recommend to all of our students, and it is a requirement for our majors. With prior approval of the department chair, up to two courses from study away programs may be counted toward the Hispanic Studies major or minor. All additional courses necessary to meet departmental graduation requirements must be taken on campus.
A key element to proper preparation for the study abroad experience is choosing the right program for a student’s proficiency level and one that focuses on their area of interest. Macalester and the Department recommend several programs in a variety of countries. The School for International Training (SIT) programs in Managua (Nicaragua), Quito (Ecuador), Cochabamba (Bolivia), and Bahia (Brazil) offer students experiential field research opportunities in socio-political and economic affairs as they relate to peasants, city dwellers, indigenous populations, and women. Universitas Castellae offers a more intimate program in a smaller city, Valladolid, Spain.
The Institute for Study Abroad (IFSA), Butler University provides programs in Santiago (Chile), and Buenos Aires (Argentina) that allow direct enrollment opportunities at several partner universities.
Students interested in pursuing more general liberal arts studies in identity, language and culture may choose one of the programs available through the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE) in Bahia or São Paulo (Brazil), Guanajuato (Mexico), or Seville or Barcelona (Spain). The Higher Education Consortium for Urban Affairs (HECUA) program in Ecuador offers community internships and field research opportunities. Associated Colleges of the Midwest (ACM) offers a spring-only semester of study in San José, Costa Rica, which focuses on research in the environment, social sciences, and the humanities. The International Institute for the Education of Students Abroad (IES) has a Spanish-immersion program in Madrid that allows students to choose from a wide range of courses at their center and at area universities. Students of Hispanic & Latin American Studies have also recently studied in such places as: Seville, Granada, and Logroño, Spain; Lisbon, Portugal; Puerto Rico; Valparaíso, Chile; and Belém, Fortaleza, and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. For more information on SIT, CIEE, HECUA or any of the many other programs available to students, please see the department’s website and the study abroad website of the International Center.
General Distribution Requirement
Except for elementary and intermediate language courses, all courses in the Department of Hispanic and Latin American Studies count toward the general distribution requirement in humanities.
General Education Requirements
Courses that meet the general education requirements in writing, quantitative thinking, internationalism and multiculturalism will be posted on the Registrar’s web page in advance of registration for each semester.
Additional information regarding the general distribution requirement and the general education requirements can be found in the graduation requirements section of this catalog.
Students can fulfill the Macalester College foreign language requirement in Spanish or Portuguese in this department by completing one of the following: 1. A score of 620 or higher on the SAT II test, with listening component, upon entrance to the program. 2. A score of 4–5 on the Advanced Placement Test offered through high schools. 3. Successful completion of Macalester’s HISP 204 , Intermediate Spanish II or HISP 220 , Accelerated Intermediate Spanish. 4. Successful completion of Macalester’s two-course Portuguese language sequence HISP 111 (Acclerated Elementary Portuguese) through HISP 331 (Luso-Brazilian Voices: Conversation and Composition).
Students earn credit for HISP 101 and HISP 102 by scoring 5, 6, or 7 on the International Baccalaureate Exam. These students will still need to fulfill the above guidelines for the two-year language requirement.
Students will not receive credit for HISP 110 if they have previously taken or been awarded credit for HISP 101 and/or HISP 102 .
Students will not receive credit for HISP 220 if they have previously taken or been awarded credit for HISP 203 and/or HISP 204 .
Students are expected to satisfy the foreign language requirement through courses at Macalester, unless exceptional circumstances arise.
Students who fulfilled the language requirement by meeting the guidelines above must take HISP 305 before entering the sequence of courses further required for a major or minor in Hispanic Studies.
The Department of Hispanic & Latin American Studies participates in the honors program. Eligibility requirements, application procedures and specific project expectations are available from your major or minor adviser, or the Director of Academic Programs.
HISP 194 , HISP 294 , HISP 394 , HISP 494
Topics courses offer a variety of themes and approaches not found in our regular course offerings. Recent topics courses have included: Las Voces de Inmigrants y Exiliados en la Narrativa Postmoderna Espanola; Ethics of Civic Engagement; Consuming Culture: Latin American Literature and Consumer Culture; Constructions of a Female Killer; Frontera: The U.S./Mexico Border; Spanish in the United States; Brazilian Literature, Culture, and the Arts; Oral History and Literary Traditions of Amazonia. Prerequisite: varies. Offered fall and/or spring, depending on instructor availability, and announced at the time of registration. (4 credits)
The department offers independent study options in the form of tutorials, independent projects, internships, and preceptorships. For more information contact the department and review the Curriculum section of the catalog.