Two Core Courses: 

SPN 301, 302: Spanish Conversation & Composition
Intensive practice of spoken Spanish with emphasis on techniques of oral expression, vocabulary development, and persistent grammatical difficulties. Discussions will be based on contemporary cultural readings, films, and other multi-media materials. Offered every semester. Prerequisite: SPN 204 Intermediate Spanish II
or
SPN 303, 304: Advanced Spanish Conversation & Composition
Focused work in Spanish composition allowing students to develop creative, professional, and academic writing styles. Emphasis is placed on structure, style, and content as well as grammar. Classic and contemporary texts, films, and other multi-media resources will provide stylistic models as well as a cultural context for writings. Offered every semester. Prerequisite: SPN 301 or 302 Spanish Conversation & Composition
or
FRN 330: Francophone Cultures of Africa and the Caribbean
An introduction to the diverse cultures of the francophone world, specifically of the French-speaking African and Caribbean countries. Beginning with the period of French colonization, students will explore the development of various historical, social, political, and artistic aspects of contemporary francophone culture through film, literature, magazines, the internet, and other multi-media materials. Taught in French. Prerequisite: FRN 301 French Conversation & Composition, FRN 305 Topics in France & the Francophone World or FRN 310 French for the Professions

and

HST 291, 292: Colonial Latin America
Colonial Latin American History begins with the study of the Pre-Columbian era and concludes with the movements of Independence from Portugal and Spain.  Course materials introduce students to major themes emerging from Spanish and Portuguese Colonialism in Latin America and the Caribbean, and encourage students to reflect upon the interplay of systems of power with human experience. Topical areas of study include racial and caste systems, sex and gender, religion and spiritual beliefs, slavery and coerced labor, and rebellion and revolution. No pre-requisite.
or
HST 293, 294. Modern Latin America
The study of post independence Latin America, nation building, and twentieth century issues such as poverty, human rights, revolutions, and relations with the United States. The course also examines modern Latin American culture through literature, art, and religion. No pre-requisite.

Four Additional Electives, with no more than two courses from any prefix:

Anthropology (Dr. Ben Carter)

ATH 230: Inca, Aztec, and Maya
Latin America contains two geographic regions where civilization developed independently, Mesoamerica and South America.  This course focuses upon the origin, development, and expression of the Inca, Aztec, Maya, and their predecessors through time.  Themes of power, trade, consumption, ritual, identity, and symbolism will be explored through the lens of archaeology.  This course employs the long term perspective of archaeology and anthropology to understand controversial issues such as elite dominance, commoner resistance, warfare, auto-sacrifice, and human sacrifice. 

Art History (Dr. Elena Sifford)

ARH 280: Colonial Latin American Art
This course thematically covers artistic production in colonial Latin America (1492-1810), with an emphasis on the Viceregal centers of Mexico and Peru. Aligned with the exhibition at the Allentown Art Museum entitled “Power and Piety: Spanish Colonial Art,” much of the content will be drawn from the works of art on view. The visual and material culture of the colonial world reveals the heterogeneity of the racially and ethnically diverse Spanish colonies and the ways in which artistic production mirrored an increasingly global world. The course will cover the transformation of indigenous visual culture following the Spanish conquest and the use of art and architecture in the process of identity formation and empire building.

Economics (Dr. Ranajoy Ray-Chaudhuri)

ECN 251: Economic Growth & International Development
The course begins with an introduction of the concept and measurement of economic growth and development. Models of growth and development processes are then analyzed. Problems in areas such as population, education, savings and capital formation, natural resources, foreign trade, foreign aid, etc. are examined, and possible policy measures are explored. Prerequisite: ECN 101 and/or ECN 102

English (Dr. Tom Cartelli)

ENG 291: Caribbean Writing
Nobel-prize laureate Derek Walcott has called Port-of-Spain, the capital of Trinidad, a “babel of shop signs and streets, mongrelized, polyglot, a ferment without a history, and a writer’s heaven.”  Martinican writer, Edouard Glissant, speaks of the Caribbean itself as “a multiple series of relationships, a sea that exists within us with its weight of now revealed islands.”  This course will explore this range of differences and relationships as they are represented in the work of English, French, and Spanish-language writers from St. Lucia, Jamaica, Trinidad, Haiti, Antigua, Cuba, Dominica, Grenada, and Martinique, concentrating on the work of Walcott, V.S. Naipaul, Jean Rhys, Aimé Césaire, Patrick Chamoiseau, Michelle Cliff, and Jamaica Kincaid, among others. 

French (Dr. Eileen McEwan & Dr. Ioanna Chatzidimitriou)

FRN 424: Francophone Women Writers of Africa and the Caribbean
This course examines texts written by French-speaking women writers from Africa and the Caribbean, exploring ways in which these writers seek to identify themselves in relation to their male counterparts as well as to the predominantly European literary models available to them.  The degree to which these writers choose to accept or reject these literary traditions suggests certain cultural perspectives unique to the post-colonial Francophone world.  Our analyses will include historical and cultural overviews of each region and reflect upon the representation of contemporary gender issues in these literary works.  Taught in French. 
Prerequisite(s): FRN 301 Communication & Cultural Understanding and FRN 304, 306 Approaches to Textual Analysis 

History (Dr. Cathy Marie Ouellette)

HST 369: Jewish Latin America and the Caribbean
This course studies the movement of Jewish people from Spain and Portugal to Latin America, traces the adaptation of Jews and their descendents to multiple environments in Latin America, and reflects upon the diversity of Jewish communities and traditions in Latin America.  Topics addressed include the consolidation of Catholic Spain in 1492, the expulsion of Jews from Spain and Portugal, and the Inquisition; the effect of Jews on modern Latin American national identities; and the surge of twentieth-century anti-Semitism in political and cultural realms.  We will examine different ethnic groups within national perspectives, closely analyze how ethnic and religious groups alter national interests, and learn how this changes over time.  Major themes, including Diaspora, Memory, Hybridization, Ethnicity, and Gender, will be closely examined, with particular focuses on Cuba, Brazil, Argentina, and Mexico. No pre-requisite.

HST 371: The Inquisition
This course explores the origins of the Inquisition, its place in the Spanish Reconquista, and its role in Colonial Spanish and Portuguese America.  The institutional dynamics influenced religious, economic, political, and socio-cultural organization - particularly in the New World - and we will trace the diverse investigations of Jews, Africans, Spanish, Portuguese, mestizos, and women.  The course relies heavily on inquisitorial records and unearths the prosecution of indigenous idolatry, the persecution of Jews, and the roles of race and gender in tribunal sentencing. 

HST 373: Environmental History of Latin America
An overview of environmental issues in the region known as Latin America and the Caribbean since its “discovery” in the early sixteenth century through the present day.  This course explores settlement, disease, deforestation, and social inequalities through the lenses of colonialism and the Columbian Exchange, capitalism, and globalism.  A variety of topics are considered, including health care, the Amazon, ecotourism, and sexual tourism.  

HST 375: Race and Ethnicity in Latin America & the Caribbean
This course examines race and ethnicity within the context of the African Diaspora, Indo-American populations, European Colonialism, and the resulting cultural hybridity of Latin America and the Caribbean. Major themes include the classification of races and ethnicities during the colonial period; forms of labor (slave and coerced) and their relationship to these categories; resistance to colonialism and debates over abolition; and discourses on race, ethnicity, gender, and class in Modern and Revolutionary Latin America and the Caribbean. 

HST 382: Sex, Beauty & the Body in Latin America & the Caribbean
This course examines Brazilian and Caribbean conceptualizations of sex, beauty and the body during the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Beginning with the theoretical underpinnings of colonialism and the legacies of slavery, we will then examine how contemporary democracies and globalization have formed Afro-Brazilian and Afro-Caribbean identities, particularly among the female population. Major themes include sex work and sex tourism, constructions of beauty and plastic surgery, and the ways in which recent returns to democracy have shaped these actions and decisions. 

Music (Dr. Kassandra Hartford)

MUS 283: Musics of Brazil
This course examines Brazilian music(s) in the folk, popular, and concert traditions. We will examine the ways Brazilian music articulates ideas about ethnic, racial, regional, and national identities in a globalized world. We will consider the ways Brazilian music takes shape within and against the country’s tumultuous political history, examining moments of political and cultural critique and collaboration. Texts for the class are drawn from both secondary sources—articles and books written by scholars—and primary sources, including movement manifestos, song texts, and first-person accounts by performers and composers. Listening will be a major component of the class. In order to hone our listening skills, we will do some in-class performance activities, but no prior experience with Brazilian music or with music performance is expected or required. 

Political Science (Dr. Mohsin Hashim)

PSC 246: Developing Nations
A study of the politics of developing nations, their struggles to overcome poverty and underdevelopment, their efforts at nation-building, and their impact in the world. The challenges and dilemmas of modernization and contending theories about the causes of underdevelopment and appropriate development strategies will be discussed.

Spanish (Dr. Joan Marx, Dr. Erika Sutherland & Dr. Mirna Trauger)

SPN 304: Advanced Conversation & Composition
Focused work in Spanish composition allowing students to develop creative, professional, and academic writing styles.  Emphasis is placed on structure, style, and content as well as grammar.  Classic and contemporary texts, films, and other multi-media resources will provide stylistic models as well as a cultural context for writings.  Class is conducted in Spanish.
Offered every semester. 
Prerequisite(s): SPN 301 - Spanish Conversation & Composition or SPN 303 Spanish for Heritage Speakers II. 

SPN 322: Civilization of Latin America
An introduction to contemporary Latin American life with its intellectual, economic, and social phenomena as well as its regional aspects, highlighting factors that unite and that distinguish this area of the world.  The course also surveys the artistic, architectural, and historical heritage of Latin America; addresses the challenges of globalization; and considers the political and economic role of the United States.  Class is conducted in Spanish. 
Offered every year during the spring semester. 
Prerequisite(s): SPN 301 - Spanish Conversation & Composition or SPN 303 Spanish for Heritage Speakers II. 

SPN 407: Spanish for the Community: Interpreting (Service-Learning)
With a rapidly growing Latino and Hispanic immigrant population, the Lehigh Valley offers Spanish students a unique opportunity to hone their spoken language skills and cultural understanding.  This class blends on-campus preparation in the basic theories and methodologies of oral interpretation with community-based practical experience, investigation, exploration, and reflection.  Work with community partners working closely with Spanish speaking clients is contextualized during weekly classes, providing a solid introduction to local Hispanic/Latino culture and concerns.  Students should expect to commit about 5 hours per week to the community service learning component of this course. 
Prerequisite(s): One 400-level course in Spanish, SPN 303 Spanish for Heritage Speakers II,or approval of instructor.

SPN 408: Spanish for the Community: Translation (Service-Learning)
The Lehigh Valley is undergoing demographic changes that call for new and better communication between English- and Spanish-speaking communities.  This course prepares students to create effective bridges, translating written documents and other texts from English to Spanish and Spanish to English.  As a service learning course it incorporates collaborative projects with organizations working closely with Spanish-speaking clients.  Weekly classes will provide a solid introduction to the basic theories and methodologies of written translation with special focus on the specific needs and concerns of the local Latino and Hispanic immigrant communities.  The class is conducted in Spanish, though given the special nature of English/Spanish and Spanish/English translation, class discussions may include Spanish, English, or even Spanglish.  Students should expect to commit about 5 hours per week to the community service learning component of this course.  Designed to complement SPN 407 - Spanish Interpreting
Prerequisite(s): One 400-level course in Spanish or approval of instructor.

SPN 415: The Literature of Conquest, Colonization, and Independence in Spanish America
Reading and discussion of poetry and prose by Indoamerican writers of the Pre-Columbian era and by Spanish American writers from the fifteenth through the nineteenth centuries.  Students will explore how literary components such as theme, character, and imagery represent the rise and fall of the Spanish Empire in the Americas and its resulting confluence of indigenous, African, and European cultures as they trace the development of Spanish American literature from its earliest expressions in pre-conquest cultures to the first declarations of defiance against the Spanish Crown by colonial writers.  Emphasis is placed on an understanding of the technical development of various genres within each literary period as well as on the thematic content of work as it relates to the period’s historical, political, social, and philosophical content.  Class is conducted in Spanish. 
Prerequisite(s): SPN 304 - Advanced Spanish Conversation & Composition.

SPN 416: Postcolonial Realities in Modern Spanish-American Literature
Reading and discussion of selections by Spanish American writers from the late nineteenth through the twenty-first centuries.  For many Spanish American authors, obscuring the line between reality and fantasy becomes a literary game in the search for true reality within countries racked by civil strife that underscores the postcolonial paradigm in the Americas in terms of the subaltern issues of race, gender, and social class.  Thus, students will delve into the artistic subconscious as they examine the legacy of the Spanish Conquest in the prose and poetry of literary periods that include modernismoposmodernismo, and vanguardismo as well as the Boom and Post-Boom with their techniques of realismo mágico and realismo crítico.  Emphasis is placed on an understanding of technical development of various genres within each literary period and on thematic content of work as it relates to that period’s historical, political, social, and philosophical context.  Class is conducted in Spanish. 
Prerequisite(s): SPN 304 - Advanced Spanish Conversation & Composition.

SPN 417: Contemporary Spanish American Novel
An in-depth study of the development of the novel in both the pre- and post- “boom” periods of the Spanish American narrative.  Emphasis is placed on an analysis of the literary techniques and thematic aspects of the works in relation to the various artistic and philosophical movements of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.  Class is conducted in Spanish.
Offered in alternate years. 
Prerequisite(s): SPN 304 - Advanced Spanish Conversation & Composition.

SPN 418: Hispanic Literature & Film
An analysis of the relationship between literature and film, focusing on texts from Spain and/or Spanish America and their film adaptations.  Issues to be discussed include film adaptation as a cultural construct; narrative voice in literature and film; the transformation of the written word to a visual image; and the relationship between politics, literature, and film.  Class is conducted in Spanish.
Offered in alternate years. 
Prerequisite(s): SPN 304 - Advanced Spanish Conversation & Composition.

SPN 419: Border Literature
An exploration of contemporary narratives by Latino writers in the United States who focus on the border experience, understood as both a geographical and cultural phenomenon.  Emphasis will be placed on the analysis of the literary techniques employed in the development of the narrative form within its political, social, and cultural context.  Topics include issues of class, ethnicity, and gender.  Class is conducted in Spanish. 
Prerequisite(s): SPN 304 - Advanced Spanish Conversation & Composition.

SPN 420: Human Rights Literature in the Americas
A literary exploration of the nature of human rights in the Americas through a close examination of representative works of various genres, such as poetry, the short story, the novel, and drama.  Emphasis is placed on an understanding of literary theory and technique within the historical, political, and philosophical context of each work.  In this way, students will explore thematic issues such as the legal and ethical rights inherent in citizenship within the world and specifically within the Americas with respect to ethnic and religious minorities, women, gays, and political dissidents.  Areas of comparison/contrast will include Chile, Argentina, Guatemala, El Salvador, Cuba, and the United States.  Class is conducted in Spanish.

Theatre (Dr. Leticia Robles-Moreno)

THR 384: Devising Community
This team-taught course explores collaborative creation both from academic and performance-based perspectives. We will explore techniques developed by devised theatre groups both in the English-speaking world and Latin American countries. Students will simultaneously practice contemporary methods of “performance as research” and “collective creation”, using their own bodily experiences as sites for experimentation. Enrollment in this class is linked to a spring semester mainstage production in collaboration with the community of Allentown. Important Note: By enrolling in this fall semester course, you are also joining a spring semester Theatre Dept. production that will be performed in April '19 (more details to follow) and will rehearse the regular theatre production hours, 4hours/night 6 days week. Muhlenberg students who are variously interested in acting, directing, dancing, singing, designing, researching and managing this production. Preference will be given to upperclassmen. Students must write a short essay and complete an interview with Leticia and Matt. 
Prerequisite: Permission of instructor 

MILA Programs

HST 389/SOC 389: Bodies & Identities in Contemporary Cuba
This course focuses on Contemporary Cuban nation-building from its transition as a Spanish colony into the hands of the United States to the “Revolutionary” Nation it is today (1989-2017). At the forefront of discussions of nation-building was the forging of identities that challenged western capitalist readings of Cuba. Along the way, political discourse was so centered on class that it denied conversation on race in spite of its enormous Afro-Cuban population and historical legacies of slavery. Simultaneously, the Cuban state created a dialogue of identity that underscored healthy bodies & minds, and thus Contemporary Cuban bodies & identities have centered public health, education, and Cuban culture. Through a series of carefully selected course readings, we will address the following questions: How did nationalist politics and policies affect the large Afro-Cuban population as well as the formation of a national Cuban identity and “Cubanness”? How has the emphasis on public health & education affected Cuban bodies and perceptions of Cuba around the world? How has education & culture reinforced or challenged contemporary notions of Cubanidad? How has the Cuban Diaspora in the United States (exiles, refugees, and migrants) affected Cuban society? How unique is the case of Cuba in the Caribbean?  

PBH 327/SPN 327: Public Health in practice: Panama
The study of public health is rooted in the notion that health is both a human right and the product of multiple and varied factors.  In this course we will put that notion to the test, considering the global objectives for good health and the medical, environmental, socioeconomic, and political elements that facilitate -or hinder- achievement of those goals.  In particular, we will examine the case of Panamá, preparing research projects over the course of the semester that will then be completed using data and experiences from a two-week visit to Panamá.  Areas of focus include access to potable water, control of mosquito breeding areas, women’s health issues, language access in areas where other languages or illiteracy dominate, intersections of institutional health and local cultural practices, and funding policies for health centers in marginal and indigenous regions.  To consolidate a sustainable relationship with our Panamanian partners, we will also design and complete a service project at a rural hospital.  The class is conducted in English with Spanish.  The Spanish language component of the course includes an introduction to essential communication for healthcare and public health interviews; more advanced Spanish students will be introduced to the skills of oral interpreting and transcription.
This course is cross-listed with SPN 327. 
Prerequisite(s): SPN 102 - Elementary Spanish II or permission of instructor.

SPN 387/ECN 387: The Cultural Identity & Economy of Puerto Rico
This course introduces students to the history, culture, and economy of Puerto Rico by tracing this nation-island's development from a Spanish colony to its current status as a Free Associated State. Students will learn about the Puerto Rican experience through an examination of the Spanish, African, and U.S. influences that shaped it historically, linguistically, religiously, socially, culturally, and economically. They will also learn about the link between the island's economy and its migratory movements and will consider unique issues faced by the Puerto Rican diaspora in the United States. They will also examine the economic impact of natural disasters to which islands are especially vulnerable in the face of climate change.   

SUS 350: Community Sustainability: Costa Rica
Students explore solutions to the delicate problems of environmental and cultural conservation in developing countries with a focus on Costa Rica. During the spring semester students develop projects and prepare for the two-week study/research/travel experience to Costa Rica at the end of May. This preparation includes study of the area‘s ecological diversity; political, cultural, and social issues; research skills; and relevant Spanish vocabulary and conversation skills. In Costa Rica students explore a variety of habitats, live in and interact with members of a small town, and conduct both community service and independent research projects. Research projects focus on the ecology, sociology, culture, sustainability, and public health of the region. One of the objectives of the program is to remove the blinders of specific discipline-based learning and of our own culture to enable us to develop sustainable solutions. No pre-requisite.

 


 

 

Director

Dr. Cathy Marie Ouellette

Associate Professor of History
Address Muhlenberg College Ettinger 2400 Chew Street Allentown, PA 18104