Course Descriptions - College of Mount Saint Vincent
Department of Modern Languages and Literatures

Course Descriptions

Courses numbered 201-216 are foundation courses intended for students who have completed 102 or are able to demonstrate an equivalent proficiency in the language. 300-level courses are upper-level courses intended for students who have completed 210 and 220, or 217 and 218, or are able to demonstrate an equivalent proficiency in the language. 400-level courses are advanced courses intended for students who have completed 300-level courses in French, Italian or Spanish or are able to demonstrate an equivalent proficiency in the language.

Filipino (FILI)

Foundation Courses
FILI 101-102 FILIPINO FOR BEGINNERS (C)*
This course is an introduction to the four basic language skills–listening, speaking, reading, and writing–with emphasis on speaking and comprehending spoken Tagalog. The course also provides an introduction to the culture of the Philippine islands. A two-semester course sequence (3 credits each).

FILI 216 ASPECTS OF PHILIPPINE CULTURE (C)*
This is an intermediate course conducted in Tagalog with a focus on various aspects of Philippine culture, language and society. It reinforces and improves students’ listening, speaking, reading and writing skills in Tagalog that were introduced in Filipino 101-102, and introduces students to the art, literature, music, film, cuisine and cultural heritage of the Philippines and its diaspora. The course is designed for students who have taken Filipino 101-102 or can demonstrate an equivalent proficiency. It provides the cultural context and linguistic competency required for the study of the Philippines at an advanced level (3 credits).

Upper-Level Courses
FILI 340 PHILIPPINE CIVILIZATION (C)*
This is an upper-level course on Philippine culture, history and society. It aims to provide students with an understanding of the historical, socio-economic and geographical factors that helped shape Philippine culture, politics and society, and explores how these factors relate and contribute to current global and U.S. developments.

The course is conducted entirely in English and is open to all students for elective or International Studies credit, Students who are taking the course to fulfill their core language requirement or to fulfill a Philippine Studies Minor requirement are however required to complete a significant portion of their work in Tagalog (3 credits).

FILI 375 INTERNSHIP
This is an off-campus opportunity to gain practical experience related to Philippine studies while earning college credit. Internships are conducted under the supervision of a faculty member and require the approval of the Chairperson (3 credits).

French (FREN)

The Department of Modern Languages and Literatures offers courses leading to the B.A. degree in French Studies. It also offers a Minor in French.

Foundation Courses
FREN 101-102 FRENCH FOR BEGINNERS (C)*
This two-semester course sequence offers an introduction to the four basic language skills—listening, speaking, reading and writing—with emphasis on speaking and comprehending spoken French. The course also provides an introduction to the culture of French-speaking peoples. This course is for students with little or no background in French, or with a maximum of two years of high school French (3 credits each).

FREN 201-202 FRENCH FOR COMMUNICATION (C)*
This course is an intensive review of French at the beginner-intermediate level and further development of listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills through extensive use of audio and visual aids. A two-semester course sequence (3 credits each).
This course is intended for students who have taken three years of high school French or for students who have taken French 101-102 or are able to demonstrate an equivalent proficiency in French

FREN 210 WRITING FRENCH (C)*
This course is an intensive practice of writing skills through extensive use of aural and written materials at the intermediate level. It also includes a review of grammar (3 credits).
This course is intended for students who have taken four years of high school French, or for students who have taken French 201-202 or are able to demonstrate an equivalent proficiency in French

FREN 220 SPEAKING FRENCH (C)*
This course is an intensive practice of oral skills through the use of aural and written materials at the intermediate level. It also includes a review of grammar (3 credits).
This course is intended for students who have taken four years of high school French or for students who have taken French 201-202 or are able to demonstrate an equivalent proficiency in French

FREN 216, 316 ASPECTS OF FRENCH AND FRANCOPHONE CULTURE (C)*
This course is an on-site study of different aspects of the political, socioeconomic, and cultural life of France or Québec together with a survey of its artistic heritage. The course is offered in France or Québec during the summer (3 credits each).

Upper-Level Courses
300-level courses are intended for students who have completed FREN 210 and FREN 220 or are able to demonstrate an equivalent proficiency in French. 

FREN 303 FRENCH AND FRANCOPHONE CULTURE THROUGH FILM (C)*
The French language, and the history and civilization of the French-speaking world are studied through the viewing and study of great films. The course may be conducted in French or in English, as needed. In the latter case, it is open to all students. For French credit, all written work must be done in French (3 credits).

FREN 307 ADVANCED GRAMMAR AND COMPOSITION (C)*
This course offers an intensive study of the grammatical structures of French aimed at perfecting the student’s written and oral command of the language. This course is required for all French Studies majors, and highly recommended for French minors (3 credits).

FREN 340 FRENCH CIVILIZATION (C)*
This course focuses on the historical, social, and cultural background of France from the Middle Ages through the nineteenth century. The course includes lectures, readings, discussions, and reports in French and it is highly recommended for French Studies majors and French minors (3 credits).

FREN 341 CONTEMPORARY FRENCH CIVILIZATION (C)*
This course focuses on the historical, social, and cultural background of France and the Francophone world from the twentieth century to the present. The course includes lectures, readings, discussions, and reports in French and it is highly recommended for French Studies majors and French minors (3 credits).

FREN 342 THE FRANCOPHONE WORLD: A CULTURAL STUDY (C)*
This course examines Francophone literary texts from regions such as the Caribbean, Sub-Saharan Africa, the Maghreb and Lebanon. Topics such as colonialism, post-colonialism, gender and religion, as well as the concept of identity of the colonized and the colonizer, will be discussed through fiction, essays, poems, music and films. The course includes lectures, readings, discussions, and reports in French (3 credits).

FREN 350 INTRODUCTION TO FRENCH LITERARY STUDY (C)*
A survey of the great writers and literary movements of the French-speaking world together with an introduction to the analysis of literary texts. Required for all French Studies majors and for French minors (3 credits).

Advanced Courses
400-level French courses are intended for students who have completed FREN 307 or are able to demonstrate an equivalent proficiency in French. 

FREN 420, 320 SPECIAL TOPICS IN FRENCH
This course is an intensive study of a single author, genre, movement, or literary topic. The specific subject will be available at the time of registration. The course includes lectures, readings, discussions, and reports in French (3 credits).

FREN 460 INDEPENDENT STUDY
This course may be taken in consultation with the professor and with the approval of the Chair. It is offered as needed (3 credits).

FREN 375, 475 INTERNSHIPS
Students have an opportunity to gain practical experience related to French while earning college credit off-campus. Internships are conducted under the supervision of a faculty member and require the approval of the Chairperson (3 credits each).

Italian (ITAL)

The Department of Modern Languages and Literatures offers courses leading to the Minor in Italian.

Foundation Courses
ITAL 101-102 ITALIAN FOR BEGINNERS (C)*
This two-semester course sequence offers an introduction to the four basic language skills—listening, speaking, reading, and writing—with emphasis on speaking and comprehending spoken Italian. The course also provides an introduction to Italian culture. The sequence is for students with little or no background in Italian, or with a maximum of two years of high school Italian (3 credits each).

ITAL 201-202 ITALIAN FOR COMMUNICATION (C)*
This course is an intensive review of Italian at the beginner-intermediate level and further development of listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills through extensive use of audio and visual aids. This is a two-semester course sequence (3 credits each).
This course is intended for students who have taken three years of high school Italian or for students who have taken Italian 101-102 or are able demonstrate an equivalent proficiency in Italian

ITAL 210 WRITING ITALIAN (C)*
This course is an intensive practice of writing skills through extensive use of aural and written materials at the intermediate level. It also includes a review of grammar (3 credits).
This course is intended for students with four years of high school Italian or for students who have taken Italian 201-202 or are able to demonstrate an equivalent proficiency in Italian

ITAL 220 SPEAKING ITALIAN (C)*
This course is an intensive practice of oral skills through the use of aural and written materials at the intermediate level. It also includes a review of grammar (3 credits).
This course is intended for students with four years of high school Italian or for students who have taken Italian 201-202 or are able to demonstrate an equivalent proficiency in Italian 

ITAL 216, 316 ASPECTS OF ITALIAN CULTURE (C)*
This course is an on-site study of different aspects of the political, socio-economic, and cultural life of Italy together with a survey of its artistic heritage. The course is offered in Italy during the summer or the winter intersession (3 credits).

Upper-Level Courses
300-level courses are intended for students who have completed Italian 210 and Italian 220 or are able to demonstrate an equivalent proficiency in Italian. 

ITAL 303 ITALIAN CULTURE THROUGH FILM (C)*
This course covers a variety of cultural topics through the use of Italian cinema. From the works of great Italian filmmakers like De Sica, Fellini, and Pasolini to the up-and-coming independent filmmakers of today, this course addresses the themes of Italian identity, representations of women, gender roles, religion, immigration and race, and postwar and contemporary social problems. It will also discuss film adaptations of Italian literary works.

This course is conducted in English and is open to all students. Italian minors, however, are required to complete all assignments in Italian. Women’s Studies minors are required to focus their assignments on women’s related issues (3 credits).

ITAL 307 ADVANCED GRAMMAR AND COMPOSITION (C)*
This course is an intensive study of the grammatical structures of Italian aimed at perfecting the student’s oral and written command of the language. The course is highly recommended for Italian minors (3 credits).

ITAL 340 MEDIEVAL AND RENAISSANCE ITALIAN CIVILIZATION (C)*
This course is a study of the art, music, philosophy, and literature of Medieval Italy and its development into the Renaissance of Western culture. It includes lectures, readings, and discussions in Italian (3 credits).

ITAL 341 CONTEMPORARY ITALIAN CIVILIZATION (C)*
This course traces the civilization of Italy from its unification as a nation in the nineteenth century to the present day. Focus is placed on the cultural, religious, political, and social-economic elements which have shaped Italy’s identity as a nation today. Major themes include the Risorgimento; the liberal regime; the southern question; fascism and the Second World War; post-war politics and corruption, the economic miracle, the European Union, and Italy today as a multicultural society. (3 credits).

ITAL 350 INTRODUCTION TO ITALIAN LITERARY STUDY (C)*
This course introduces students to the major authors and movements in Italian literature from its medieval origins to the present. It exposes students to both the classic works of the Italian literary canon as well as to a number of popular contemporary authors. Readings will include a mixture of poetry, narrative, and theatre. This course also introduces students the basic elements of literary analysis. This course is conducted entirely in Italian and is a required course for Italian minors (3 credits).

ITAL 375, 475 INTERNSHIPS
Students have an opportunity to gain practical experience related to French while earning college credit off-campus. Internships are conducted under the supervision of a faculty member and require the approval of the Chairperson (3 credits each).

Advanced Courses
400-level Italian courses are intended for students who have completed Italian 307 or are able to demonstrate an equivalent proficiency in Italian. 

ITAL 420, 320 SPECIAL TOPICS IN ITALIAN
This course is an intensive study of a single author, genre, movement, or literary theme. The specific subject will be available at the time of registration. The course includes lectures, readings, discussions and reports in Italian (3 credits).

ITAL 460 INDEPENDENT STUDY
This course can be taken in consultation with the professor and with the approval of the Chair (3 credits).

Spanish (SPAN)

The Department of Modern Languages and Literatures offers courses leading to the B.A. degree in Spanish. It also offers a Minor in Spanish.

Foundation Courses
SPAN 101-102 SPANISH FOR BEGINNERS (C)*
This is a two-semester course sequence  It is an introduction to the four basic language skills—listening, speaking, reading, and writing – with emphasis on speaking and comprehending spoken Spanish. The course also provides an introduction to the culture of Spanish-speaking peoples. The sequence is for students with little or no background in Spanish, or with a maximum of two years of high school Spanish (3 credits each).

SPAN 201-202 SPANISH FOR COMMUNICATION (C)*
This course is an intensive review of Spanish at the beginner-intermediate level and further development of listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills through extensive use of audio and visual aids. A two-semester course sequence (3 credits each).
This course is intended for students who have taken three years of high school Spanish or for students who have taken Spanish 101-102 or are able demonstrate an equivalent proficiency in Spanish

SPAN 210 WRITING SPANISH (C)*
This course is an intensive practice of writing skills through extensive use of aural and written materials at the intermediate level. It also includes a review of grammar (3 credits).
This course is intended for students with four years of high school Spanish or for students who have taken Spanish 201-202 or are able to demonstrate an equivalent proficiency in Spanish. Not intended for native or heritage speakers of Spanish. Native speakers are students born in another country who received some formal education in another language before coming to the United States; heritage speakers are students usually born in the United States who have learned Spanish in their home environment but have little or no formal training in the language.

SPAN 220 SPEAKING SPANISH (C)*
This course is an intensive practice of oral skills through the use of aural and written materials at the intermediate level. It also includes a review of grammar (3 credits).
This course is intended for students with four years of high school Spanish or for students who have taken Spanish 201-202 or are able to demonstrate an equivalent proficiency in Spanish. Not intended for native or heritage speakers of Spanish. 

SPAN 222-223 BASIC SPANISH FOR HERITAGE SPEAKERS I AND II (C)*
This is a two-semester course sequence. It is designed for students, usually born in the United States, who have gained limited knowledge of Spanish in their home environment and need formal training in order to improve their basic language skills. The course provides students with a review of Spanish grammar and vocabulary as well as helps students develop proficiency in reading and writing in the language. It also introduces students to the culture and civilization of Spanish-speaking peoples. (3 credits each).
This course sequence is intended for beginner heritage speakers who have less than three years of high school Spanish.

SPAN 227-228 INTERMEDIATE SPANISH FOR HERITAGE SPEAKERS (C)*
This is a two-semester course sequence. It is designed for students, usually born in the United States, who have learned Spanish in their home environment but need formal training to improve their communicative skills. The course helps students develop proficiency in reading and writing and provides an introduction to the culture and civilization of Spanish-speaking peoples. The course is for heritage speakers only (3 credits each).
The course sequence is intended for heritage speakers who have taken 3-4 years of high school Spanish (3 credits each).

Upper-Level Courses
300-level courses are intended for students who have completed  Spanish 210 and Spanish 220, or Spanish 217 and Spanish 218; or are able to demonstrate an equivalent proficiency in Spanish.

SPAN 300 THE MUSICAL HERITAGE OF THE AMERICAS (C)*
This course is an examination of the rich and diverse traditions of Latinos in the Americas through the use of music, as well as literature and film (3 credits).

SPAN 303 HISPANIC CULTURE THROUGH FILM (C)*
This course explores a variety of topics related Spanish and Latin American culture and society as seen through film. It will trace Latin American film-making from the golden ages of Mexican and Cuban cinema to the independent films of today. The issues which these films address include: national and ethnic identities, representations of women and gender roles, revolution and dictatorship as well as migration and immigrant identities. Emphasis in the class will be placed on conversation and composition. Assignments and class discussion will be completely in Spanish (3 credits).

SPAN 307 ADVANCED GRAMMAR AND COMPOSITION (C)*
This course is an intensive study of the grammatical structures of Spanish aimed at perfecting the student’s oral and written command of the language. Required for all Spanish majors and minors (3 credits).

SPAN 319 SPANISH FOR BUSINESS (C)*
This course is an introduction to the terminology and business practices of the Spanish-speaking world. The course includes a review of grammar as well as a discussion of cultural factors that affect commercial transactions (3 credits).

SPAN 340 SPANISH CIVILIZATION (C)*
This course traces the history and culture of Spain from its ancient origins to the present. Focus is placed on the cultural, religious, political, and social-economic elements of Spanish civilization which have shaped Spain’s identity as a nation. It is designed to provide a context for the advanced study of Spanish literature. Students are expected to have a competent working knowledge of the language as assignments and class discussions are completely in Spanish. Emphasis in the class will be placed on conversation and composition  (3 credits).

SPAN 341 LATIN AMERICAN CIVILIZATION (C)*
The major issues that have affected Latin America are explored through art, music, film and the reading of historical and literary texts. This course traces Latin American Civilization from its pre-Columbian origins to the present. Focus is placed on the cultural, religious, political, and social-economic elements which have shaped the nations and peoples of Latin America today. It is designed to provide a context for the advanced study of Latin American literature. Emphasis in the class will be placed on conversation and composition. Lectures, readings, and discussions are all in Spanish (3 credits).

SPAN 350 MASTERWORKS IN LATIN AMERICAN LITERATURE I (C)*
This course is a survey of the great writers and literary movements of Latin America together with an introduction to the analysis of literary texts. Students will read and analyze poetry, short stories, plays, essays, and novel excerpts from the Pre-Colonial period to modernismo. Among the writers studied will be Las Casas, Sor Juana, Echevarría, Avellaneda, Martí, Silva, and Darío. Along with reading primary sources, students will be exposed to the history and politics of Latin America. This course fulfills a requirement for the Spanish Major, the Spanish Minor, and the Latin American Studies Minor (3 credits).

SPAN 351 MASTERWORKS IN LATIN AMERICAN LITERATURE II (C)*
This course is a survey of the great writers and literary movements of Latin America together with an introduction to the analysis of literary texts. Students will read and analyze plays, poetry, short stories, essays and novel excerpts from the twentieth century on. They will examine diverse literary movements and tendencies such as avant-guardism, regionalism, cosmopolitanism, magical realism, boom, post-boom, and postmodernism.

Among the authors studied will be Quiroga, Mistral, Vallejo, Borges, Fuentes, García Márquez, Valenzuela, Allende and Vega. Along with reading primary sources, students will be exposed to the history and politics of Latin America. This course fulfills a requirement for the Spanish Major, the Spanish Minor, and the Latin American Studies Minor (3 credits).

SPAN 352 MASTERWORKS IN PENINSULAR LITERATURE I (C)*
This course is a survey of the great writers and literary movements of Spain together with an introduction to the analysis of literary texts. Students will read and analyze Spanish poetry, short stories and novel excerpts from the ninth to the eighteenth century, written by authors from Spain. Along with reading primary sources, students will be exposed to the history and politics of Spain. The course fulfills a requirement for the Spanish Major and the Spanish Minor (3 credits).

SPAN 353 MASTERWORKS IN PENINSULAR LITERATURE II (C)*
This course is a survey of the great writers and literary movements of Spain together with an introduction to the analysis of literary texts. Students will read and analyze Spanish plays, short stories and novel excerpts from the eighteenth to the twenty-first century. Along with reading primary sources, students will be exposed to the history and politics of Spain.  The course fulfills a requirement for the Spanish Major and the Spanish Minor (3 credits).

Advanced Courses
400-level Spanish courses are intended for students who have completed Spanish 307 or are able to demonstrate an equivalent proficiency in Spanish. 

SPAN 405 CARIBBEAN LITERATURE
This course is designed as an introduction to Cuban, Puerto Rican and Dominican literature. The literary texts will be examined within their social, political, cultural, and historical context in order to examine the responses of the writers to issues associated with their respective societies. It will examine the colonial period, in particular the nineteenth century, to trace the genealogy of colonialism and independence in the Caribbean. The course additionally explores issues of race, class, neo-colonialism, gender, and identity. Works will be selected from different genres and the literary devices associated with these genres will be examined. This class will be conducted in Spanish. The course fulfills a requirement for the Spanish Major and the Spanish Minor. (3 credits).

SPAN 410 THE DETECTIVE GENRE
This course will trace the evolution of the detective genre from its origins in the United States with Edgar Allan Poe to its proliferation in Latin American short story. Students will review the historical and political circumstances of the nineteenth century that gave rise to the genre as part of modern state formation and will explore the adaptation of the detective form to the specific political, economic, and socio-cultural realities of Spanish-speaking countries throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Students will have the opportunity to create a final project under the direction of the professor. This course will be taught in Spanish. The course fulfills a requirement for the Spanish Major and the Spanish Minor. (3 credits).

SPAN 420, 320 SPECIAL TOPICS IN SPANISH
This course is an intensive study of a single author, genre, movement, or literary topic. The specific subject will be available at the time of registration. The course includes lectures, readings, discussions and reports in Spanish (3 credits).

SPAN 423 GREAT HISPANIC POETS
This course is an introduction to the analysis of poetry through the study of the great poets of the Spanish language such as Garcilaso, St. John of the Cross, Góngora, Sor Juana lnés de la Cruz, Bécquer, Martí, Darío, Jiménez, Machado, Mistral, Lorca, Vallejo, and Neruda (3 credits).

SPAN 424 THE MODERN NOVEL IN SPAIN AND LATIN AMERICA
This course is a survey of the development of modern fiction from the great nineteenth century Spanish Realists (Galdós and Clarín) to the Latin American “Boom”—Asturias, García Márquez, Carpentier, Fuentes, Vargas Llosa, among others (3 credits).

SPAN 427 CERVANTES: DON QUIXOTE
This course examines Cervantes’ novel from a historical point of view in an attempt to understand the aesthetic and thematic revolution created by the novel at the time of its publication (3 credits).

SPAN 429 THE SPANISH GOLDEN AGE
This course is a survey of the history, art, and literature of Spain during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries (3 credits).

SPAN 431 ROMANTICISM IN LATIN AMERICA
This course examines romantic writers of the nineteenth century in Latin America together with an introduction to the analysis of literary texts. Romantic works will be selected from different genres and the literary devices associated with these genres will be examined. Students will read and analyze plays, poetry, and novels written in Spanish. Along with reading primary literary texts, students will be exposed to the history and politics of various Latin American nations with a focus on the genealogy of colonialism and independence in Latin America. The writing assignments in this course will enable students to gain a better understanding of literary, cultural, and historical trends in the Spanish-speaking world, and equip students with the tools necessary to query their intellectual and personal positions with respect to the long and complex tradition of Hispanic cultural production that at times intersects with other traditions with which students may be familiar, and at times diverges from them. The course fulfills a requirement for the Spanish Major and the Spanish Minor. (3 credits).

SPAN 434 THE LATIN AMERICAN ESSAY
The purpose of this course is to provide a survey of the foundation and evolution of the Latin America essay and an examination of some of the major current cultural issues that correspond to the following topics: questions about national identity and the human condition; military dictatorships; issues related to gender equality; and multiculturalism. The emphasis will be on the nineteenth century in order to trace the genealogy of colonialism in the Americas. The course fulfills a requirement for the Spanish Major and the Spanish Minor. (3 credits).

SPAN 435 LATIN AMERICAN SHORT FICTION
This course is a study of the development of short narrative forms in Latin America in relationship to the social, political, and historical realities of Latin America. It includes readings from the works of Quiroga, Borges, García Márquez, Cortázar, Fuentes, Vargas Llosa, Rulfo, and Donoso (3 credits).

SPAN 436 MODERN SPANISH THEATRE
This course is a critical examination of the structure, themes, and style of the genre through the works of Valle-Inclán, Benavente, Grau, Lorca, Casona, Buero, Vallejo, Sastre, and Arrabal (3 credits).

SPAN 440 GENDER STUDIES IN HISPANIC LITERATURE
This course focuses on the modalities of portrayal of gender by writers from the nineteenth century to the present with emphasis on the reinterpretation of the role of gender within the new socio-political reality of the Hispanic world (3 credits).

SPAN 460 INDEPENDENT STUDY
This course may be taken in consultation with the professor and with the approval of the Chair (3 credits).

SPAN 375, 475 INTERNSHIPS
Students have an opportunity to gain practical experience related to French while earning college credit off-campus. Internships are conducted under the supervision of a faculty member and require the approval of the Chair (3 credits each).

(C)* May be taken to meet Core Requirements