Jonathan Montalvo instructs his Spanish class.

Hispanic Studies

The Bachelor of Arts in Hispanic Studies is an interdisciplinary major requiring 42 semester hours including the completion of the Spanish language program, Latin American History I and II, and elective courses that address cross-cultural themes. In addition to learning the language, students are exposed to courses - taught both in Spanish and English - in fields such as history, political science, film studies, communication studies, philosophy, ethnic/race studies and feminist theory.

Potential post-graduate career paths include bilingual educator, translator, international relations, medical interpreter, customs/immigration officer, travel/tourism, political analyst, speech pathologist, foreign diplomat and others.

Hispanic Studies at Graceland is more than just learning Spanish – it is a program that encourages students to explore the history and culture of the Spanish-speaking world through oral, written and visual expressions. We believe that language acquisition is a gateway to embracing the diversity of the world we live in. The Hispanic Studies minor fosters cultural understanding and global citizenship among its students, resulting in a transformative experience that will teach them to think critically and better understand themselves and others.

BA Degree — Hispanic Studies Major

In addition to the essential education requirements, the interdisciplinary major in Hispanic Studies requires 42 semester hours.

All Spanish core requirements 18 s.h.

  • *SPAN1410 First-Year Spanish I 3 s.h.
  • **SPAN1420 First-Year Spanish II 3 s.h.
  • SPAN2100 Second-Year Spanish 3 s.h.
  • ***SPAN2310 Spanish Contact Hours 3 s.h.
  • SPAN2440 Cultural Conversations: Oral and Written Expressions 3 s.h.
  • SPAN4800 Hispanic Studies Senior Project 3 s.h.

*Placement Examination is available for those students with some background in Spanish. Students who place out of SPAN1410 will be required to complete an additional three (3) semester hours of upper-division Spanish courses.

**Students with previous background in Spanish or heritage/native speakers who place out of the SPAN1410/1420 sequence will be required to complete an additional six (6) semester hours of upper-division Spanish courses.

***Spanish Contact Hours may be substituted by SPAN2600 Spanish Immersion (Intermediate)

All history core requirements 6 s.h.

  • HIST2200 Survey of Latin American History I 3 s.h.
  • HIST2210 Survey of Latin American History II 3 s.h.

18 s.h. of electives, at least 9 of which must be upper-division Spanish courses, from the following list:

  • COMM3100 Intercultural Communication 3 s.h.
  • ENGL2350 American Ethnic Literature 3 s.h.
  • HIST1200 History of the African Diaspora 3 s.h.
  • HIST3200 20th Century Mexico 3 s.h.
  • GEOG/INTD/POLS1200 Introduction to International Studies 3 s.h.
  • MUSC2350 Musics of the World 3 s.h.
  • PHIL2420 World Philosophy 3 s.h.
  • POLS2360 The Politics of Immigration 3 s.h.
  • PSYC3370 Cross Cultural Psychology 3 s.h.
  • SOCI2300 Race and Ethnicity in the United States 3 s.h.
  • SPAN2600 Spanish Immersion (Intermediate) 3-6 s.h.
  • SPAN3110 Hispanic Cinema 3 s.h.
  • SPAN3120 Hispanic Literature 3 s.h.
  • SPAN3220 Unheard Voices 3 s.h.
  • SPAN3240 Literature, Visual Culture, and Digital Media in the Hispanic Caribbean 3 s.h.
  • SPAN3500 Experiential Learning in Spanish 1-3 s.h.
  • SPAN3600 Spanish Immersion (Advanced) 3-6 s.h.
  • SPAN3900 Topics in Spanish 1-3 s.h.

Other Requirements for the Hispanic Studies Major
In order to successfully complete a major in Hispanic Studies, a student must maintain a minimum of 2.0 GPA in Spanish courses. If a student receives a grade lower than a C, he/she must retake the course.

Hispanic Studies Minor

A Hispanic Studies minor requires 18 or more semester hours in Spanish including the following core requirement:

  • *SPAN1410 First-Year Spanish I 3 s.h.
  • **SPAN1420 First-Year Spanish II 3 s.h.
  • SPAN2100 Second-Year Spanish 3 s.h.
  • SPAN2440 Cultural Conversations: Oral and Written Expressions 3 s.h.

In addition to the core requirement, students must complete an additional 6 semester hours of Spanish electives.

*Placement Examination is available for those students with some background in Spanish. Students who place out of SPAN1410 will be required to complete an additional three (3) semester hours of upper division Spanish courses.

**Students with previous background in Spanish or heritage/native speakers who place out of the SPAN1410/1420 sequence will be required to complete an additional six (6) semester hours of upper division Spanish courses.

Other Requirements for the Hispanic Studies Minor
In order to successfully complete a minor in Hispanic Studies, a student must maintain a minimum of 2.0 GPA in Spanish courses. If a student receives a grade lower than a C, he/she must retake the course.

 

¿Qué está pasando? What’s happening in the Hispanic Studies?

A group of Graceland students

Varios estudiantes del programa de Estudios Hispánicos y Español de Graceland University disfrutaron de una noche llena de conversación, comida y juegos [Students in the Hispanic Studies program enjoyed a night of Spanish conversation, food, and games]. #WeAreGraceland

Nursing and Hispanic Studies student, Tabitha Watson.

Nursing and Hispanic Studies student, Tabitha Watson, studied abroad in Yucatán, México during the summer of 2018.

 Pictured (left to right): James Jackson, Kennedy Warner, Myrissa Liedtke, Tabitha Watson, Adrian Perez, and Prof. Jonathan Montalvo  at a beach in Puerto Rico.

Prof. Jonathan Montalvo and a group of Graceland students went to Puerto Rico during the summer 2018 as part of an experiential learning course. Pictured (left to right): James Jackson, Kennedy Warner, Myrissa Liedtke, Tabitha Watson, Adrian Perez, and Prof. Jonathan Montalvo

“I chose Hispanic Studies because I believe that to truly understand a people, it takes more than just learning the language. The Hispanic Studies minor allows me to learn about the different cultures, values, ethnicities, and it also helps me evaluate my own culture through an outside perspective, while also expanding my methods of communication for professional and personal use.”

– Natalie Harper

“Taking Spanish classes at Graceland University has changed my point of view on issues that are relevant and impact the Latino community. It has also motivated me to pick up a Hispanic Studies minor.”

– Gerardo Salgado

“Being a part of Hispanic Studies at Graceland University has opened my understanding to the rich language and culture. I feel more prepared to break down cultural barriers and mature in versatility."

– Tabitha Watson

 

 

Courses for Hispanic Studies

+COMM3100 Intercultural Communication 3 s.h.
An examination of concepts that have application to communication across cultural boundaries, with emphasis on relating them to effective intercultural communication skills. Goal 4, ELO4 Global Learning - World Citizenship

++ENGL2350 American Ethnic Literature 3 s.h.
A survey of multi-ethnic U.S. literature, including Latino/a literature, Asian American literature, Native American literature, and American Jewish literature. As a complement to literary texts, students will also examine a range of introductory theoretical texts in the interdisciplinary field of ethnic studies. Goal 2B, ELO5 Humanities - Equality

HIST1200 History of the African Diaspora 3 s.h.
A history of the people of African descent in the Americas, including the United States, as well as the Caribbean, Central and South America. Issues of survival and resistance, the persistence of racism and white supremacy, and struggles for freedom, across countries and time periods, will be stressed. Goal 4, ELO5 Histories - Equality

HIST2200 Survey of Latin American History I 3 s.h.
A history of the peoples of the Americas, from their arrival in the western hemisphere through the 19th century. Topics to be addressed include Native American societies and states, the encounter with Europe, the long colonial period, and struggles for political and economic independence. Goal 1B, ELO5 Histories - World Citizenship

HIST2210 Survey of Latin American History II 3 s.h.
A history of the peoples of Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, and South America, from the 19th century to the present. Topics to be addressed include struggles for political and economic independence, social movements, and the influence of North American and other outside powers. Goal 1B, ELO5 Histories - World Citizenship

INTD1200 Introduction to International Studies  (also POLS1200) 3 s.h.
An overview of the major disciplines represented in the International Studies major. This course will also offer an introduction to contemporary global concerns through a study of current political, economic, and social issues. Discussion of important global issues will lead to a more critical analysis of news and an awareness of the responsibilities of national and international citizenship. Goal 4

MUSC2350 Musics of the World 3 s.h.
Explores the musical history of the planet's diverse human communities. Music is not one universal language but a group of languages that express, shape and record human experience. An intensive study of how music works within the social and cultural context including a specific examination of indigenous music of West Africa, Latin America, China, Indonesia, and Japan. Goal 4, ELO5 Arts - World Citizenship

PHIL2420 World Philosophy 3 s.h.
A survey of philosophical worldviews with origins in differing traditions, appealing to historical and contemporary Western and non-Western philosophy. Addresses fundamental philosophical issues from a variety of perspectives and evaluates points of convergence and divergence. Goal 3E, ELO3 Ethical Thinking and Action - World Citizenship

POLS2360 The Politics of Immigration 3 s.h.
Examines immigration in an interdisciplinary way, focusing on how politics affects, obscures or exacerbates inequalities of power, wealth and safety among immigrant populations worldwide. Explores motives for migration across or within states, the means by which people migrate, and the reception immigrants receive in their destination countries. Goal 1B, ELO4 Global Learning - Equality

PSYC3370 Cross Cultural Psychology 3 s.h.
Study of psychological theories and empirical findings relating to variations in cultures. Goal 4, ELO4 Global Learning - World Citizenship

SOCI2300 Race and Ethnicity in the United States 3 s.h.
Examines the basic sociological concepts and theories of race and ethnicity. Particular focus will be given to the social construction of race, as well as the causes and consequences of racism, immigration, education and residential segregation, environmental inequality, and social justice movements.

SPAN1410 First-Year Spanish I 3 s.h.
An introduction to the practice of using and understanding Spanish to develop listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills. Goal 4

SPAN1420 First-Year Spanish II 3 s.h.
Provides further practice in using and understanding Spanish to develop listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills. Prerequisite: SPAN1410 or equivalent. Goal 4

SPAN2100 Second-Year Spanish 3 s.h.
Review and development of listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills. Introduces students to cultural topics in the Spanish-speaking world. Prerequisite: SPAN1420 or Placement Examination. Goal 4

SPAN2310 Spanish Contact Hours 1-2 s.h.
Contact hours in Spanish conducted independently. Available only to students in the Hispanic Studies major. Can be taken simultaneously with the Spanish 1410-2100 sequence or before enrolling in SPAN2440. A student cannot complete more than two Spanish Contact semester-hours at a time per semester. The Spanish faculty, in collaboration with the student, will design a plan to comply with the number of Spanish Contact Hours needed. Experiential Learning in Spanish (including a study away opportunity) may satisfy this requirement for Spanish majors. Goal 4

SPAN2440 Cultural Conversations: Oral and Written Expressions 3 s.h.
Designed to facilitate a discussion, in Spanish, about contemporary cultural topics that affect the Spanish-speaking world. Students will also engage and write about texts that discuss and/or embody Hispanic culture. Prerequisite: 3 s.h. of SPAN2100 and SPAN2310 or Placement Examination. Goal 4

SPAN2600 Spanish Immersion (Intermediate) 3 – 6 s.h.
Practice of acquired language skills (intermediate level) in context while exploring the diverse history and culture of a Spanish-speaking country during a study-abroad experience. Repeatable to a maximum of 6 hours. Prerequisite: Instructor’s consent. (Graded on a Pass/Fail basis).

SPAN3110 Hispanic Cinema 3 s.h.
Designed to enhance students' knowledge of Hispanic culture through selected Spanish-speaking films. Prerequisite: SPAN2440. Goal 4, ELO4 Global Learning - Equality

SPAN3120 Hispanic Literatures 3 s.h.
Designed to enhance students' knowledge of Hispanic culture through selected pieces of literature from different parts of the Spanish-speaking world. Prerequisite: SPAN2440. Goal 4, ELO4 Global Learning - Equality

SPAN3220 Unheard Voices 3 s.h.
Explores representations of vulnerability in Latin American cultural production, particularly short narrative and film. Discusses the diversity of vulnerable experiences among unheard sectors of Latin American societies with a focus on women, afrolatinos, and the LGBTQ+ community. Taught in Spanish. Instructor approval required. Goal 4, ELO4 Global Learning – Equality

Note: Since this course is taught in Spanish, an intermediate-high proficiency level in Spanish is recommended for non-minor students.

SPAN3240 Literature, Visual Culture, and Digital Media in the Hispanic Caribbean 3 s.h.
Explores contemporary literature, visual culture, and digital media in translation produced in the Hispanic Caribbean (Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic). Through the examination of literary, digital, and visual materials, including narrative prose, paintings, murals, films, and performances, students will be exposed to multiple interpretations (new and traditional) of concepts such as citizenship and gender, sexual, and racial identities in the Hispanic Caribbean and its diasporas, particularly in the United States. Taught in English. Goal 4, ELO4 Global Learning – Equality

SPAN3500 Experiential Learning in Spanish 3 s.h.
Experiential learning (e.g. service in a Spanish-speaking country, working with a Latino non-profit organization, etc.) in Spanish conducted independently. The Spanish faculty, in collaboration with the student, will set up an appropriate Experiential Learning opportunity.

SPAN3600 Spanish Immersion (Advanced) 3 – 6 s.h.
Practice of acquired language skills (advanced level) in context while exploring the diverse history and culture of a Spanish-speaking country during a study-abroad experience. Repeatable to a maximum of 6 hours. Prerequisite: Instructor’s consent. (Graded on a Pass/Fail basis).

SPAN3900 Topics in Spanish 3 s.h.
Study of selected topics of interest in the Spanish-speaking world, to be announced prior to the semester when the course is offered. May be repeated for credit as topics change. Goal 4

SPAN4800 Hispanic Studies Senior Project 3 s.h.
A semester-long project in which the student, in consultation with the Spanish faculty member, selects a research topic related to Hispanic cultural production (i.e. literature, film, art, etc.) and conducts original research and presents in either an oral or poster presentation. Prerequisite: Instructor approval.