Course Description and Objectives
Welcome to Spanish 3349!
The objective of Spanish 3349 is to provide students with the historical and cultural background necessary for the study of Hispanic cultures from prehistory to the age of empire. We will study Roman Hispania, Islamic al-Andalus, the Christian Middle Ages, imperial Spain, the indigenous civilizations of the New World, and the colonial experience of the regions that would later become the independent nations of Latin America. The larger purpose of the course is to prepare students to do advanced work in later courses on the cultures of Spain and Spanish America.
I. Participation and Preparation (20%)
Your participation grade is based on your demonstration that you have read, prepared and reflected on the materials assigned. Spanish 3349 is an intensive course that requires that you work diligently throughout the semester and that you keep up with the work assigned. During the semester you will be asked by your instructor to prepare to lead the discussion of one of the readings to be discussed in class.
II. Written Exercises (30%)
Over the course of the semester you will be expected to hand in seven short compositions. Your instructor will inform you about the nature of these exercises. You will receive corrections and suggestions from your instructor, and for the first three compositions you will hand in a revised version that takes into account those corrections. Your compositions will be graded on content and grammar, and your final grade for the assignment will be the average between your first version and the revised one (where there is one). All compositions must be typewritten and double-spaced, and should consist of at least 300 words. Each composition must be turned in on the assigned date. A late composition will result in the lowering of the grade for that exercise.
Please check the menu item "Composiciones" for detailed information regarding your written assignments. Pay special attention to the level of responsibility and care that you will be expected to show in your work. You will find there also a great deal of advice, reference materials, and help regarding both the process and the mechanics of writing in Spanish, as well as, for instance, instructions on how to produce accented as well as other special characters in Spanish (e.g. ¡, ¿, º, ª, ñ, á, é, í, ó, ú) from your Apple or PC. You should visit this page as often as necessary.
III. Exams (50%)
There are three tests that will test your knowledge of historical events, persons, concepts, images, chronologies, etc. that have been studied in class. Lists of the terms that may appear on the exams have been posted for each chapter under the rubric "Términos fundamentales." No make-up exams will be given. Please note the dates of all exams before making travel plans. The exams will consist of a mix of the following sections:
1. identification of important terms, characters, events, etc.
2. ordering of events in the correct chronological order (e.g., which happened first, the conquest of Mexico by Cortés or the publication of Don Quixote?)
3. identification of short quotations
4. short essay questions
IV. Tools for Learning
1. Your instructor
One of your best resources for Español 3349 is your instructor. Develop a close working relationship with him or her early in the semester. Feel free to consult with him or her during office hours or through electronic mail.
Every unit in the course is accompanied by a large number of possible readings and activities related to it. For each chapter your instructor will choose and assign to you among the readings available the ones that he or she thinks offer the best grasp of the major topics and problems dealt with in the unit. Hence, it is very important that you note and follow your instructor's specific instructions regarding reading assignments.
2. Your classmates
You will find it very helpful to share and discuss ideas with your classmates outside of class and to form study groups for the exams. You may also be asked to work on assignments with another student.
This CourseWorks site is the main portal for Español 3349. In addition to essential information about the course itself, all content pertaining to the course is accessible here. This material includes:
— descriptions of the significant historical periods from prehistory to the age of Enlightenment, presented as chapters and with hyperlinks to significant events, characters, periods, and movements
— texts and documents that supplement the historical account
— a list of essential events, terms, characters, etc. that you should know
CourseWorks will also be a key tool for communicating during the semester. Your instructor will often send notifications of events and important announcements about the course through it. Please make a habit of checking this site daily.
4. A dictionary
You have now reached a level in your Spanish studies when you should invest in good tools to assist you in your reading and writing. You may want to consider purchasing a dictionary entirely in Spanish such as the Pequeño Larousse Ilustrado or the Diccionario de la Real Academia Española. The RAE dictionary and several several others are available on the Web.
V. An Important Note on Absences
You are expected to attend all classes throughout the semester.
The Department of Latin American and Iberian Cultures has an across-the-board policy on class absences. Students enrolled in courses that meet three times a week who have four (4) unexcused absences or more will see their final grade reduced by one full letter grade. Students enrolled in courses that meet two times a week who have three (3) unexcused absences or more will see their final grade reduced by one letter grade. In courses that meet only once a week two (2) unexcused absences will lead to a grade reduction of one letter grade.
An excused absence is an absence due to a religious holiday or one for which you can provide some form of written justification from a physician or dean. You should not interpret this policy as entitling you to a given number of free absences from class. You should see it as a hedge against illness and other unforeseen circumstances that may make it impossible for you to attend class.
VI. Academic Integrity
The Department of Latin American and Iberian Cultures fully supports and adheres to all Columbia University policies and procedures regarding academic dishonesty (plagiarism, fabrication, cheating, etc.). The work you submit in this class is expected to be your own. If you submit work that has been copied from any published or unpublished source (including the Internet) without attribution, or that has been prepared by someone other than you, or that in any way misrepresents somebody else's work as your own, you will face disciplining by the university.
It is expected that all students abide by the university's Code of Academic Integrity and refrain from any activity constitutive of academic dishonesty as defined therein. For additional information, please see the section on academic integrity in the College and University Policies section of the on-line Bulletin, or consult your instructor in the event of any uncertainty on your part about what may constitute academic dishonesty.