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SPAN 414

Languages of Spain I

Study of the language and culture of one of the languages of Spain other than Spanish. Selection will vary according to term: Catalan, Euskera (Basque), Galician.

Prerequisite: none

Fall 2022 - Basque Language and Culture I


Instructor: Prof. Pello Huesa

“Spanish 414/ Basque Language and Culture I” is an introductory course on the language and culture of the Basque Country, the region in Spain and France where Basque is spoken. A language isolate, Basque is one of the oldest living languages of Europe and one among a very small group that don’t belong to the Indo-European family. This course explores the evolution of the Basque language to its minority status, as well as the measures taken to preserve and revive it. We will also engage in a linguistic description of Basque language: its typology, grammar, phonology, dialects, and sociolinguistics. We will make some comparisons with Spanish. Students will be able to tailor their learning about Basque culture by following their more specific interests through the research component of the course. This will be an opportunity to practice their research, writing, and communication skills. Students will submit a ten page research paper written in Spanish on a topic of their choice, dealing with Basque culture, and they will present their findings at the end of the semester. This course is useful for students who want to learn about Basque culture or about less common languages, but also for those who want to deepen their understanding of the civilization and culture of the Iberian Peninsula.

Prerequisite: none

Fall 2021 - Galician

Instructor: Santiago Giron Gesteira

In this course, students will receive a comprehensive introduction to Galician history, culture, and language. Galicia, located in the northwestern Iberian Peninsula, was the end of the earth for the Roman Empire. Although it became center of the world during the Middle Ages thanks to an 800-year old tomb and thriving literary production, it was later forgotten during the so called Séculos Escuros (dark centuries) under the hegemony of the Kingdom of Spain. Nowadays, shaped by diaspora and economical dependency, Galicia represents the (im)perfect crossroads of Lusophone, Celtic, and Mediterranean worlds. Its language, Galician, is a holy trinity of Portuguese language, one language but three coeternal and consubstantial persons: mother, sister and daughter. Taught by a native Galician, SPAN 414 is designed for students with advanced proficiency in Portuguese, Spanish, or other Romance Language.

Note: This course counts towards all Spanish minors and majors.

Fall 2020 - Basque

This course will focus on the history and culture of the Basque Country. Located in the north of Spain and south of France, the Basque Country is home to one of the oldest languages still spoken in the world. Not related to any other language, learning about the Basque Country and their people will help you see the nuances of the multiculturalism of Spain. The Basques are a group of ancient people living in the western world, mixing tradition and modernity. The Basque Country has always fought to maintain a unique lifestyle in Europe, from the Stone Age through Spanish medieval times and into the 19th and 20th century nationalist movements. In this class, we will learn about Basque history, culture, and traditions – as well as some basic language skills. However, Basque is not a Romance language so we will not place a big emphasis on learning the language.

Although the class is part of the Spanish department, it will be taught both in Spanish and English. Students will use and create texts in English and Spanish. Counts towards all Spanish minors and majors.

Previously Offered

Fall 2015: Euskera (Basque)

Fall 2014: Catalan

Fall 2013: Galician

Spanish Undergraduate Advising Team

Gosia Lee
Hispanic Literatures & Cultures Major, Hispanic Studies Minor Advisor
Martha Ruiz-Garcia
Hispanic Linguistics Major Advisor
Hélène de Fays
Interim Spanish Translation & Interpreting Minor Advisor
Elizabeth Bruno
Spanish Minor for the Professions
Sheena Melton
Undergraduate Student Services Specialist