Chair, Professor LEYLA ROUHI

Professors: BELL-VILLADA***, NORTON, ROUHI. Associate Professors: S. FOX*, FRENCH. Assistant Professors: MARTIN, PIEPRZAK. Visiting Professor: NICASTRO. Visiting Assistant Professor: PÉREZ VILLANUEVA. Lecturers: DESROSIERS. Visiting Lecturers: GLOVER, GOODBODY. Teaching Associates: BRAVO, BORZONE, DE LA FAYE, DUVIVIER, FERNÁNDEZ.


The Spanish major consists of nine courses above the 103-104 level. These nine courses include 301, any 200 level or above (excluding RLSP 205 and RLSP 303), and 403. Spanish majors should note that RLSP 301 is only offered in alternate years, and they are therefore required to plan their courses accordingly. One 200-level course must be completed at Williams. Other courses, taken at overseas programs, may be used to satisfy the requirements of the major, with approval of the department. The Spanish faculty strongly suggests that students take 201 and 200 at some point in their studies, and especially recommends that they do so before rather than after studying abroad.

The major seeks to provide training in literary analysis and linguistic expression, as well as an appreciation of Hispanic civilization, through the study of the major writers of the Spanish-speaking world.

Students majoring in Spanish may replace one of their Spanish electives with a course in Comparative Literature, with one course in Latin-American Studies that is 200-level or higher, or with a course in Linguistics.

Inasmuch as all courses in Spanish assume the active participation of each student in discussions conducted in the foreign language, regular attendance at class meetings is expected.

Courses numbered in the 100s are language courses, with 105 and 106 combining grammar and literature. RLSP 200 and RLSP 201 focus on civilization and culture, while other 200-level classes serve as gateway courses for literary study, in ascending order of difficulty; they are thus suitable for first-years and sophomores. Courses in the 300s require both serious grounding in the study of literature and an advanced command of the language. The 400-level course offered annually is the senior seminar, serving as "capstone course" to the Spanish major.


Candidates for a senior thesis must have maintained a 3.5 GPA in the major by the time of proposal submission. Two alternative routes are available to those who wish to apply for the degree with honors.

The first of these involves the writing of a senior thesis. Honors candidates are required to have maintained a GPA of 3.5 in the major to qualify for submitting a thesis proposal.

By May 15th of their junior year, candidates will have found a thesis advisor, and given the Department a three- to five-page proposal and a preliminary bibliography. (In some cases, and upon consultation with the Department, candidates will have the option to choose a second reader in addition to their primary advisor; for example, when the thesis is interdisciplinary enough in nature that it requires the expertise of an additional reader).

This proposal will be discussed by the Department; by June 1st, the candidate will be informed whether he/she can proceed with the thesis, and if so, what changes need to be made to the focus and scope of the project. The summer before the senior year will be spent compiling a more detailed bibliography and reading.

Upon their return to Williams, candidates will devote to their theses two semesters of independent study (beyond the nine courses required for the major) and the winter study period of their senior year (493-W31-494). The thesis will be written in Spanish and will usually not be shorter than fifty pages. By the end of the Fall semester, students will normally have a clear outline of the project, have done substantial research, and produced the draft of at least the first half of the project. During January this draft will be suitably rewritten and edited with a view to a final version, while the candidates will also begin work on remaining chapters.

Candidates will submit what they have written to the department on the last day of Winter Study.

On the Tuesday of the first week of the spring semester candidates will make a presentation of the project at a departmental colloquium in Spanish. The thesis will be promptly discussed and evaluated to determine whether or not the student should continue in the honors program. The second semester of independent thesis work will be spent writing more chapters, as well as revising, rewriting, and polishing the project where necessary. The completed thesis in its final form will be due on April 25th. At the end of the Spring term, the student will present and defend the final project before members of the Department and others by invitation. The grade will be awarded once members of the Department have consulted after the defense.

The second route is a group of three clearly related courses (offered by the Department of Romance Languages or by other departments, such as History, Art, Philosophy, English, etc.), only one of which may be counted in the nine courses comprising the major. One of the courses will be an Independent Study (plus senior year WSP 030) in the spring of the senior year, at the end of which the student will write an essay that synthesizes the content of the three related courses. Students may apply for this route by November 2 of the senior year.

In the case of both routes to the degree with honors, the department's recommendation for graduation with honors will be based on the originality and thoroughness of the finished project.


The Certificate in Spanish Language and Culture consists of a sequence of seven courses for which the student must earn a cumulative grade average of B or higher. In addition, the student must take a proficiency test and achieve a score of "Advanced." The test will be administered by the department once a year during the month of April to all students desirous of obtaining the Certificate. Those so interested should express their intent to the chair of the department by March 1 or earlier.

For students with no prior Spanish background, the course sequence will consist of Spanish 101-102, Spanish 103 and 104, and three courses in Spanish above the 104 level, with at least one of these courses at the 200-level or higher taken at Williams. If the student starts out the sequence at Spanish 103, in addition to the three courses in Spanish beyond the 104 level (including a 200-level course or higher), two electives may be taken in other departments. One elective should be in Spanish or Latin-American cultural history (art, literature, drama, music) and the other in Spanish or Latin-American intellectual, political, or social history. Spanish 200, 201, or 208 can be counted for the elective requirement.

Electives may be considered from a variety of departments and programs. However, students should consult with the chair of Romance Languages before making any enrollment decisions.


A placement test in Spanish is administered at Williams at the opening of the fall semester. Incoming first-year students who wish to register for any Spanish courses above the 101 level must take this test.


Spanish majors, as well as non-majors interested in further exposure to the language and the culture, are strongly encouraged to include study in Spain or Latin America as part of their program at Williams. Through its special ties with the Hamilton College Academic Year in Spain, the department offers a comprehensive linguistic and cultural experience in a Spanish-speaking environment, for periods either of a semester or a year. Credit for up to four courses can be granted at the discretion of the Department for study overseas. Students interested in study abroad should consult with a member of the department at their earliest convenience.