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Spanish

Cartagena de Indias, Colombia Cartagena de Indias, Colombia

Department Overview

Welcome to the Department of Spanish!

Spanish is the official language of 20 countries and is spoken by more than 500 million people around the world. With more than 50 million native speakers and second-language speakers, the United States now has the second largest Spanish-speaking population in the world after Mexico.

Built on a solid competence in Spanish language, the major and minor develop students’ skills in critical analysis and provide an understanding of the literatures and cultures of Spain, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Latinos in the United States.

 The Department of Spanish's curriculum is organized in three tiers:

  • Language courses: Our language courses give students ample opportunity for practice, encouraging the development of communicative proficiency and cultural competency. 
  • Introductory courses: Our writing courses enable students to move toward writing proficiency in Spanish and provide a panoramic view of the literary and cultural histories of the Hispanic world. 
  • Advanced courses and seminars explore specific trends and topics pertaining to the literatures and cultures of Spain, Mexico and Central America, South America, and the Hispanic Caribbean as well as those of Latino/a communities in the United States.

With the goal of enabling students to communicate fluently in Spanish, we base our curriculum upon a linguistic and pedagogical continuum beginning at the elementary language level and culminating in the most advanced courses and Honors seminars.

One of the strengths of the Department of Spanish lies in its scope, which is both geographical and chronological, offering courses on literatures of the 19th-, 20th- and 21st-centuries as well as that of Early Modern Spain and Colonial Latin America.

Given their interdisciplinary nature, our introductory and upper level courses are compatible with course studies in black studies, comparative literature, interpretation theory, gender and sexuality studies, and Latin American and Latino studies, among others.

The Department of Spanish provides a strong foundation for graduate studies in Spanish and Latin American literatures. Our students have been highly successful in pursuing careers in a wide range of disciplines: education, medicine, law, business, and nonprofit sectors, to name a few. 

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Spanish Language Table

The Spanish Language Table is held every Monday at 12:35 p.m. in Room 4 at Sharples.  Enjoy speaking Spanish in a relaxed and informal setting while you enjoy your lunch.  You do not need to register for this program, just stop by!  For more information, contact Suzanne McCarthy.

Language Tables

Spanish Courses at Swarthmore

Explore the wide variety of courses the Spanish program offers, and learn more about the Spanish major and minor. More.

books on a shelf

Course and Field Trip to Spain

"Memoria e identidad", taught by Prof. María Luisa Guardiola, will focus on memory making as an identity building agent. We will study literary texts, films and other cultural artifacts to commemorate the silenced voices of the past. The course offers a 0.5 credit attachment during the last two weeks of May, with an on-site component in Spain that will complement the course material with excursions to memorialized locations such as Belchite, the Jarama battlefield or Valencia, capital of the Republic during the Civil War.   More>

Salvador Dahli's Persistence of Memory

Alumna Awarded Fulbright Grant

Congratulations to alumna Meghan Kelly ’18 for being awarded a Fulbright Grant to teach English in Spain!

Meghan Kelly is Ed.M. Candidate in International Education Policy at Harvard Graduate School of Education '19. She graduated from Swarthmore in 2018 with an Honors special major in Educational Studies and Sociology and a minor in Peace and Conflict Studies.  For more information on Meghan's reflection of how our Spanish classes at Swarthmore helped her prepare for this opportunity, click on "more."

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Spanish Minor Alumnus Awarded Fulbright Grant

Congratulations to Pendle Marshall-Hallmark '14. Having majored in Sociology and Anthropology with a minor in Spanish while studying at Swarthmore, Pendle was recently granted a Fulbright to participate in the Binational Business program in Mexico City, beginning in Fall of 2018. As part of the program, Pendle with take classes in business management at ITAM (Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México), and complete an internship with a Mexico City based company. Pendle has extensive experience in social justice activism, and is excited to learn more about the ways that the non-profit and for-profit worlds can mutually benefit one another. 

Spotlights on our Recent Alumni

Some of our recent Spanish graduates explain why they chose to major in Spanish and discuss the most challenging and rewarding experiences they have had in our program.

Learn more about our recent graduates.