In accord with the mission of Mills, the Spanish and Spanish American Studies Program offers an ideal academic setting and numerous opportunities to sharpen your skills and broaden your understanding of the language, literatures, and cultures of the world's Spanish-speaking peoples, while enhancing your professional options. Our program is guided by the notion that socially responsible women in today's world must be able to cross linguistic and cultural boundaries. Consequent with this principle, lower- and upper-division courses in our flexible major and minor programs offer you a unique educational experience to help you meet the complex challenges that characterize today's globalized world.
For the major and the minor, courses in Spanish and Spanish American literature and culture and in the history of Hispanic and pre-Hispanic civilizations are offered. In upper-division courses, the Spanish and Spanish American studies student has the opportunity to acquire a solid knowledge of the richness of Hispanic literary and cultural traditions, in preparation for graduate studies in Spanish or for work in any field requiring exceptional skills in Spanish and an understanding of Hispanic culture. For the language beginner, we offer lively lower-division courses that emphasize, from the very beginning, learning to use Spanish to communicate. Students wishing to practice their conversational skills and share their interest in Hispanic culture can benefit from two complementary opportunities. The Spanish Club is open to all students who want to participate in conversation and peer-led activities. The program also participates in the Mills Peer Tutoring Program.
We encourage our majors to study in Latin America or Spain for one or two semesters through various study abroad programs with which Mills is affiliated. This gives the student an invaluable opportunity to perfect language skills and to obtain firsthand knowledge of the areas in which she is studying. We also encourage all of our students to increase their knowledge of Hispanic cultures by taking advantage of a wide variety of events in the Bay Area. These are complemented by our own annual Spring Lecture Series, Film Series, and guest lecturers. Recent topics include "Images of Women in Cuban Literature," "Rethinking Cultural and National Identity," "Images of Hispanic Women in Film," "Memory and Imagination," "Latin American Jewish Women Writers: Identity and Writing," "Contemporary Mexican Literature and Music," and "Modernity and Cultural Pluralism in Spain and Latin America." Additionally, a wealth of monographs, serials, and online resources are available to support students' work in Spanish and Spanish American studies. The Special Collections of Olin Library include the Arturo Torres-Rioseco collection of 20th-century Latin American literature, and early 20th-century limited editions with original etchings, including Ovid’s the Metamorphoses, illustrated and signed by Pablo Picasso.
For those who envision training in Spanish language and culture as an auxiliary skill to be coupled with another field of study, we offer a flexible minor in Spanish and Spanish American studies requiring only a total of 6 Mills credits to complete. The two second-year (intermediate-level) Spanish courses, SPAN 003 and SPAN 004, count as 1 credit each for a Spanish minor.
Entering students unsure of their placement should take the Spanish placement test, available on Blackboard through the Mills Portal.
For more information on placement exams, visit the Office of the Provost's information page on the Mills website.
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