Spanish and Portuguese

Course Listing

Department of Latin American and Iberian Cultures

The Department of Latin American and Iberian Cultures (formerly Spanish and Portuguese) offers courses in Latin American and Iberian languages and cultures.



In addition to providing students with a commanding linguistic preparation in Spanish, Portuguese, and Catalan, the department offers a flexible and varied undergraduate program that enables them to study the cultural manifestations of the Hispanic and Lusophone worlds in a variety of cultural contexts: the Iberian Peninsula, Latin America, the former colonies of Portugal, and the United States.

Spanish Placement Exam

Entering Columbia students are placed in Spanish courses or exempted from the language requirement on the basis of their College Board Achievement or Advanced Placement scores. All other students with prior knowledge of Spanish (secondary school, living abroad, near-native or native speakers) who want to continue studying Spanish are required to take the department's Spanish Placement Examination before registering for a course. Please visit the Spanish and Portuguese Department's Web site for additional information about the Spanish Placement Examination. Please note that language courses may not be taken Pass/Fail nor may they be audited.

Language Resource Center

The Language Resource Center, located in 116B Lewisohn and 353 International Affairs Building Extension, provides intensive practice in pronunciation, diction, and aural comprehension. Exercises in the laboratory are closely integrated with classroom work. Coordinated recorded programs are available and strongly recommended for students registered in Spanish language courses. Recorded exercises in pronunciation and intonation, as well as recordings of selected literary works, are also available to all students in Spanish courses. For current laboratory hours, please call 212-854 3211.

Directory of Classes

The course information displayed on this page relies on an external system and may be incomplete. Please visit Spanish and Portuguese on the Directory of Classes for complete course information.

After finding your course in the Directory of Classes, click on the section number to open an expanded view. The "Open To" field will indicate whether the course is open to School of Professional Studies students. If School of Professional Studies is not included in the field, students may still be able to cross-register for the course by obtaining permission after being admitted to an academic program.

CATL W1202 Intermediate Catalan II. 4 points.

Corequisites: CATL 1201 or the equivalent.

Catalan 1202 is the second part of Columbia University's intermediate Catalan sequence. Course goals are to enhance student exposure to various aspects of Catalan culture and to consolidate and expand reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills.

PORT UN1101 Elementary Portuguese I. 4 points.

A beginning course designed for students who wish to start their study of Portuguese and have no proficiency in another Romance language. The four language skills: listening, speaking, reading, and writing are developed at the basic level.

Spring 2020: PORT UN1101
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
PORT 1101 001/15798 M W Th 1:10pm - 2:25pm
224 Pupin Laboratories
Ana Huback 4 9/15
Fall 2020: PORT UN1101
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
PORT 1101 001/11074 M W Th 1:10pm - 2:25pm
Online Only
Ana Huback 4 4/15

PORT UN1320 Comprehensive Elementary Portuguese I and II for Spanish Speakers. 4 points.

Prerequisites: knowledge of Spanish or another Romance language.

An intensive beginning language course in Brazilian Portuguese with emphasis on Brazilian culture through multimedia materials related to culture and society in contemporary Brazil. Recommended for students who have studied Spanish or another Romance language. The course is the equivalent of two full semesters of elementary Portuguese with stress on reading and conversing, and may be taken in place of PORT W1101-W1102. For students unable to dedicate the time needed cover two semesters in one, the regularly paced sequence PORT W1101-W1102 is preferable.

Spring 2020: PORT UN1320
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
PORT 1320 001/15800 M W 10:10am - 12:00pm
325 Pupin Laboratories
Jose Castellanos-Pazos 4 6/15
PORT 1320 002/15801 T Th 2:10pm - 4:00pm
505 Casa Hispanica
Joao Nemi Neto 4 5/15
Fall 2020: PORT UN1320
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
PORT 1320 001/11076 M W 6:10pm - 8:00pm
201 Casa Hispanica
Jose Castellanos-Pazos 4 5/15
PORT 1320 002/11080 T Th 10:10am - 12:00pm
505 Casa Hispanica
Jose Castellanos-Pazos 4 5/15

PORT W1201 Intermediate Portuguese I. 4 points.

Prerequisites: PORT W1120 or the equivalent.

General review of grammar, with emphasis on self-expression through oral and written composition, reading, conversation, and discussion.

PORT W1202 Intermediate Portuguese II. 3 points.

Prerequisites: PORT W1120 or the equivalent.

General review of grammar, with emphasis on self-expression through oral and written composition, reading, conversation, and discussion.

PORT W1220 Comprehensive Intermediate Portuguese. 4 points.

Prerequisites: PORT W1102 or PORT W1320.

This course discusses contemporary issues based on articles from Lusophone newspapers and magazines. Students will review grammar, expand their vocabulary and improve oral expression, writing, and reading skills. They are also exposed to audiovisual material that will deepen their understanding of Lusophone societies and culture.

SPAN G9045 Cultures of Space and Time in Latin America After Modernity. 4 points.

Since Stephen Kern published his classic analysis of the techno-economic, aesthetic and philosophical production of the spatio-temporal experience of modernity, The Culture of Time and Space, 1880-1918 (1983), the ‘spatial turn’ in the late 1980s and the debates on the ‘end of history’ following the demise of the Soviet bloc have led to an exponential array of critiques of space, place and temporality across a number of disciplines:  from literary theory and film studies to history, contemporary art, postcolonial theory, anthropology and queer theory. Debates around climate change and other now undeniable environmental crises of the present, the complex temporalities of financial capitalism (speculation, debt, new forms of labor and the commodification of affect and leisure) and the experience of a massive acceleration of the time, compression of space and spread of non-places in the all-encompassing neoliberal regime, have spurned this critical concern.   In part, this crisis of modernity’s spatio-temporal regimes under the impact of what is (sometimes too quickly) subsumed under the idea of globalization, has also called into question the specificity of Latin America as a ‘colonial periphery’ and as a ‘developing region’ or even as the vanguard of revolutionary decolonization. Indeed, to think Latin America as a region somehow removed from, or discontinuous with, the space-time of ‘the West’ (or in fact, the industrialized trans-Atlantic ‘North’) nonetheless still implied a reliance on teleological and centered experiences of modernity elsewhere, from which Latin American difference could then be distinguished.   How does the exhaustion of modern ideas and experiences of space and time impact on contemporary Latin America? How does it redistribute space-place constellations and the non-simultaneous temporalities associated with these? In two thematic blocks –(1) ‘Ends of landscape’ (taught by Jens Andermann) and (2) ‘Time after time’ (taught by Natalia Brizuela)– this seminar traces some of the aesthetic and theoretical effects of the contemporary crisis and transformation of modern space time regimes in Latin American literary and artistic production from recent years, as well as linking these to the aesthetic and critical genealogies that have reflected on and anticipated this crisis throughout the twentieth century. The first section of the course is dedicated to the modern challenges to, and reassertions of, the landscape-form as a means of capturing the ‘nature’ of the New World’, including its literary, cinematic, performative and (counter) monumental interventions and invocations; the second section addresses contemporary critical debates around time while closely exploring Latin American art, films and literature from the second half of the twentieth century that take up time as a weapon for critique.   Objects and works to be studied include the gardens and landscapes designed by Roberto Burle Marx and Luis Barragán, Brazilian Neoconcretism, the Chilean ‘Ciudad Abierta’ collective of poets and architects, films by Lisandro Alonso, Paz Encina, Nicolás Pereda and Lucrecia Martel, literary texts by Juan Rulfo, José María Arguedas, César Aira, Mario Bellatin, Diamela Eltit and Raúl Zurita, and artworks/installations by Maria Thereza Alves, Luis Fernando Benedit, Nuno Ramos, Rosângela Rennó, Oscar Muñoz and Adriana Varejão, among others.

SPAN UN3350 Hispanic Cultures II: Enlightenment to the Present. 3 points.

CC/GS/SEAS: Partial Fulfillment of Global Core Requirement

This course surveys cultural production of Spain and Spanish America from the eighteenth to the twenty-first centuries. Students will acquire the knowledge needed for the study of the cultural manifestations of the Hispanic world in the context of modernity. Among the issues and events studied will be the Enlightenment as ideology and practice, the Napoleonic invasion of Spain, the wars of Spanish American independence, the fin-de-siècle and the cultural avant-gardes, the wars and revolutions of the twentieth century (Spanish Civil War, the Mexican and Cuban revolutions), neoliberalism, globalization, and the Hispanic presence in the United States. The goal of the course is to study some key moments of this trajectory through the analysis of representative texts, documents, and works of art. Class discussions will seek to situate the works studied within the political and cultural currents and debates of the time. All primary materials, class discussion, and assignments are in Spanish. This course is required for the major and the concentration in Hispanic Studies.

Spring 2020: SPAN UN3350
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
SPAN 3350 001/12164 M W 10:10am - 11:25am
201 Casa Hispanica
Bego a Alberdi 3 16/17
SPAN 3350 002/12169 T Th 1:10pm - 2:25pm
201 Casa Hispanica
Santiago Acosta 3 17/17
SPAN 3350 020/00639 T Th 10:10am - 11:25am
308 Diana Center
Ronald Briggs 3 15/15
Fall 2020: SPAN UN3350
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
SPAN 3350 001/10519 M W 11:40am - 12:55pm
Online Only
Sara Garcia Fernandez 3 15/15
SPAN 3350 002/10520 M W 2:40pm - 3:55pm
Online Only
Juan Cadena Botero 3 14/15
SPAN 3350 003/10521 T Th 10:10am - 11:25am
Online Only
3 15/15
SPAN 3350 004/10522 T Th 11:40am - 12:55pm
Online Only
Elvira Blanco 3 15/15

SPAN V3265 Latin American Literature In Translation. 3 points.

A knowledge of Spanish is not required. Discussion of selected texts of Latin American literature organized around a theme, period, or author

SPAN W3302 Latino New York: Cultural Identifies and Expressions. 3 points.

This course examines the long-standing cultural presence in New York City of peoples of Latin American and Spanish Caribbean descent. Beginning with a brief overview of key grounding concepts to trace the development of New York Latino cultural identity, we then examine the cultural foundations of Latino communities in New York, dating back to the nineteenth century. We proceed to study the mass migrations of Puerto Ricans during the post-WWII period, and the consequent political and aesthetic movements of the 1960s and 1970s. We examine the plurality of cultural expressions and identities grouped under the rubric Latin@ which involves focusing on the particularities of race, gender, class, sexuality, class, and language. Finally, we examine the growing and diversified presence of immigrants from all over the Spanish-speaking world, from the mid-1970s onward, a “Latino boom” which solidified the place of Nueva York (to paraphrase author Luis Rafael Sánchez) as the symbolic capital of the Spanish-speaking world.

SPAN W3308 Minimal Editions: From the Manuscript to the Web. 3 points.

The main goal of this course is to introduce students to textual scholarship in general and digital scholarly editing in particular. The main outcome of this new course will be to publish a small-scale digital scholarly edition online of one of the most remarkable Spanish literary works, the Lazarillo de Tormes (XVIth century). The course is conceived as a combination between collaborative research and technical skills. At all steps of the process, we will work together toward the completion of our digital edition. Unlike other courses in digital editing taught worldwide, this course will introduce you to a "full stack," giving you the ability to make your own digital editions in the future without the need for funding, a publisher, or a "technical" team. The course will be divided into lectures and recitation sessions, in order to offer a theoretical concepts and to transfer them into practice.

SPAN W3330 Introduction to the Study of Hispanic Cultures. 3 points.

Prerequisites: SPAN 3300.

The course studies cultural production in the Hispanic world with a view to making students aware of its historical and constructed nature. It explores concepts such as language, history, and nation; culture (national, popular, mass, and high); the social role of literature; the work of cultural institutions; globalization and migration; and the discipline of cultural studies. The course is divided into units that address these subjects in turn, and through which students will also acquire the fundamental vocabulary for the analysis of cultural objects. The course also stresses the acquisition of rhetorical skills with which to write effectively in Spanish about the topics discussed. This course is required for the major and the concentration in Hispanic Studies.

SPAN W3416 Transnational Cultures: Spacialities in Latin America. 3 points.

The course focuses on the cultural representation of the cities in contemporary Hispanic American literature, essays, visual texts and films. The problem of “modernity” and “postmodernity” in a peripheral culture and it’s relationships with public spaces is in the core of the discussion of all the texts. This course will provide students with an accurate understanding of some of the topics of contemporary Hispanic American culture. The main hypothesis will be that urban narratives articulate the new experiences during changes periods. Students will be introduced to theoretical writing on urban and spatial reflections, modern and postmodern thought and contemporary Hispanic American contexts. We focus on the representation of urban spaces in literary and visual texts, films and essays from Argentina, Mexico, Central America, Cuba and border cities. Students will become familiar with major problems and significant political, social and cultural trends in the contemporary Hispanic American world including topics as elite culture vs. popular culture, practices of resistance, representations of the violence and Otherness. The class will be conducted in Spanish and all written assignments will also be in that language.

SPAN W3750 Contemporary Latino Literature. 3 points.

Prerequisites: SPAN 3349 or SPAN 3350.

An examination of the imaginative writing of U.S. Hispanics in its cultural and literary context. Representative works in several genres (poetry, fiction, memoir) by Mexican-American, Puerto Rican, Dominican-American, and Cuban-American authors, among them: Alurista, Rolando Hinojosa Smith, Richard Rodriguez, Sandra Cisneros, Cherrie Moraga, Rosario Ferré, Judith Ortiz Cofer, Julia Álvarez, Junot Díaz, José Kozer, Ana Menéndez and Richard Blanco. Topics to be discussed include: the bilingual self, barrios and borderlands, from exile to ethnic, immigrant autobiography, Hispanic New York, mainstream or Gulf Stream, Latino literature and its readers.

SPAN W4996 Spanish for the Legal Profession. 4 points.


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