Foundations of Latin American Nations and Identities

Spanish 403 (Class code: 11022)
Fall 2009
Monday and Wednesday: 2:30 p.m.-3:45 p.m.
202 Humanities Building
Dr. Manuel F. Medina

Prerequisites:Required: Spanish 321 [Spanish Conversation], Spanish 322 [Spanish Composition], & Spanish 355 [Reading Hispanic Literature] or equivalent or instructor's consent.
Recommended: 355 [Reading Hispanic Literature]
Credit Hours: 3
Office and contact information:Humanities Building, Third Floor, 329-B
Telephone: 852-0501 (Office)
Fax: 852-8885
E-mail: medina502 at

Office Hours:

Tuesdays: 1:30 p.m.-2:20 p.m., Wednesday: 4:30 - 5:30 p.m.
and by appointment.

Course description, objectives & goals:

A. To study the development of Latin American culture, arts and literature from Pre-Columbian times to the late 19th Century by concentrating on the following criteria: 1. The social-political-cultural evolution of the Latin-American culture(s) 2. The development of Latin-American fine arts and literature and their role in the establishment of national identities. 3. A discussion of past Latin America's social-cultural issues and problems and their influences in the present, and a study of the possibilities for the future

B. To improve your Spanish language skills by reading, participating in class discussions, listening to lectures and taking exams.

Course Goals:

To learn about the main events and historical characters that have forged the development and the evolution of the Latin-American culture(s) , arts and literature from Pre-Columbian times to the late 19th Century. To address social-cultural and political issues derived from the tutelage of the Spanish Empire.

Required Texts: Fox, Arturo. Latinoamérica: presente y pasado. 3rd Ed. New York: Prentice Hall, 1998.
Teaching Methods:

This class demands active student participation. I expect you to contribute to the class discussions. Be sure to complete the assigned reading before each class. Otherwise, you will be unable to take effective notes and to take part in the discussions. Reading beforehand will make it easier to follow my lecture in Spanish. While lectures will cover the general topics, the assigned readings will provide you with complimentary information.

Attendance: First: If you don’t attend class, you’ll miss important information that will help you better understand the subject matter, the readings and to do well on the exams.

Second: I will deduct points from your grade for every un-excused absence, after the first two, using the following scale:

▸ Three to five: 5% deduction from the class grade
▸ Six to eight: a one letter grade reduction
▸ Nine or more: a failing grade (F) in the class

Note: Please, contact me regarding excused absences such as medical emergencies, jury duty, and other I could include in this category.

Grading policies: Assignments Percentage of Course Mark

1. Class participation & attendance 10%
2. Quizzes, and other assignments 10%
3. Two exams 50%
a. A midterm 25%
b. A final exam 25%
4. Oral Presentation 10%
5. Term paper/internet project 20%

Grading scale:
95.5%-100% A+
92.5%-95.4% A
89.5%-92.4% A-
85.5%-89.4% B+
82.5%-85.4% B
79.5%-82.4% B-
75.5%-79.4% C+
72.5%-75.4% C
69.5%-72.4% C-
65.5%-69.4% D+
62.5%-65.4% D
59.5%-62.4% D-
0%-59.4% F

Class Participation: Reading, analytical thinking, questioning, challenging old beliefs, expressing one's own opinions and writing represent the main components of this course. Please, make sure to complete all the assigned reading before class so you can participate in class discussions.

Exams:The midterm and the final exam will each consist of answering short questions, locating items in a map and writing an essay. Your answers must incorporate ideas and issues addressed in class, along with your own points of view. The exams will measure your knowledge of the assigned readings, the videos, the class lectures, and the material introduced in the oral presentations.

Papers: I will provide details about the term paper on the second week of classes

Submitting work: You must submit your paper and related assignments at the start of the class on the date stated in the assignment schedule. I will not accept late papers unless you and I have mutually agreed upon an extension before the paper's deadline. I very seldom grant extensions.

Oral Presentations: You must give an brief oral report (4-7 minutes). I will provide a list of possible topics and details on the second week of classes.

Student Academic Rights and Responsibilities:

Every student is expected to be thoroughly familiar with the University's Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities and Student Conduct which can be found in the General Information section of the Undergraduate Catalog.

p>Along with preparing for and attending class, each student has the responsibility of promoting high academic standards. Students are expected to cooperate in all classes with the instructor to achieve an optimal learning environment. The College of Arts and Sciences does not tolerate cheating, fabrication, falsification, multiple submission, plagiarism, or complicity in academic dishonesty. The College of Arts and Sciences has a statement of academic discipline for action against students who cheat or plagiarize.

University Policy on Discrimination and Sexual Harassment:

The University of Louisville strives to maintain the campus free of all forms of illegal discrimination as a place of work and study for faculty, staff, and students.
Sexual harassment is unacceptable and unlawful conduct and will not be tolerated in the workplace and the educational environment.
If an individual is shown to have violated the sexual harassment policy, the individual will be subject, depending upon the seriousness of the violation, to disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment or expulsion from the University.

Policy on Instructional Modifications or accommodations:

I encourage students who have a disability or other educational, physical or mental limitations or conditions which may impair their ability to complete assignments or otherwise satisfy course criteria to meet with me to identify, discuss and document any feasible instructional modifications or accommodations. Please notify me no later than the end of the second week of the semester or no later that the end of the second week after you get diagnosed with a disability or condition, whichever occurs first. You may contact the Disabilities Resource Center for information and auxiliary aid.

The University of Louisville is committed to providing access to programs and services for qualified students with disabilities. If you are a student with a disability and require accommodation to participate in and complete requirements for this class, contact the Disability Resource Center (Tobbins A Hall 852-6938) for verification of eligibility and determination of specific accommodations.

Note: The instructor reserves the right to make changes in the syllabus when necessary to meet learning objectives, to compensate for missed classes, or for similar reasons.