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The Spanish Program: Goals, Scope, Career Options

Story posted November 11, 2013

Image: Spanish 209 "Introduction to Hispanic Studies: Poetry and Theater" Students after performing theater skits 

The Spanish Program at Bowdoin aims to prepare its students for three basic goals:

  1. To effectively communicate in Spanish with professional command of the language.
  2. To be knowledgeable in the past and present histories of the nations of the Hispanic world, its different social structures and interrelations as well as its current situation.
  3. To be informed, insightful analysts of the Hispanic cultural production, with a stress on Latin American and Spanish literature.

This requires not only familiarity with works, genres, and historical periods, but also with the theoretical concepts, critical methods, and research skills necessary for rigorous, contextualized and astute readings.

Our Curriculum and Research sections provide more detailed information about our strategies to achieve these goals.

Advanced work in Spanish at Bowdoin provides training in the discipline of Hispanic Studies, a field in the Humanities broadly concerned with the languages and cultures extending chronologically from Roman Hispania and pre-Columbian peoples to the present, and geographically from New York to Patagonia, from Spain and Equatorial Guinea to the Pacific coast of the Americas.

Our discipline studies cultural production—fundamentally literature, film, art, and other forms of representation, as well as language. Not only the fields but also the perspectives of these studies imply an array of philosophical, literary, aesthetic, historical, linguistic, anthropological and sociopolitical approaches and methods of analysis.

You can find examples of the kind of scholarly work that is done in Hispanic Studies by visiting our journal, Dissidences.

The skills developed through the Spanish major and minor at Bowdoin serve our alumni in all walks of life. The ability to view and articulate experience from more than one cultural perspective and language, gives our graduates an edge in many professions such as business, law, medicine, international relations, education, journalism, politics, social work, communications, sociology, and anthropology. Of course, the program is an apt and comprehensive preparation for graduate studies in fields like Spanish and Latin American literatures, Hispanic linguistics, Latin American studies and arts, and comparative literature, among others.

Some of the ways in which our graduates use their intercultural communication skills in their life paths can be found in the Spanish Featured Alumni section.