One of the most important global languages historically, year on year, Spanish solidifies its place as a primary language of the United States, spoken by nearly 15% of its population and studied in the U.S. more than any other non-English language. Spoken by more than 500 million people worldwide, and the official language of 21 countries, Spanish provides a gateway to the histories, cultures, and societies of peoples on four continents.

Spanish Studies at all levels highlights the linguistic and cultural diversity presented by Spanish-speaking cultures and communities, as well as the particular Spanish language needs of MIT students. Classes use innovative pedagogical methods, including the most advanced interactive technologies to support students’ acquisition of the competencies necessary for communication in global Spanish-speaking communities around the world. Whereas subjects at the introductory level stress language acquisition and cultural breadth, at advanced levels students may apply their Spanish proficiency in classes examining Spanish, Latin American, and Latinx literatures, their cultures, histories, and film. Language for special purposes subjects, including 21G.705 Spanish for Medicine and Health, prepare students to use their skills after they leave MIT. Spanish classes further prepare students to participate in international experiences such as MIT-Spain, MIT-Mexico, and D-Lab.

Spanish Studies may be applied to the Spanish Concentration, minor, and major programs, and to the Latin American and Latino/a Studies Concentration, minor, and major programs. Learn more about the Spanish Concentration, minor, and major programs at the Academic Programs page. Information on the Latin American and Latino/a Studies programs is available through SHASS. Advisors for these programs are below. Students uncertain what level of Spanish language to take should refer to placement information. Information on transfer credit is available here.

Spanish Concentration: Maria Khotimsky
Spanish Minor/Major: Tanalís Padilla
Latin American and Latino/a Studies Concentration/Minor/Major: Tanalís Padilla
Global Languages Spanish Studies group: Javier Barroso | Helena Belío-Apaolaza | Mariana San Martín | Ana Yáñez Rodríguez | Liana Ewald | Robert Herr

Fall 2021

21G.700 Introductory Spanish for Heritage Learners
21G.701/751 Spanish I
21G.702/752 Spanish II
21G.703 Spanish III
21G.704 Spanish IV
21G.710 Advanced Communication in Spanish: Topics in Language and Culture: Graphic Stories: Spanish & Latin American Comics
21G.715 Topics in Medicine and Public Health in the Hispanic World
21G.716 Introduction to Contemporary Hispanic Literature and Film
21G.735 Advanced Topics in Hispanic Literature and Film: Apocalyptic Fictions in/and Latin America

21G.710    Advanced Communication in Spanish: Topics in Language and Culture: Graphic Stories: Spanish & Latin American Comics
Further development of spoken and written skills to improve fluency and style in Spanish while exploring graphic novels, comics, or sequential art, of the Spanish-Speaking world. We will analyze examples from Mexico, Ecuador/Colombia, Cuba, Argentina, Chile, Spain, and the USA. Special attention given to: autobiographical memory, exile, gender & cultural identity. Taught in Spanish.

21G.735    Advanced Topics in Hispanic Literature and Film: Apocalyptic Fictions in/and Latin America
How do you recognize the end of the world when you see it? Why are apocalyptic narratives so compelling? What are some of the ways in which apocalyptic thinking might be politically productive? In other words, can one “stop worrying and start loving” it? This class will explore the narrative structure and social functions of apocalyptic thought, with an emphasis on philosophy, literature, film, and popular culture from and about Latin America. Topics of discussion include the encounter of medieval apocalyptic thought with the new continent, the Cuban Missile Crisis and the nuclear threat during the Cold War, femicide and structural violence, and the Latin American responses to, and experiences of extractivism in the context of the present climate emergency. Taught in Spanish.

IAP 2022

21G.701/751 Spanish I

Spring 2022

21G.701/751 Spanish I
21G.702/752 Spanish II
21G.703 Spanish III
21G.704 Spanish IV
21G.S05 Special Subject: Spanish for Medicine and Health
21G.711 Advanced Spanish Conversation and Composition: Perspectives on Technology and Culture
21G.713 Spanish through Film: Mexico, Chile, Argentina, and Spain
21G.070 Latin America and the Global Sixties: Counterculture and Revolution
21G.084/784 Introduction to Latin American Studies
21G.735 Advanced Topics in Hispanic Literature and Film: Cuban Travels: Culture, Politics and Society from 1959 to Present
21G.738 Literature and Social Conflict: Perspectives on the Hispanic World

21G.S05 Special Subject: Spanish for Medicine and Health
This course focuses on building specialized medical terminology and developing the linguistic skills needed to effectively communicate with, assess, and care for Spanish-speaking patients in clinical settings. It develops cross-cultural competence and awareness by giving special consideration to relevant cultural differences and how they may impact the doctor-patient relationship. It also discusses major health issues (such as diabetes, obesity, heart disease, HIV) that affect Hispanic communities in the United States, with a focus on prevention and education, as well as barriers to access medical care. It offers extensive practice in listening, speaking, reading and writing using authentic materials (journalistic articles, patient educational materials, videos, podcasts) and communicative activities (pair and small-group work, simulations, debates, etc.) to develop the proficiency needed to pursue further language study at the intermediate level.

21G.735 Advanced Topics in Hispanic Literature and Film: Cuban Travels: Culture, Politics, and Society from 1959 – Present
An introduction to modern Cuban culture, politics, and society through the lens of travel narratives produced about and within Cuba from the 1959 Revolution to the present. Like the trip to Soviet Russia before, the trip to Cuba became a rite of passage among Latin American, North American, and European artists, activists, and intellectuals from 1959 onward, becoming a genre in its own right. In turn, since the Cuban Revolution, a steady flow of emigrants has produced a parallel cultural archive of travel, exile, and diaspora. Course materials focus on the production of space and the representation of travel in old and new media—poster art, private and open letters, Soviet-influenced architecture, photography, film, music, journalism, and digital-born culture—and include travel writing by Cuban, European, and North and Latin American writers, artists, and intellectuals. Taught in Spanish.