SPA255Y0 Introduction to the Hispanic World

This course has two main objectives: To explore the diverse cultures and the interrelationship between Latin America and Spain over five centuries (1492 to present). We will study the institutions, beliefs, and symbols that have shaped these cultures. We will also study how Seville served as the cultural axis between the New World and Europe for centuries. The streets, monuments, museums of the city reflect the path to that past but also projects into the future. Precisely for that reason, once a week we will meet outside of the classroom and the city will be our laboratory. Our visits to key Sevillian sites will complement the material covered in the text. The course is taught in English and is open to students from other disciplines.

Prerequisites: None.
SPA255Y0 – Preliminary Course Outline

Field Trips: This course will include mandatory field trips to Seville’s major architectural sites, such as the “Alcázar” (Royal Palace) and the “Giralda” (Seville’s Cathedral). Students will also have the opportunity to participate in other guided tours to cultural sites, such as visiting a local market, an Oil Factory and a winery. The program also includes a one-day excursion to Italica’s Roman Ruins, a one-day excursion to Cordoba, and a three-day excursion to Granada, including visits to the Cathedral, Royal Chapel, and the Alhambra, the most famous Moorish fortress of Spain and one of the most visited monuments in the world. The cost of these field trips is CAD$625, paid to UofT for all entrance fees, transportation, tours and guides.

Instructor: Dr. Natalia Couste completed her doctoral studies at The University of Toronto, where she worked as a course instructor. She has done extensive research on urban spaces and participated in numerous symposiums in Canada and Spain. Based on a transatlantic perspective she carried a comparative study between contemporary Mexico City, Santiago de Chile and the Golden Age urban spaces of Madrid and Seville. She earned her Master’s Degree at the University of Western Ontario specializing in Southern Cone literature. She’s currently the acting coordinator for the Canada-Spain Summer Abroad Program. Her professional interests include international education and the development of innovative cultural programs for international students and scholars.

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