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 the 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 and museums of the city reflect the path to that past but also project 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 open to students from other disciplines.

Prerequisites: None.

Field Trips:  This course will include field trips to Seville’s Cathedral, Royal Palace and Antiquarium (Roman ruins) and the Metropol Parasol.  There will also be excursions to a local market, local beach, an olive oil factory, a flamenco show.  The program will conclude with a two-night, three-day trip to Córdoba and Granada during which students will visit Alhambra, the famous Moorish fortress of Spain and one of the most visited monuments in the world. The cost of these field trips is CAD$630, paid to U of T 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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