Spanish Studies Major

The interdisciplinary major in Spanish Studies introduces students to the study of the cultural dynamics and expressive cultures produced by peoples of Hispanic origin residing in the United States, Latin America, and Spain at the time of globalization of those national societies.

Through a qualitative, Humanities-based preparation, the major offers students the linguistic competence and cultural literacy required to understand the perspectives and productions of Spanish-speaking communities. It gives students a broad understanding of the historical and cultural developments of the countries in which Spanish enjoys status as a national language, as well as those regions in which Spanish is in contact with other minority and/or majority languages. Moreover, courses in the curriculum expose students to the academic registers of Spanish, a critical component for heritage and non-heritage speakers alike. In order to meet the objectives of advanced linguistic and cultural proficiency, the core of the major is comprised of courses taught in the Spanish language. This feature clearly distinguishes the Spanish Studies major from other majors on the UCSC campus that require only some degree of proficiency in a non-English language.

This major connects with a range of disciplines and programs on the UC Santa Cruz campus by combining the strengths of Language and Applied Linguistics with those of Literary and Cultural Studies. An interdisciplinary team-taught course exposes students to the various research areas of the faculty and the methods of analysis in different fields. Finally, in order for students to develop an appreciation of the historical forces that shape cultural productions, the Spanish Studies major incorporates one mandatory History class.

The configuration of the major affords students greater flexibility in following their particular interests: they choose from two tracks that allow more in-depth study of either (1) language and linguistics or (2) literature and culture. These pathways within the major make the Spanish Studies major appealing to a broad range of students since they offer opportunities for specialization within a particular area of the discipline.