SPAN 303 A: Advanced Spanish

Winter 2022
MW 1:30pm - 3:20pm / LOW 118
Section Type:
Syllabus Description (from Canvas):



UPDATE, Jan. 26:

Plan for Weeks 5-10 posted to Modules: Referencias.  This plan supersedes the plan for Weeks 2-4.

UPDATE, Jan. 10:

Plan for Weeks 2-4 posted to Modules: Referencias.  This plan supersedes the syllabus.


UPDATE (Jan. 2, evening):

The work for Week 1 is now posted and appears in your To Do list. (If you do not have your book yet, you can see the readings as PDF files within these assignments).

1. Discusión: Lo fatal, for Jan. 3, 3:30 pm.

2. Tarea 5 de enero, which entails reading the story "La muñeca negra" and answering questions, for Jan. 5, 1:30 pm.

3. Discusión: La muñeca negra, for Jan. 5, 3:30 pm.

UPDATE (Dec. 22, evening):

Edited syllabus below to reflect change in Week 1 format.

UPDATE (Dec. 22, afternoon):

Dear students of SPAN 303, section A,
Following the decision yesterday by President Cauce and a directive today to the faculty by Provost Richards, I am writing to inform you of the format for class during Week 1 of Winter Quarter.
The plan is to have a written Canvas Discussion between 1:30 and 3:30 pm on January 3 and January 5. This format will only require you to access the course Canvas site during that time, read some instructions and documents on Canvas, and write some contributions that your classmates will read and maybe respond to. It will not take the full period. No camera, no teamwork, no Zoom.
To reiterate: contrary to earlier plans, class will not meet in person, nor on Zoom, during Week 1. The course Canvas site will be revised by January 3 at 1:30 pm and new documents and plans will be posted.
Samuel Jaffee

“Libros y lectura forjan la cultura”

Spanish 303                                                               Winter 2022

Advanced Spanish Writing II                                     Professor: Samuel Jaffee

Dept. of Spanish & Portuguese Studies                      E-mail:

Consultation hours: starting Week 2, Mon/Tues/Wed/Thurs, 3:30-4:00 pm, in my office, B-230 Padelford Hall (in the B wing, second floor). I hope you will make use of consultation hours.  It’s a chance to talk about the course, assignments, review the material, practice reading and writing, discuss your progress, study strategies, personal interests, academic and professional goals, or anything else you’d like to bring up.  You don’t have to have a “problem” or agenda to come in.  If you are unable to meet during this time, you’re welcome to make an appointment for another time.

Course description:

Spanish 303 is an advanced-level reading and writing course that is designed to develop reading, writing, editing, and discussion skills relating to the analysis of literature and cultural topics from the Spanish-speaking world.  We will discuss and debate aspects of written works (stories, poems, plays, essays) and films, analyzing narratives of identity from 20th- and 21st-century Spanish America, developing passage analysis strategies, and refining close-reading skills.  You will plan and write two original academic essays (writing an annotated bibliography, specifying a thesis statement, interpreting and integrating secondary sources, writing effective introductions and conclusions, writing strong claims and organized paragraphs, conducting useful peer editing sessions, and recognizing rhetorical arguments).  Following the pre-texts protocol, you will also enjoy several days of creative engagement with the literary works we study and interpret.  Methodology: close reading, passage analysis, argument and counterargument strategies, critical debates, literacy-based collaborative tasks, creative work.  You will be expected to challenge your abilities in argumentation, interpretation, and critical thinking, and be a responsible member of an intellectual community: engaged discussants, attentive peer editors, and generous collaborators.  The class is taught in Spanish, but you should feel free to speak in English if you think you can express a certain point better.  We are all here to listen to your ideas and help you.


Required course text and dictionary: 

Comfort, Kelly, ed.  Cien años de identidad: Introducción a la literatura latinoamericana del siglo XX.  Washington: Georgetown University Press, 2018.  ISBN: 978-1626165670ños-identidad-Introducción-latinoamericana/dp/162616567X/ref=sr_1_1

This book contains all the readings, homework questions, and prep material for essays. Available for purchase at UW Bookstore and internet retailers.  Book is on course reserves at Odegaard Library (2-hr checkout period); you can photocopy the book and bring the copies to class.


A good, thick, well-edited academic Spanish-English dictionary is required for this course, will enhance the versatility of your writing, and will support your success in academic writing in Spanish.  Bring your dictionary to all class meetings in order to consult it during group work, discussions, activities, and writing practice.  The University of Chicago, Merriam-Webster, Oxford, New World, Larousse and Harper-Collins dictionaries (any edition) are recommended.


Suggested thesaurus to aid your writing:

Diccionario de sinónimos y antónimos (Larousse)


Canvas course space:

Canvas is a hub for course content, reference documents, policies, and homework and major assignment submission.

See Modules for handouts, reference documents, policies assignment instructions, links to films, articles in PDF format, etc. (may be added throughout the quarter)

See Syllabus for an expanded version of this document with detailed course policies and, at the bottom, Calendar, for a list of all due dates for daily HW and major assignments.  These dates are also on the calendar in the physical syllabus/calendar document.

Upload daily HW and major assignments under Assignments or see your “To Do” list.  Submit by the start of class (1:30 pm).

See Modules: Referencias for important detailed information, such as: how to use a Spanish-English dictionary, rubrics for the essays and class participation, etc.


Assignments and evaluation:

Annotated bibliography 1                   5%                   Peer editing and talleres            10%

Essay 1 Draft and cover letter            10%                 Pre-texts creative work    5%

Essay 1 Final version                         15%                 Homework                              10%

Annotated bibliography 2                   5%                   Participation                           10%

Essay 2 Draft and cover letter            10%                 Final personal reflection        5%

Essay 2 Final version                          15%


Scores will be converted using this grading scale:


Welcome to the course.  We’re delighted to have you study with us.

Let’s have a great quarter!


Course policies:


The homework questions are on the calendar.  They are to answer before each class and to have ready during class to refer to, share with classmates, or build upon during discussion.  The questions give you a basic structure to read, focus your ideas, and prepare for class as a first step before our discussion.  Reading and homework questions are expected to take 2 hours to complete thoughtfully.  You need to practice at least a little, every day.  Homework is to be submitted to the “Assignments” space on Canvas (by start of class time).  You can type/copy/paste into the text box or upload a Word file (.doc or .docx) or PDF file. 

Homework done completely and conscientiously (citing some evidence from the reading), and on time will receive full credit of 5 points per assignment.  Homework submitted on time and more than half completed and fairly conscientious will receive 3 or 4 points.

If you feel that you have really goofed on the homework during Week 1 because you are still getting used to the format of the course, you may request to re-submit some of the initial assignments.  I will ask that you then submit your work to me by email for consideration.

Be sure to keep an organized record of your homework.  You can use any ideas in your essays.


You will be expected to carefully read all of the texts assigned for class.  A second reading of these texts, given their density, is always a productive and recommended exercise.  Plan ahead and give yourself plenty of time to read, look up words, reread, and think.  Reading and homework questions are expected to take 2 hours to complete thoughtfully.  You need to practice at least a little, every day.  You should develop the practice of always reading with a pen or pencil in hand—underlining, marking in the margins, and writing ideas and questions that arise.  Engaging with the readings in this way will help you to understand the texts thoughtfully and easily write on them in the essays. Come to me to discuss strategies for reading or dictionary use if you find yourself behind, lost, confused, overwhelmed, misguided, or disenchanted.

Read with your Spanish-English dictionary in hand. Use the glossed words in the book to guide you, too.  Try to read closely enough so that you understand each sentence or each image or action that is described, and so that you follow the characters through their lives, rather than to understand every single new word (which may be very many). Here's another reading strategy: (Links to an external site.)

Get in the habit of marking your reactions or making notes as you read, to prepare yourself for class. This could be in the form of stars to mark important passages, written comments about the characters, exclamation points to signal moments that surprised you, question marks for points of confusion that you will want to ask about in class, or any other method you like.


You will often be asked to write in some form during class meetings as an exercise in preparing for the essays.  These short in-class writing tasks, and those assigned for homework, represent the most tangible demonstration of your academic progress throughout the course.  You will be completing pre-writing activities and a rough draft of essays before turning in the final version.  This dispensation does not give you license to hand in work at any stage of the process that is less than a well-written, thoughtful contribution.  You should plan to devote considerable time and thought to the drafting and essay-writing process.  Devote time daily to write a little. The opportunity to plan, write, and rewrite should be considered as a means for you to refine your thinking and to work toward accuracy and brilliance.

Each essay will be assessed for its cogent and original response to the topic; the depth and thoughtfulness of its analysis, argument, and counterarguments (intellectual dialogue with critical articles); the coherence of its tone; its attention to prose style and organization; its grammatical accuracy and specific vocabulary; and the sophistication of its thesis statement.

Coursework policy and Canvas tips:

All work, including daily homework and major assignments, shall be submitted on Canvas before the due date and time.  Every assignment has a submission slot that appears in your “To Do” list (on the right side of your screen).  The assignments are also listed in Assignments (on the left side of your screen).  The due dates are also on the course calendar (at the end of the syllabus document).

For the best Canvas experience, use the desktop browser version at rather than the app.  Students have reported some syncing issues with the app.

If there is a Canvas outage or glitch right before the submission time, and if you are trying to submit your work at the last minute, and you are therefore unable to upload your document to Canvas, you shall email me the assignment at that very moment as a Word or PDF file (in .doc, .docx, or .pdf format), not a Notes file and not a Google Doc link.  This dispensation only applies if there is really a Canvas outage or a glitch.

After you submit a file to Canvas, check your submission right away to ensure that you have submitted the correct file.  Double-check it with the course calendar or list of assignments to ensure that you are working on the correct assignment for the date.

So that you can find the correct document in your files, save your document with a specific name.  Not specific enough: Essay 1, Spanish Essay, My Essay, Homework.  Very specific: Span303Essay1DRAFT, Span303Essay1FINAL, and SPAN303HWJan15.

Please tell me if you see something on Canvas that seems to be an error (such as a due date or a file name or something out of order in the Modules).  I will correct it as soon as I can.

If you would like suggestions as to how best to use Canvas (such as using the mobile app, navigating the different sections, or submitting your work), I recommend consulting the UW Information Technology help desk on the second floor of Odegaard Library.  The computer vets at the help desk can show you the platform and make helpful suggestions to make your college work easier.  Each professor may use Canvas differently, as there are many ways to configure the platform, so it helps to be prepared.

Academic hygiene and pitfalls:

Please adopt and practice these good habits of academic hygiene:

At the beginning of every quarter, write the due dates of the major assignments in all of your classes on a big paper calendar.  This way, you can see at a glance when major assignments are due, and you will know in advance when to anticipate the heavy weeks.

At the beginning of every quarter, check to see if any of your classes will require work to be due at irregular times that are not the start of class time (such as Sunday night at midnight).  Try to establish a reasonably coherent schedule in your mind for when your work will be due.

Please try to avoid these pitfalls:

Submitting the incorrect file.  To avoid this: After you submit a file, check your submission right away and cross-reference with the course calendar or list of assignments.

Submitting the essay draft again instead of the final version.  To avoid this: Save the draft and the final version with different names that will be obvious at a glance.

Submitting your partner’s essay instead of your own (after having saved it on your computer), because the file name is something like Essay 1 with no last name.  To avoid this: Save the file with a unique name.

Submitting an assignment from a previous or concurrent Spanish course because the file is named something like Spanish paper.  To avoid this: Save the file with a unique name, such as one that incorporates the topic of the assignment or course number.


Academic Dishonesty

All work submitted for the course must be in your own words and devised by consulting your dictionary, thesaurus, textbook, homework, and course materials.  The use of Internet translator programs (e.g., Google Translate) is prohibited and constitutes a form of academic dishonesty.  If you have questions about the proper and effective use of reference materials, consult me before completing the assignment.


If you have a permanent or temporary disability and may therefore have need for some type of accommodation in order to participate fully in this course, please feel free to discuss your concerns with me in confidence and be sure to contact Disability Resources for Students, 011 Mary Gates Hall, Box 352808, (206) 543-8924,

Washington state law requires that UW develop a policy for accommodation of student absences or significant hardship due to reasons of faith or conscience, or for organized religious activities.

The UW’s policy, including more information about how to request an accommodation, is available at (Links to an external site.)

Accommodations must be requested within the first two weeks of this course using the Religious Accommodations Request form available at




Completa la lectura, contesta las preguntas, anota las ideas y entrega todas las respuestas en Canvas antes de clase este día.

Páginas indicadas en Cien años de identidad.



Actividades en clase este día.




Lu 3 enero

Lee el syllabus y calendario para familiarizarte con el curso y el formato.


Introducción al curso

Discusión de Rubén Darío, “Lo fatal” (poema)



Mi 5 enero

Lee la biografía de José Martí, “Para orientar al lector,” el cuento “La muñeca negra” y “De relevancia para el texto” (p. 3-10)

Contesta: Personajes #2, 3; Narración #2, 3; Interpretación #3, 7 (p. 11-13)

Anota 5 palabras que son nuevas para ti.  Menciona qué importancia tienen en el contexto del cuento, y para quién.


Discusión de José Martí, “La muñeca negra” (cuento)





Lu 10 enero

Lee la biografía de Sergio Vodanovic, “Para orientar al lector,” la obra de teatro El delantal blanco y “De relevancia para el texto” (p. 21-32)

Ve una de las representaciones escénicas de El delantal blanco (enlaces a videos en Canvas Modules: Videos)

Contesta: Personajes #3, 4; Interpretación # 2, 3, 4, 7 (p. 32-34)

Anota 3 grandes frustraciones o conflictos, de cualquier personaje, o de varios.  Explica si los entiendes o no, desde tu propia perspectiva.

Discusión de Sergio Vodanovic, El delantal blanco (obra de teatro)

Realismo social

Práctica con artículo

Mi 12 enero

Lee la biografía de Isabel Allende, “Para orientar al lector,” el cuento “Dos palabras” y “De relevancia para el texto” (p. 43-52)

Contesta: Personajes #1, 3; Interpretación # 1, 3, 5 (p. 53-54)

Anota 5 palabras clave (keywords) para la trama.  Menciona qué importancia tienen en el contexto del cuento, y para quién.


Discusión de Isabel Allende, “Dos palabras” (cuento)

Realismo mágico

Práctica con artículo




Lu 17 enero

No hay tarea


No hay clase

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Mi 19 enero

Entrega Bibliografía anotada 1 en Canvas


Debate 1 sobre personajes

Pre-textos 1: actividades creativas




Lu 24 enero

Lee las biografías de Tomás Gutiérrez Alea y Juan Carlos Tabio y “Para orientar al espectador” (p. 289-291)

Ve la película Fresa y chocolate (1 hr 45 mins, enlace en Canvas) y toma apuntes de los personajes y sus identidades, relaciones y circunstancias.

Anota 3 pensamientos notables (de cualquier personaje—David, Diego, Nancy, Miguel, Vivian—o de varios).  Menciona si estás de acuerdo o conforme con sus ideas, desde tu propia perspectiva.

Lee “De relevancia para la película” (p. 291-294)

Contesta: Personajes #1, 3, 4; Interpretación #1, 2, 3 (p. 294-296)

Discusión de Tomás Gutiérrez Alea y Juan Carlos Tabio, Fresa y chocolate (película)


Práctica con artículo

Mi 26 enero

Lee la biografía de Rosario Castellanos, “Para orientar al lector,” el poema “Kinsey Report,” y “De relevancia para el texto” (p. 241-248)

Contesta: Forma y estructura #2, 3; Interpretación #4, 7, 8, 9 (p. 248-251)

Anota 3 emociones complicadas (de cualquier de las seis voces poéticas—o de varias).  Explica si las entiendes o no.

Discusión de Rosario Castellanos, “Kinsey Report” (poema)

Reflexión social




Lu 31 enero

Entrega Carta y Borrador de Ensayo 1 por correo electrónico a tu equipo del Taller y en Canvas para el profesor


Debate 2 sobre personajes

Pre-textos 2: actividades creativas

Mi 2 febrero

Lee los ensayos de tu equipo, contesta las preguntas del Taller en Canvas y trae todo a clase


Taller de escritura: Ensayo 1

Reflexión personal final




Lu 7 febrero

Lee la biografía de Judith Ortiz Cofer, “Para orientar al lector,” el ensayo personal “La historia de mi cuerpo” y “De relevancia para el texto” (p. 61-72)

Contesta: Personajes #2 (elige solo las dos personas más importantes, en tu opinión); Interpretación # 3, 4, 9, 16 (p. 73-76)

Explica si sientes empatía por Ortiz Cofer y por qué o por qué no.  Menciona qué experiencias (de la vida de la autora, o de tu propia vida) te permiten entenderla mejor.


Discusión de Judith Ortiz Cofer, “La historia de mi cuerpo” (ensayo personal)

Consultas sobre el ensayo (hora 2)

Mi 9 febrero




Entrega Carta y Versión final de Ensayo 1 en Canvas


No hay clase




Lu 14 febrero


Lee la biografía de Jorge Luis Borges, “Para orientar al lector,” el cuento “El sur” y “De relevancia para el texto” (p. 161-168).

Contesta: Personajes #1, 2, 4; Interpretación #1, 3, 4 (p. 169-170)

Anota 3 descripciones astutas del escenario (puede ser el hospital, las calles de la ciudad, el viaje, o el paisaje del sur).  Menciona por qué te gustan y cómo te ayudan a visualizar la escena.


Discusión de Jorge Luis Borges, “El sur” (cuento)


Práctica con artículo

Mi 16 febrero

Lee la biografía de Julio Cortázar, “Para orientar al lector,” el cuento “Axolotl” y “De relevancia para el texto” (p. 119-126)

Ojo: Axolotl es una palabra en el idioma nahuatl y se pronuncia Ash-Oh-Lowe-t

Contesta: Trama #1, 2 (haz un dibujo y saca una foto); Personajes #2 (explica qué importancia tienen los 5 rasgos en el contexto del cuento); Interpretación # 1, 5, 6 (p. 126-128)

Continúa el cuento después del final: Brevemente, escribe 2 más acciones o pensamientos lógicos para el hombre y/o el axolotl.  Explica por qué son lógicos.


Discusión de Julio Cortázar, “Axolotl” (cuento)

Literatura fantástica

Práctica con artículo





Lu 21 febrero

No hay tarea

No hay clase

Presidents’ Day

Mi 23 febrero

Entrega Bibliografía anotada 2 en Canvas


Debate 3 sobre personajes

Pre-textos 3: actividades creativas




Lu 28 febrero

Lee la biografía de Gabriel García Márquez, “Para orientar al lector,” el cuento “Un señor muy viejo con unas alas enormes” y “De relevancia para el texto” (p. 135-142)

Contesta: Personajes #1, 4; Interpretación # 3, 4, 9 (p. 143-144)

Anota 3 descripciones curiosas (de personajes, lugares, emociones o sentidos).  Menciona por qué son importantes en el contexto del cuento, y para quién.


Discusión de Gabriel García Márquez, “Un señor muy viejo con unas alas enormes” (cuento)

Realismo mágico

Mi 2 marzo

Entrega Carta y Borrador de Ensayo 2 por correo electrónico a tu equipo del Taller y en Canvas para el profesor


No hay clase




Lu 7 marzo

Lee los ensayos de tu equipo, contesta las preguntas del Taller en Canvas y trae todo a clase


Taller de escritura: Ensayo 2

Reflexión personal final

Mi 9 marzo

Entrega Reflexión personal final en Canvas

Ve la película de Fernando Birri, Un señor muy viejo con unas alas enormes (1 hr 25 mins, enlace en Canvas)

Contesta: Guía de visionado (en Canvas)


Discusión de Un señor muy viejo con unas alas enormes (película)

Consultas sobre el ensayo (hora 2)




Lu 14 marzo

Entrega Carta y Versión final de Ensayo 2 en Canvas, 2:30 pm

No hay clase



Catalog Description:
Develops writing techniques and strategies for the creation of essays on literary criticism and cultural analysis. Prepares students to deal successfully with academic writing in Hispanic literature and culture courses. Prerequisite: either SPAN 302 or SPAN 310.
GE Requirements Met:
Arts and Humanities (A&H)
Writing (W)
Last updated:
May 27, 2024 - 1:22 am