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SPAN 303 A: Advanced Spanish

Meeting Time: 
MW 1:30pm - 3:20pm
LOW 118
Samuel Jaffee

Syllabus Description:

Spanish 303: Advanced Spanish Writing II

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 honing 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.

Course format:

This course will be taught in person with no simultaneous remote learning option.  BUT: On Wednesday, January 5 we will meet on Zoom during class time.

If there is a change to university policy during the quarter regarding in-person instruction, we will switch to one or both of the following remote learning modes: synchronous class meetings on Zoom during class time and/or asynchronous Canvas Discussions.


The course is designed to ensure the success of students who attend class.  In-class work supports students in preparing for course assignments, and gives students many hours of Spanish language use, practice with course material, and preparatory work for assignments.  In this sense, attendance is an absolute requirement for your success and it makes the course seem coherent.  At the same time, I will understand that this course may be the lowest of your priorities and that you have myriad obligations and demands on your time.  UW policy is that there is no attendance policy for any course.  You don’t earn “points” for showing up; conversely, habitual absences will naturally be reflected in your participation grade.  If you don’t wish to attend class, or cannot attend class, there is no obligation to email me ahead of time.  If your absences become more than you can manage, and if you contact me about it, I may recommend that you consult the Humanities Academic Services office; staff in that office or in your major advising office can probably help you best to make an attendance plan for the rest of the quarter.


Readings and reference materials: 


  1. Required text:

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


Comfort, Kelly, ed.  Cien años de identidad: Introducción a la literatura latinoamericana del siglo XX. Washington: Georgetown University Press, 2018.

ISBN: 978-1626165670

This is the book on Amazon:




  1. Dictionary:

The University of Chicago Spanish-English Dictionary is available for purchase at the UW Bookstore as a recommended book for this course. Also available from internet retailers. A good, thick, well-edited academic Spanish-English dictionary is required for this course and is critical for your success in mastering writing in a second language.  You must bring your dictionary to all class meetings in order to consult it during group work, discussions, activities, and writing practice.  The use of cellphone-based dictionaries or Internet programs will hinder the versatility of your Spanish writing.  Use a well-edited dictionary instead; you will benefit from the guidance of an academic editor.

This is the University of Chicago Spanish-English Dictionary on Amazon:







Essay 1 Annotated bibliography        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%

Essay 2 Annotated bibliography        5%                   Participation                           10%

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

Essay 2 Final version                          15%


Sample reading/film list:


We may work with any or all of these readings/films during the quarter.


Rubén Darío, “Lo fatal” (poema)


José Martí, “La muñeca negra” (cuento)


Sergio Vodanovic, El delantal blanco (obra de teatro)


Isabel Allende, “Dos palabras” (cuento)


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


Rosario Castellanos, “Kinsey Report” (poema)


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


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


Julio Cortázar, “Axolotl” (cuento)


Jorge Luis Borges, “El sur” (cuento)


Julio Cortázar, “La noche boca arriba” (cuento)


Fernando Birri, “Un señor muy viejo con unas alas enormes” (película)

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: 
Visual, Literary, and Performing Arts (VLPA)
Writing (W)
Last updated: 
October 18, 2021 - 8:58pm