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Active - JAN 189: Spain: Identities Evolving through Art, Architecture, and Culture
Barcelona, Spain; Cordoba, Spain; Figueres, Spain; Granada, Spain; Jerez de la Frontera, Spain; Madrid, Spain; Segovia, Spain; Seville, Spain; Toledo, Spain (Outgoing Program)
Program Terms: Jan Term
Homepage: Click to visit
Restrictions: SMC-CA applicants only
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Jan Term 2018 12/01/2017 12/01/2017 TBA TBA
Program Description:
Course Title:Spain: Identities Evolving through Art, Architecture, and CultureCourse ID:JAN 189Instructors:Frances M. Sweeney and Sara K. StamppContact Email:fsweeney@stmarys-ca.eduLocation:

Location: Spain: We fly through Germany and spend the entire travel time in


Hotel stays in Madrid (6 nights), Sevilla (5 nights), Granada (3 nights) and

Barcelona (6 nights) with day trips to Segovia, Toledo, El Escorial,

Itálica, Córdoba, and Figueres.




Course Description:

The title of the course is Spain: Identities Evolving through Art,

Architecture, and Culture. As a country that has undergone century after

century of religious, cultural and political activity, even today,  we use

the lense of “identity” to study Spain past and present. Through an

intensive orientation pre-travel course and travel on-site to nine cities, we

will strive to answer the question for ourselves, "What is Spanish identity?"

We will explore how each cultural group has left its mark on Spain, how

traditions have emerged and remain today. We will study how art and

architecture, from medieval castles to Granada’s Alhambra to Barcelona’s

modernist architecture, and from El Greco to Picasso to Dalí, have all

contributed to the “identity” of  Spain. 


The course includes a required pre-travel orientation of 7 sessions plus an individual meeting with me (@15 contact hours) to begin our study of Spain, to set a foundation for our questions, and to cover travel protocols, safety and content preparation. This orientation sections comprises 20% of the course. Each student will complete a travel-specific focused journal, a thematic essay, and a final independent research paper on a topic of their choice. Each of these is begun prior to departure. For example, students may choose a particular architectural style, or historical figure, or painter or city. Students will synthesize their findings, and serve as the "expert" when we visit that site, presenting the information to the group. In this way, students are not passive tourists, but active researchers into the course questions, and equally responsible for creating a vibrant, engaged class dynamic.

Division:Upper DivisionPrerequisites:

NA (helpful to have had some prior language study, though this is not a language course

Informational Meetings:

Attendance at one of the following meetings is mandatory for enrollment (contact instructor if you have conflicts):

Tuesday 9/6, 2:00-3:00pm, Galileo 110

Wednesday 9/7, 3:00-4:00pm, Galileo 110

Tuesday 9/13, 2:00-3:00pm, Galileo 110

Wednesday 9/14, 3:00-4:00pm, Galileo 110


There is also a required post-registration pre-travel orientation course. This meets 7-8 times, the week after course registration.  Typically, we meet on Tuesday or Wednesday nights, 6-8 p.m. All sessions are mandatory. 

Reading List:

Mark Williams, "The Story of Spain"

Michelin Guide, "Spain"

William D. Phillips, Jr and Carla Rahn Phillips, "A Concise History of Spain"  (excerpts)

John Hooper, "The New Spaniards" (excerpts)

Carrie B. Douglass, "Bulls, Bullfighting, and Spanish Identities" (excerpts)

Course packet of articles about recent Spanish news involving economy, political structure and separation movements (e.g., Catalonia)

Packet of handouts covering Spanish painters, architectural styles, and geography.

Basis for Final Grade:

Pre-travel orientation (homework readings, quizzes, research preparation): 20%

Critical Reflection Journal: 20% (responses to prompts related to course topics, as well as regions)

Research Essay: 20% (8-10 pages)

Regional Theme Essay: 20% (6-8 pages)

Participation: 20%

Course Fee Per Student:$4100Description of What the Course Fee Covers:

Travel costs: plane fare between US and Spain, hired bus for day excursions and travel between cities, plane fare for one intracountry flight from Granada to Barcelona

Hotel costs, including breakfast. Also covers group tips left for hotel staff (cleaning and cafeteria staff)

Admission fees to museums and historical sites

Professional guide fees, as required in some sites, or audioguide fees
Dates Traveling:

Tentative travel dates:

Saturday, January 7: depart SFO

Sunday, January 8: arrive Madrid

January 8-13: in Madrid (day trips to Segovia, Toledo)

January 14-18: in Sevilla (day trips to Cordoba, Italica)

January 19-21: in Granada

January 22-27: in Barcelona (day trip to Figueres)

January 28: Barcelona to SFO

Dates on Campus: