The Department of Hispanic Studies invites Oberlin students to develop a broad and intimate understanding of the rich and varied cultures of the Spanish-speaking world, built on a solid competence in spoken and written Spanish. Through its courses, events, and study abroad opportunities, the program exposes students to all things Spanish, Latin American, and Latino/Latina, including literature, history, film, folklore, and culture. Like many academic programs at Oberlin, Hispanic studies is multidisciplinary, working in close collaboration with faculty from other departments—comparative American studies, anthropology, history, and politics, for example—whose courses on Latin America, Spain, and U.S. Latino/a topics also count toward the Hispanic Studies major.
Hispanic studies places a strong emphasis on Spanish-language competency, which we believe is indispensable for anyone who wishes to study Latin America and Spain, or who wants to function effectively in a Spanish-speaking environment. The great majority of our courses are taught in Spanish. Together with Latin American studies, comparative American studies, and comparative literature, Hispanic studies is one of four academic programs at Oberlin for students who wish to engage with the wider Spanish-speaking world.
The curriculum consists of three tiers:
- Spanish language and understanding Hispanic cultures
- Introductory courses in folklore, film, history, literature, and linguistics
- Upper-level seminars exploring specific trends and topics in Latin American, Spanish, and Latino/a literatures and cultures
Our majors and minors have many opportunities to enhance their coursework: study abroad, an honors program, living in La Casa Hispánica (a Spanish-speaking residence hall), student organizations, as well as internships, teaching apprenticeships, and tutoring positions in the department and beyond. Oberlin's Paul and Edith Cooper International Learning Center offers high-tech tools to master a variety of foreign languages. Finally, we urge all students to spend at least a semester abroad, through one of many affiliated programs in Spain and Latin America, and on the United States-Mexican border. Oberlin also sponsors several Winter Term opportunities in Spanish speaking areas, including our program in Guadalajara, México.
While Hispanic Studies graduates often go on to graduate school, those who enter the workforce have careers in multifarious fields, including business, nonprofit organizations, management, immigration law, politics, education, publishing, and translation.