Humanities: Special Topics: Culture & Civilization of Spain
Florida State University-Valencia Study Center
Area of Study
Taught In English
Course Level Recommendations
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Recommended U.S. Semester Credits0
Recommended U.S. Quarter Units0
Hours & Credits
In this course we will study the geography, history, culture, civilization, arts, politics, cuisine and peoples that have contributed to the development and formation of SPAIN. While the text by Mark Williams can be viewed as an effective optional tool, the class will benefit from numerous field work outings in Valencia, and we will also make good use of audio-visual materials and photocopied reading assignments when appropriate.
One of the primary objectives of our study of Spain will be to experience the country up close and personal; that is, through real life experiences. The Program will travel to some highly stimulating places during your stay, while you will also visit some very important historical sites here in Valencia. The primary Program trips and corresponding activities of said trip are mandatory and count as regular class time. The student will also be expected and required to conduct both group and individual field work in Valencia. No doubt many of you will also take side trips to other places as well. Take advantage of your stay here! Your experiences, reflections and cultural analysis will be a valuable source of class conversation.
Now, on to the specific areas that I will use to arrive at a Final Grade for my Culturologists.
I. Class Performance/Brief Essays/Field Notes:
This includes active and constructive participation, ATTENDANCE (and punctuality), interest, enthusiasm and very importantly, a series of brief essays/reactions/field notes based on a series of class assignments. Often, but not necessarily always, the brief essays/reactions/notes will be based on observations during class fieldwork outings. This area will comprise 20% of your final grade. We have precious little time together (!) and I expect my students to be present at all class meetings and assigned activities. Each unexcused absence will lower your final grade by one step: ie, A>A- with one absence, A>A->B+ with two absences, etc. It is my expectation, however, that this is a mute point, as I am confident that my students will want to attend all of our classes and activities! If you are sick, and I mean really sick, you must bring me a note from a physician documenting that your illness requires strict bed rest or hospitalization if you want it to be an excused absence. I will also give you an excused absence for family and religious reasons at my discretion. Travel related absences are not excused. Again, and to stress a very important point, The primary Program trips (and corresponding activities of said trip) are mandatory and count as regular class time, as do any other activities announced as mandatory either by myself or program-wide.
II. Brief Exams: Don?t cram, review bit by bit!
You will have three or four brief exams in this class. The exams can be presented through fill-ins, multiple choice, identifications (terms or visual), short answer and/or essay questions. I will always provide the class with the key identification terms and short answer/essay topics ahead of time--so there should never be an excuse for being caught off guard! The exams (all of equal weight) will comprise a combined 20% of your final grade.
Note: I will only give a makeup exam if the student is hospitalized or in need of medically prescribed bedrest.
III. Valencia Research and Descriptive Portfolio Project:
During the first class meeting you will be given a list of essential fieldwork sites here in Valencia. While a rich variety of formats are possible, you will address the following regarding EIGHT (8) sites you have visited, observed and researched:
1. Location (street address and part of town)
2. Telephone number and website (if one exits)
3. Physical description (both exterior and interior when addressing a building)
4. Historical significance
5. Current function and importance in regards to the city´s identity
6. Finally, and VERY, VERY IMPORTANTLY: Concluding commentary: your thoughts and personal reflections regarding the site; why did you choose this site? That is, JUSTIFY your selection.
We will visit most of said places first as a group and then you will have to return to these sites on your own to complete your research, observations, analysis, etc. This assignment carries with it very high expectations and comprises 40% of your final grade and will be graded on quality of information provided and on aesthetic appearance and effort. This project is due the second to last class session and will be returned the last day of class. Please note that this is NOT a Power Point presentation. That is, you should turn in your Portfolio as a hard copy, ready to be read, as is, by your professor.
IV. Final Essay: Landscapes and Cityscapes of your Spanish Experience
On the last day of class my culturologists will turn in a concluding essay with the working concept of ¨Landscapes and Cityscapes of my Spanish Experience.¨ This is meant to be a highly reflective and personalized essay where the student is given the opportunity to analyze and comment on one´s experiences in Spain: the country´s cities, towns, countryside, beaches, social customs, cultural indicators, idiosyncrasies, festivities observations on Program trips, etc. While I do not expect you to be Hemingway, I do expect my scholars to be thoughtful, analytical, and insightful regarding one´s observations and commentary. The Final Essay should be five to eight (5-8) pages, typed, double spaced, 12 font, and with an interesting and zesty title--interesting and zesty titles make me happy and demonstrate attention to detail by my scholars. It will count for 20% of the Final Grade in the course.
Students with disabilities needing academic accommodation should: (1) register with and provide documentation to the Student Disability Resource Center of their home campus; (2) bring a letter to the instructor and the Student Services Dept. of FSU-Spain indicating the need for accommodation and what type. This must be done during the first week of instruction.
Academic Honor System:
Students are expected and required to abide by the Academic Honor System of Florida State University. Students should read, understand and abide by stated code as found in the FSU General Bulletin and in the FSU Student Handbook.
Please Note: While the basic scheme of the course should be maintained, changes can be made as opportunities present themselves.
Humanities 3930: Valencia Research and Descriptive Portfolio Project:
AS STATED ABOVE YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR EIGHT (8) OF THESE SITES FOR YOUR VALENCIA RESEARCH AND DESCRIPTIVE PORTFOLIO PROJECT. WE WILL SPEND A LOT OF CLASS TIME OUT OF THE CLASSROOM SETTING. IN GENERAL WE WILL COMBINE USING PUBLIC TRANSPORT (USUALLY THE METRO SYSTEM) WITH A LOT WALKING. PLEASE PLAN ACCORDINGLY: WEAR GOOD WALKING SHOES AND SENSIBLE CLOTHING (COMFORTABLE YET MODEST AS WE WILL ENTER SEVERAL CHURCHES), PURCHASE A MULTI-USE METRO TICKET (A ¨BONO METRO¨), AND ALWAYS HAVE A MAP OF VALENCIA, NOTEBOOK, AND IF YOU LIKE, A CAMERA WITH YOU.
1. La Catedral
2. La Basilica de los Desamparados
3. Iglesia San Juan del Hospital
4. El Barrio Carmen
5. El Patriarca
6. La Plaza de la Virgen
7. El Palacio del Marqués de Dos Aguas (aka, The National Museum of Ceramics)
8. La Lonja
9. El Mercado Central
10. Los Viveros
11. Museo de Bellas Artes
12. The Muvim or IVAM
13. City of Arts and Sciences
14. Jardines de Monforte
15. The Port of Valencia
16. City Hall (Ayuntamiento) or the Generalitat
17. Bullring/Bullfighting Museum/Bullfights
18. La Estación del Norte (Main Train Station)
19. A Program Friday Day Trip
20. An interesting, cuturally-stimulating eatery or specialty shop
21. Valencia´s ¨9 de octubre¨ festivities
Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.
Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.
Some courses may require additional fees.
Please reference fall and spring course lists as not all courses are taught during both semesters.