University of Virginia
The Rotunda at U.Va.
Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
General Information  |  Programs and Degress Offered  |  Admission Information  |  Financial Assistance
Graduate Academic Regulations  |  Requirements for Specific Graduate Degrees  |  Departments and Programs 
Course Descriptions

Department of Spanish, Italian and Portuguese Languages and Literatures

115 Wilson Hall
University of Virginia
P.O. Box 400777
Charlottesville, VA 22904-4777
(434) 924-7159 Fax: (434) 924-7160

Degree Requirements

Master of Arts in Spanish Thirty credits of courses at the 550 level or above, at least 12 of which must be at the 700 level or above; a comprehensive written examination; a one-hour oral examination; a thesis (normally an extended seminar paper) approved by two members of the graduate faculty. The written and oral examinations are based exclusively on the departmental M.A. reading list.

Doctor of Philosophy in Spanish Official departmental permission to proceed beyond the M.A. level; a reading knowledge of two other foreign languages (or the mastery of one) pertinent to the major research area; a minimum of 54 credits of courses (24 beyond the M.A.) at the 700-level or above; a written and oral comprehensive examination; an acceptable dissertation; an oral defense examination on the field of the dissertation. The guide for the written and oral exams will be the departmental Ph.D. reading list.

Permission to Proceed to the Ph.D. in Spanish After completion of the M.A. requirements and acceptance into the Ph.D. program, all students in their first year of Ph.D. course work will be evaluated by the department before permission to proceed is granted.

Teaching Requirement for Spanish Because this department considers language teaching an integral part of its graduate degree program, and in order that our graduate students may fully develop their teaching abilities at several levels under the close supervision of the Spanish Language Coordinator and the course heads, the department requires that graduate students serve as teaching assistants. Exceptions may be made for part-time and non-resident students; exceptions in other cases must be approved by the graduate advisor.

Master of Arts in Italian Twenty-seven credits of courses, including ITAL 710 (Stilistica) or 720 (Critica); at least two 700-level and two 800-level courses, and at least two 500- level courses. The master’s examination (based on the required readings): two two-hour written examinations and a two-hour oral examination, including an analytic commentary; a master’s thesis approved by two graduate faculty members. The program requires all M.A. candidates to serve as teaching assistants in elementary language courses (five hours) supervised by the Italian language coordinators, and in advanced language and literature courses (one hour) directed by the course instructors. Teaching assistants must be enrolled in ITAL 821 (Pedagogy; not part of the curricular 24 courses).

Course Descriptions


Note To enroll in courses numbered 700 or above, all graduate or special students must have completed the equivalent of three years in the appropriate foreign language at the college level. For courses numbered 800 or above, graduate status in the department or special permission is required.


ITAL 525, 526 - (3) (SI)
Dante: The Divine Comedy
A close reading of the Purgatorio.

ITAL 550 - (3) (SI)
Medieval Italian Literature

ITAL 555 - (3) (SI)
Renaissance Italian Literature

ITAL 560 - (3) (SI)
Baroque Italian Literature

ITAL 565 - (3) (SI)
Italian Literature of the Enlightenment

ITAL 570 - (3) (SI)
Italian Literature of the Modern Period

ITAL 720 - (3) (Y)
Literary Criticism
Required of all M.A. candidates. An in-depth study of current critical approaches, methods, and forms of bibliographical research.

ITAL 750 - (3) (SI)
Topics include the early documents of Italian literature; the Sicilian and Tuscan "schools" of poetry; and studies in linguistics.

ITAL 755 - (3) (SI)
Trecento I
Dante; his life and circle; a thorough study of the Comedy and the minor works.

ITAL 756 - (3) (SI)
Trecento II
Topics include Petrarch and Boccaccio; extensive and intensive reading of the canzoniere and of the Decameron, together with lesser works of the masters.

ITAL 758 - (3) (IR)
Pen and Brush: Literary Culture and Artists of the Renaissance

Prerequisite: instructor permission.
The treatment of art and artists in works by Dante, Petrarch, and Boccaccio, and on writings of artist-poets, among them Giorgio Vasari, Michelangelo, Benevenuto Cellini, and Bronzino. Course includes considerations of artistic works.

ITAL 759 - (3) (SI)
A thorough survey of Humanistic culture and literature; Petrarchism; Machiavelli and surroundings; and the birth of epic (Ariosto and Tasso).

ITAL 760 - (3) (SI)
Studies Manierismo in poetry and prose; the birth of Italian theater; and major authors of the Enlightenment (Parini and Alfieri).

ITAL 780 - (3) (SI)
Studies the authors, works, and literary movements of the second half of the nineteenth-century, including Verga and verismo.

ITAL 790 - (3) (SI)
Studies twentieth-century prose, poetry, and theater, from Svevo to the Avant-garde writers of the 60s; present-day trends.

ITAL 795 - (3) (S)
Guided Research

ITAL 796 - (3) (S)
Independent Research

ITAL 821 - (1) (S)
Required of all teaching assistants; not part of the curricular credit requirement for the M.A. in Italian.

ITAL 855, 856 - (3) (SI)
Seminars: Major Author
A thorough study of a major author’s opus. Includes authors from all eight centuries of Italian literature. Specific authors will be announced in the Course Offering Directory.

ITAL 895 - (3) (S)
Independent Research

ITAL 897 - (3-12) (S)
Non-Topical Research
Required of all teaching assistants; not part of the curricular credit requirement for the M.A. in Italian.


SPAN 514 - (3) (E)
Applied Linguistics in Spanish
Studies the basic linguistic components of Spanish, focusing on how language forms reflect the Spanish view of reality and how they differ from English.

SPAN 527 - (3) (Y)
Spanish Civilization and Culture
Studies the non-literary achievements of Spain from pre-Roman times to the present. Includes a survey of the socio-political history, the art, architecture, music, philosophy, and folklore of Spain, defining the essential characteristics of Spanish civilization.

SPAN 528 - (3) (Y)
Latin American Civilization and Culture
Studies the non-literary cultural achievements of Latin America. Surveys the socio-political history, the art, architecture, music, philosophy, social structure and "popular culture" of Latin America, defining the essential characteristics of Latin-American civilization.

SPAN 529Z - (3) (J)
Islam in Europe: Muslim Iberia
Prerequisite: SPAN 311 or equivalent level of proficiency in Spanish.
An introduction to Islam and a cultural history of al-Andalus (Muslim Iberia) from the year 711 until the expulsion of the Moriscos—Muslims converted, often forcibly, to Christianity—from early modern Spain in 1609.

SPAN 530 - (3) (SI)
Hispanic Dialectology and Bilingualism
Studies the history and theory of Spanish-English bilingualism in the U.S. and its application in the field. Topics include bilingualism in Spanish America and Spain, and social, political, and educational issues raised by theories of bilingualism.

SPAN 531 - (3) (SI)
Hispanic Sociolinguistics
Studies the theoretical aspects of conversational analysis, incorporating it into the analysis of natural talk. Emphasizes the organization of conversations, the role of sociocultural background knowledge and preferred rules of politeness, and cross-cultural and cross-gender differences.

SPAN 550 - (3) (E)
Middle Ages and Early Renaissance
Studies the major texts, authors, and literary trends of the Spanish Middle Ages and early Renaissance.

SPAN 555 - (3) (E)
Golden Age
Studies the major texts, authors, and literary trends of the Spanish Golden Age.

SPAN 560 - (3) (O)
Enlightenment to Romanticism
Studies the major texts, authors, and literary trends of the Spanish eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.

SPAN 565 - (3) (O)
Realism and Generation of 1898
Studies the major texts, authors, and literary trends of the second half of the Spanish nineteenth and the early twentieth centuries.

SPAN 570 - (3) (E)
Contemporary Spanish Literature
Studies the major texts, authors, and literary trends of the Spanish twentieth century.

SPAN 580 - (3) (O)
Spanish America: Colonial Period to 1900
Studies the major texts, authors, and literary trends of Spanish America up to 1900.

SPAN 582 - (3) (O)
Spanish America: From Romanticism to Modernism

Studies the major texts, authors, and literary trends of Spanish America in the nineteenth century.

SPAN 585 - (3) (E)
Spanish America: Modern Period
Studies the major texts, authors, and literary trends of Spanish America in the twentieth century.

SPAN 610 - (3) (SS)
Teaching the Authors on the Spanish AP List
Virginia teachers study the advanced placement curriculum currently taught in high schools.

SPAN 710 - (3) (SI)
Literary Theory
Studies the modern theories of literary criticism, including formalism, structuralism, semiotics, and the application of theory to major Spanish authors.

SPAN 720 - (3) (IR)
The Structure of Spanish

SPAN 721 - (3) (IR)
The Phonology of Spanish

SPAN 730 - (3) (E)
History of the Language
The development of the Spanish language from its origins.

SPAN 750 - (3) (IR)
Medieval Lyric Poetry

SPAN 751 - (3) (IR)
Medieval and Early Renaissance Epic and Prose

SPAN 752 - (3) (IR)
Medieval and Renaissance Theater

SPAN 755 - (3) (E)
Golden Age Poetry

SPAN 756, 757 - (3) (IR)
Golden Age Drama

SPAN 758 - (3) (O)
Golden Age Prose, Non-Picaresque

SPAN 759 - (3) (SI)
The Picaresque Novel

SPAN 760 - (3) (SI)
Eighteenth-Century Drama and Poetry

SPAN 761 - (3) (SI)

SPAN 762 - (3) (SI)

SPAN 765 - (3) (SI)
Realism and Naturalism: The Novel

SPAN 766 - (3) (IR)
Generation of 1898

SPAN 770 - (3) (SI)
Generation of 1927

SPAN 771 - (3) (SI)
Literature and the Civil War

SPAN 772 - (3) (IR)
Contemporary Theater

SPAN 773 - (3) (IR)
Post-Civil War Fiction

SPAN 774 - (3) (IR)
Modern Poetry

SPAN 780 - (3) (E)
Colonial Spanish American Literature

SPAN 781 - (3) (SI)
Spanish American Modernismo

SPAN 782 - (3) (SI)
Nineteenth-Century Spanish-American Literature

SPAN 783 - (3) (SI)
Spanish-American Poetry

SPAN 784 - (3) (IR)
Spanish-American Fiction

SPAN 785 - (3) (IR)
Themes and Genres: Poetry and Drama

SPAN 786 - (3) (IR)
Regional Literature

SPAN 787 - (3) (SI)
Short Story: Twentieth-Century Spanish America

SPAN 788 - (3) (SI)
Novel: Twentieth-Century Spanish America

SPAN 789 - (3) (SI)
Essay: Twentieth-Century Spanish America

SPAN 821 - (3) (Y)
Practicum in Teaching College Spanish
Required for new teaching assistants in Spanish. Orientation to elementary Spanish instruction and teaching at UVa.

SPAN 850, 851, 852, 853, 854 - (3) (IR)
Seminars: Middle Ages and Early Renaissance

SPAN 855, 856, 857, 858, 859 - (3) (IR)
Seminars: Golden Age

SPAN 860, 861, 862, 863, 864 - (3) (IR)
Seminars: Enlightenment to Romanticism

SPAN 865, 866, 867, 868, 869 - (3) (IR)
Seminars: Realism and the Generation of 1898

SPAN 870, 871, 872, 873, 874 - (3) (IR)
Seminars: Modern Spanish Literature

SPAN 880, 881, 882, 883, 884 - (3) (IR)
Seminars: Spanish America: Colonial Period to 1900

SPAN 885, 886, 887, 888, 889 - (3) (IR)
Seminars: Spanish America: Modern Period

SPAN 895 - (3) (S)
Guided Research
Readings and/or research in particular fields under the supervision of an instructor.

SPAN 897 - (3-12) (S)
Non-Topical Research, Preparation for Research
For master’s research, taken before a thesis director has been selected.

SPAN 898 - (3-12) (S)
Non-Topical Research
For master’s thesis, taken under the supervision of a thesis director.

SPAN 995 - (3) (S)
Guided Research
Readings and/or research in particular fields under the supervision of an instructor.

SPAN 997 - (3-12) (S)
Non-Topical Research, Preparation for Doctoral Research
For doctoral research, taken before a dissertation director has been selected.

SPAN 999 - (3-12) (S)
Non-Topical Research
For doctoral dissertation, taken under the supervision of a dissertation director.

Graduate Record Home  |  Graduate School of Arts & Sciences Home