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Art, Dance and Film

Documentary Film Workshop: “A Student Self-portrait in Madrid” (Offered in FALL) This workshop allows students to discover and explore creative documentary filmmaking through two parallel and complementary lenses. First, via a theoretical approach to documentary filmmaking focusing specifically on Spanish production; second, by creating a documentary project. Students will use documentary filmmaking as a form of personal expression in order to articulate through this medium their expectations, perspectives, and experiences when immersed in a different culture and society. Each student will direct their own documentary self-portrait, which will give voice and make visible their reality and life experiences in Madrid. Prof. Jean Castejón. (16 students max.) Download syllabus

Introduction to Flamenco Dance  (Offered in FALL and SPRING). Overview of flamenco dance as a performing art. Emphasis on sevillanas, tangos flamencos and alegrías. Special attention to body awareness, partner communication and movement efficiency. Performance presentation required at the end of the course. Prof. Laura Murcia. (12 students max.) Download syllabus

What Makes This Art? (Offered in SPRING). Throughout this course, we will study the aesthetic ideas that have changed the way art is perceived as such over the course of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Concepts such as beauty, originality, genius, works of art, the spectator, creativity and authorship have undergone constant overhauls from the avant-garde movements to postmodernism. Our objective will be to study the meaning of these concepts through the lens of a variety of artistic trends and philosophical theories related to political and social contexts. To that end, we will analyze and debate the changes that have occurred in painting, architecture, art installations, performance art and museum spaces themselves. This will entail visits to modern and contemporary art museums in Madrid. Prof. Sergio Antoranz. (16 students max.) Download syllabus.

When Art Speaks (Offered in FALL) This course seeks to familiarize students with the history and ramifications of Spanish art. Although focused mainly on emblematic paintings and architecture, students also explore other artforms such as film and video, experimental art installations, performance art and urban art such as graffiti. A major component of the course consists of classes taught on-site in the many museums, iconic architectural spaces and other unique artistic features that characterize Madrid. Students learn about periods of Spanish art history, from the Middle Ages to the latest trends of postmodernism, as well as the considerable influence that Spanish art has had around the world. Prof. Sergio Antoranz. 

Field Internships

Understanding the Madrid Experience - The Internship and its Context  (Offered in FALL and SPRING) On this course, students can explore career interests while strengthening their language skills and cultural competence. This is an opportunity to assess the professional, academic, and personal learning acquired during a work placement in Madrid in a scholarly and practical way. There are a wide range of possibilities for various types of internships. Although a placement within a specific field cannot be guaranteed, we will do our best to place every student in their area of interest. This is an experiential learning course, where the student will be fully immersed in a given workplace and will receive a research-based understanding of broader social, economic and political trends in Madrid in the field and in the classroom. The course also has a reflective component that will be presented at the end of the semester based on how associated skills evolve as the program proceeds.  Please, note that all internships require students to work 16 hours a week with an employer, and that students must inform HCAYS at the time of enrollment as internships are secured several months before arrival. Internships are organized with HCAYS's and HiF’s partner EUSA, a not-for-profit educational organization. 

History and Social Sciences

Aspects of Political and Social History of Spain and Latin America through Cinema (Offered in SPRING) The course proposes a theoretical approach to fiction cinema and creative documentary filmmaking with the aim of exploring themes in the political and social history of Spain and various Latin American countries. It will not only study relevant films from the recent cinematic landscape, but also attempt to show how each film reveals fundamental political and social contexts essential for understanding the contemporary Spanish-speaking world. Prof. Jean Castejón (16 students max.). Download Syllabus

Introduction to the Anthropological Analysis of Gender and Sexuality in Spain (Offered in SPRING) This course is an introduction to the concept of gender from the anthropological and feminist theory. It seeks to provide the tools to give meaning to the events and identities that structure our experience in a global world, focusing on Hispanic culture. It will include key concepts in gender studies, such as equality, identities, religion or racialization, that will help to understand the controversies around human rights, women’s rights or LGBTQ rights, for example. It will cover topics like international migrations, prostitution, trans identities, gender violence or Assisted Reproductive Techniques. The methodology will be mostly participative, and the materials and activities diverse (readings, videos, walking tour, guest speakers, exchange activities) to provide as many perspectives and voices as possible, to help students build their own knowledge in a critical way". Prof. M. Belén Molinuevo (16 students max.) Download Syllabus

The Spanish Political History Through the Lens of Cinema (Offered in FALL) The course will begin with an analysis of the formation of the State and the political system in Spain. Then, we will analyze the main characteristics of the Spanish political system that emerged from the Transition and developed in the subsequent decades under the governments of Felipe González, Jose María Aznar, and Jose Luís Rodríguez Zapatero. Next, we will study the transformation of the party system starting from the 2008 economic crisis, the emergence of the 15M movement, the challenge of Catalan independence, and the rise of Podemos, up to the consolidation of the first coalition government in Spain since the Civil War. Prof. Pablo Iglesias. (16 students max.) Download syllabus

Spanish Society and Economy in the EU (Offered in SPRING) Study of the main changes in the Spanish Society and Economy in the last decades with special emphasis on questions related to EU origins, the Euro vs. the US dollar as an international currency, pros and cons of the European social model, the situation of women in Spain and the consequences of immigration in Spain. All these topics will help students to understand the daily realities they will face during their stay in Madrid. Prof. Ainhoa Marín. (16 students max.) Download syllabus


Advanced Spanish Language in Context I (Offered in FALL and SPRING) Review and refinement of grammatical structure, practical vocabulary and syntax. Regular written compositions will be required. Special emphasis will be placed on the development of conversational skills. (16 students max.)

Advanced Spanish Language in Context II (Offered in FALL and SPRING) Study and analysis of the structure of the Spanish language in both written (formal) and oral (colloquial) contexts, in order that the students acquire maximum competence in the recognition and use of the subtleties of the language. (16 students max.)


Cervantes - El Quijote (Offered in SPRING) Study of Cervantes’ masterpiece, with emphasis on its unique contribution to the birth of the modern novel and its reflection of Golden Age Spain. Prof. Francisco Layna Ranz. (16 students max.) Download syllabus

Contemporary Spanish Poetry (Offered in SPRING) The main objective of this course is to approach the topic of the construction of subjectivity in contemporary Spanish poetry from the beginning of the 20th century to the present day. To this end, the poetic proposals that have arisen around the issues raised by the theme of identity will be analyzed and interpreted. Our intention is to delve into the uniqueness of the Hispanic poetic response to this question, as it is a central theme for the interpretation and understanding of the Spanish worldview. During the course, we will go through the most significant poetic production of the best creators of the last century, giving special emphasis to writers such as Juan Ramón Jiménez, Antonio Machado, Federico García Lorca, Luis Cernuda, Gloria Fuertes, or Jaime Gil de Biedma. Prof. Marcos Roca (16 students max). Download syllabus

The Short Story in Contemporary Spain (Offered in FALL) This course explores the best Spanish short stories of the past century through critical analysis and class discussion. We will address the work of twenty emblematic authors from an interdisciplinary lens, taking into consideration cultural codes, sociological and philosophical theories, gender and sexuality, psychoanalytical concepts, genre conventions, narrative structure and more. The course will also include a writing workshop where students will write their own stories. Prof. Marcos Roca (16 students max.) Download syllabus

Courses at a Spanish university

Studying at a local Spanish university is a fundamental part of the cultural and academic experience for HCAYS students in Madrid. In addition to courses offered at the HCAYS Center, students can enroll in one course at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (UAM) or at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM). Both universities offer courses taught in Spanish, including anthropology, economics, international relations, law, literature, political sciences, sociology and history. We help students navigate through the process of finding the course that best fits their needs and curriculum requirements. Additionally, UAM and UCM offer sports facilities, choirs, bookstores, cafeterias and other extra-curricular activities, allowing students to be fully immersed in the Spanish language and culture. Please let us know if you are interested in taking a course at one of the Spanish Universities by contacting Carlos Jurado, the Academic Coordinator, at cjurado@hamilton.edu 


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Hamilton College Academic Year in Spain

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