The Spanish and Portuguese Honors Programs are designed for students who wish to take advantage of an academic challenge beyond the requirements of the departmental major. It provides highly motivated students with the opportunity for tutorial instruction and independent research during the junior and senior years of their undergraduate study. The Honors Committee of the Department solicits from the Spanish and Portuguese faculty nominations for the Honors Program and then screens and interviews the nominees in order to admit into the program those who are most likely to succeed. Students may, in addition, apply directly to the program by contacting the departmental Honors Advisor. To be eligible, a student must ordinarily have an overall 3.35 grade-point average with a 3.5 average in Spanish or Portuguese courses, depending on which language you plan to do your Thesis, and also have completed S280, S324, S326, and S328 for Spanish or P200, P250, P311 and P317 for Portuguese.
The Honors Thesis
The heart of the Spanish and Portuguese Honors Program is the senior year thesis, an independent project that a student undertakes with the help of a faculty director and two faculty readers, selected by the student in consultation with the Honors Advisor. The topic of the thesis can focus on any area of Hispanic or Luso-Brazilian literature, language, or culture. The student may earn up to three hours of credit for S499/P499. These credits do not count toward the required hours of the major. The honors thesis is conceived as a special project to be completed in addition to the usual requirements. The credits count towards completion of the Honors degree. The thesis may also be designed to include interests of the student's minor field of study, a second major or the student's special interest, in which case one reader should be a member of the minor field or second major department. The thesis will vary in length according to the nature of the project-30 pages is a reasonable minimum-and must follow the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. The student will normally meet weekly or every two weeks with a faculty director and hand in early drafts of the project to the director. Copies of the final draft of the project will be delivered to the two faculty readers no later than three weeks before the end of the semester. Once the thesis has been approved by the student's committee, the student will deliver two copies of the final, approved project to the faculty director; one copy will remain in the permanent files of the department. The grade for S499/P499 is determined by the thesis director, in consultation with the two faculty readers.
The Honors Seminar
As preparation for the senior-year project, each Honors student normally takes the S498 Readings for Honors or P498 Portuguese Honors Seminar, ideally in the junior year. It is strongly recommended that the student write at least one 10-page paper in a 400-level course. S498/P498 affords an intensive study of literature and other areas of Hispanic and Luso-Brazilian culture, through readings, discussion, and, especially, the writing of a 10-page paper.
On the basis of the student's performance in S498/P498, continued high GPA, the thesis, and a possible oral defense of the thesis, the Honors Committee decides whether or not the student is to graduate with Honors in Spanish or Portuguese. If the Honors candidate plans to study abroad, arrangements can be made for meeting the requirements of the program. In this case, the student should select a faculty advisor and the thesis project before departure. With its emphasis on creativity, individual expression through writing and other language skills, the program will provide strong training for anyone interested in such disciplines as Law, Business, Journalism, and Communications, as well as students who plan to enter a graduate program in the humanities. It can also be valuable for students as yet undecided about their career future.
Recent Honors Theses
Amy Fuhs, “Phonological Trill Production in Costa Rican Radio Speech ”. 2012 (Willis)
Tess Kuntz, "Preferencias en la clase introductoria de español: Las actitudes de estudiantes universitarios sobre elo uso de la primera lengua en la clase”. 2012 (Geeslin)
Alba Rivera, "La creación de una identidad nacional: Santiago Matamoros, el Cid, y Santa Teresa de Ávila”. 2012 (Larson)
Jessica Wehr, "Estilos y estrategias de aprendizaje en la adquisición de español como segunda lengua”. 2012 (Gurzynski-Weiss)
Olivia Holloway, "Female Writing and Transgression: Moacyr Scliar’s A mulher que escreveu a Bíblia". 2011 (Sadlier)
Mark R. Hoff, “El voseo en los medios impresos de Buenos Aires”. 2011 (Díaz-Campos)
Cristina Vanko, “Input Enhancement: A Comparative Study Between Textual and Visual Enhancement Among L2 Spanish Speakers in Vocabulary Learning”. 2011 (Geeslin)
Anastasia Yesnik, "El uso y las percepciones de /ɵ/ por aprendices del Español como segunda lengua" 2010 (Geeslin)
Jennifer C. Burch, “En trans: Una perspectiva revisionista del travesti campy en el cine de Pedro Almodóvar” 2010 (Mejías-López)
Erin Beth Arthur, “The Alternation Between –mos and –nos: Linguistic Variation in Mérida, Venezuela” 2010 (Díaz-Campos)
Jacqueline Cornetta, “Civil Disobedience in Argentina: Politics and Scene Identity in the Anarcho-Punk Scene” 2009 (Clements)
Lucas M. Fields, “La evolución de una teoría sobre la heterogeneidad sociológica en la obra arguediana: La posibilidad hacia la imposibilidad” 2009 (Dove)
Christopher Chrzan, “SPIKS Revisited: An Exercise in Revisionist Translation” 2008 (Dávila)
Katherine Hopkins, “What Women Want: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Love in the Time of Cholera and Like Water for Chocolate” 2008 (Sainz)
Kathleen E. Claussen, “Su propia democracia: Cultura y sociedad civil en América Latina”, 2006 (Mejías-López)
Elissa J. Stransky, “A Study of Interlanguage Pragmatics: Requesting Strategies and Modifications of Intermediate L2 Spanish Learners” 2006 (Geeslin)
W. Ryder Timberlake, “La pronunciación con rasgos extranjeros y la hipótesis del período crítico: La competencia fonológica de aprendices avanzados del español” 2006 (Díaz-Campos)
Sienna M. Teschendorf, “Spanish Gender Agreement: The Development of Accuracy during L2 Acquisition” 2005 (Geeslin)
Melissa David, “Exploring L2 Spanish Learners’ Pragmalinguistic Knowledge with Think-Aloud Protocols” 2005 (Félix-Brasdefer)
Lisa K. Inks, “Linguistic Variation in a Film: The Weakening of /s/ and the Seseo in Andalusia” 2005 (Geeslin)
Download the Honors brochure in Adobe Acrobat format.