The University of Michigan, an encyclopedic survey ... Wilfred B. Shaw, editor.
University of Michigan.


The Spanish section of the department in 1940 counted three tenured faculty members and offered a total of 78 classes during the academic year 1940-41. In addition to the normal basic language instruction, the upperclass and graduate program included a rotation of courses in Cervantes, the theater of the seventeenth, nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the novel of the medieval and Golden Age periods and of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. There was one course in Latin-American literature and one in grammar for future teachers.

Staff and course program remained substantially unchanged during the war years. With the end of the war came a major expansion. In 1945, 121 classes were being taught, including nine intermediate literature courses, three for teacher preparation, and eleven graduate courses. A year later, instruction in Portuguese was reintroduced, with basic language courses and two semesters of Portuguese and Brazilian literature. The expansion of the section reflects the greatly increased American interest in Spanish-speaking countries and the development of high school language programs. This is clearly evident in the statistics: by 1960, the section was offering 143 classes in the academic Page  219year, of which 26 were at the advanced undergraduate level, and 17 were graduate courses.

During these years, the Journal Club enjoyed a revival of interest, and Spanish plays were performed annually for the University community as well as for large numbers of high school students and their teachers throughout the state who came to Ann Arbor for the performances and for the Spanish fiesta which often accompanied them. It was in general a stimulating time for Spanish staff and students.

The decade of the sixties was a period of intense activity both in teaching and in scholarship, as the Spanish section sought to handle the problems created by a swollen student population. 167 classes were taught in 1965 and 174 in 1970. Since 1974, the undergraduate offering has been broadened by a seven-week intensive summer program at Salamanca, for elementary and intermediate language study.