Courses Descriptions

Trinity in Barcelona participants enroll in a combination of Trinity-taught and Universitat Pompeu Fabra-taught courses.  To request syllabi, please contact

Special Note: All students are required to enroll in a Spanish-language course. Advanced speakers will enroll in a Trinity-taught course, Spanish Writing and Speaking in Context (BARC 223). Beginning and intermediate students will enroll in a Spanish language course at the UPF.

Trinity-taught Courses

Barcelona: In Search of the Structure of its Daily Life (BARC 300)

Faculty: Agueda Quiroga (1 Trinity credit = 3.5 semester hours)
Required: For beginner and intermediate track (core course)
Language of Instruction: English*

Fulfills following requirements: Humanities and Global

This course is designed to help students enrolled in the beginner/intermediate track to learn to “read” the city of Barcelona in a culturally and historically informed manner. This will involve applying theories of culture-planning and identity formation to the observable reality of the city. Special attention will be given to the problematics of interlinguistic (primarily Castillian-Catalan but now also Catalan vis a vis English, Arabic Urdu and Mandarin) and interethnic (Catalan, Castilian, Arab, Pakistani and Chinese) interference within the urban space. The goal of this course is to provide the foreigner studying in Barcelona with the information needed to read the city, and from there, the comportments of its citizenry (understood here in the broadest possible sense of the term) with more indulgent or complicitous eyes, that is, with a gaze that takes into account the realities that structure the cosmovision of the more informed and reflective residents of the city. The course intends also to train students in the observation, the analysis and the explanation/interpretation of social phenomena, using the city of Barcelona as a fieldwork space. 

Three main approaches are combined in the course. The first one is a general approach to the contemporary city. The second one implies a reflection on the particular political, historical and cultural development of the city of Barcelona. The third one is to introduce the students into basic concepts of cultural analysis.

  • This will be done through:The analysis of theoretical readings the cast light upon the systemicity of culture in general and urban life in particular.
  • Lectures (with accompanying readings) about key historical moments in the contemporary life of the city offered by recognized experts in the period under study.
  • Guided visits to sites of memory that facilitate an understanding of the major social and cultural forces in play during the particular historical moment under analysis..

The Modernization of Southern Europe: The Case of Catalonia within Contemporary Spain (BARC 330)

Faculty: Giovanni Cattini (1 Trinity credit = 3.5 semester hours)
Required: Yes
Language of Instruction: Spanish

Fulfills following requirements: Humanities and Global

This course aims to provide students enrolled in the advanced track an overview of the processes of modernization of within southern Europe during the contemporary era.   This will be achieved through a close examination of 19th, 20th and 21st century Catalonia in a comparative perspective, first in relation to the various “culture-nations” of the Iberian Peninsula (Castile, Galicia, Portugal and the Basque Country), and then in light of developments in other states of the Mediterranean basin during the same period.

The course will be comprised of 10 “theoretical” classes revolving around the discussion of previously distributed readings (30 hours), as well as 3-4 field visits, each of some five hours in duration. The class will also have a three-day study-tour to one of the capital cities of the four “other” national spaces of the Iberian Peninsula (Lisbon, Madrid, Bilbao or Santiago de Compostela). 

Note: the final choice of excursions from the extensive list of possible journeys listed below will be made after consultations between the instructor and the on-site coordinator for the Trinity in Barcelona program. 

Spanish Writing and Speaking in Context (BARC 223)

Faculty: Ana Zaragoza (1 Trinity credit = 3.5 semester hours)
Required: Required for advanced students only*
Language of Instruction: Spanish

Fulfills following requirements: Second Language

This course is designed to help students of Spanish as a Foreign Language become more competent in both written expression and in their day-to-day academic interactions in Spain and beyond. Emphasis will be placed on recognizing differing registers of language and then learning to reproduce them in an accurate and culturally appropriate manner.

*Beginner and intermediate track students will enroll in a Spanish course at the UPF.

Visual Barcelona - Photography Elective (BARC 259)

Faculty: Lourdes Segade (1 Trinity credit = 3.5 semester hours)
Required: No
Language of Instruction: English*

Fulfills following requirements: Art and Global

This course will provide students with the tools necessary for engaging in a self-critical relationship with their photographic and story-telling abilities. It will center on the transmission of basic photographic concepts and genres in the hope that this knowledge will enhance student ability to analyze the city, its inhabitants and the nature of visual representation itself. Considerable emphasis will be placed on editing as well as ensuring that the work produced is in consonance with the conceptual demands of each assignment. Students will also be provided with general understanding of the work of today’s outstanding Spanish and non-Spanish photographers as part of their effort to more fully understand the “ grammar” of photographic storytelling. Special note: Visual Barcelona is not approved for Studio Art credit at Trinity College.

*Intermediate and advanced speakers may be required to submit some or all coursework in Spanish.