Summer Symposium 2020: Spain

Experience SYA and the world. Again.

About the SYA Summer Symposium

Whether you are looking to deepen your understanding of the host country, while sharpening your language skills, or are simply looking for a way to return to the country you love or would love to visit, the SYA Summer Symposium is a terrific way for you to re-experience SYA with a group of like-minded peers. 

Program sessions are taught in the local language by SYA year-long teachers, who will lead participants through an in-depth study of the stated theme, using a combined approach of lectures, discussions and in-the-field learning. 

This year we are offering a session in Spain only.

RELACIÓN DE ESPAÑA CON AMÉRICA: 
CONQUISTA, COMERCIO Y LEYENDA NEGRA

(Spain in America: Conquest, Commerce, Human Rights and the Spanish Black Legend)

June 21-26, 2020

We are pleased to announce that this year's SYA Summer Symposium will again be held in Cádiz (Andalucía), listed as one of The New York Times "52 places to go in 2019!" This six-day program includes five "class" days and is designed for adults who are comfortable learning in Spanish. We will explore some of the major themes in the 400-year history of "Spain in America" with an eye toward understanding how this history has shaped popular American views of Hispanic culture, a matter of acute interest today as Latinos make up nearly 20% of the population of the United States. 

The SYA Summer Symposium takes you beyond tourist travel. Similar to the SYA student experience, you’ll make intellectual and personal discoveries you couldn’t imagine back home. You’ll learn from the world, not just a book. In addition to lively classroom sessions, you will get out of your seat connecting topics to relevant historical markers in and around the city. You’ll delve into the Archive of the Indies during a one-day field trip to Sevilla where you'll explore traces of commercial navigation along the Guadalquivir River. A welcome dinner and a surprise farewell event will provide social bookends to the week of classroom work. You’ll reflect on those experiences and ponder big ideas. You’ll see the world as a richer, more complex place. And, if you want the real mini-SYA experience, ask us about a host family stay while in Cádiz!

SYA Spain’s Antonio López Piña returns to head the symposium after leading last summer’s program, which won high praise from participants. This year we will again take advantage of our presence in Cádiz to make connections between our physical surroundings and some of the intriguing issues of history and culture at the heart of the course. A city on the Atlantic coast but with a Mediterranean soul, Cádiz has an extensive historic quarter that is largely unchanged from the city’s days as Spain’s commercial gateway to the Indies. This, together with its beaches, its vibrant cuisine, and other cultural attractions, make it an especially inviting setting in which to explore the fascinating topic of "Spain in America."

This symposium appeals to language teachers seeking a deeper understanding of Hispanic culture in the U.S., to SYA  Spain alumni looking for an opportunity to renew their acquaintance with Spain and its past, and to all SYA alumni, parents and friends who wish to strengthen, or perhaps revive, their Spanish language skills in an intellectually stimulating and socially welcoming environment.  

The program is also open to faculty and staff from member and sending schools. All sessions are in Spanish, so participants should be comfortable speaking and understanding the language.  

Help spread the word!
If you would like to share this opportunity with someone you feel would appreciate this experience, please follow this link to download a flyer to print and share. 

Symposium Details

Dates for 2020

Sunday, June 21 - Friday, June 26, 2020

The week begins with a welcome dinner on Sunday, June 21 with symposium sessions beginning on Monday, June 22. The week will be capped off with a surprise farewell. We recommend that you arrive in time for the Sunday dinner and to give yourself time to become acquainted with Cádiz.

Daily Schedule

Download the full program outline here

Course Topics

El curso aborda una aproximación a la conquista española de América a través del estudio de su desarrollo geográfico y administrativo así como en
la repercusión que tuvo en el comercio español y americano sin olvidar los aspectos relacionados con el trato sufrido por los indígenas y que contribuyó a crear la Leyenda Negra española. Estudiaremos desde diversas enfoques con el fin
de obtener una perspectiva lo más amplia posible.

El curso tendrá lugar en Cádiz, ciudad que fue puerto de cabecera de Indias y contó desde principios del siglo XVIII con el privilegio de monopolizar el comercio con América. Tendremos la oportunidad de descubrir el modo en que esta circunstancia influyó en el desarrollo y el crecimiento cultural de la ciudad y cómo ese carácter ha perdurado hasta hoy.

 

This course seeks to understand the Spanish conquest of America by studying its geographic, commercial and administrative development, and how Spain's treatment of indigenous peoples fueled the Spanish "Black Legend," the product of a propaganda effort which sought to demonize the entire Spanish undertaking in the New World. 

The seminar will take place in Cadiz, a port city which held a privileged monopoly on trade with America and which retains an expansive historic center reflecting its prosperity as an 18th century commercial hub.

Leyenda negra
La historia, como relato, está sometido a intereses ideológicos e interpretaciones. No queremos caer en el relativismo posmoderno y plantear que todo es interpretación. En los últimos años se ha desarrollado en España una línea de investigación revisionista que pone en duda la historia transmitida hasta ahora y propone desbancar lo que cree que son mitos, falsedades y exageraciones de la Leyenda Negra. Apoyándonos en datos de diversas fuentes trataremos de ofrecer una visión lo más veraz y equilibrada de la cuestión.  Aprende más

  The Black Legend
We will explore the ideological forces which gave rise to the Spanish "Leyenda Negra," examine how the effects of this anti-Spanish propaganda campaign persist to this day in popular culture in North America and elsewhere, and seek to separate fact from fiction in light of recent historical research. 
Learn more
España y las Indias
La llegada, conquista y explotación de América fue un proceso largo y complejo en el que intervinieron multitud de factores. Abordaremos los antecedentes y las características del viaje, así como las relaciones de explotación, dominación, saqueo y colaboración. Tendremos en cuenta la relevancia del hecho de que la monarquía española se convirtiera pocos años después de la conquista en un imperio.  Aprende más.
 
  Spain and the Indies
As we delve into the multitude of factors which made up the complicated process that was the conquest and exploitation of America, we also consider the nearly contemporaneous change of the Spanish monarchy from a small regional power into a globe-spanning empire. Learn more.
Andalucía y el comercio con las Indias
La importancia del puerto de Sevilla como puerto de cabecera de Indias favoreció el esplendor de esa ciudad y la dotó de un carácter capitalino y abierto que dura hasta hoy. Cuando la casa de Contratación pasó de Sevilla a Cádiz, el influjo del comercio, su riqueza y el trasiego de personas llegadas de todas partes del mundo convirtió a esta pequeña ciudad costera en un lugar de encuentro, cultura y progreso. Aprende más.
 
  Andalucia and Trade with the Indies
We will trace the transfer of the Indies trade monopoly from Sevilla to Cadiz and look in depth at the emergence of this ancient but small port city as a center of cultural exchange and progressive ideas. Learn more.
Ilstración española
La situación extraordinaria a la que se enfrentó el Imperio español (un nuevo mundo extraordinariamente rico y ya poblado) puso a los pensadores españoles del momento ante una importante controversia: ¿Someter o asimilar? La historiografía mundial ha olvidado el papel que estos intelectuales tuvieron en la construcción de las bases de los derechos humanos así como en la dotación de una dignidad jurídica a los habitantes de las Indias.  Aprende más.
 
  The Spanish Enlightenment and Human Rights
From our privileged vantage point in Cadiz, we will examine the important but much overlooked 16th century debate in Spain over the treatment and inherent human rights of the indigenous peoples of the Americas. Learn more.
Propuestas para el debate

¿Es cierto que la religión imprime un carácter que trasciende a los individuos y configura el espíritu de una época? ¿Hasta qué punto son iguales y hasta qué punto se diferencian el catolicismo y el protestantismo en su relación con el comercio y la acumulación de capital? ¿Es el crecimiento económico un factor explicable desde una sola interpretación...? 

Estas y otras preguntas nos servirán para propiciar el debate y profundizar en aspectos específicos que vayamos tratando al hilo de las clases. Aprende más.

  Proposals for debate
Topics themed on religion, ethics, economics and capitalism will provide spirited conversation and lively debates. Learn more.

 

 

 

 

 

Cost of Symposium

Alumni, Parents, SYA Faculty and Others
The program offers an early registration fee* of $1,595 per adult if registered by January 31, 2020; price increases to $1,795 through May 30, 2020, as space allows. Registration includes the opening and closing dinner and one lunch, as well as any transportation during class days. 

Member School Faculty and Staff
As a benefit to SYA's Member Schools, we are pleased to offer a reduced registration fee* to faculty and staff of these schools. Early registration fee of $1,000 per adult is applicable through January 31, 2020; price increases to $1,200 through May 30, 2020. See the FAQ section for more information on professional development.

*A $500 non-refundable deposit is required to secure your spot. Price does not include flight, hotel and most meals. More details can be found on the registration page.

Cádiz, Spain


Cádiz, in the region of Andalucía, is located in southwestern Spain and was listed as of the The New York Times "52 places to go in 2019!" A famous port city, rich with varied cultural traditions, Cádiz is said to have been founded over 3,000 years ago. The diverse architecture and local cuisine point to the city's numerous conquerors of the past: the Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans, Visogoths, Byzantine, Moors and even the French.  Christopher Columbus and Sir Francis Drake were known to have visited the Port of Cádiz.

There is high-speed train access between Madrid and Cádiz, but keep in mind that it is a 4.5-hour journey! For those starting from Sevilla, the train ride is only 1.5 hours.

Travel and Hotel Recommendations

Cádiz is located in southwestern Spain. You can fly to Madrid and take a high-speed train to Cádiz (4.5 hours) or fly to Sevilla and take a 1.5-hour train to Cádiz. You should plan to arrive in town in time for the welcoming reception dinner on the night of June 22 and plan to stay through the day on June 26 for the ending celebration.

If you are interested in living with a Spanish "host" (for an additional fee), please contact Susan McLean. Since Cádiz is not the host city of our SYA Spain campus, we cannot guarantee finding a placement, but we are willing to try! 

Parador de Cádiz
Belongs to the national network of Paradores de turismo. Great prestige and comfort. All rooms with sea views and gourmet restaurant onsite. Next to the beach of La Caleta.
157 €/día.

Hotel Playa Victoria
4-Star hotel located on the great beach of Cádiz (Victoria). All rooms with sea views. 20 minutes from the city center.
90€/día.

Senator Cádiz Spa Hotel
One of the best hotels in the city for its excellent facilities and its downtown location. Very close to the cathedral square, the harbor and the train station. The rooms do not have sea views. (Watch the promotional video)
69€/día.

Hotel de Francia y París
Small but very comfortable hotel in the middle of one of the most beautiful and lively squares of the old city, the Plaza de San Francisco. It has no sea view. Located in an area with many cafes, restaurants and a  good atmosphere.
61€/día.

Hotel las Cortes de Cádiz
Hotel built in a palace house. The environment is very beautiful, also near the Plaza San Francisco.
58€/día.

Alquimia Hostel
Hostel with good reviews for its guests. Located next to the Bay of Cadiz, in the old part of the city. Economic solution but of good quality.
49€/día.

*Prices are approximate depending on many factors. Being a city with a huge historical and geographical attraction, it is strongly recommended you book your room as far in advance as possible.

Feedback From Past Participants

Past symposiums have included a class on Don Quijote, Spanish Contemporary and Modern Art, 100 Year of Politics in Spanish Film and Geopolitics of Spain. Here is what participants are saying about them:

“The seminar was so informative and inspiring. I would go again every year. I had such an awesome experience."

"I have been a student of Spanish for over 25 years and a teacher for sixteen, and this week was one of the most meaningful language and cultural experiences I have ever had. I can’t recommend it enough.”

"For Spanish speakers, the program was challenging and engaging. Would do it again!"

“I loved everything – practicing Spanish, the lectures, the community, spending time in Zaragoza and even the activities not connected to the class, the tapas, the wine tasting, the cooking class.”

"I thoroughly enjoyed my stay and studies. I have participated in three others (summer teacher workshops) over the last 10 years (Cuernavaca and Oxford Barcelona) and this summer was, by far, my best experience. Zaragoza is a perfect city to explore but also small enough to walk most everywhere."

"[The best aspect was] The experience and knowledge of the teacher about the content of the course, and how he connected a lot of it to the location we were in. Oriol did a fabulous job preparing engaging and meaningful activities for the movies we viewed. The movie director he invited to come and speak to us was a fabulous experience."

FAQs

Who can attend
The SYA Summer Symposium is open to all members of the "SYA family," Member School faculty and staff, as well as language teachers from our sending schools. The only requirement is that you have a strong command of the host language.

The Symposium was originally designed as an opportunity for SYA Spain alumni to return in-country, practice their Spanish, reconnect with fellow alumni and learn something new. We soon discovered that there were alumni, who had studied at other SYA campuses, who wanted to participate as well — even family and friends who hadn't attended SYA at all. And what a great opportunity for language teachers looking for a professional development abroad. We have found that this mix of participants has greatly enriched the overall experience.

Faculty Professional Development
Some common questions from teachers are:

  • Do you grant credit for the symposium? While you will receive a certificate of completion at the end of the program, we do not have an arrangement to grant professional development credit.
  • I really want to save a spot, but I have to wait until I know whether my school will contribute professional development funds. What should I do? Send an email to Susan McLean. We realize that all schools function on slightly different calendars when it comes to approving professional development funds and are happy to work with you. 

Do I need to be fluent in the host language?
The sessions will be conducted entirely in Spanish and participants must have a strong command of the language.

What does a typical day look like? 
See this year's outline. While each summer brings with it some modifications depending on both the instructor and the content of the symposium, the traditional structure is as follows:

  • 10:00am-1:30pm Class (with coffee break, claro)
  • LUNCH (on your own)
  • 4:30-6:30pm Class resumes either at the school or elsewhere as specified by instructor
  • An activity could be planned for as early as 7:00am or as late as 9:00pm ... it depends on the activity! 

Planned activities are not required, but participants often find them interesting and a good way to get to know the other participants and practice their Spanish. Activities in the past have included: walking tours, wine tasting, a tapas crawl, museum visits and cooking class.

As the schedule above indicates, there are approximately five hours of class per day and plenty of time to squeeze in activities of your own choosing, like walking on the beach, visiting a monument, taking photographs or perusing the shops. Cádiz is a very easy city to explore, with a reasonably compact downtown area. 

Is there any advanced readings or work to be done?
Stay tuned!

 

For more information, contact Susan McLean,
Associate Director of Development and Director of Alumni Relations
smclean@sya.org / 978.722.6162

Saludo curso verano Cádiz!

About Antonio López Piña

Antonio López Piña earned a BS in Political Science and Sociology from Universidad Complutense in Madrid. Before SYA, he taught language, art and history at secondary schools. In addition, he started his own independent theater company in Madrid that hosted a variety of performances, including original works and new renditions of classics. Antonio joined SYA in 2007 and has taught political science, theater and Spanish language. He also spent the 2012-2013 academic year teaching language at Deerfield Academy (MA) in order to better comprehend his students’ backgrounds. Both a dedicated and innovative teacher, Antonio used part of his sabbatical last year to redesign his political science course in a way that would make it more experiential. His new class is called: Applied Sociology: Spain and street-level politics.

Politics and theater are two fundamental pillars in Antonio's life, thus it does not come as a surprise that he is a published playwright (La Pieza and Circa Ignis) and an active blogger. He published a collaborative work with José Aurelio Martín Rodríguez which is entitled Diccionario de nosotros mismos, showcasing his sophisticated and sharp sense of humor. In 2018, he also published the illustrated book Estrategia with Cristina López. His latest book, a satirical dictionary entitled 1000 Terms to Disregard Politics, is about to be published.

Me interesa el teatro político y social, las redes invisibles que conforman el poder, los símbolos, lo que se oculta tras lo que se dice y lo que no se puede decir porque está tan presente que no lo vemos.

— Antonio López Piña