This book was edited for an upper-division writing-intensive course centered on major issues of culture in the context of the Spanish-speaking world. It is not a history of civilization, nor is it a survey of either Latin American or Peninsular literature. Rather, our objective here is to familiarize ourselves with the different issues central to the development of the Hispanic world as a cultural entity, and to practice analyzing and questioning received notions of culture in this context. We will examine all sorts of texts--literary, visual, musical, and filmic--from all periods of both Latin American (including Brazil) and Peninsular history, reading them through the lens of a series of topics found below. The materials were compiled, edited, and written by the instructors from the Department of Spanish and Portuguese Studies at the University of Minnesota -Twin Cities. With this publication, we wish to make this book available to any equivalent courses at other institutions.