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  • Locations: Madrid, Spain; Pamplona, Spain
  • Program Terms: Short-Term/Uncoded
  • Restrictions: W&M applicants only
  • Budget Sheets: Short-Term/Uncoded
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Click here for a definition of this term Study Abroad Advisor: Lisa Roney (
Program Description:
In Fall 2023, students will enroll in HIST 212, Spanish Law, Social History. This 10-person seminar is devoted to Spanish history from 1550 to 1800; it will meet M/W/F from 9:00-9:50 and carry 3 credits. Our class will have multiple goals. One is to gain a greater understanding of early modern Spanish history “from below,” that is, to study phenomena that affected ordinary men, women, and children. Such topics include plague, witchcraft, hunger, infanticide, murder, domestic violence, broken marriage promises, debt, theft, exile, and religious expulsions. Another objective is to learn how the legal systems in early modern Spain worked, and to grasp the ways in which ordinary people could attempt to use those legal systems for their benefit. Finally, students will learn how to read the handwriting of legal cases conducted in this period, which are in manuscript form. 

The culmination of the seminar will occur in January 2024, when students will travel with the instructor to Pamplona, Spain, to work for 5 full days on trial manuscripts held in the Royal General Archive of Navarre, known as the AGN. This archive contains thousands of legal cases from 1550-1800. None of these cases is digitized, but topics are searchable through an electronic database; in Fall 2023, we will explore possible angles to pursue once in Pamplona. By participating in this HIST211, students will have the opportunity to conduct original historical research in a foreign language, and in a foreign country.  

Students are expected to depart the United States on Wednesday, January 3, and arrive in Madrid on Thursday, January 4. On Friday, January 5, our group will travel to Pamplona by train. Students will have the weekend of January 6-7 to recover from the trip and explore the historic section of Pamplona. The week of January 8, we will work in the AGN. We will return by train to Madrid early on Sunday, January 14. Students will fly home on Monday, January 15. 

Flights from the United States to Madrid typically arrive early in the morning. Students will thus have approximately two days – January 4 and January 14 – to explore the city. While we are in Pamplona, we will likely visit the nearby coastal city of San Sebastián or the village of Olite, depending upon the weather. Students should note that Pamplona in the winter is cold with rain and snow. 

Course requirements 
Seminar requirements will consist of two midterm examinations on Spanish history, as well as a number of transcription and translation exercises. As the final semester project in December 2023, students will write up a prospectus on what they intend to study once in Pamplona. Students will be required to write a 2-page self-reflective essay during their time in Spain. Grades for the semester will be posted before the start of classes in January 2024. 

Spanish website for the Royal General Archive:
For a description of the archive in English:

About Embedded Programs:
Embedded programs are 3-credit semester courses taken on campus at W&M with an international component integrated into the course. This program will have a 3 credit course that runs during the traditional fall semester. The international trip for this program is to take place during Winter Break.

Course Information:
HISP 212, "Spanish Law, Social History" (taught in Spanish) (3 credits)
Prerequisite: HISP 202 or 4 years of high school Spanish (unofficial transcript required)
Required Texts:
  • Catalina de Erauso, Lieutenant Nun: The True Story of a Cross-Dressing, Translatlantic Adventurer who Escaped from a Spanish Convent in 1599 and Lived as a Man (Beacon Press, 6th edition, 1997)Kris Lane, Potosi: The Silver City that Changed the World (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2019)
  • Ruth MacKay, Life in a Time of Pestilence: The Great Castilian Plague of 1596-1601 (Cambridge University Press, 2019)
  • William D. Phillips, Jr., and Carla Rahn Phillips.  A Concise History of Spain (Cambridge University Press, 2nd edition, 2016) 
  • Matthew Restall, Seven Myths of the Spanish Conquest (Oxford University Press, 2021)

Instructor Information:
Lu Ann Homza  (, Department of History

Program Location:
During the international trip students will visit Madrid and Pamplona, Spain. 

Program Dates:
Depart: January 4, 2024
Return: January 15, 2024

Important Dates:
Application Due: May 18, 2023
Deposit Due ($600): TBD
Balance Due: TBD
*while exact payment due dates have not yet been determined, please note that full payment will be due at the beginning of Fall Semester 2023

Program Fees:
Program Cost: $3150 + airfare (purchased separately by student)
Program cost include: all meals, accommodations, transportation, excursions, international health insurance.

Funding Availability:
Partial funding for this program is available based on financial need as determined by the Office of Financial Aid. Pell Grant recipients are eligible for a scholarship of at least $1,500. Students on W&M Financial Aid are eligible to receive a scholarship of at least $1,000.

Please contact study abroad advisor Lisa Roney ( 

Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.

This program is currently not accepting applications.