Language acquisition + Cultural understanding

Our department provides academic preparation for majors, minors, and graduate students in Spanish and Portuguese, contributing to the overall liberal arts mission of the College. We believe that language acquisition requires an understanding of the cultural contexts in which language is spoken.

Language study also provides us with a means of communicating with others, both within and outside of the U.S., and of strengthening cultural literacy and intercultural understanding. In our department, students and faculty engage with questions of identity and difference. They explore the histories and contexts in which language and culture exist and change.

Language instruction

We provide language instruction in Spanish, Portuguese, and Catalan in our Basic Language Program. In our Portuguese program, we offer multiple sections of language at various levels. For Catalan, we consistently teach two courses at the introductory and advanced level every year, cross-listed with a graduate course in Catalan.

Engaging students in smaller classes lies at the heart of successful classroom teaching of language and content in a target language. We keep class sizes as small as we can, and all are capped at either 23 or 24 students.

Our faculty

Our department is home to 21 tenured and tenure-track scholars who produce cutting-edge research that is integrated into their teaching and lead one of the top programs in the country. Their expertise covers the full range of fields, periods, and approaches to Hispanic, Lusophone, and Catalan literatures and Hispanic Linguistics, offering students a comprehensive and rigorous preparation in the discipline.

Our faculty are actively engaged in interdisciplinary ventures. They are affiliated or adjunct members of other units on campus, including American Studies, the Brazilian Studies Group, Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CLACS), Center for Theoretical Inquiry in the Humanities, Cognitive Science, Comparative Literature, Cultural Studies, European Studies, Gender Studies, History, International Studies, Linguistics, Medieval Studies, Renaissance Studies, and Second-Language Studies.

Meet our faculty

Overseas study

In line with our mission, we have a history of actively promoting serious academic study abroad. The vast majority of our B.A. students study abroad, something that we strongly encourage and support through direct leadership of programs such as year-long and semester programs in Madrid and summer programs in the Dominican Republic.

Interested in learning about our degree programs?