I decided to study at Indiana University while I was living in Madrid, Spain as an exchange student during my senior year of high school. Inspired by the art, history, and literature that surrounded me during my year in Spain, I was ecstatic to continue studying Spanish at IU. I was happy to meet such a welcoming and supportive community of students and scholars interested in the Spanish-speaking world like myself.
Undergraduate perspective: Stuart Sones
In my first year, I delved into Spanish linguistics and literature, and also acted in the department's Teatro VIDA in which I played the role of El Barbero (The Barber) from the entremés, Juan Rana mujer, by Jerónimo de Cáncer y Velasco. Who knew that 17th century plays could be so hilarious… and progressive! During my sophomore year, I dove deeper into my passion for modern Spanish literature in Prof. Reyes de Vila-Belda's class, Iberian Modernities. For my final paper, I explored a scene in Carmen Martín Gaite's Entre visillos in which the norms of bourgeois Francoist society were inverted, analyzing this microcosm of conservative Spanish society through the carnivalesque theories of Mikhail Bakhtin. I was honored to present this work, "The World Upside-Down: the Carnivalesque Studio in Entre visillos," at the Diálogos graduate student conference and publish it in the Indiana University Journal of Undergraduate Research. Outside of academics, I enjoy practicing my Spanish through music, playing guitar and singing mariachi tunes in IU's mariachi ensemble, Mariachi Perla del Medio Oeste. In the future, I aspire to go on to graduate school in anthropology and North African studies. I know Spanish will be useful in my future research and hope that the language will continue to open a world of beautiful music, literature, and meaningful cultural exchange.