Latin American and Latina/o Literatures and Cultures
The Latin American and Latina/Latino section of the Department of Spanish, Italian and Portuguese is dedicated to examining the broad range of literatures and cultures produced by the historically Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking peoples of the Americas. In a contemporary context, Spanish is increasingly becoming a de facto second language in the U.S., and Brazilian communities have flourished in many areas of the country. Our historical and hemispheric perspective, moreover, reveals the fundamental role that Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking communities have played in the shaping of the territories of the Americas. Through our particular attention to the cultural expression of the region, we examine the complex array of American national and continental realities in a global context.
The research and teaching of the sections faculty focuses on the specificity of Latin American and U.S. Latina/Latino literary writing along with the production of visual cultures (i.e. art, film) and intellectual traditions (i.e. history of ideas, essays, journalism). Our work also examines questions of gender, race, sexuality, space, national identity, trans-nationalism and globalization, the relationship between literature and economics, and intersections of language and power. We particularly emphasize transnational and trans-cultural approaches to Latin American and U.S. Latina/Latino (including Brazilian-American) narratives that critically rethink the historical place of these texts in U.S. academia. Students at both the graduate and undergraduate level explore questions of cultural difference, contact and representation throughout the hemisphere from the pre-Columbian era to the present. The aim of the section is to promote a careful examination of Latin American and Latina/Latino literatures and cultures and, thereby, prepare students to critically engage with the linguistic and cultural complexities of the world they inhabit.
Iberian Literatures and Cultures
The Iberian section of the Department of Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese is dedicated to analyzing the broad range of literatures and cultures produced in the geographical zone that currently corresponds to the Spanish and Portuguese nation-states. The research and teaching of the section's faculty involves a wide range of cultural artifacts, including chronicles, novels, sermons, short stories, poems, essays, plays, magazines, paintings, and movies, all in the contexts of the various linguistic and intellectual traditions in which they arise. Our work also examines how said artifacts relate to such matters as gender, religion, race, class, sexuality, space, nationality, imperialism, globalization, economics, language, and power. Students at both the graduate and undergraduate levels explore questions of cultural difference, contact, and representation throughout the peninsula from the medieval period to the present. Special emphasis is given to critical considerations of the ways in which national identities and literary canons are constructed and maintained, as well as the tensions, omissions, and multiple interests inherent in these constructions. The aim of the section is to promote careful critical examination of Iberian literatures and cultures and thereby prepare students to critically engage with the linguistic and cultural complexities of the world we inhabit.