About the Department

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The Department of Spanish and Portuguese at the University of Maryland, College Park, has been the home of Latin American and Spanish literary major authors such as Juan Ramón Jiménez, who taught at the University between 1943 and 1951 and who, after being nominated by the Department, received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1956. The legacy of Juan Ramón Jiménez as well as that of cultural critic Ángel Rama, award-winning poet José Emilio Pacheco, and Professor Emerita Graciela Palau de Nemes, among others continues to shape the thought, vision, and mission of our Department. Following in this tradition of excellence and innovation, the Department offers comprehensive undergraduate and graduate programs in the languages, literatures, and cultures of Latin America, Spain, and Portugal.

We are committed to deliver educational excellence to our students while not losing the focus on the production of new knowledge that is the hallmark of topnotch departments. Our strenghts are 1) a diverse foci on the intersections between literature, culture and politics, 2) our community engagement initiatives, and 3) our signature Spanish Applied Linguistics program. We bridge several intellectual fields across Spain and Spanish America; between North, the Caribbean and South America, and between the Americas and Brazil, in order to rethink the specificity of our cultures.

The Department is renowned for its transdisciplinary strengths in Latin American and Lusophone literatures and cultures as well as its faculty research in the areas of the history of ideas, Southern Cone literature, Judeo-Latin American literature, Mexican literature, theater, and performance, Latin American modernismo, colonial and transatlantic discourses, Central American transnational cultures, U.S. Latinidades, Quechua language and indigenous literatures, Archipelagic poetics, salsa and sabor, Brazilian cinema, Lusophone Africa and African diaspora studies, deconstructions of the Cuban Revolution, and contemporary reinscriptions of the nineteenth century.

Faculty members in the area of Spanish literature are recognized for their work in the history of the Spanish language and philology from the Middle Ages to the present, Medieval historiography and women narratives, Golden Age poetics, Cervantes and Quevedo traditions, revisions of the Enlightenment, romanticism (journalism and costumbrismo) and realism (philosophical traditions), modern and postmodern narrative and poetics, as well as representations of the Spanish Civil War and exile, particularly in Latin America.

The Department is also at the forefront of Spanish Applied Linguistics, language teaching pedagogy, language teacher education, language use and identity, social and political issues in foreign language teaching and learning, instructional technology, learner variables and learning disabilities, language for specific purposes, cross-cultural communication, and heritage language learning.


The Department of Spanish and Portuguese at the University of Maryland, College Park, seeks to forge a strong dialogue between, and within, our areas of specialization pertaining to Latin America, Spain, and Portugal. To that end, we offer thorough instruction in the diverse, complex, and globalized literatures, cultures, and linguistics of the Spanish and Portuguese-speaking world. Our students not only develop the critical language skills to communicate in the target language but also gain an understanding of the cultures, politics, histories, and literatures of the communities and national spaces of the Americas, Spain and Portugal.

Our goal is to foster learning, develop critical perspectives, and promote intellectual growth in our students. We teach across interdisciplinary fields such as literature, film, popular and visual culture, theatre, history, philosophy, critical theory, gender and queer studies, philology, and linguistics in different cultural and geographic contexts. We strive for the creation and discussion of new forms of knowledge and the effective engagement of our students and faculty with the world. We prepare students to become promising professionals in their chosen careers.