University of Minnesota
Department of Spanish and Portuguese Studies
spanport@umn.edu
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Department of Spanish and Portuguese Studies

Founded in the 1960s, the Department of Spanish and Portuguese Studies at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, is widely recognized as a pioneer in the interdisciplinary study of language, literature and, more broadly, cultural expressions grounded in theorized and broadly socio-historical perspectives.

We offer B.A. degrees in Spanish and in combined Spanish and Portuguese; and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Hispanic Literatures and Cultures, Hispanic Linguistics, and Lusophone Literatures & Cultures. Our faculty have strengths in the colonial, postcolonial and globalization triad; feminist, gender and sexuality studies; memory and witnessing; human rights; subaltern studies; law and literature; cultural contacts; and the Hispanic legacies of Hebrew and Arabic traditions. In Linguistics, our strengths are in the study of language in its context(s) with a focus on interdisciplinary approaches to language contact, phonology, pragmatics, second language acquisition, sociolinguistics and syntax.

Department News

  • Meghann Peace: "'That was the goal, for her to understand': Spanish anaphora in L2 speech"

    PeaceSm.jpgHispanic Linguistics Ph.D. Candidate Meghann Peace will present her doctoral dissertation research "That was the goal, for her to understand": Spanish anaphora in L2 speech on June 3rd. Meghann's dissertation analyzes how second language speakers of Spanish use direct object nominal and pronominal expressions in communication, as well as how they vary these expressions in accordance with the status of the direct object referent, the pragmatic conditions under which it is being expressed and the speakers' own assumptions of their listeners' abilities and knowledge. This public presentation will be part of Meghann's doctoral final exam.

    Tuesday, June 3rd
    1:00 p.m.
    317 Folwell Hall
    Free of charge. Everyone welcome.

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  • Megan Corbin: "Haunted Objects: Spectral Testimony in the Southern Cone Post-Dictatorship"

    Corbin.1cr.jpgSpanish American Literatures & Cultures Ph.D. Candidate Megan Corbin will present her doctoral dissertation research Haunted Objects: Spectral Testimony in the Southern Cone Post-Dictatorship on May 9th. Megan's dissertation examines the role of the everyday, common object in relation to the human experience and capacity to give testimony--to communicate experiences of trauma, torture and suffering. In her research, she seeks to bring together a number of subfields: theoretical interpretation of testimonial narratives, trauma theory, memory studies, spectral theory, and object-oriented philosophy, in order to "think with things" in her analysis of narratives emerging in Argentina, Uruguay, and Chile in what is called the "Post-Dictatorship" period. This public presentation will be part of Megan's doctoral final exam.

    Friday, May 9th
    2:00 p.m.
    317 Folwell Hall
    Free of charge. Everyone welcome.

    (Continue Reading)
  • Memory's Turn: Artistic-Cultural Production and Postdictatorial Reckoning in Brazil

    Rebecca-Atencio-1_1.jpgLecture by Rebecca Atencio, from Tulane​ University's Spanish and Portuguese Department

    Thursday, May 1, 2014
    1:00-2:15pm
    10 Folwell Hall

    Rebecca Atencio is an Associate Professor of Luso-Brazilian Literary​ and Cultural Studies. Her main area of research is Brazil's ​ post-dictatorial literary and cultural production.

    More...

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  • Review of the documentary "Elena"

    elena and girl-sm.jpg"As Dores Viram Agua"
    Review of Elena, by Craig Foster

    Acclaimed Brazilian director Petra Costa previewed her first feature-length film, Elena, to students, professors and visitors at the University of Minnesota on Monday, March 24. The most-watched documentary in Brazil of 2013, the film pulled attendees into a streaming current of reminisces in the director's search for her sister, the titular Elena, twenty years after they last saw each other.

    Elena moved to New York City from Minas Gerais, Brazil when Petra was just seven years old. After early success starring in stage performance with the theater group Boi Voador, Elena saw what little opportunity remained in Brazil quickly disappearing under the strict austerity measures of then-president Fernando Collor. Disappointed with

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