The Department of Spanish and Portuguese Studies at the University of Minnesota has a strong tradition of fostering socio-historical perspectives in the study of culture. We emphasize global Hispanic and Lusophone studies while being attentive to the legacy of colonialisms that continue to inform regional and national histories as well as the multidimensional relationships between language and culture.
Our faculty are committed to comparative and interdisciplinary studies and they engage a variety of contemporary theoretical approaches with strengths in postcolonial theory, feminisms, critical race theory, queer theory, human rights, and theories of globalization.
The Hispanic Linguistics program emphasizes the study of language in its contexts with a focus on interdisciplinary approaches to language contact, phonology, pragmatics, second language acquisition, sociolinguistics, and syntax.
Our program offers graduate students the chance to develop research projects by working closely with faculty and by participating in departmental workshops with both faculty and fellow graduate students. Our students typically go on to be leaders in the field in tenure track positions at research institutions and at distinguished liberal arts colleges around the country. Please visit our Ph.D. Graduates web page for a list of former PhDs in Spanish and Portuguese at the University of Minnesota.
Please visit our Applying page for more information.
APPLICATION DEADLINE: DECEMEBER 15
We offer Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy degrees with concentration in three areas:
The close integration of these three areas of literature and culture—Spanish Peninsular, Latin American, and Lusophone literature and cultures—makes this department unique in the United States.
Graduate students may also take courses in related departments and programs, among them:
Our department sponsors several renowned publications such as Hispanic Issues and Studies in Hispanic and Lusophone Linguistics. Faculty organize major international conferences and symposia, some on a regular basis such as the State of Ibero-American Studies Theater.
The library collection at the University of Minnesota, one of the largest in the nation, provides strong research support. Of particular interest is the prestigious James Ford Bell Library's collection of rare books, maps, and manuscripts documenting the overseas expansion of early modern Europe. The Tretter GLBT collection is one of the nation's largest, and is international in scope, including substantial holdings in Spanish and Portuguese.
Our department has strong institutional ties with important research communities across campus such as:
All graduate students accepted into the program are eligible for support in the form of a nine-month graduate instructorship which includes:
Incoming and continuing students may be nominated by the department for University-wide fellowships available at the University of Minnesota.
Our Department has institutional ties with important departments, programs and centers across campus, among them:
Hispanic 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
317 Folwell Hall
Free of charge. Everyone welcome.
Spanish 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
317 Folwell Hall
Free of charge. Everyone welcome.
"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