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University of Pittsburgh


The study of a foreign language, literature, and culture like Spanish traditionally has been one of the central components of an undergraduate education in the humanities.

Today there is an added practical dimension to this. With economic and cultural globalization, our links as a nation with Spain and Latin America have become much closer. At the same time, Spanish is not only a foreign language for us; it has become—much like French in Canada—a de facto second language in the United States.

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With a Hispanic population of just over fifty million (2010), the United States itself is the third largest country of the Spanish-speaking world. Spanish is the fastest growing field in the humanities today (more than 50 percent of enrollments in language classes in the United States are in Spanish). As a result, there is a growing demand for persons trained in Spanish (and also Portuguese) in many fields, especially education, where there is a shortage of new teachers of Spanish language and literature.

The Department of Hispanic Languages and Literatures is especially noted for its faculty strengths in the area of Latin American literature and culture, including Brazil, but we also cover Spain and U.S. Latino culture and areas of Hispanic linguistics.

The department works in close cooperation with the University of Pittsburgh Center for Latin American Studies (CLAS), and many students choose as a related area the CLAS undergraduate or graduate certificate program. We also have strong ties to the Film Studies Program, West European Studies, and the Graduate Program in Cultural Studies.



Department of Hispanic Languages and Literatures

50th Anniversary Celebration - Alumni Speaker Series


Beatriz Gonzalez Stephan, Lee Hage Jamail Professor of Latin American Studies, Rice University,  Friday, September 26, 2014, 4:00pm,  501 Cathedral of Learning.

Please click here for the flyer.

Mireya Camurati, Professor Emerita, University of Buffalo,  October 10, 2014, 4:00pm, 501 Cathedral of Learning.

"Borges, poeta intelectual" Please click here for the flyer.

David Gies, Commonwealth Professor of Spanish, University of Virginia,

December 5th,  4:00pm, Humanities Center, 602 Cathedral of Learning.
“Ese oscuro —y rico— objeto de deseo, o Hecho en América: El indiano romántico-teatral”

Alicia Borinsky, Professor of Spanish, Boston University, February 20, 2015, 4:00 pm, Humanities Center, 602 Cathedral of Learning.

¿Quiénes son? Voces femeninas en el tango y la literatura.

Hugo Achugar, Director Nacional de Cultura, Montevideo Uruguya  

April 10, 2015, 4:00 pm, 602 Cathedral of Learning.

“¿Fragmentos? o acerca de los discursos latinoamericanos"

Ana Merino, University of Iowa, Friday, May 1, 2015, 4:30pm, University Club.

 "Celebrating Hispanic Comics in Academia"

50th Anniversary Reception

Friday, May 1, 2015, 5:30 -8:30pm, University Club

Alumni, Colleagues and Friends of the Department of Hispanic Languages and Literatures are in-vited to join us for the grand finale of the Hispanic 50th Anniversary. Present and former faculty and staff members will be in attendance. The program will feature a series of several brief talks and a poetry reading. RSVP to by April 1st to confirm your attendance.

Sponsors: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences, Roggiano Fund, Center for Latin American Studies, John Beverley, Borges Center

Please click here for the flyer.



De-decolonization, Indigeneity and De-patriarchalization: A Bolivian Debate


The sessions will be held in the Latin American Lecture Room, 171B Hillman Library. A reception and art exhibit will be held on Thursday, March 26, from 6:00-8:00 p.m. on the 7th floor of Alumni Hall. The exhibit is by Ricardo Rocha (in memory of Benjamin Kohl).

Please click here for pdf of the program.

Sponsors: Center for Latin American Studies (CLAS), Humanities Center, Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences, University Center for International Studies (UCIS), John Beverley Research Fund, Bolivian Studies Journal, Department of Hispanic Languages and Literatures.




The Department of Spanish and Portuguese, The Department of Music, The Humanities Center and the Center for Latin American Studies are pleased to announce a talk by

Marianella Yanes (Venezuelan writer)

Tango: Sex and the Rhythm of the City

Wednesday, October 1, 2014, 1:00 pm, Humanities Center, 602 Cathedral of Learning

Marianella Yanes is a Venezuelan writer, journalist and playwright. She and Mike Gonzalez are the authors of Tango: Sex and Rhythm of the City (Reaktion Books, 2013).

Camila Pulgar Machado, visiting Fulbright Scholar

October 6, 2014, 12:3o, 139 Cathedral of Learning

Agnes Lugo-Ortiz, Portraiture and Enslavement: Reflections on a Transatlantic Archive

October 3, 2014. 3-5:00, Humanities Center, 602 Cathedral of Learning

This talk will focus on the individualized portrayal of enslaved people from the time of Europe’s full engagement with plantation slavery in the late sixteenth century to its official abolition in Brazil in 1888. While this period saw the emergence of portraiture as a major field of representation in Western art, “slave” and “portraiture” as categories appear to be mutually exclusive. On the one hand, the logic of chattel slavery sought to render the slave’s body as an instrument for production, as the site of a non-subject. Portraiture, on the contrary, privileged the face as the primary visual matrix for the representation of a distinct individuality. Agnes Lugo-Ortiz will reflect upon the conceptual challenges that emerge from the juxtaposition of these seemingly antithetical notions of "enslavement" and "portraiture"and on the particularities of its archival endeavor. Please click here for the flyer.

Agnes Lugo-Ortiz is associate professor of Latin American and Caribbean Literatures and Cultures at the University of Chicago. She is the author of Identidades imaginadas: Biografía y nacionalidad en el horizonte de la guerra (Cuba, 1860-1898)(University of Puerto Rico Press, 1999) and co-editor of Herencia: The Anthology of US Hispanic Writing (Oxford UP, 2001), En otra voz: Antología de la Literatura Hispana de los Estados Unidos,Recovering the US Hispanic Literary Hertiage, volume V (both with Arte Público Press, 2002 and 2006 respectively), and Slave Portraiture in the Atlantic World (Cambridge UP, 2013), as well as of numerous essays

The Department of Spanish and Portuguese, The Department of Music, The Humanities Center and the Center for Latin American Studies are pleased to announce a talk by

Mike Gonzalez (professor emeritus, University of Glasgow)

Guernica: The Making of a Painting

Wednesday, October 15, 2014, 1:00 pm, Humanities Center, 602 Cathedral of Learning

Mike González is co-author of The Gathering of Voices (Verso, 1992), an important book on Latin American poetry, and author of books on Hugo Chávez, Karl Marx, Che Guevara and numerous others. He is also the co-editor of the Routledge Encyclopedia of Contemporary Latin American and Caribbean Cultures and Encyclopedia of Contemporary Latin American and Caribbean Literature.

Please click here for the flyer.

Reforming Communism Conference

November 6 - November 8, 2014.

Keynote Address: Carmelo Mesa-Lago, Thursday, November 6, 2014, University Club. Please click here for link to the conference website:

Symposium on the Latin American "Pink Tide": its achievements, its failures, its legacy and the ensuing critiques

November 14, 2014 (9:30 am - 6:00 pm); November 15, 2014 (10:00 am - 12:30 pm) Humanities center, 602 Cathedral of Learning

The Pink Tide is the label used for the wave of Latin American elected governments that rose to power in the early millennium with a popular majority mandate to democratize the economy and increase social participation. These include Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Uruguay and Venezuela. The Pink Tide seems to be receding, but it may have transformed politics in Latin America irreversibly, in ways that still need to be assessed.

Please click here for the program.


Margarita López Maya. Venezuela. Center for Development Studies (CENDES), Universidad Central de Venezuela. Wilson Center Fellow (2013), Tinker Foundation Fellow, Columbia University (2005), and Andrés Bello Fellow, Oxford University (2000-2011).

Ricardo Forster. Argentina. Universidad de Buenos Aires. Head of the Office of Strategic Planning for National and Latin American Thought, recently created by President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner. Author of La anomalía argentina (Random House, 2010).

Mike Gonzalez. U.K. University of Glasgow. British historian and literary critic. Columnist for The Guardian. Author of Hugo Chavez: Socialist for the 21st Century (Pluto Press, 2014).

Pablo Stefanoni, Bolivia/Argentina. Independent economist and journalist, is editor of Nueva Sociedad, one of the most important journals of social studies and policy from a left of center position in Latin America. Co-author, with Hervé do Alto, of La revolución de Evo Morales (2006).

Sergio Villalobos. Chile/U.S. University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. Author of Soboranías en suspenso. Imaginación y violencia en América Latina (2013).

John Beverley. U.S. University of Pittsburgh. Founder of the Latin American Subaltern Studies Group. Leading figure in U.S. Latin American Studies and postcolonial theory. His most recent book is Latinamericanism After 9/11.

Anibal Pérez Liñán. U.S. University of Pittsburgh. Author of Presidential Impeachment and the New Political Instability in Latin America (Cambridge University Press, 2007).

Please click here for the flyer.

"Mala Mala" Film Screening and Discussion with Directors Dan Sickles and Antonio Santini

Friday, February 6, 2015, 4:00 pm, 1500 Posvar Hall

A film about the trans experience and the power of transformation. "A landmark LGBT documentary," Indiewire. Audience Award, 2nd Place, 2014 Tribeca Film Festival. Free and open to the public.

Sponsors: Center for Latin American Studies, Film Studies Program, Global Studies, Humanities Center, Professor Daniel Balderston, Professor John Beverley

Please click here for the flyer

Ramon Emeterio Betances

NeKahlil Chaar-Pérez, Postdoctoral Fellow, Revolutionary Visions: Ramón Emeterio Betances and the Specters of 19th Century Peurto Rican PatriotismwsItemTitle

Friday, February 27, 2015, 3:00 pm, Humanities center, 602 cathedral of learning

This lecture will discuss elite articulations of 19th century Peurto Rican patriotism and their afterlives through the singular case of Ramón Emerterio Betances, the so-called "father of the nation." It will examine how Betance's romantic visions of revolution and political community in the Caribbean offer an alternate pathway to nationalist traditions of politics and aesthetics.

Please click here for the flyer.

Jean Franco, Professor Emerita, Columbia University, “Distopoas of Globalization

monday, march 2, 2015, 4:00 pm, humanities center, 602 cathedral of learning

This event was cancelled.