University of Minnesota
Department of Spanish and Portuguese Studies

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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

  • Public Lecture - Eduardo Lalo, University of Puerto Rico

    University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras
    Rómulo Gallegos Prize

    Friday, April 22, 2016
    Folwell Hall 108, 3:00-4:15 pm

    “El Caribe gris: la escritura en el colonialismo profundo.”

    Introduction: Frances Matos-Schultz (Puerto Rico)
    Discussion: Salvador Raggio (Perú)
    Closing: Luis A. Ramos-García (Perú)

     Lecture Description:

    (Continue Reading)
  • 2016 Undergraduate Interdisciplinary Conference (UIC)

    April 6th, 7th & 8th
    9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
    1210 Heller Hall

    The UIC will take place on April 6th, 7th & 8th and will include presentations in a variety of languages.

    Faculty, staff, and students are invited to join us for the Fourth Annual Undergraduate Interdisciplinary Conference (UIC), hosted by the Departments of Asian Languages and Literatures, German, Scandinavian and Dutch, French and Italian, Spanish and Portuguese Studies, and the Institute for Global Studies.

    The program is online at

    (Continue Reading)
  • History of the search for children born in captivity or illegally appropriated during the last military dictatorship in Argentina

    Lecture and Skype Discussion

    Dr. Mariana Herrera Piñeiro
    Director of the Argentine National DNA Data Bank

    April 4, 2016
    125 Nicholson Hall
    11.15 am
    The National DNA Data Bank (BNDG) was created at the beginning of the democratic recovery period  in Argentina to help  identify genetically the children of persons who had disappeared during the State Terrorism period between 1976 and 1983, and who had been deprived of their identity and appropriated by military oppressors based on a systematic plan designed and implemented by military officers of the highest rank.

    The BNDG developed a genetic database based on genetic samples provided by relatives (mainly grandparents) of appropriated children, which were received and stored at the BNDG. Thousands of genetic analyses were performed in children who were suspected to have been born from missing parents and had been appropriated by oppressors, and such analyses contributed to identify 119 children.

    Sponsored by the Arsham and Charlotte Ohanessian Chair,  the Department of Spanish and Portuguese Studies and the Human Rights Program

    For questions: contact  Prof. Ana Forcinito:

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  • 3rd Annual Graduate Student Conference - "Exchange and Collision"

    "Exchange and Collision"
    March 25-26, 2016 
     We welcome the public to the following events
    Keynote Speakers
    Patrick Dove, Professor, Indiana University 
    Friday, March 25th
    3:30pm, 140 Nolte Center
    “The Secret of the World: Globalization, History and Modernity in Roberto Bolaño’s 2666”

    Almeida Jacqueline Toribio, Professor, University of Texas at Austin
    Saturday, March 26th
     4:00pm, Folwell 112
    "La Mancha (negra?) del plátano: Language and self-/other-ascribed identity"

    Film Screening
    Colombian documentary
    Testigos de un etnocidio Memorias de resistencia
    (Witnesses to Ethnocide: Memories of Resistance)
    Friday, March 25 at 6:30 pm Nolte 140

    (Continue Reading)

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