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Faculty Profile: José Domínguez-Búrdalo

At Miami, faculty-led study abroad and away programs offer students a once-in-a-lifetime, high-impact travel program in a foreign or domestic location. This winter, José M. Domínguez-Búrdalo, associate professor of Spanish and Portuguese, will lead The Way is El Camino, and is also preparing to co-direct a summer 2021 program, Miami University Summer in Spain.

How long have you been conducting faculty-led programs at Miami?

Group of students on bicycles near Galicia road signI started in 2011 with Miami in UNIOVI, a combined spring and summer program in connection with the University of Oviedo (Spain). Since 2014, the program takes place during the summer term, with homestays in Gijón and two weeks of travel throughout Spain. This new version of the program, now called Miami in Spain, included hiking the Way of St. James, and for the past two years, cooking workshops.

How and why did you get started with this kind of programming?

As Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese in 2007, I created two exchange programs for our graduates (University of Oviedo and University of Málaga). Then, in 2010, I was asked to create a spring-summer program in Spain for our undergraduates. In the spring of 2011, we started running Miami in UNIOVI.

What should students know about your upcoming programs?

A collage of scenes around the Way in SantiagoOur main goal is to provide the right milieu for the growth of our students, in terms of both language acquisition and intercultural competence.

Having this goal in mind, the program rests upon three pillars, all of them intersected by the principles of experiential learning:

  • linguistic and cultural immersion through homestays, where each student lives with a local host family;
  • a series of culturally enriching travelling experiences with the group, including one European destination (e.g., Rome, Paris, or Lisbon), a short-trip through the nearby region (Asturias-Cantabria) and, finally, a travel course walking/biking The Way of Saint James or a Cultural/Culinary Trip through Spain;
  • adaptation of the regular, academic strengths of our Spanish curriculum to the local and regional environment. For instance, linking local industries such as mining (coal) or cider production to Business Spanish (SPN 317); focusing on the prominent political and intellectual figure of Jovellanos –the Spanish Jefferson, so to say—for the course on literature and culture (SPN 352); knowing first-hand migration issues for courses on sociolinguistics (SPN450 or SPN382); involvement with host families in a variety of activities for Spanish Conversation (SPN 342).

About José M. Domínguez-Búrdalo

Associate Professor
Spanish and Portuguese

  • BA/MA in Spanish Philology at the University of Sevilla (Spain) and Ph.D. in Philosophy (Romance Languages) at Johns Hopkins University (2002).
  • Professor of Spanish culture at the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at Miami University since 2001.
  • Research interests: from Unamuno to Juan Goytisolo, from the so-called Spanish Africanist cinema under Franco to Golden Age drama, from Cervantes’ Novelas ejemplares to soccer as a humanistic discipline.
  • Current projects: studying the work of Federico García Lorca.
  • Directing a study abroad program in Asturias (Spain) since 2011. A crucial part of that experience has centered on the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela known as El Camino, which has been the basis for his documentary Itinera (forthcoming), reflecting on the pilgrims’ motivations and experiences.

External Links

Miami Faculty Study Abroad in Spain (video)

Miami University Survey on the Way of St. James (2018)