Mission and Goals

Macaws on Mayan Ruins in Honduras
 Day of the Dead skull and flowers
 Brazil skyline
 Machu Picchu

The Department of Spanish and Portuguese is dedicated to helping students form strong oral and written communication skills in both Spanish and Portuguese and to developing students' capacity for critical thinking and cultural literacy.  The department offers a rich undergraduate program that allows for the study of the literature, language, and cultures of the Hispanic and Lusophone worlds from a broad range of perspectives: film studies, gender studies, creative writing, history, and more.  A variety of opportunities are available to students outside of the classroom as well, such as study abroad programs; faculty-led workshops in Latin America; and service learning initiatives in the surrounding Hispanic communities.  The department also offers a combined BA/MA program.  Whether in the classroom, in a one-on-one- collaboration with the faculty, or in the larger community, our students develop the practical skills and cultural preparedness they need for their future as citizens and professionals in a world in which Hispanic/Latino cultures play an increasingly important role.

Diversity and Inclusion

We, members of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, are committed to diversity and inclusion, as our goal as a department is to cultivate an inclusive learning environment for all students. We value persons of all identities, including dimensions such as age, culture, national origin, ability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, language, race, religion, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, and others.   Through the study of literature, languages and cultures of the Hispanic/Latin@/Latinx/Latine and Lusophone communities, we will strive to foster a diverse examination of these cultural perspectives. Moreover, we encourage students to participate in cross-cultural experiences, including workshops in Latin America and Spain, service-learning initiatives in the surrounding Latinx communities and internship positions in the local area and abroad.  These opportunities promote students’ intercultural competency in a world in which Hispanic, Latinx and Lusophone cultures play an increasingly important role. Our course offerings seek to incorporate diverse topics such as social justice, indigenous cultures, blackness, historical constructions of racial inequality, migration, gender identities, sexual orientation, religion and multicultural and multilingual identities.  Furthermore, our department organizes and supports events that integrate diverse voices in areas of literature, culture, linguistics and social justice.  In sum, we aim to foster a positive learning environment for all students and to promote diverse experiences in our classes, local and global opportunities and events while also promoting and supporting diverse initiatives in our communities.