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Furman Hall

Department of Spanish and Portuguese
Ranked Number One in the Country

In 2010, the National Research Council ranked the Department of Spanish and Portuguese of Vanderbilt University between 4th and 11th in research in a field of 60 departments.The Chronicle of Higher Education   reported in the January 12, 2007 issue that our Department was ranked number one as the most productive graduate program in both Spanish and Portuguese studies in the country by The Faculty Scholarly Productivity Index. During the last two years we have restructured our graduate program making it highly competitive, research oriented, and one of the most dynamic in the country. We have an impressive list of books published by our faculty, as well as many distinctions and awards such as International Ramon Llul Research Award (Philip D. Rasico, 2015), a Guggenheim Fellowship Award (William Luis, 2012) a, Sigma Delta Pi's Order of Don Quijote (Edward Friedman, 2005), an Appointment to the Reial Acadèmia de Bones Lletres de Barcelona (Philip D. Rasico,2004), a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship (Cathy Jrade 2004), and a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Seminar directorship (Edward H. Friedman, 2003). In addition, we are home to two leading professional journals: the  Afro-Hispanic Review edited by William Luis and the Vanderbilt e-Journal of Luso-Hispanic Studies edited by Christina Karageorgou.

Our faculty's areas of expertise include: 

  • Colonial Latin American studies
  • Latin American literature of the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries
  • Hispanic Caribbean literature
  • Hispanic Transatlantic literature
  • Afro-Latin American literature
  • Brazilian literature
  • Comparative approaches to Brazilian and Spanish American literature
  • Latino Caribbean literature in the United States
  • Inter-American literature (comparative studies of the literatures and cultures of the Americas)
  • Medieval Spanish literature
  • Early Modern Spanish literature
  • Modern and contemporary Spanish literature
  • Comparative Iberian Studies (comparative studies of the literatures of Spain and Portugal)
  • Hemispheric Studies
  • Transatlantic Studies
  • Spanish, Spanish American, and Brazilian cultural studies
  • Spanish, Spanish American, and Brazilian film studies
  • Catalan studies
  • Literature and media
  • Linguistics and philology of all Romance languages of the Iberian Peninsula
  • Sociolinguistics

Some more specific objects of study and research include:

  • Autobiography as a genre
  • Constructions and images of otherness in Latin America
  • Contemporary Spanish drama
  • Counter-colonial thought in Latin America
  • Discourse analysis and pragmatics
  • Issues of subjectivity and gender in early modern literature
  • Latin American and inter-American literary theory
  • Metafiction in Hispanic literature
  • Medieval courtly literature
  • The Picaresque tradition
  • Modernismo and modernity
  • Poetics and politics of the body
  • Poetry of the Spanish and Latin American Avant-Garde
  • Popular culture
  • Race in Afro-Spanish American and Brazilian literatures
  • Sex, gender, and sexuality in Brazilian literature
  • Sexual poetics of the Spanish novel
  • Spanish ideological fictions
  • Theory and practice of translation
  • Travel writing, migration, and Caribbean diaspora