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Department of Spanish and Portuguese

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Deparment Chair
Benigno Trigo

Andrés Zamora

Department Administrator
Lilliana Rodriguez

Director of
Graduate Studies
José Cárdenas Bunsen

Director of
Undergraduate Studies

Maria Paz Pintané

(615) 322-6930

(615) 343-7260


On Campus:
313 Furman Hall
(view map)

Mailing Address: 
Spanish and Portuguese
Vanderbilt University 
PMB 401617
2301 Vanderbilt Place
Nashville, Tennessee 37240-1617

Fed Ex/UPS mailing address:

Department of Spanish
and Portuguese
Vanderbilt University
313 Furman Hall
Nashville, TN 37240
Furman Hall

Department of Spanish and Portuguese
Ranked Number One in the Country

The   Chronicle of Higher Education   reported in the January 12, 2007 issue  that the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at Vanderbilt University 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, partly financed by the State University of New York at Stony Brook and produced by Academic Analytics. The Faculty Scholarly Productivity Index rates faculty members' scholarly output at nearly 7,300 doctoral programs around the country. It examines the number of books and journal articles published by each program's faculty, as well as awards, honors, journal citations, and grants received by them. During the last three years the department of Spanish and Portuguese has completely restructured the graduate program making it highly competitive, research oriented, and one of the most dynamic in the country. The Department has an impressive list of books published by its faculty (six in 2005-'2006' by Philip D. Rasico, Edward Friedman, Benigno Trigo, Earl Fitz, and William Luis), as well as many distinctions and awards such as Sigma Delta Pi's Order of Don Quijote 2005 (Edward F. Friedman), Appointment to the Reial Acadèmia de Bones Lletres de Barcelona 2004, (Philip D. Rasico), National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship 2004 (Cathy Jrade), and National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Seminar directorship 2003 (Edward H. Friedman). In addition, the Department is home of three leading professional journals: Bulletin of the Comediantes edited by professor Edward Friedman, the  Afro-Hispanic Review edited by professor 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