The main objective of the Literature division is to train students diachronically in their fields, providing them with an exceptional theoretical background and thoroughly preparing them for their future academic and scholarly careers. Our faculty work in areas that challenge and extend the notion of “canonical literature” through expansion to other media, other art forms, and other disciplinary methods.
Specific areas of strength include: 1930s Latin American public performances in both theater and radio; the framework of Queer and Affect Studies to conceptualize the contemporary intellectual figure in Latin America and the Caribbean; material culture in the Golden Age, specifically the intersections of literature and visual arts; 19th- and early 20th-century Spanish literature and philosophy; film and popular culture in 20th century and contemporary Spain and Mexico; Afro-Caribbean literature, a trans-Atlantic field; Inter-American studies; and transnational modernisms and avant-garde movements. Moving forward, our work will be driven by thematic, methodological, and globalized concerns. Our students are also encouraged to take classes in the Comparative Literature, English, or French departments to further enhance their academic preparation.
With over twenty professional faculty and more than fifty graduate students (about half at the doctoral level), our department is committed to maintaining a low student-to-faculty ratio. Our graduate students teach three basic Spanish courses per academic year, and selected and qualified students are frequently offered to teach culture, literature, or linguistics courses not only in Spanish, but also in Italian and Portuguese. The intellectual environment of the Department is regularly enhanced with guest lectures, colloquia, conferences, and institutes. In the last few years, authors such as Mario Vargas Llosa, Antonio Benítez Rojo, Mempo Giardinelli, Tomás Eloy Martínez, Rosa Montero, Antonio Muñoz Molina, and Ana Lydia Vega, read their work and presented lectures in our department.