Majoring in Hispanic Studies

Overview

Spanish is the third most spoken language in the world. Major in Hispanic studies and you learn to participate in and better understand this global community. You not only master the language, you acquire a broad understanding of the cultures of Spain, Latin America and Hispanics in the United States. We also offer an interdisciplinary major focusing on Latin American studies. Your learning is integrated with outreach, with a particular focus on the life of Hispanic communities locally and abroad. You take field trips to schools, an immigration law firm, a hospital, a prison, social services agencies and the superior court. You also have an opportunity to volunteer locally through a program called Proyecto Comunidad.

International opportunities and study abroad

You can go abroad through the College's own Study Away Teach Away (SATA) program or through study-abroad programs offered by other universities. Some Hispanic studies and Latin American studies courses take short trips at the College's expense to Spain, Peru or the U.S.-Mexico border. On campus, you can practice your conversational Spanish with friends at the Knowlton international dining hall. Knowlton Language House is a popular housing option for students who want to immerse themselves in another culture.

Personalized learning

Faculty are committed to guiding you toward your academic and professional objectives. Hispanic studies opens doors to a range of opportunities that require critical analysis and problem-solving skills. You'll have a competitive edge for jobs in education, business, government, social work, health care, law, media, travel and other fields.

What can you do with a majorcertificate in Hispanic Studies?

Here are some of the positions our graduates have gone on to hold:

  • President, La Luna Films
  • Federal Security Director, U.S. Transportation Security Administration
  • Box Office Manager, D.C., United Major League Soccer
  • Customer Service – Central and South America, Cooper-Atkins Corp.
  • Account Executive for Sales, IBM
  • Volunteer & Outreach Coordinator, La Luna Films
  • Equity Sales, BTG Portugal
  • Director, City of Madison Department of Civil Rights
  • Market and User Research, TiVo
  • Managing Partner, Sofos International
  • Professor of Modern Languages and Literatures, Beloit College
  • Director of Reservations, Inventory and Distribution, Marriott International Inc.
  • Spanish Teacher, Medfield High School
  • Account Planner, Google Inc.
  • Professor of Literature, Universidad de Puerto Rico
  • Director of Mercosur Affairs, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative
  • Attorney, Harlem Legal Services
  • Marketing Manager, Unilever Inc.
  • Director, Edutravel, Center for Cross-Cultural Study
  • Head of Bilingual Education, New London Department of Education

Faculty

Luis M. González, Associate Professor of Hispanic Studies Luis M. González, Associate Professor of Hispanic Studies

Luis M. González, Associate Professor of Hispanic Studies
Peninsular literature • Spanish film studies • Spanish cultural studies • Culture and ideology

Frank Graziano, John D. MacArthur Professor of Hispanic Studies Frank Graziano, John D. MacArthur Professor of Hispanic Studies

Frank Graziano, John D. MacArthur Professor of Hispanic Studies  (On sabbatical 2014-2015 academic year)
Spanish American cultures • Popular Catholicism in Spanish America • Undocumented migration

Aida Heredia, Associate Professor of Hispanic Studies Aida Heredia, Associate Professor of Hispanic Studies

Aida Heredia, Associate Professor of Hispanic Studies
Latin American literature and culture • Caribbean literature and culture • Critical theory

Julia A. Kushigian, Hanna Hafkesbrink Professor of Hispanic Studies, Hispanic Studies Department Chair 2014-2015 Julia A. Kushigian, Hanna Hafkesbrink Professor of Hispanic Studies, Hispanic Studies Department Chair 2014-2015

Julia A. Kushigian, Hanna Hafkesbrink Professor of Hispanic Studies, Hispanic Studies Department Chair 2014-2015
Gender, culture and race studies in Spanish America • Orientalism in the Hispanic tradition

Jennifer L. Rudolph, Assistant Professor of Hispanic Studies Jennifer L. Rudolph, Assistant Professor of Hispanic Studies

Jennifer L. Rudolph, Assistant Professor of Hispanic Studies
Latino cultural studies • Critical race theory • Masculinity theory

Student profile


Karen Cardona  Karen Cardona

Hispanic studies, gender and women's studies


Q: Why Hispanic studies?
A: My family and I are political refugees from Colombia. Growing up, I was unable to understand the reasons as to why certain things occurred in Latin America. Majoring in Hispanic studies has allowed me to understand these issues from an academic perspective.  


Q: Most rewarding class?
A: “Religion and Violence in Latin America” with Professor Graziano. It taught me about how much the influence of religion and the violence that occurred during the Spanish Inquisition has affected Latin American culture today.


Q: Did you study abroad?
A: I studied in Lima Peru through the College’s SATA program. I also completed a College-funded internship with a national food and drink workers union in Medellin, Colombia. I conducted interviews with workers who had experienced gender-based violations in the workplace. 


Q: What are your career plans?
A: I am currently applying to graduate programs for Latin American and Caribbean studies at several universities, including the University of Illinois at Chicago and the University of Florida. After graduate school, I want to work for nonprofits that focus on gender-based violence or workers rights in Chicago or in Latin America. 

Selected courses


  • Latino Writers in the U.S.
  • Literature of the Hispanic Caribbean
  • Contemporary Spanish Cinema
  • Religion and Violence in Latin America
  • Youth in Spanish America
  • Contemporary Spanish Women Writers
  • Masterworks of Spanish Theater
  • U.S. Latino Urban Youth Narratives

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