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The intent of the Spanish and Spanish-American Literature, Language and Cultures Ph.D. program at Arizona State University is to be as flexible as possible. Recognizing the many demands put upon the scholar in the modern world and the wide variety of specialized interests, every attempt will be made to plan a program of study, with the supportive guidance of the student’s advisor that will best prepare the candidate for a productive career in the discipline of Hispanic studies. Thus, rather than specifying a general and rigid program of courses, broad areas of competence will be established, through an individualized program of study, that will be measured by the written and oral comprehensive examination administered at the end of formal course work and prior to the writing of the Ph.D. dissertation.

The Spanish Ph.D. program at Arizona State University is one of the few selected as a pilot program for the MLA/Mellon Project to Strengthen Career Preparation for PhDs in Languages and Literatures.

The program has four tracks that contribute to prepare students for the Academy of the XXIst Century. Moreover the traditional Peninsular and Latin American studies, the doctoral program includes four areas of study, or tracks:

  1. Visual Studies
  2. Mexican-American Studies
  3. Early Modern Iberian Studies
  4.  Linguistics Studies.

The Visual Studies track explores the meanings and practices of looking across historical and literary periods of the PanHispanic culture. Within the Cultural Studies umbrella, Visual Studies include a variety of methods and approaches applied mainly to photography, film, television, performance, video, comics, and popular culture.

The Mexican American Studies track explores the Mexican American condition as displayed in literature, language, visual arts, and cultural practices. This new track serves to recognize the importance of the historical, political, and socioeconomic experiences of Mexican American citizens in the United States, particularly in the Southwest, and establishes cultural links to all US Latinos as well as to Latin America and Spain.

The Early-Modern Iberian Studies track focuses on the historical interconnections between the literatures and cultures of the Iberian Peninsula, and explores Iberian global systems of exchange from the Middle Ages to modernity and post modernity. This new track challenges conventional divisions between genres, periods, and regions: its scope will cover transatlantic, Mediterranean, pan-European, and colonial texts, performances, visual artifacts, maps, buildings, and so on.

The Spanish Linguistics track offers advanced interdisciplinary graduate training that combines key areas in second language acquisition and teaching, applied linguistics, heritage language research and pedagogy, sociolinguistics and bilingualism. In addition to taking six core courses in Spanish Linguistics, students will opt to specialize in one of these three options: 1) SLA and teaching methodologies; 2) heritage language research and pedagogy; or 3) sociolinguistics and bilingualism.


As part of the program, the graduate students will receive a solid education in Digital Humanities as well as in the new trends of the profession.

Popular Career Options

Teaching careers at high schools, community colleges, colleges, and universitiesHigher education administration
U.S. Federal GovernmentInternational Programs
Teaching/Writing/Learning CentersResearch and teaching careers at colleges and universities
Non-Profit OrganizationsInterpreters
Academic and non-academics publishingTranslators
Cultural and historical organizations


For more information, please contact Juan Gil-Oslé, Spanish Graduate Representative.


 Chicano/a Newsletter

Associate Professor (Ph.D. University of Arizona): Heritage language development and classroom instruction, language program development, bilingualism, and heritage language assessment and literacy development.
Ligia. Assistant Professor (Ph.D. Indiana University): 20th and 21st century Brazilian literature and culture, 20th and 21st century Latin American narrative, consumer culture, everyday life, cultural studies, Brazilian popular music, Lusophone African narrative, narratives of Brazilian migration.
Assistant Professor (Ph.D. University of Southern California): Spanish sociolinguistics, Spanish in the Americas, Spanish of the Southwest, dialectology, historical linguistics.
Regents’ Professor (Ph.D. University of Washington): Latin American narrative and theater, Argentine literature, Mexican literature, Brazilian literature, Latin American film, Hispanic bibliography, literary/cultural theory, gender/queer theory.
Professor (Ph.D. University of California at Davis): 19th and 20th century Spanish narrative, Spanish film studies.
Juan Gil-Osle
Associate Professor (Ph.D. University of Chicago): 16th and 17th century literature, friendship theory, early modern globalized world, image and text, Cervantes, early modern gender, digital humanities.
Associate Professor (Ph.D. Stanford University): Mexican American literature (novel, short story, theater, essay), Chicana writing and feminist theory, Chicano/a literary criticism, U.S. Latina/o literature (Neorican, Cuban American, Nica-American), Pan-Latino theory, postcolonial theory, Chicano/a and Latino/a cultural studies.
Associate Professor (Ph.D. Stanford University): Mexican American literature. Chicano and Latino literatures and cultures.
Professor (Ph.D. The Pennsylvania State University): Latin American narrative and theater; women writers and feminist theory; film studies; literary theory, criticism and aesthetics; cultural studies; comparative literature and translation studies.
Professor (Ph.D. Arizona State University): Spanish literature: 20th and 21st century Spanish fiction, popular studies, cultural studies, women’s writers, literary theory, digital humanities.
Professor (Ph.D. Charles University, Prague): 20th-century Latin American narrative, theater and poetry, Caribbean, Central American, and Mexican literature, literary theory and cultural studies, avant-garde and postmodern literature and culture, magic realism, Latin Americanism and other macondismos.
    “El Eternauta, Daytripper, and Beyond examines the graphic narrative tradition in the two South American countries that have produced the medium’s most significant and copious output. Argentine graphic narrative emerged in the 1980s, awakened by Héctor Oesterheld’s groundbreaking 1950s serial El Eternauta. After Oesterheld was “disappeared” under the military dictatorship, El Eternauta became one of the most important cultural texts of turbulent mid-twentieth-century Argentina. Today its story, set in motion by an extraterrestrial invasion of Buenos Aires, is read as a parable foretelling the “invasion” of Argentine society by a murderous tyranny.
    Heritage language (HL) learning and teaching presents particularly difficult challenges. Melding cutting-edge research with innovations in teaching practice, the contributors in this volume provide practical knowledge and tools that introduce new solutions informed by linguistic, sociolinguistic, and educational research on heritage learners. Scholars address new perspectives and orientations on designing HL programs, assessing progress and proficiency, transferring research knowledge into classroom practice, and the essential question of how to define a heritage learner. Articles offer analysis and answers on multiple languages, and the result is a unique and essential text ― the only comprehensive guide for heritage language learning based on the latest theory and research with suggestions for the classroom.
    Author Luis Goytisolo (Barcelona, 1935) started to write the first notes of Antagonía in 1960 and concluded it in 1980. Published in four volumes between 1973 and 1981, the novel has been considered a contemporary classic. Recently it has been selected as mandatory reading in France for the Agrégation of Spanish, the most prestigious competitive examination for the public education system, leading to a position for secondary and higher education. For five years the central focus of my research has been a critical edition of Antagonía (1,400 pages; introduction, and 1,850 notes), prepared in collaboration with the author and with Columbia University Professor Gonzalo Sobejano, who wrote the epilogue of the edition. “Reading Antagonía requires great intellectual commitment. But the rewards are immense: this is an endlessly stimulating gothic cathedral of a novel, a world to wander in – surprised, affected, diverted and perplexed– for weeks on end” (Michael Kerrigan, The Times Literary Supplement). “Cátedra publishes a monumental critical edition of a literary monument” [Cátedra publica una edición crítica monumental de un monumento literario.”] (Santos Domínguez, Revista Encuentros con las Letras).
    Los cigarrales de la privanza y mecenazgo en Tirso de Molina
    The topic of this monograph on Cigarrales de Toledo is the interconnection between representations of male friendship, economic patronage systems, and privado political thought in the first published book by Tirso de Molina. Los cigarrales del mecenazgo is based on archival research and offers an unprecedented study of the Pimentel family’s role in Tirso’s life. It focuses on Tirso de Molina’s most astonishing patron: don Luís Suero de Quiñones y Acuña. Being a relatively poor member of the powerful Pimentel family. He appears both in the images on the cover page of Cigarrales de Toledo, and as a character in the text, while his painting collections became famous in the European art market. The representations of friendship, patronage, and privanza (royal favoritism) are fundamental to the literature of the first half of the seventeenth century; as a whole, they form a powerful tool to analyze the miscellaneous Cigarrales de Toledo as a unit of great importance in Tirso’s literary career.
    First published in 1987 (this second edition in 1992), the Handbook of Latin American Literature offers readers the opportunity to explore this literary history in the English Language and constitutes an ideological approach to Latin American Literature. It provides both concise information concerning particular authors, works, and literary traditions of Latin America as well as comprehensive material about the various national literatures of the area. This book will therefore be of interest to Hispanic scholars, as well as more general readers and non-Hispanists.
    One of the important cultural responses to political and sociohistorical events in Latin America is a resurgence of urban photography, which typically blends high art and social documentary. David William Foster examines the work of photographers ranging from the internationally acclaimed artists Graciela Iturbide, Pedro Meyer, and Marcos López to significant photographers whose work is largely unknown to English-speaking audiences. He grounds his essays in four interlocking areas of research: the experience of human life in urban environments, the feminist matrix and gendered cultural production, Jewish cultural production, and the ideological principles of cultural works and the connections between the works and the sociopolitical and historical contexts in which they were created. Foster reveals how gender-marked photography has contributed to the discourse surrounding the project of redemocratization in Argentina and Guatemala, as well as how it has illuminated human rights abuses in both countries. He also traces photography's contributions to the evolution away from the masculinist-dominated post–1910 Revolution ideology in Mexico. This research convincingly demonstrates that Latin American photography merits the high level of respect that is routinely accorded to more canonical forms of cultural production.
    Heritage Language Teaching: Research and Practice presents a summary of research in heritage language development and an exploration of classroom practices that best meet the needs of heritage learners in the United States based on that research. There is particular emphasis on Spanish as a heritage language due to the large amount of research generated in that language, but general principles as well as specific details relevant to other languages are also featured. The book's purposes include: •To familiarize teachers with aspects of the sociolinguistic reality of minority languages in the U.S. that impact curricular and pedagogical practices •To offer basic theoretical underpinnings and research findings in a non technical style about the development of a heritage language •To weave together different curricular and classroom approaches to teaching heritage learners •To provide guidelines for placement, curriculum, and other administrative concerns This book assumes no prior knowledge of language acquisition, and is intended for those who are beginning or are already engaged in a teaching career at the postsecondary or high school level. The tone and style are informal and reader friendly; jargon and technical terms are avoided when possible and defined when used. While many examples are provided in Spanish, the authors have also included examples from the other more commonly taught HLs in the United States as well. The book is designed to be useful to all teachers of heritage languages in the U.S. Each chapter includes a chapter summary, a list of suggested further reading as well as discussion questions and "Pause to consider" boxes. The book can be useful in a number of contexts: •As the sole text in a course that focuses on teaching heritage learners •As an adjunct to a number of "methods" books used in introductory language teaching courses •As a text for undergraduates pursuing certification in a teacher education program, graduate students in methods courses, and in service instructors who wish to expand their knowledge about teaching heritage learners.
    Analyzing seventeen recent films by eleven different filmmakers from Argentina, Brazil, Cuba, Mexico, Paraguay, and Peru, Cynthia Tompkins uses a comparative approach that finds commonalities among the disparate works in terms of their influences, aesthetics, and techniques. Tompkins introduces each film first in its sociohistorical context before summarizing it and then subverting its canonical interpretation. Pivotal to her close readings of the films and their convergences as a collective cinema is Tompkins’s application of Deleuzian film theory and the concept of the time-image as it pertains to the treatment of time and repetition. ISBN: 9780292744158
    "Imperfect Friendship: From Humanism to Enlightenment with Cervantes" addresses the relationship between representations of male friendship (15th century to the Enlightenment) and images of friendship in the works of Cervantes. Gil-Osle uses a twofold theory of male friendship as the foundation for his argument. On the one hand, classical, medieval, and Renaissance theories of friendship (Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, Saint Agustin, Rieval, Alberti, Ficino) support his analysis of the classical, ecclesiastic and humanistic tradition of amicitia within which Cervantes was writing. On the other, Cervantes’s representations of friendship are – at times – so atypical of the amicitia tradition, that they necessitate examination through enlightened models of social relationship and the idea of the individual (Hume, Adam Smith, Kant). As a result Cervantes appears as a key figure in the evolution of solidarity models from social organization to individualistic frameworks. This book shows the intellectual history of the notion of amicitia in a period that first began to develop the market logic, egoist theories, and family paradigms that occupy a large portion of our current political imaginary. Peninsular literature and cultures are presented in this book as fundamental to understanding the evolution of the notion of friendship in Europe. ISBN: 9788484896401
    “Latin American Documentary Filmmaking” is the first volume written in English to explore Latin American documentary filmmaking with extensive and intelligent analysis. David William Foster, the leading authority on Latin American urban cultural production, provides rich, new interpretations on the production of gender, political persecution, historical conflicts, and exclusion from the mainstream in many of Latin America's most important documentary films. ISBN: 9780816523313
    Part of the self-image of Phoenix is that the city has no history and that anything of importance happened yesterday. Also that Phoenix is a "clean" city, though there is considerable evidence of a past of police corruption and social oppression. The "real" present-day Phoenix, easygoing and sun-drenched, a place of ever-expanding development and economic growth, guarantees, it is said, an enviable lifestyle, low taxes, and unfettered personal freedom and opportunity. Little of this is true. Phoenix has been described as one of the least sustainable cities in the country. The sixth largest urban area of the United States, there is an alarming superficiality tourism-oriented discourse of the leaders and citizens of the capital of Arizona. This study examines a series of narrative works (novels, theater, chronicles, investigative reporting, personal accounts, editorial cartooning, even a children’s television program) that question this discourse in a frequently stinging fashion. The works examined are anchored in a critical understanding of the dominant urban myths of Greater Phoenix, and an awareness of how all the newness, modernity, and fun-in-the-sun mentality mask a uniquely dystopian human experience.
    This much is fact: at noon on May 29, 1970, Argentinean general and former president Pablo Eugenio Aramburu was abducted from his Buenos Aires apartment by the Montoneros, an urban guerilla group that supported the regime—and return—of exiled leader Juan Perón. Only after a month-long search was it discovered that the Montoneros had executed Aramburu three days after kidnapping him, leaving his corpse to rot inside a farmhouse in the remote hamlet of Timote. José Pablo Feinmann’s brilliant fictionalization of this momentous event in Argentine history raises as many questions as it answers, about issues of ongoing global concern: nationalism, fundamentalism, terrorism, torture. Imagining the abduction, interrogation, and murder as a series of gripping dialogues between the captor Fernando and the captive general, Feinmann delivers readers deep into the psyches of warring ideological factions. Who are the Montoneros, who claim to represent an injured people? Who are Perón and his idolized late wife, who claimed to love their country? Who is Aramburu, who claims to protect democracy? Combining adroit political analysis with true-life characters, “Timote” illuminates for English-language readers a dark episode of history and a darker side of the human mind. ISBN: 9780896728066
    There is growing interest in heritage language learners―individuals who have a personal or familial connection to a nonmajority language. Spanish learners represent the largest segment of this population in the United States. In this comprehensive volume, experts offer an interdisciplinary overview of research on Spanish as a heritage language in the United States. They also address the central role of education within the field. Contributors offer a wealth of resources for teachers while proposing future directions for scholarship.

    Cinco meses en la Argentina desde el punto de vista de una mujer | Cynthia Tompkins

    Translation of Katherine Dreier’s Five Months in the Argentine: From a Woman’s Point of View 1918- to 1919. Trans. Cynthia Margarita Tompkins. Ed. María Gabriela Mizraje. In the Prologue Mizraje provides a socio-historical context of the period in which this American philanthropist arrived in Buenos Aires. In the Introduction Tompkins offers a biographical account that underscores this amateur painter’s phenomenal contribution to the recognition of modern art. Finally, in the “Criteria of the Translation” Tompkins dwells on Dreier’s interpretations and misinterpretations on issues such as the suffragist movement, the worker’s struggles, and Argentine idiosyncrasies.
    Emil Volek Book
    The book, developed on and off for almost forty years, offers a radical revision of life and work of the Mexican nun Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz (1651-1695). Based on the latest discoveries in most diverse archives (from Lima to Tulane and Mexico), it carefully sifts through all the information that circulates among her readers to conclude that practically all that information “is factually erroneous, freely invented or slanted,” spun to fit the imaginary life story each of the contending lines of criticism strives to create. As a consequence, her work has been read partially, sometimes contradictorily and always out of context; her long and intense internal debate that has come to head in her last years has been transmuted into fanciful punishments imposed on her from outside. Evidence contradictory to fantasy has been carefully avoided. Baseless conjectures, repeated and improved on by further conjectures have solidified as “accepted reality.” The book is a devastating critique of dilettantish “sorjuanismo,” from less than “critical” editions to impressive yet equivocal monuments (Paz) and all between. It is also fun to read and, being a text about the Baroque, conceals a challenge for the intelligent reader.