The Joan Coromines Visiting Chair of Catalan Studies was created in 2005 thanks to the generous support of the Institut Ramon Llull and is named in honor the eminent philologist and hispanomedievalist, Joan Coromines (1905-1997). Prof. Coromines taught at the University of Chicago from 1946 until his retirement in 1967, and was known for both his contributions to Romance philology, literary studies, and for his ardent defense of Catalan culture.
The Coromines Chair is a central component of the Catalan Studies program within the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, which also offers Catalan language courses. This program was not only created to honor the extraordinary tradition of Joan Coromines, but also to rethink the boundaries of the discipline and expand its scope into new areas that are essential to the understanding of the past, present, and future of our engagement with language and culture.
In the study of Hispanic literatures, one of the most interesting developments in the North American academia during the last decade has been the reconfiguration of the field of Spanish Literature (traditionally centered on literary productions in the Castilian language) into a wider spectrum of Iberian and Latin American Studies, where the interliterary relations and internal complexity of multilingual culture in the Iberian Peninsula and the Americas become major objects of analysis and research. Scholars of Hispanic literatures are now expected to be familiar not only with the Spanish language, but also with other languages that, like Catalan, coexist and participate in the production of these cultures. Romance philology scholars always understood this reality, and Coromines himself was not only the author of seminal works on Catalan linguistics, but also contributed significantly to the etymologies of the Castilian and Basque languages, and was a member of Royal Academy of the Galician Language.
The Coromines Chair is administered by the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, but is open to scholars in any field. Every year, the University invites candidacies from distinguished scholars in the Humanities or the Social Sciences, and from writers or artists working on any area of Catalan culture. The selected candidate is appointed as visiting professor in residence at the University of Chicago for one quarter, and teaches a course as part of our program in Catalan Studies.
Coromines Visiting Professors
2005-2006: Carme Riera
2006-2007: Alfred Bosch
2007-2008: Amador Vega
2008-2009: Joan Sanmarti-Grego
2009-2010: Vicente J. Benet Ferrando
2009-2010: Josep Quer
2010-2011: Amadeu Viana
2011-2012: Emilio Ros-Fábregas
2012-2013: Montserrat Lunati
2013-2014: Xavier Pla