Romance Languages and Literatures

Hispanic and Luso-Brazilian Studies

Hispanic and Luso-Brazilian Studies (HLBS) is an interdisciplinary intellectual community that strives to provide a profound understanding of the multiple languages, literatures, and cultures of the Iberian Peninsula and Latin America.

We offer a strong, comprehensive curriculum that embraces the multiple disciplinary traditions and theoretical diversity of our fields. Our graduate program also highlights the linguistic and cultural diversity of Iberia and Latin America, offering a rich selection of languages relevant to HLBS such as Catalan, Portuguese, and Spanish.

Visit the Undergraduate Program section for information on College majors and minors in Spanish, Portuguese, and Catalan.

Our Faculty

We cover all periods of Iberian and Latin American cultural histories and offer a rich variety of approaches to the study of literature, theater and performance, the visual arts, and intellectual production. While specializing in a wide variety periods and critical approaches, we are particularly strong in a number of areas and interdisciplinary fields of study:

  • Early modern Spain and colonial Latin America (Frederick de Armas, Larissa Brewer-García [on leave 2019-20], Miguel Martínez, Victoria Saramago)
  • Modern and contemporary Latin America and Iberia (Agnes Lugo-Ortiz, Mario Santana, Danielle Roper, Mauricio Tenorio, Dain Borges, Victoria Saramago)
  • Mexico and the Caribbean (Agnes Lugo-Ortiz, Danielle Roper, Mauricio Tenorio, Victoria Saramago)
  • Nationalism and culture (Agnes Lugo-Ortiz, Mario Santana, Miguel Martínez)
  • Visual studies, film, and the performative arts (Agnes Lugo-Ortiz, Mario Santana, Frederick de Armas)
  • Material approaches and sociology of literature (Mario Santana, Frederick de Armas, Miguel Martínez, Victoria Saramago)
  • Race Studies (Agnes Lugo-Ortiz, Larissa Brewer-García [on leave 2019-20], Dain Borges, Danielle Roper)
  • Gender and sexuality (Agnes Lugo-Ortiz, Larissa Brewer-García [on leave 2019-20], Frederick de Armas)
  • Intellectual and cultural history (Agnes Lugo-Ortiz, Mauricio Tenorio, Dain Borges, David Nirenberg)

Interdisciplinary Engagement

International Exchange

  • Regular visiting professors from universities and research centers in Spain, Portugal, and Latin America thanks to international agreements with the Institut Ramon Llull, the Luso-American Foundation, and the Tinker Foundation and Instituto Etxepare. Recent visitors came from the Colegio de México, Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona, Universidade de Lisboa and University of the Basque Country.
  • The Program in Catalan Studies (Lectureship and Visiting Professorship) was established in 2005 thanks to an agreement with the Institut Ramon Llull. In 2005-2006 the department started offering courses in Catalan language and hosted the first Visiting Professor in Catalan Studies (the Joan Coromines Chair). A list of visitors can be found here.
  • Opportunities for field research facilitated by a number of exchange programs with Spanish and Latin American universities.

Research Resources

  • The University of Chicago Library. One of the largest research libraries in North America, with 12.6 million volumes in print and electronic form, the Library holds a vast collection of Iberian and Latin American printed materials, maps, manuscripts, rare books, journal holdings, databases and microfilm sets, and provides extensive support for developing personal research skills.
  • The Newberry Library. One of the nation’s preeminent independent research collections and organizes an array of research seminars and colloquia engaging graduate students.


Our graduate students are not required to teach during their first year in order to focus on course work. Students first serve as language assistants who lead weekly discussion sections, then take on increased responsibility as lecturers in the college's language program and as course assistants for our literature courses.

Additional teaching opportunities are available after the first 5 years as a lecturer, language assistant, or course assistant. Eligible students must have completed the Department’s pedagogy seminar, finished any required coursework, and made satisfactory progress on their dissertation.