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, Miguel Martínez, Victoria Saramago)
  • Modern and contemporary Latin America and Iberia (Agnes Lugo-Ortiz, Mario Santana, Laura Gandolfi, Mauricio Tenorio, Dain Borges, Victoria Saramago)
  • Mexico and the Caribbean (Agnes Lugo-Ortiz, Laura Gandolfi, 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 (Laura Gandolfi, Mario Santana, Frederick de Armas, Miguel Martínez, Victoria Saramago)
  • Race Studies (Agnes Lugo-Ortiz, Larissa Brewer-García, Dain Borges)
  • Gender and sexuality (Agnes Lugo-Ortiz, Larissa Brewer-García, Frederick de Armas)
  • Intellectual and cultural history (Agnes Lugo-Ortiz, Mauricio Tenorio, Dain Borges, David Nirenberg)

Interdisciplinary Engagement

  • The University of Chicago’s campus-wide, interdisciplinary graduate workshops are a hallmark of graduate study at this University. Our students and faculty often participate in workshops such as Caribbean and Latin America, Early Modern and Mediterranean Worlds (1200-1800), Medieval Studies, Gender and Sexuality, Renaissance, etc.
  • Students are expected and encouraged to expand their research and course work into other literatures, departments, and disciplines, and they often take courses in Cinema and Media Studies, Art HistoryComparative LiteraturePhilosophyTheater and Performance StudiesHistory, and Social Thought, as well as in the programs in Gender Studies and Sexuality (which offers a Graduate Certificate), Latin American Studies, and Race, Politics and Culture. In defining their own path of study while acquiring a rigorous grounding in their chosen fields, students develop the skills and versatility necessary to adapt and succeed in an evolving profession.

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 Universit of the Basque Country.
  • 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.