FAU
Department of Spanish Studies


Areas of Specialization in FAU’s Spanish Studies Program

While our faculty members teach a wide range of courses encompassing most areas of the field, our program has several areas of recognized strengths and specialization. Graduate students looking for courses and thesis advisors in the following areas are encouraged to contact professors for more information on these subspecialties. In addition, our professors participate actively in several interdisciplinary programs in the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters and we draw on expertise from other departments and disciplines throughout the university community to provide our students a well-rounded education.

Gender and Sexuality Studies
Dr. Nora Erro-Peralta, our senior professor in Spanish, is one of the pioneers in the field of Latin American women writers, having edited foundational anthologies that introduced a generation of readers to this rich literary tradition, such as Beyond the Border: A New Age in Latin American Women’s Fiction, La nueva escritora hispánica, and Puerta abierta: la nueva escritora latinoamericana. Her articles on gender in Latin American literature and her work as the past president of the Asociación Internacional de Literatura Femenina Hispánica afford our students special access to the scholarship and writings of a host of Latin American writers. Dr. Yolanda Gamboa recently completed a book on the writings of Spanish author, Maria de Zayas, Cartografía social en la narrativa de Marí de Zayas. Dr. Michael J. Horswell’s book, Decolonizing the Sodomite: Queer Tropes of Sexuality in Colonial Andean Culture is a recent contribution to the new field of sexuality studies in Latin America. Dr. Nancy Poulson, is a recognized scholar on 20 th century Latin American writers, including women writers. This focus is supported by our department’s faculty in the Comparative Literature program, and FAU’s Women’s Studies program. Our French medievalist, for example, Dr. Marcella Munson, teaches and publishes on women, writing, and power in the Middle Ages.

Some of our recent courses in this area include “Women and Nation: Thoughts, Voices, and Actions of Latin American Women Activists,” “Contemporary Latinas Writing in the United States,” “Women in Latin American Theater,” “Politics and Latin American Women’s Fiction,” and “Gender and Sexuality in Spanish Golden Age Literature,” “Feminist Theory and Praxis.”

Spanish and Latin American Cultural Studies
While the primary objects of study in our courses continue to be canonical works of literature, our professors’ research and teaching increasingly include other aspects of the rich and diverse cultures of Spain and Latin America. For example, Dr. Yolanda Gamboa’s research on the material culture of Golden Age Spain has resulted in important publications on such topics as the role of chocolate in the Spanish literary imaginary.   Dr. Erro-Peralta regularly offers courses on cultural and political dimensions of Latin American literature and film, like her “Dictatorship and the Latin American Novel” course. Our department also participates in the Andean Cultural Studies program in Ecuador each summer, which allows students to earn graduate credits while studying the culture of the Andes.

Other recent courses in this area include “La huella de lo real: El testimonio en el cine y la literatura latinoamericanos,” “Pensamiento latinoamericano: Identidades, escritura y poder en América Latina,” “Introducción a la teoría literaria y cultural,” “Literatura y cine mexicano”and "Road Movies and Travel Tales from Latin America."

Golden Age and Transatlantic Studies
The field of Early Modern Studies is well represented in our department with Dr. Michael J. Horswell and Dr. Yolanda Gamboa working both sides of the Atlantic, and is also complemented by many scholars in other disciplines of our College who work together on interdisciplinary projects and courses. Dr. Yolanda Gamboa’s research on Golden Age Spain and its Atlantic crossings translate into both publications and a seminar each spring on topics ranging from the c omedia to Don Quijote to Women in Golden Age literature and culture. Dr. Michael J. Horswell’s book, Decolonizing the Sodomite, works from a transatlantic perspective while focused on the colonial discourse that is the other side of the Golden Age. Dr. Horswell and Dr. Gamboa are offering a series of seminars on Transatlantic Studies, which began with Dr. Horswell’s “Estudios transatlánticos: Escribir en las fronteras del imperio español” in the Fall of 2004. They both contributed to a new book on Transatlantic Studies titled Crosscurrents: Transatlantic Perspectives on Early Modern Spanish and Spanish-American Theater. Dr. Frederic Conrod works at the intersection between France and Spain, co-editing the Franco-Iberian journal, Transitions, and offering classes on topics related to the legacies of the Enlightenment in Spanish and French literatures . Dr. Miguel Angel Vázquez, of FAU’s Honors College, is a regular contributor to these classes as a guest lecturer and ocassionally offers seminars in his specialty of medieval Spanish and Renaissance Morisco literature and culture.

Some of our recent courses in this area include “Perspectives on Don Quijote,” “Political and Social Representation in the Comedia Española,” “Feminine Authorship in the Spanish Golden Age,” “Seminar in Colonial Latin American Literature.”

Caribbean Literature and Culture
Given our close proximity to the Caribbean and the prominent presence of the Caribbean diaspora in South Florida, Caribbean Studies has become an important interdisciplinary endeavor at FAU.  Dr. Mary Ann Gosser-Esquilín is an accomplished scholar of Caribbean literature, with numerous publications on Spanish Caribbean as well as Francophone literatures. Our college’s English department routinely offers courses on Caribbean literature and is home to frequent collaborators whose research focuses on both the Caribbean and the diaspora literature of the US Latino community. The College of Arts and Letters also has Caribbean scholars in the fields of History, Philosophy, Sociology, and Women’s Studies.

Some of our recent courses in this area include "Los colores de la nación: Populismo, antropología y literatura en el Caribe Hispano,” and “Comparative Caribbean Literature,” "Women Writing the Caribbean."

Andean Studies
FAU is building a strong focus on the Andean region from interdisciplinary perspectives. Dr. Michael J. Horswell’s primary area of research and teaching is in Andean Studies and he is the director of FAU’s Andean Cultural Studies program in Ecuador, where we have several reciprocal agreements with leading universities. Students are encouraged to participate in the summer study–abroad program to enhance their knowledge of the field. FAU has active scholars in Andean Studies in Anthropology, Archeology, and Human Geography, affording us unique perspectives on this exciting region.

Some of our recent courses offered in Spanish include “Literatura y cine de los Andes,” “The Heresies of Mestizaje: Colonial and Postcolonial Andean Literature and Culture,” and “Orality and Writing in Colonial and Post-colonial Andean Literature,” and “Literatura Andina: Del Incaismo al Post-indigenismo.”

Translation Studies
Translation Studies is a growing field of interest in our department. Dr. Yolanda Gamboa is an active, literary translator, whose latest translation, El fin del mundo como obra de arte [ The End of the World as a Work of Art] by Spanish philosopher and award winning novelist Rafael Argullol will be published in Fall, 2005. She offers courses on Spanish–English literary translation. Dr. Martha Mendoza’s “History of the Spanish Language” and “Spanish Phonology and Dialectology” are important classes for those interested in the nuances of the language, so necessary in translation.  Our senior French professor, Dr. Jan Hokenson, a pioneer in Comparative Literature, in addition to myriad articles on issues of cultural translation, recently published Japan, France, and East-West Aesthetics: French Literature, 1867-2000 and frequently leads seminars in theory of translation. She and our French medieval scholar, Dr. Marcella Munson, are co-writing a new history of self-translation in the Western literary tradition. Our  Italian scholar, Dr. Myriam Ruthenberg, offers courses reflecting her research and publication in the translation and re-writing of Medieval and Renaissance texts in contemporary Italian literature and the influence of the Hebrew Bible in literature with emphasis on novelist Erri De Luca. Our Spanish linguist, Dr. Martha Mendoza, regularly offers a course on the dynamics of bilingualism.

Some of our recent courses include “Spanish Literary Translation,” “Translation Theory,” “Bilingualism,” "Spanish Translation Workshop," and "Italian Translation Workshop."

Spanish Linguistics and Second Language Acquisition  
The study of the literature and culture is grounded in available courses in Spanish Linguistics, including Dr. Martha Mendoza’s “History of the Spanish Language” and “Spanish Phonology and Dialectology.”  Dr. Justin White also offers courses on Spanish Linguistics and Second Language Acquisition and trains our graduate teaching assistants to be excellent Spanish language and culture instructors. All MA students graduate with a solid formation in Linguistics and Teaching Theories and Methodologies. 
 Last Modified 7/24/14