Spanish & Portuguese Department
Our department embraces diversity and a multicultural vision of the world. Knowledge of Spanish, Portuguese, and the cultures of the Hispanic and Lusophone worlds enhances the lives of all our students.
We remain committed to the values of diversity and inclusion that have guided the Spanish department and the Portuguese Program over the years, and acknowledge that systemic racism against Black people, embedded in the history of this country, also exists at Wellesley.
We join President Johnson in her pledge to firm up our collective commitment to the strengthening of diversity, inclusive excellence, and anti-racist structures in our community. We support our Black students in their call not only to eliminate anti-Black racism on campus, but also to take concrete steps to create a department that is more inclusive. In the next months, and in collaboration with our student majors, we will propose a series of initiatives aimed in that direction. We are committed to our Black students’ academic success, personal flourishing, and cross-cultural inclusion, and we will further fortify their engagements with our departmental evolving curricular offerings and hires, spirit, pedagogies, and extracurricular opportunities.
From Madrid to Mexico City, from Santiago de Chile to Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, and New York, Spanish is one of the most widely spoken of languages in the United States and the world. The Spanish-speaking world embraces many cultures, from Spain's Judeo-Christian and Islamic heritage to Latin America's Mayan, Aztec, Inca, and African roots.
In our language classes we work in small groups to encourage individual expression and to build oral proficiency. We also emphasize cross-cultural awareness and understanding of other nations.
Literature classes include analyses and discussion of writing from many different periods. Themes range from medieval balladry to Latino literature, contemporary women's writing, and Latin American poetry. We also examine past and present civilizations through culture courses on Spain and Latin America. We organize frequent cultural activities and opportunities to practice Spanish: "tertulias," lectures, symposia, films, and performances by writers and artists from diverse areas of Spain and Latin America.
We also have Global Portuguese Studies program. The program aims to foster a sense of innovation and diversity in course offerings and efforts to meet the needs of Wellesley students. With a special focus on Brazil, the largest country in South America and the 8th largest economy in the world, classes are designed to introduce students to the four continents that are home to the cultures of the Portuguese-speaking world. Knowledge of these countries is paramount in a world where politics, economies and cultural lives are intrinsically internationalized.
The Department of Spanish is committed to creating a welcoming, inclusive, and supportive environment for all its students, faculty, and staff, and to promote diversity in its many manifestations: place of origin, ethnicity, race, religion, age, gender identity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, and disability.