Bienvenidos, Bem-vindos, Benvinguts

Spanish & Portuguese at the University of California, Berkeley

Welcome to the web resource of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at the University of California, Berkeley. Our department is a medium-sized one, big enough to offer a wide variety of approaches to teaching and research yet small enough to afford students at both the graduate and undergraduate level personal attention and mentoring. We offer an abundance of opportunities to learn and achieve mastery of the languages and cultures we study, which include Catalan, Nahuatl, Portuguese, Romance Studies and Spanish. Our programs are specially designed for highly motivated students with a passion for other languages, literatures and cultures, for imaginative approaches to these and for careful crossing of traditionally defined geographic, linguistic and disciplinary borders.

Several of our faculty are formally involved with or are active in other departments or academic units on campus—for example, Comparative Literature, Digital Humanities, Film and Media, Gender & Women’s Studies, Linguistics, Near Eastern Studies, Rhetoric, the Portuguese Studies Program, the Spanish Studies Program, the Catalan and Occitan Studies Program, the Center for Latin American Studies and Renaissance and Early Modern Studies.

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Department Statement on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

Around us, on campus and off campus, we witness unbridled examples of constitutive and structural racism in action. While some can casually go about their day, others have to worry that they might be killed by those who should protect them. While some populations—privileged by their nationality, race and class—have open borders wherever they go; others have to face cages, racial profiling, sexual violence, linguistic prejudice and insidious aggressions even in places supposedly welcoming to them.

At the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at U.C. Berkeley, we recognize the violence and unjust encounters at the origin of our field. We are also aware of the relative position of the Spanish language to English in the United States. Most marginalized immigrants in the U.S. are from Latin America and speak Spanish, among other languages. With this in mind, we stand in solidarity with Black, Indigenous, Latinx and other people of color, in the United States and throughout the world, against all forms of racism, white supremacy, and injustice.

Our department recommits to inclusive and equitable opportunities for all. We deeply value multilingualism (indeed, there is no official language of the United States), nonconformity to binary gender, and peoples and
groups whose ethnic, racial and class backgrounds, as well as citizenship status, have been marginalized. We stand alongside the writers, thinkers and artists, who have struggled for justice. They can be an example to better understand ourselves as a department of language, literature & linguistics that is part of a public institution in the United States, and thus how we are part of the system we live in and want to change.

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News

Congrats, Jesús Duarte!

Felicidades are in order for Jesús Duarte (Senior – Double Major in Hispanic Linguistics [Spanish and Portuguese] and Linguistics), whose Senior Honors Thesis (advised by Professor Justin Davidson) was just awarded the Charlene Conrad Liebau Library Prize for Undergraduate Research! Jesús’s paper, entitled “Sociophonetic Differences in Queer Speech of Spanish Speakers,” explores both the acoustic production and auditory perception of select sound features of Queer Spanish. Jesús’s research incorporated library database materials, in addition to Berkeley Qualtrics and phonetics software, to ultimately record speech from various Spanish speakers of the Bay Area and additionally present select speech fragments to listeners for evaluative ratings. After graduating this Spring, Jesús will begin a PhD in Hispanic Linguistics at UCLA. Congratulations once more to Jesús for this honor!