Interdisciplinary PhD in Hispanic Studies

The program focuses on the language, discourse, and cultural production/practices of the Spanish-speaking societies of the Americas and Spain, with the option of comparative study of the Lusophone world. The program is organized around three thematically-defined research areas:

Other key features of the program include:

  • Incorporation of core faculty from diverse departments and programs (Spanish and Portuguese, History, Anthropology, English, African American Studies, Linguistics) along with affiliated faculty (Art History, Comparative Literature, Public Health)
  • Structured yet flexible curriculum that facilitates completion of the doctorate in five years 
  • Pedagogical preparation: Seminar on teaching of language and culture; teaching opportunities at all levels (four courses total during five years); close mentoring 
  • Preparation for academic and non-academic careers with training in grant-writing, presentational skills, and long- and short-form writing 
  • Generous base stipend and research support

For more information, please contact Ms. Amy Linenberger, Graduate Program Coordinator at amy.linenberger@emory.edu or 404-727-3545.

Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Program in Hispanic Studies: Mission Statement

The interdisciplinary Ph.D. program in Hispanic Studies aims to provide focused, intensive preparation to  well-qualified doctoral students for the study of the language, discourse and cultural production/practices of Spanish-speaking societies of the Americas and Spain, with the option of comparative study of the Lusophone world. It also aims to develop critical understanding of the evolving field of Hispanic Studies itself, along with its connections with Lusophone Studies. The  program trains students to creatively and rigorously apply a range of theories and methods drawn from the humanities and qualitative social sciences to a range of historical and contemporary texts. Setting aside rigid geographical and chronological divisions, the program of study centers on three thematic foci. These research foci have been chosen because they capture existing commonalities in the research goals and interests of our faculty, but they are also intended to be generative of new connections and new lines of inquiry. All three reflect recognized areas or topics of research, though these are often presented in more fragmented form. Our aim is to bring them together in novel ways that will enhance interdisciplinary scholarship and lead to the formation of innovative research questions and projects:

Narratives and performance of identity and citizenship: stories, histories and performances of (civic) belonging and exclusion throughout the Spanish-speaking world (and, in comparative perspective, the Portuguese-speaking world), with reference to contemporary questions of local, national, and global citizenship. We are particularly interested in negotiations and remappings of the relationship of the individual and the community (understood at the local, regional, national, international, and global levels), including exploration of nested and overlapping communities and the complex identities associated with them. There are, for instance, particular flashpoints which today are drawing the attention of scholars, such as medieval Spain, colonial Latin America (e.g., past and present contact between European and indigenous communities), and today’s migratory contact zones (e.g., US Latino communities, Muslims in contemporary Spain, and other diasporic communities in Latin America).

Empire, colonialism, and post-coloniality: the discursive construction of empire/colony and post-independence nation-states within the Hispanic world, as well as the Hispanic world as it has participated in and generated discussions about the relationship between coloniality and modernity, with particular emphasis on how those discussions have emerged at different times and in various places, as well as their past and present impact. We are interested in promoting connections between domains that have been narrowly defined by chronology (e.g., early modern vs modern), geography (e.g., Spain vs Latin America), discursive genre (e.g., literary vs non-literary discourse) and discipline (e.g., literary/cultural studies vs history vs anthropology vs linguistics). Again, our approach moves between and beyond these divisions to foster new lines of inquiry which are not constrained by these established divisions.

Translating language and culture: translation as a multi-functional phenomenon and a metaphor of communication that links literary and cultural studies with intercultural discourse analysis and notions of communicative and cultural competence in a wide range of contexts, with both theoretical and practical dimensions. Our aim here is not to train students in methods of translation, but rather to explore translatio (‘crossing from one side to another’), as a past and present practice of everyday life in the cross-cultural contacts that have characterized all Hispanic (and Lusophone) communities. We are interested in the study of translation in a broad sense, as a process of communication that entails (mis)understanding, negotiation, and transformation. This critical approach to the study of translation and intercultural discourse includes exploration of literary translation, indigenous communities’ negotiation of imperial language and practices of power (e.g., as manifested in the legal system), and practices of bilingualism (e.g., Spanglish and similar phenomena as multifaceted sets of linguistic practices and as metaphors and emblems of cultural hybridity).

So organized around these interrelated research foci, and drawing on approaches from the humanities and qualitative social sciences, graduate education in our doctoral program allows students to position themselves at the nexus of interdisciplinary and integrative study, which is the hallmark of evolving trends in Hispanic Studies. The program supports students’ interdisciplinary work through individually-taught and team-taught seminars (reflecting the uniquely interdisciplinary composition of the Hispanic Studies core faculty) as well as through lecture series, graduate conferences, self-constituted research groups, collaborative undertakings between graduate students, undergraduate students and faculty members, and additional opportunities for intellectual exchange with visiting faculty and peers in programs and departments that students themselves come to identify as cognate with our own.

In support of interdisciplinary research and preparation, students are introduced to an array of theoretical and methodological approaches. This training enables students to create new understandings about the languages, discourses, and cultures of the Hispanic/Latino world (along with the Lusophone world) and to communicate this knowledge to scholars and the general public. Students are also trained in grant writing and -- depending on particular student interests -- are guided in the development of competency in collaborative scholarship, digital humanities and/or community engagement. Pedagogical training prepares students for teaching at all levels, from lower-division language-culture classes to advanced undergraduate seminars. It also enables students to make informed decisions regarding classroom practice and curriculum design, and more generally, reinforces students’ training for effective communication in any context. By incorporating best practices in graduate education – a well-developed plan for scholarly, pedagogical, and professional training and a system of multiple, interdisciplinary mentorship and advising – the Ph.D. program in Hispanic Studies equips graduate students with the knowledge and skills necessary to assume leading roles in higher education as scholars, teachers, and administrators, as well as to occupy positions in non-academic career settings, which may include foundations, libraries, non-profits, and international/global institutions and businesses.

Interdisciplinarity

In the 21st century the advance of economic and cultural globalization, global migrations, and changing demographics in the United States converge in a way that positions graduate education in Hispanic Studies at the nexus of integrative and interdisciplinary study that responds to this changing environment. The languages, discourses, and cultures that we study are the patrimony of approximately 600 million people (including speakers of Spanish and Portuguese) spread across Europe, Latin America, Africa and the U.S.

Recognizing this complexity, we offer a truly interdisciplinary program, applying both humanities and qualitative social sciences approaches to the study of questions that emerge from our three research foci, thereby creating new and generative spaces for the production and dissemination of knowledge about Hispanic (and Lusophone) cultures as well as contributions to theory based on such research. True to this vision, the program boasts an interdisciplinary faculty drawn from multiple Emory graduate programs and departments: Spanish and Portuguese, History, African American Studies, English, Anthropology, and Linguistics. Additionally, the core faculty is complemented by a group of affiliated faculty in departments and graduate programs from across the Laney Graduate School, including Comparative Literature, Film and Media Studies, French and Italian, Islamic Civilization Studies, Political Science, and the School of Public Health.

This design will prepare students not only to produce cutting-edge interdisciplinary research but also to design equally innovative courses and curricula. Indeed, students in their fourth and fifth years of study will have opportunities to teach advanced interdisciplinary seminars cross-listed across two or more departments.

For students to communicate persuasively research findings, arguments, and protocols to a wide variety of stakeholders, including fellow scholars, funding agencies, and the general public, their graduate training targets necessary methods and skills.

By the time they complete the Ph.D., students will be able to:

  • demonstrate a broad knowledge of culture, history, theory and research across several sub-disciplines in the field, and in-depth knowledge of one area of expertise related to one or more of the doctoral program research foci.
  • critically evaluate scholarly work and conduct and present original, publishable research in the field.
  • prepare effective, audience-appropriate oral presentations as well as written short- and long-form publications
  • prepare effective grant applications.
  • teach effectively across the curricular spectrum in Spanish, write a thoughtful teaching philosophy, and plan effective undergraduate courses.

The program trains graduate students to meet the challenges and opportunities of the professoriate, academia, and the global professional arena. Graduates can expect to find excellent positions in universities and colleges in a variety of capacities, and can also apply their research, planning, and communication skills to careers beyond the academy in libraries, museums, foundations, non-profits, consulting, government, international/global institutions, and business.

To support interdisciplinary research, students are introduced to a wide body of theoretical and methodological approaches. This introduction to a range of theories and methods enables students to determine the approaches that best suit their research goals and plans, and to take necessary steps to deepen their knowledge of the most relevant approaches. It also encourages students to articulate new research questions and new approaches to responding to both old and new topic and questions. Ultimately, scholars graduating from the program will create new understandings about the languages, discourses and cultures of the Hispanic/Latino world and communicate this knowledge to scholars and the general public.

Aside from their own research projects, students pursue interdisciplinary work through individually-taught and team-taught seminars that reflect the uniquely interdisciplinary composition of the Hispanic Studies core faculty. These are supplemented with lecture series, graduate conferences, self-constituted research groups, collaborative undertakings between graduate students and faculty members, and additional opportunities for intellectual exchange with visiting faculty and peers in programs and departments that students themselves come to identify as cognate with our own.

Students are also be trained in grant writing and – depending on particular student interests – are encouraged to develop competency in individual and collaborative scholarship, digital humanities and/or community engagement.

Pedagogical training reinforces students’ training for effective communication and enables them to make informed decisions regarding classroom practice and curriculum design. By incorporating best practices in graduate education – a well-developed plan for scholarly, pedagogical, and professional training and a system of multiple, interdisciplinary mentorship and advising – the Ph.D. program in Hispanic Studies equips graduate students with the knowledge and skills necessary to assume leading roles in higher education as scholars, teachers and administrators, as well as to occupy positions in non-academic career settings, which may include foundations, museums, libraries, non-profits, and international/global institutions and businesses.

At a Glance

The program is designed to ensure thorough preparation and completion of degree within five years.

Graduation Requirements

Coursework: 4 core courses and 8 electives

Preliminary Exam

Prospectus

Dissertation

Plan of Study:

Year 1 Fall: 3 courses, Spring: 3 courses

Year 2 Fall: 3 courses, Spring: 3 courses

Year 3 Fall: Doctoral Exam, Spring: Prospectus

Year 4 Dissertation Research and Writing

Year 5 Completion of Dissertation and Job Applications

Click here to see detailed Sequence of Study.

All students in the program (2017-2018) receive:

* Full Tuition scholarship

* Base stipend: $24,000 ($2,000/mo for 12 months)

* 100% health insurance subsidy

* Professional Development Support Funds: $7,500 during student's career + competitive funds for extra training and research

($2,500 for conference participation + $2,500 for supplementary language instruction or other specialized training, + $2,500 for research + competitive funding as granted)

Very well qualified students will be offered special fellowships, which offer higher stipends (ranging from $26,500 to $29,000 for academic year 2016-2017).

These competitive fellowships include the George W. Woodruff Fellowship, the Emory Graduate Diversity Fellowship, and the Laney Graduate Fellowship.

For more information about program costs and financial support packages, please visit the Program in Hispanic Studies Financial Support and the Laney Graduate School Financial Support Overview pages.