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Graduate Program

Interdisciplinary PhD in Hispanic Studies

The program explores 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. It is organized around three thematically-defined research areas:

  • Narratives/performance of identity and citizenship
  • Empire, colonialism, and post-coloniality
  • Translating language and culture

Because of our commitment to interdisciplinarity, we encourage students to take advantage of Emory's strengths in related programs and disciplines. Our graduate students may enroll in courses in other departments such as History; Art History; Linguistics; Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies; Religion; and Anthropology.

Narratives and Performance of Identity and Citizenship

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

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

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).