Hispanic Languages and Literatures

University of California, Berkeley

About the Program

The Department of Spanish and Portuguese offers the PhD in Hispanic Languages and Literatures (HLL) with three possible tracks: Hispanic and Latin American Literatures and Cultures, Luso-Brazilian Literatures and Cultures, and Hispanic Linguistics. All graduate students are required to develop a broad expertise across a number of programmatic fields (literary genres, historical periods, cultural and social geographies) that ensure their ability to interact with colleagues and their competitiveness in the academic job market. The research specializations of our faculty and graduate students span all of these areas, and furthermore reflect most of the trends in contemporary scholarship, from philology, history of the book, and intersections of literature with material culture, through to aesthetics, the relationship of literature to visual culture, and performance studies. All students are required to study both Spanish and Portuguese as well as another language relevant to the student's research program, to study literature and culture from both sides of the Atlantic, and to consider the role of linguistics in literary study. As students progress through our graduate program, they are expected to formulate their own theoretical approaches to research questions regarding an individually defined area of expertise.

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Admissions

Admission to the University

Minimum Requirements for Admission

The following minimum requirements apply to all graduate programs and will be verified by the Graduate Division:

  1. A bachelor’s degree or recognized equivalent from an accredited institution;
  2. A grade point average of B or better (3.0);
  3. If the applicant comes from a country or political entity (e.g., Quebec) where English is not the official language, adequate proficiency in English to do graduate work, as evidenced by a TOEFL score of at least 90 on the iBT test, 570 on the paper-and-pencil test, or an IELTS Band score of at least 7 (note that individual programs may set higher levels for any of these); and
  4. Sufficient undergraduate training to do graduate work in the given field.

Applicants Who Already Hold a Graduate Degree

The Graduate Council views academic degrees not as vocational training certificates, but as evidence of broad training in research methods, independent study, and articulation of learning. Therefore, applicants who already have academic graduate degrees should be able to pursue new subject matter at an advanced level without need to enroll in a related or similar graduate program.

Programs may consider students for an additional academic master’s or professional master’s degree only if the additional degree is in a distinctly different field.

Applicants admitted to a doctoral program that requires a master’s degree to be earned at Berkeley as a prerequisite (even though the applicant already has a master’s degree from another institution in the same or a closely allied field of study) will be permitted to undertake the second master’s degree, despite the overlap in field.

The Graduate Division will admit students for a second doctoral degree only if they meet the following guidelines:

  1. Applicants with doctoral degrees may be admitted for an additional doctoral degree only if that degree program is in a general area of knowledge distinctly different from the field in which they earned their original degree. For example, a physics PhD could be admitted to a doctoral degree program in music or history; however, a student with a doctoral degree in mathematics would not be permitted to add a PhD in statistics.
  2. Applicants who hold the PhD degree may be admitted to a professional doctorate or professional master’s degree program if there is no duplication of training involved.

Applicants may apply only to one single degree program or one concurrent degree program per admission cycle.

Required Documents for Applications

  1. Transcripts: Applicants may upload unofficial transcripts with your application for the departmental initial review. If the applicant is admitted, then official transcripts of all college-level work will be required. Official transcripts must be in sealed envelopes as issued by the school(s) attended. If you have attended Berkeley, upload your unofficial transcript with your application for the departmental initial review. If you are admitted, an official transcript with evidence of degree conferral will not be required.
  2. Letters of recommendation: Applicants may request online letters of recommendation through the online application system. Hard copies of recommendation letters must be sent directly to the program, not the Graduate Division.
  3. Evidence of English language proficiency: All applicants from countries or political entities in which the official language is not English are required to submit official evidence of English language proficiency. This applies to applicants from Bangladesh, Burma, Nepal, India, Pakistan, Latin America, the Middle East, the People’s Republic of China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Southeast Asia, most European countries, and Quebec (Canada). However, applicants who, at the time of application, have already completed at least one year of full-time academic course work with grades of B or better at a US university may submit an official transcript from the US university to fulfill this requirement. The following courses will not fulfill this requirement:
    • courses in English as a Second Language,
    • courses conducted in a language other than English,
    • courses that will be completed after the application is submitted, and
    • courses of a non-academic nature.

If applicants have previously been denied admission to Berkeley on the basis of their English language proficiency, they must submit new test scores that meet the current minimum from one of the standardized tests.

Where to Apply

Visit the Berkeley Graduate Division application page

Admission to the Program

Applicants for admissions to the PhD program in Hispanic Languages and Literatures must hold a BA degree with studies in Spanish, Spanish-American, Portuguese, or Luso -Brazilian literatures or Hispanic Linguistics; or another field with demonstrable bearing on Hispanic and/or Luso-Brazilian studies.  Native or near-native proficiency in a primary language (either Spanish or Portuguese) is required.

The program requires GRE scores (general test), or TOEFL (international students), a statement of purpose, a personal statement, and critical writing samples (Spanish, Portuguese, or English). Writing samples should be in the form of thesis or research paper on a topic relevant to the fields of Romance and/or Hispanic languages and literature (about 10-15 pages).  

For the purpose of campuswide fellowship competitions, applicants who submit the statement of purpose or personal history statement in Spanish should also submit an English version of both.

Applications are accepted for fall term only.

Doctoral Degree Requirements

In close consultation with faculty, the student will develop a specialization in one of three tracks:  Hispanic and Spanish American literature and culture, Luso-Brazilian literature and culture, or Hispanic Linguistics (Spanish, Portuguese, and Catalan). Each track will be organized around four field concepts (space, time, voice, method). Course preparation will lead to the qualifying examination.

Normative Time Requirements

Normative time to advancement: four years.
Normative time in candidacy: two years.
Total normative time: six years.

Time to Advancement

Curriculum

Hispanic/Spanish American Literatures & Cultures Concentration
SPANISH 200ASpanish Proseminar1
SPANISH 200BResearch Seminar I4
SPANISH 200CReseach Seminar II4
Six department graduate seminar electives:
Spanish American
Peninsular Spanish
Hispanic Linguistics
Portuguese
Historical period outside of transatlantic field major emphasis
Literary theory/theoretical component
Two courses relevant to field of study, graduate or undergraduate
Luso-Brazilian Literatures & Cultures Concentration
SPANISH 200ASpanish Proseminar1
SPANISH 200BResearch Seminar I4
SPANISH 200CReseach Seminar II4
Six department graduate seminar electives:
Portuguese
Portuguese (from different geographical area)
Hispanic Linguistics
Spanish
Historical period outside of historical field of major emphasis
Literary theory/theoretical component
Two courses relevant to field of study, graduate or undergraduate
Hispanic Linguistics Concentration
SPANISH 200ASpanish Proseminar1
SPANISH 200BResearch Seminar I4
SPANISH 200CReseach Seminar II4
Six department graduate seminar electives:
Hispanic Linguistics
A second seminar in Hispanic Linguistics
Latin-American literature and culture
Iberian literature and culture
Seminar in non-primary language focusing on linguistic structure or on linguistics aspects of its literacy/cultural discourse
Hispanic Linguistics outside the major field of major emphasis
Two courses relevant to field of study, graduate or undergraduate

Foreign Language(s)

Two foreign languages pertinent to the specialization are required. Of these, Spanish for students of Luso-Brazilian studies or linguistics and Portuguese for students of Hispanic literatures or linguistics are required, and must be fulfilled through graduate course work taught in the pertinent language (not English). The second language requirement must be satisfied by passing the language reading examinations administered by the department. The requirement should be satisfied as early as possible in the student’s doctoral career and must be completed prior to admission to the qualifying examination.

Permission to Proceed Review

During the third semester, students constitute their mentoring committee in preparation for the second year review. The mentoring committee is comprised of three faculty members in the department plus the appropriate graduate adviser (if not already a member), ex officio.

Early in the fourth semester, members of the mentoring committee will meet with each student to evaluate the student’s progress and map out a plan for the student’s remaining work. The review will also allow students and faculty to discuss preparation for the four field statements and bibliographies that will be required for the QEs.

The review is designed to be diagnostic in nature. In order to offer a proper and thorough evaluation of the student, the committee will consider materials relevant to the student’s progress. The committee will issue a report that constitutes a binding recommendation concerning future course work and advancement toward the degree.

Preliminary Exams

Field statements will define and discuss a set of problems within the four general categories below, and will include the primary and secondary bibliographies most pertinent to each subject. In the aggregate, the four lists should demonstrate a broad knowledge of Hispanic or Luso-Brazilian literary or linguistic studies, and mastery of a broad but coherent area of knowledge. Students are strongly encouraged to incorporate a transatlantic component into at least one of the field statements. One field statement should focus on close reading of texts. Bibliographies will be prepared in consultation with appropriate faculty.

Field 1: Time (Temporal/Historical considerations)

Field 2: Space (Spatial/Geographic/regional/social concerns)

Field 3: Voice (concerns related to particular kinds of genre/discourse/enunciation/style)

Field 4: Theory/Methodology (a topic/mode of inquiry)

The student must satisfactorily fulfill the requirement of the four field statements and bibliographies in order to take the QE examination. Faculty evaluation of the field statements will consist of brief written narratives to be retained in the student’s file.

QE

The student must satisfactorily pass the preliminary examination in order to proceed to the QE examination. The examination committee consists of five members, at least one from outside the department. This is a three-hour oral examination that will allow the examination committee to evaluate the students’ ability to: establish a coherent bibliography; demonstrate solid knowledge of the most relevant critical literature; identify a set of questions or problems to be examined; frame an argument, and analyze individual texts.

Prospectus

The student will submit a dissertation prospectus, with selected bibliography, to the dissertation committee before the end of the first semester following the qualifying examination. It is expected that the proposal will describe the intended research, establish the textual corpus to be examined, provide a basic bibliography and, if possible, set the project within current research in the field. After examining this material, the dissertation committee will meet with the student to discuss the proposal, to set up a timetable, and to give final approval to the dissertation project. 

Dissertation

Once the qualifying examination has been passed and formal advancement to candidacy is approved by the Graduate Division, the student will write a doctoral dissertation under the guidance of a director and faculty committee (selected by the student and his/her graduate adviser), embodying the results of original research on a subject chosen by the student in consultation wit the dissertation director. The doctoral dissertation represents the final demonstration of a student’s research and scholarly abilities, and constitutes an original contribution to the field of studies. Normally a student will be expected to complete the dissertation within two years after advancement to candidacy.

Teaching Opportunities

The department provides every student with an opportunity to gain teaching experience as part of our graduate training. We are committed to training students in the most recent methods of language pedagogy and to providing them with diverse teaching opportunities. There are opportunities for teaching during the summer as well as during the regular academic year.

Applications for graduate student instructorships for the teaching of Spanish, Portuguese, and/or Catalan are accepted from applicants newly seeking admission to our graduate program. Formal appointments cannot be processed until official confirmation of admission is received.

Courses

Select a subject to view courses

Catalan

CATALAN 101 Catalan for Advanced Students 4 Units

Offered through: Spanish and Portuguese
Terms offered: Spring 2017, Spring 2016, Spring 2015
An intensive course for students with no previous study of Catalan.

Catalan for Advanced Students: Read More [+]

CATALAN 102 Readings in Catalan 4 Units

Offered through: Spanish and Portuguese
Terms offered: Fall 2017, Fall 2016, Fall 2015
Selected readings in Catalan prose and poetry.

Readings in Catalan: Read More [+]

Portuguese

PORTUG 275 Critical and Stylistic Studies of a Single Author or Period 4 Units

Offered through: Spanish and Portuguese
Terms offered: Fall 2017, Spring 2017, Fall 2016

Critical and Stylistic Studies of a Single Author or Period: Read More [+]

PORTUG 298 Special Study for Graduate Students 3 - 8 Units

Offered through: Spanish and Portuguese
Terms offered: Fall 2017, Spring 2017, Fall 2016
Individual conferences on special programs of study or research in a restricted field not covered by available courses or seminars.

Special Study for Graduate Students: Read More [+]

PORTUG 299 Special Advanced Study 3 - 8 Units

Offered through: Spanish and Portuguese
Terms offered: Fall 2017, Spring 2017, Fall 2016

Special Advanced Study: Read More [+]

PORTUG 375 Teaching Portuguese at Berkeley 3 Units

Offered through: Spanish and Portuguese
Terms offered: Fall 2015
This course provides participants with an understanding of the teaching methods used in Portuguese 101A at UCB, a forum for discussing teaching-related questions and problems, practical experience in creating and adapting materials for instruction, and experience in analyzing one’s own and other’s teaching. It is a hands on practicum that links the theory of the Portuguese language program to its in-class practice. At the
end of the course, students will be prepared with strategies for effective teaching and classroom management. Students will be able to create communicative and task based activities. They will be able to develop effective exams and assessments, and be familiar with the use of classroom technology for language teaching.
Teaching Portuguese at Berkeley: Read More [+]

Spanish

SPANISH 200A Spanish Proseminar 1 Unit

Offered through: Spanish and Portuguese
Terms offered: Fall 2017, Fall 2016, Fall 2015
This course is designed to introduce all new graduate students to the research conducted in the department. Readings will consist of research papers authored by members of the department.

Spanish Proseminar: Read More [+]

SPANISH 200B Research Seminar I 4 Units

Offered through: Spanish and Portuguese
Terms offered: Spring 2016, Spring 2015, Spring 2014
This research seminar introduces students to central questions and debates in literary and cultural studies in Spanish and Portuguese. The second objective consists of developing research strategies and the mastery of different academic genres. It will function to introduce students to the research interests of the faculty and to identify potential mentors. Students write book reviews, precis,
position papers, and abstracts for applying to conferences, and conference-length papers.
Research Seminar I: Read More [+]

SPANISH 200C Reseach Seminar II 4 Units

Offered through: Spanish and Portuguese
Terms offered: Fall 2016, Spring 2015, Fall 2014
The objective of this course is to train students in developing article- or chapter-length critical writing. This is a writing workshop designed to assist students in writing an original research paper. Students will develop a research project conceived in one of their other courses and expand it in scope and argument to create a major paper with a significant critical bibliography. This course will
serve as a forum for students to meet and discuss their projects, and as an organizational vehicle for their research.
Reseach Seminar II: Read More [+]

SPANISH 201 Literary Linguistics 4 Units

Offered through: Spanish and Portuguese
Terms offered: Spring 2014, Spring 2013, Spring 2012
Applications of linguistic theory to literary texts and the analysis of fiction prose, discourse analysis, and the literary representation of speech.

Literary Linguistics: Read More [+]

SPANISH C202 Linguistic History of the Romance Language 4 Units

Offered through: Spanish and Portuguese
Terms offered: Fall 2015, Fall 2014, Fall 2011, Fall 2009
Linguistic development of the major Romance languages (French, Italian, and Spanish) from the common Latin origin. Comparative perspective, combining historical grammar and external history.

Linguistic History of the Romance Language: Read More [+]

SPANISH C203 Comparative Studies in Romance Literatures and Cultures 4 Units

Offered through: Spanish and Portuguese
Terms offered: Spring 2016, Spring 2015, Spring 2014, Fall 2012
Topics will vary. Comparative studies in literary, cultural, or historical issues that cut across the literatures of the Romance languages.

Comparative Studies in Romance Literatures and Cultures: Read More [+]

SPANISH 209 Seminar in Hispanic Linguistics 4 Units

Offered through: Spanish and Portuguese
Terms offered: Fall 2016, Spring 2015, Spring 2010
This course varies in topic and fulfills requisite coursework for the Ph.D. in Hispanic Linguistics. Topics may range from foundational coursework (e.g. Spanish Phonetics and Phonology, History of the Spanish Language, etc.) to specialized topics in Hispanic Linguistics (e.g. Microsociolinguistics, Contact Linguistics, etc.).

Seminar in Hispanic Linguistics: Read More [+]

SPANISH 221 Major Prose Authors of the Golden Age 4 Units

Offered through: Spanish and Portuguese
Terms offered: Fall 2010, Spring 2007, Spring 2001

Major Prose Authors of the Golden Age: Read More [+]

SPANISH 223 Major Poets of the Golden Age 4 Units

Offered through: Spanish and Portuguese
Terms offered: Fall 2011, Spring 2009, Fall 2006

Major Poets of the Golden Age: Read More [+]

SPANISH 224 Major Dramatists of the Golden Age 4 Units

Offered through: Spanish and Portuguese
Terms offered: Spring 2010, Spring 2008, Spring 2006

Major Dramatists of the Golden Age: Read More [+]

SPANISH 229 Modern Spanish Poetry (After Romanticism) 4 Units

Offered through: Spanish and Portuguese
Terms offered: Fall 2014, Spring 2012, Fall 2009

Modern Spanish Poetry (After Romanticism): Read More [+]

SPANISH 232 Colonial Spanish American Literature 4 Units

Offered through: Spanish and Portuguese
Terms offered: Spring 2009, Spring 2007, Fall 2004

Colonial Spanish American Literature: Read More [+]

SPANISH 234A Modern Spanish American Poetry 4 Units

Offered through: Spanish and Portuguese
Terms offered: Spring 2016, Fall 2010, Fall 2005
A comprehensive survey of poetry in Latin America from 1880-1920, on the poetics of . Special attention given to the work of Ruben Dario and the heritage of Symbolism in Latin America.

Modern Spanish American Poetry: Read More [+]

SPANISH 242 Literary Theory and Criticism 4 Units

Offered through: Spanish and Portuguese
Terms offered: Spring 2016, Fall 2014, Fall 2013

Literary Theory and Criticism: Read More [+]

SPANISH 260 Cervantes 4 Units

Offered through: Spanish and Portuguese
Terms offered: Fall 2013, Fall 2007, Spring 2005
The reading and interpretation of the works of Cervantes, such as , the , the , the , and the dramatic works. Focus will change according to the needs and interests of members of the course, but will address such issues as the place of Cervantes' works in literary history, the background contexts of Cervantes' works, and contemporary approaches and movements in Cervantes criticism.

Cervantes: Read More [+]

SPANISH 280 Seminar in Spanish American Literature 4 Units

Offered through: Spanish and Portuguese
Terms offered: Fall 2017, Spring 2017, Fall 2016

Seminar in Spanish American Literature: Read More [+]

SPANISH 285 Seminar in Spanish Literature 4 Units

Offered through: Spanish and Portuguese
Terms offered: Fall 2016, Spring 2016, Fall 2015

Seminar in Spanish Literature: Read More [+]

SPANISH 298 Special Study for Graduate Students 1 - 8 Units

Offered through: Spanish and Portuguese
Terms offered: Fall 2017, Summer 2017 8 Week Session, Spring 2017
Individual conferences on special programs of study or research in a restricted field not covered by available courses or seminars.

Special Study for Graduate Students: Read More [+]

SPANISH 299 Special Advanced Study 8 - 12 Units

Offered through: Spanish and Portuguese
Terms offered: Fall 2017, Spring 2017, Fall 2016

Special Advanced Study: Read More [+]

SPANISH 302 Practicum in College Teaching of Spanish and Portuguese 3 - 6 Units

Offered through: Spanish and Portuguese
Terms offered: Fall 2017, Spring 2017, Fall 2016

Practicum in College Teaching of Spanish and Portuguese: Read More [+]

SPANISH 375 Teaching Spanish in College 3 Units

Offered through: Spanish and Portuguese
Terms offered: Fall 2017, Fall 2016, Fall 2015
Lectures on methodology, grading and testing, class preparation, textbook evaluation, course design. Includes language laboratory observations and supervised classroom practice. Required for all new graduate student instructors.

Teaching Spanish in College: Read More [+]

SPANISH 601 Individual Study for Master's Students 4 Units

Offered through: Spanish and Portuguese
Terms offered: Fall 2017, Spring 2017, Fall 2016
Individual study, subject to the approval of the graduate adviser, intended to provide an opportunity for students to prepare for the comprehensive examination for the M.A. degree. May be taken only in the semester in which the examination is attempted.

Individual Study for Master's Students: Read More [+]

SPANISH 602 Individual Study for Doctoral Students 4 - 12 Units

Offered through: Spanish and Portuguese
Terms offered: Fall 2017, Spring 2017, Fall 2016
Individual study, subject to the approval of the graduate adviser, intended to provide an opportunity for students to prepare for the qualifying examination required of candidates for the Ph.D. May be taken only in the semester in which the examination is attempted or in the immediately preceding one.

Individual Study for Doctoral Students: Read More [+]

Faculty and Instructors

+ Indicates this faculty member is the recipient of the Distinguished Teaching Award.

Faculty

Emilie L. Bergmann, Professor. Early modern Spain, colonial Spanish America, Spanish literature, Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz, visual studies, gender and sexuality studies.
Research Profile

Natalia Brizuela, Associate Professor. Spanish, Portuguese.
Research Profile

Anthony J. Cascardi, Professor. English, comparative literature, literature, Spanish, Portuguese, philosophy, aesthetics, early modern literature, French, Spanish Baroque.
Research Profile

Justin Davidson, Assistant Professor. Spanish linguistics, romance linguistics, contact linguistics, bilingualism, Catalan, sociophonetics, language variation and change, quantitative methods.
Research Profile

Ivonne Del Valle, Associate Professor. Colonial period in Mexico, internal colonialism in Mexico, Jesuits (Loyola, Acosta, Baegert), Baroque and Enlightenment from a colonial perspective, technology and environment, drainage of Mexico City lakes, Christianity and Pre-Hispanic religions.
Research Profile

Daylet Dominguez, Assistant Professor. Modern and Contemporary Latin American and Caribbean Literatures and Cultures.
Research Profile

Michael Iarocci, Professor. Spanish, literature.
Research Profile

+ Francine R. Masiello, Professor. Gender theory, culture, globalization, comparative literature, Spanish, Latin American literature of the 19th and 20th centuries, comparative North and South literatures.
Research Profile

Ignacio Navarrete, Professor. Spanish literature: poetry, poetic theory, narrative and culture, history of the book, Cervantes, Don Quixote, Medieval and Early Modern Spanish literature. Modern Spain.
Research Profile

Alexandra Saum Pascual, Assistant Professor. Spain, electronic literature, contemporary literature, digital humanities, new media.
Research Profile

Candace Slater, Professor. Spanish, Portuguese.
Research Profile

Estelle Tarica, Associate Professor. Latin America, Mexico, race, nationalism, Spanish, mestizo, Indians, Andes, Bolivia, Peru, Holocaust, Quechua.
Research Profile

Lecturers

Amelia R. Barili, Lecturer.

Agnes Dimitriou, Lecturer.

Clelia Francesca Donovan, Lecturer.

Miriam Hernandez-Rodriguez, Lecturer.

Elena B. Olsen, Lecturer.

Duarte Carvalho Pinheiro, Lecturer.

Ana Belen Redondo Campillos, Lecturer.

Victoria Martinez Robertson, Lecturer.

Donna A. Southard, Lecturer.

Tanya Varela, Lecturer.

Emeritus Faculty

Arthur L. Askins, Professor Emeritus. Spanish, Portuguese.
Research Profile

Milton M. Azevedo, Professor Emeritus. Linguistics, Spanish, Portuguese.
Research Profile

Jerry R. Craddock, Professor Emeritus. Spanish, Portuguese.
Research Profile

Dru Dougherty, Professor Emeritus. Poetry, stage history, Valle-Inclan, Spanish poetics, war and literature.
Research Profile

Charles Faulhaber, Professor Emeritus. Medieval Spanish literature; medieval rhetoric; codicology, paleography; computerization of scholarly methodology.
Research Profile

John H. R. Polt, Professor Emeritus. Spanish literature, 18th century, 19th century.
Research Profile

Jose Rabasa, Professor Emeritus. Spanish, Portuguese.
Research Profile

Julio Ramos, Professor Emeritus. Spanish, Portuguese.
Research Profile

Contact Information

Department of Spanish and Portuguese

5319 Dwinelle Hall

Phone: 510-642-0471

Fax: 510-642-6957

gspa@berkeley.edu

Visit Department Website

Department Chair

Ignacio Navarrete, PhD

5221 Dwinelle Hall

ignacio@berkeley.edu

Head Graduate Adviser

Emilie Bergmann, PhD

5229 Dwinelle Hall

Phone: 510-642-0471

elb@berkeley.edu

Graduate Student Affairs Officer

Verónica López

5309 Dwinelle Hall

Phone: 510-642-8037

spanga@berkeley.edu

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