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Graduate Studies in Hispanic Studies at UIC

The UIC department of Hispanic Studies invites interested students to apply for the MA and PhD programs in Hispanic Linguistics and Literature at UIC. The department is housed at the largest public university in one of the most thriving urban centers in the US.  Our faculty members are recognized as prominent scholars in their areas of expertise, and our graduate student body forms an intellectually and culturally diverse cohort comprised of US and international students.  Our department is a member of the vibrant School of Literature, Cultural Studies and Linguistics, which contributes to the reputation and overall strength of the humanities at UIC.  Through a solid interdisciplinary formation, attentive mentoring, and rigorous pedagogical training, we assist our graduate students in developing as scholars, teachers, and future professionals.

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The Department of Hispanic Studies houses two graduate programs: Hispanic Linguistics and Hispanic Literature and Cultural Studies. Our faculty’s research and teaching reflect a broad spectrum of disciplines and approaches that provide a cutting edge interdisciplinary perspective on language and literature.

The areas of specialization of the faculty in Hispanic Linguistic embrace the broader areas of formal linguistics, sociolinguistics, and bilingual/second language acquisition studies. More specifically, we carry out scholarship in:

  • General linguistic theory, syntactic and morphological theory
  • Sociolinguistics focused on the heritage languages of North America
  • Formal approaches to the study of heritage languages
  • Formal properties of code-switching
  • Second language acquisition, bi- and multilingualism
  • Neurocognition of second language acquisition, individual differences
  • Bilingual development in language contact situations, syntax (Spanish and Indigenous Languages of the Americas)
  • Second and third language acquisition of phonology, phonetic and phonological attrition
Marsh book launch

The areas of specialization of the faculty in Hispanic Literature span a broad array of disciplines and fields of study:

  • Modern and contemporary Latin American and trans-American literature, poverty studies
  • Southern Cone 20th & 21st centuries literature
  • Critical theory
  • Memory Studies
  • Medical and Health Humanities
  • Medieval and Early Modern Spanish Literature; Culture of the Sephardic Jews and Judeoconversos
  • Spanish film and contemporary politics/cultural studies in Spain
  • XX and XXI century Spanish literature and thought
  • Environmental humanities
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The topics of graduate classes we offer represent a rich cross-section of contemporary tendencies in the study of language and literature. Our courses are informed by a variety of theoretical and methodological questions and attentive to concrete empirical and historical contexts.

The topics of recent graduate courses in Literature include:

  • Surreal Legacies: Distribution of the sensible in the Spanish speaking world
  • Ficciones del bios: Políticas de la vida en la novela contemporánea
  • España y sus historias: Al-Ándalus y Sefarad en la génesis de conciencia nacional
  • ¿De qué hablamos cuando hablamos de los estudios culturales?
  • Illness beyond Metaphors: Health and Medical Discourses in the Spanish speaking world
  • Modernisms in the Americas
  • Representations of urban poverty in Hispanic American literature
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The topics of recent graduate courses in Linguistics include:

  • Assessing language representation, processing, and acquisition
  • Code-switching
  • Falsehood: A machiavellian seminar. A linguistic investigation of lies and insincere speech.
  • Indigenous languages of Latin America and Spanish in contact with indigenous languages
  • La atrición (y el mantenimiento) del lenguaje
  • Theoretical and Research Foundations in Communicative Language Teaching
  • Experimental Phonology
  • Language within diasporic communities: Spanish among U.S.-raised Mexican and Puerto Rican ‘returnees’
Meloddye teaching

Students earning a graduate degree in Hispanic Literatures and Cultures may complement their courses by enrolling in an Interdepartmental Graduate Concentration in Gender and Women’s Studies and Violence Studies. Graduate students in Linguistics can join one of several linguistics research laboratories, enroll in an Interdepartmental Concentration in Neuroscience and be involved in the UIC Bilingualism Forum hosted every two years by our department.

In addition to developing expertise in research, our graduate students build their teaching portfolio in two cutting edge Spanish language programs:
Basic Language Program and the Heritage Speaker Program

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While developing research projects, our graduate students can collaborate with faculty and students from other departments at UIC including English, Art History, Gender and Women’s Studies, Curriculum and Instruction, and Latin American and Latino Studies. In addition, our faculty and graduate students participate in scholarly exchanges between UIC and two other major research universities in the Chicago area, Northwestern University and the University of Chicago. Two examples include the Biennial Graduate Conference in Hispanic Literary and Cultural Studies and the Chicago consortium of Bilingualism Matters, which shares “perspectives on bilingual education, language learning, and the bilingual experience in the greater Chicago area.”

All our graduate students are awarded teaching assistantships that come with a stipend and full tuition waiver for the duration of their program. They further benefit from the support of UIC’s strong Graduate Employees Union.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or if you’d like to talk about our program. If you’d like to be considered for university fellowships, the deadline is December 15, 2023. To be considered for teaching assistantships or tuition waivers, complete applications must be received by January 15, 2024. Detailed application instructions can be found on the admissions website. Further information about our graduate programs can be found on our website. My colleagues and I look forward to hearing from you!

Luis López
Director of Graduate Studies