Marc Blatt and Sabhi Singh

Spanish Majors Design New Course for First Responders

June 9, 2017

Recent graduates Marc Blatt (CLAS 2017) and Sabhi Singh (CLAS 2017), both Jefferson Scholars and Spanish majors, spent their final year at UVa determining how to give back to the community and improve the world around them.

Click here to read about the innovative Spanish-language modules they developed for first responders in Charlottesville, Albermarle County, and the surrounding communities.

For more information, please contact Jane Kelly, Media Contact at the University News Associate Office of University Communications, by email or phone: 434.243.9935.

Congratulations to Marc and Sabhi!

Garth and Giuliano Awards for Spanish majors, 2017

Garth and Giuliano Awards for Spanish majors, 2017

May 4, 2017

Please join us in congratulating Savannah Artusi, Kate Eagen, and Lisa Trinh, this year's recipients of the Marie M. Giuliano Award and the Virginia Louis Garth Scholarship!

The Marie M. Giuliano Award is given to a fourth-year graduating student on the basis of demonstrated academic excellence in Spanish language study and a contribution to the growth and nurturing of Spanish  at the University. For her academic excellence and her contributions to the cultural activities of the Casa Bolívar, the Department of Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese recognizes Savannah Artusi (CLAS 2017) with the Giuliano Award.

And for their wonderful translation of Sor Juana’s redondilla “Hombres necios,” published on the Early Americas Digital Archive, we recognize Kate Eagen (CLAS 2018) and Lisa Trinh (CLAS 2018) with the Garth Scholarship. This scholarship is offered to an undergraduate student from Virginia who has demonstrated outstanding academic performance and who has contributed to the life and well-being of the Spanish Department. It is offered by the Garth family in honor of their late daughter. For their collaborative work in literary studies, the Department recognizes Kate and Lisa.

Congratulations Savannah, Kate, and Lisa!

Image credit

alfonso morales palenque xix

Congratulations, Rachel Gardella!

April 11, 2017

Congratulations to Rachel Gardella, a 3rd year student in the interdisciplinary linguistics major, for receiving this year's Distinguished Undergraduate Award from the Institute of World Languages.

The Distinguished Undergraduate Award is the highest award given by the IWL. It recognizes excellence in world language and cultural studies at the University of Virginia, signaling a student's extraordinary accomplishment in language education and the highest aptitude in cultural awareness and sensitivity as a Global Citizen.

As part of her study of world languages and global citizenship, Rachel has taken coursework in Spanish, the official language of 21 countries, one of the six official languages of the United Nations, and a language spoken by more than 500 million people around the world, as well as Maya K’iche’, a language that is spoken by more than one million people in Guatemala and one it is mutually intelligible with other Mayan languages of the region, including Kaqchikel and Tz’utujil. She has collaborated with students and scholars at the K'iche' Oral History Project at the University of New Mexico, and she is one of two undergraduate students helping to produce a digital critical edition of the Popol Wuj, the Maya K'iche' book of creation, through the Department of Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese's Multepal Project (SPAN 7559/4993).

For her broad and creative work in multiple languages and across disciplines, UVa is honored to recognize Rachel with the Distinguished Undergraduate Award.

Congratulations, Rachel!

Image credit: Alfonso Morales, FAMSI

casa bolívar

Job Announcement: In-Residence Director, Casa Bolívar

April 10, 2017
La Casa Bolívar is seeking an In-Residence Director/Language Assistant for the 2017-2018 academic year.

Click here to send your statement of purpose, including qualifications and interests, to the current Spanish House Faculty Liaison, Laura Aguilar Garcia.

Application deadline is April 21.

The post of in-Residence Director is generally assigned to a graduate student of the Department of Spanish, Italian and Portuguese. However, graduate students from other departments are also eligible to apply as long as they speak Spanish fluently and demonstrate a proven record of dedication to and interest in Latino, Latin American and Spanish Peninsular culture. The duration of the term is one academic year. The in-Residence Director lives at the Casa Bolívar (Room 118) and has the following primary duties:
• Attend to the Language House Workshop Saturday, August 26.
• Serve as a liaison between (a) the House and the Department of Spanish, Italian and Portuguese, as well as between (b) the House and Housing.
• Enforce the Spanish-Only Rule at all times.
• Keep every bed occupied for the duration of the academic year by conducting interviews and reviewing all applications. Interviews are to be conducted solely by the in-residence director, who turns recommendations to Housing and Residence Life for their final approval. This applies to all new and prospective residents.
• Oversee the programming of cultural events through the committee system in which all residents of the Casa Bolívar actively participate.
• Turn in grades for SPAN 4800-Language House. This course can only be taken on a pass/no pass basis.
• Train the incoming in-Residence Director on the Casa Bolívar’s administration procedures.
The University of Virginia pays for your housing and meal plan fees. The meal plan you will receive is the “Semester 80”—as the name indicates, the plan includes 80 meals per semester. These include dinner at the House Monday through Thursday in addition to any other meals you may wish to consume at any of the Dining Halls on grounds. In addition, the meal plan includes 175 Plus Dollars, which can be used at any UVA cash dining location for food purchases, such as the Alderman Café.
Immersion offers the best possible means of mastering a language. Common living areas provide residents with the chance to chat casually, while nightly dinners provide for a more structured gathering. Daily interaction, periodic meetings, and a wide range of planned activities enable students to explore their common interests in the culturally diverse Spanish-speaking world, and to provide a place for residents to exchange stories about their personal experiences in Latin America or Spain. The Casa Bolívar welcomes native speakers; non-native students who have lived, traveled extensively, or studied abroad; and students currently enrolled in Spanish courses.
Homer Statue

Spanish Honor Society Application Deadline (Apr 3)

March 16, 2017

UVa's Zeta Zeta Chapter of Sigma Delta Pi is now accepting applications for new members. If you are interested in promoting Hispanic Literatures and Cultures, and have met the requirements for membership, then Sigma Delta Pi is for you. Some of the most notable benefits are the opportunity for national awards, grants, and scholarships, which can facilitate study abroad programs and provide money for graduate research grants. 

Application Deadline: Monday, April 3, 2017

How to Apply: Submit your completed application form and a copy of your unofficial transcript to Matthew Street's office, 418 New Cabell, or email the materials to

Download SDP Application

After the application deadline you will participate in an initiation ceremony (Friday, April 14) during which you will receive credentials that certify you as a lifetime member of Sigma Delta Pi.

New Course in Spanish: Sí se puede (Fall 2017)

New Course in Spanish: Sí se puede (Fall 2017)

March 14, 2017

Do you seek a career in community organizing, education, health sciences, or legal aid? Does becoming fluent in Spanish play an important role in your academic and professional goals?

Sí se puede: Community Engagement in Spanish‐Speaking Charlottesville is a Spanish conversation course on the history and the experiences of the Spanish‐speaking population in the USA.

This course will connect UVA students with the Hispanic community in the Charlottesville area by working with community organizations in community engagement projects. We will meet TuTh 2-3:15 pm.

In class, we will engage in an exploration of the history and cultural productions of Spanish-speaking communities and individuals in the USA through a variety of documents (written and oral), and through conversations with leaders in our Latino Community.

We will work to answer questions such as why Spanish is considered a “foreign” language in the USA and why the USA has the second largest Spanish speaking population. Throughout the semester, we will also reflect on how language learning is a rewarding and continuous process that allows us to better understand ourselves, to communicate with others, and to construct a more tolerant and fair world around us.

La clase sera en español. ¡Los esperamos!

For more information, contact Esther Poveda-Moreno at

Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz

Spanish majors publish new translation of Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz

February 27, 2017
Please join us in congratulating two Spanish majors, Kate Eagen (3rd year) and Lisa Trinh (3rd year), on the publication of their critical translation of Sor Juana's most famous redondilla, "hombres necios."
Their work, one of the few English translations that preserves the ABBA rhyme scheme of the original poem, includes more than 30 explanatory footnotes and a thoughtful discussion on translation methods.
It is the 5th text translated by UVa students to be published on the Early Americas Digital Archive at the University of Maryland. The EADA is co-sponsored by the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities, an important collaborator with UVa Scholars' Lab.
To learn more about UVa students' contributions to the EADA, please click here. You can find here more about DH opportunities in Scholars' Lab. Interested in research and creative opportunities in Spanish? Please visit our "student spotlight" and DMP pages.
¡Felicidades, Kate y Lisa!
Retrato de Sor Juana (pintado por Miguel Cabrera, 1750), courtesy of Wiki Commons.
Jack Brake

Spanish major receives Harrison Research award

February 24, 2017

Congratulations to Jack Brake (CLAS 2018) on being one of 44 students honored with the Harrison Undergraduate Research Award in 2016! With this support, Jack is engaging in a multi-study of convivencia between and among Christians, Jews, and Muslims in medieval Spain. His study of material records of spaces of worship, especially the architectural elements of Visigoth churches that were constructed between 711 and 1492, engages with long-standing historiographies in Iberian religious life. It offers new insights into the Islamic principles of tolerance that allowed early Christians to develop their own faith communities in a formative moment in the making of the Spanish empire.

Read all about the impressive research of the 2016 recipients here.

To learn more about Jack's research, please visit our "student spotlight" page. You can also find more information on our Distinguished Major Program here.

Information on the Harrison Research award is available here, through the Center for Undergraduate Excellence.

¡Felicidades a todas y todos!


Moratorium on Declaring Spanish Major – Major Advisors Not Assigned (March 20-March 31)

February 10, 2017

The Department of Spanish, Italian & Portuguese welcomes the opportunity to have new Spanish majors join our department.

However, in order to serve our current Spanish majors we will not assign Spanish major advisors during the Fall 2017 Advising period (Monday, March 20 - Friday, March 31).

Note: This only applies to those who want to declare a major in Spanish. For information on the major, please see our page for majors.


Alumna Tamara Wilkerson Honored in National List of Educators

February 9, 2017

Congratulations to Tamara Wilkerson! Ms. Wilkerson, who majored in Spanish as an undergraduate student and earned her MAT from the Curry School of Education, was recently named to Forbes Magazine's "30 under 30" list of top professionals in Education in the United States.

Ms. Wilkerson, a former Spanish teacher at the Jack Jouett Middle School in Albermarle County, is the Executive Director of the African American Teaching Fellows, a non-profit organization that recruits top African-American students from 15 colleges and universities in the state of Virginia and trains them for careers in public education. To learn more about her studies at UVa and her work now, please visit her alumni profile.

¡Felicidades, Tamara! Desde la facultad de SIP, una fuerte expresión de solidaridad y mucho ánimo.


Junot Díaz Public Lecture

February 2, 2017

Award-winning author Junot Díaz begins his three-week residency on Grounds. Hear the author of The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao speak with professor Njelle Hamilton in a conversation about contemporary art and literature of the Caribbean and diasporic communities.

El gesticulador poster

University of Virginia Spanish Theater Presents: El gesticulador

February 3, 2016

Set in the heady times of post-revolutionary Mexico, El gesticulador (1938) invites us to reflect on the interplay between the kinds of things that are often understood in oppositional terms: history and myth, honesty and duplicity, truth and falsehood. Amid debates about "fake news" in our own political discourse, El gesticulador's critical take on the power of language to create, reflect, and, ultimately, subvert reality remains as current today as it was in the 1930s.

For the past 35 years, professor Fernando Operé has led graduate students and faculty in the University of Virginia Theater Group. Don't miss the latest installation!

Performance times: Friday, February 3rd, 8 p.m.; Saturday, February 4, 2 p.m., and 8 p.m.; Sunday, February 5th, 2 P.M.

Tickets are available at the Arts Box Office in Culbreth Theater, Monday-Friday, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m., or by phone (434.924.3376).

Tickets are $ 5 for students and $15 for non-students. Art dollars not accepted.

¡Nos vemos en el teatro!