The Department of Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese at the University of Virginia acknowledges the Monacan Nation, the traditional custodians of the lands and waters upon which it stands. To learn more about the history of the Monacan Nation and federal- and state-recognized Tribes in what is now called Virginia, please visit the land acknowledgement of UVA's Equal Opportunity and Civil Rights Office.

Chair's Welcome

Welcome to the Department of Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese at the University of Virginia! We are a diverse and interdisciplinary group of faculty and students devoted to the study of the Literatures, Languages, and Cultures of Italy, the Iberian Peninsula, and the Americas. Our research and teaching thrive on innovative literary, linguistic and theoretical approaches, including the medieval through the contemporary periods, with interdisciplinary interests in anthropology, history, indigenous studies, the avant-garde, film, television and theater, gender studies, art and aesthetics, poetry, translation, material culture, and literary theory. Our intellectual community offers an array of potential research and teaching collaborations involving race, anti-racist pedagogy, justice, and equity in fields like Global South Studies, Caribbean Studies, Latin American and Latinx studies, Trans Studies, Environmental Humanities, Indigenous Studies, Medieval and Early Modern Studies, and Transoceanic Studies.

For nearly 200 years, the University has been a leading center of intellectual inquiry and creative problem-solving in the arts, sciences, and social sciences. The study of literatures, cultures, and languages is central to those pursuits, and to the University’s mission as a public institution that prepares students to think critically and creatively about problems at a local level and around the world. Our exceptional achievement in the research and teaching of diverse world regions and historical moments has been recognized historically with high rankings from the National Research Council, and our faculty have received some of the top awards in their fields.

Our innovative courses and collaborative approach to faculty-student research prepare undergraduate and graduate students for critical thinking and afford employment flexibility in academia, education, public service, and the private sector. Undergraduates often double major in related fields like Global Development StudiesMedia Studies, and Latin American Studies. Graduate students are encouraged to develop interdisciplinary expertise by taking courses in related fields of study, such as Anthropology/LinguisticsFrenchEnglishHistory, and Religious Studies. Our graduate students come to Charlottesville from all around the world to research on a wide range of topics from established fields like medieval studies, modern Peninsular literature, and contemporary Latin American writing to emerging areas like the Global South, Environmental Humanities, and digital humanities. We welcome all prospective and new students to our classes, and to the University’s community of students and scholars.

The University of Virginia is an excellent place to study the interconnected literatures and cultures of the Hispanophone, Italian-speaking, and Lusophone worlds. Each year the Department hosts a distinguished visiting professor. Our Special Collections library holds more than 2,000 works by Jorge Luis Borges, including manuscripts, personal correspondence, and drawings. Students and scholars interested in the history of the book in the early Americas and early modern European empires (especially England, Spain, and Portugal) will find ample materials to research in the Tracy W. McGregor Collection. The Fralin Museum of Art holds a rich collection of Mesoamerican and indigenous artwork from the Americas.

Our faculty and students collaborate with colleagues across departments at Digital Humanities centers like the Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities, the IHGC (Institute of Humanities and Global Cultures)SHANTI, and Scholars' Lab facilitate to develop projects like Global South Studies and The World of Dante. Our proximity to Washington, D.C., enables us to participate in literary events at the Library of Congress and to host conferences at the Mexican Cultural Institute and National Museum of the American Indian.

Thank you for visiting our website, and for your interest in the Department.


Samuel Amago
Professor of Spanish and Department Chair