On the beach in Cadiz. Prize winning entry from the Year Abroad competition (Laura Luse)

Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies

Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies is a lively and dynamic section with 15 lecturers committed to working with you in the development of your language and academic skills to explore the diverse cultures and societies of Spain, Portugal and Latin America.

Our Modules

Language is the key to your engagement with different areas of inquiry and practical modules in Spanish and/or Portuguese make up a significant part of your studies, allowing you to graduate with a high level of proficiency in either or both languages. Our teaching team also comprises academics with combined expertise in the Iberian Peninsula and most of the regions of Latin America. Their research helps to shape the optional modules you will be studying and includes expertise in History, Politics, Cultural Studies, Film Studies, Anthropology, Linguistics, Sociolinguistics and Literature. While studying Spanish and/or Portuguese as part of your degree your optional modules will offer in-depth understanding of aspects of contemporary culture and society in the Hispanic and Lusophone worlds. You can also do Spanish with other languages, Business or Linguistics.

The Year Abroad

You spend your third year in Spain, Portugal or Latin America. You can be an exchange student in one of seven Spanish universities: Murcia, Pompeu Fabra (Barcelona) Jaume I (Valencia), Zaragoza, Cadiz, Autónoma de Madrid, and Valencia. In Portugal you can go to the University of Coimbra or the University of Lisbon. In Latin America you can go to universities in Argentina, Chile and Peru, for students of Spanish, and two important universities in Brazil. You can also work as a teaching assistant through the British Council scheme (in Spain, Mexico, Colombia, Chile, Argentina, Ecuador or Paraguay), or chose among a range of work placements in Argentina, Chile and Brazil.

Extra curricular activities

Important cultural institutions in the region offer a wide array of activities related to the Iberian Peninsula and Latin America. The Tyneside Cinema, The Star and Shadow and the Side Cinema and Gallery frequently show films from these regions, holding language cafes afterwards. The Sage Gateshead and other venues also bring Iberian and Latin American acts to the city. Newcastle has a vibrant Hispanic and Lusophone community, and the annual ¡VAMOS! Festival is a celebration of these cultures in Newcastle -- Gateshead.

Postgraduate Opportunities

After graduation Newcastle offers several options for postgraduate studies. Our MA in Translation in European Languages or our MA in Latin American Interdisciplinary Studies have become very popular options for our graduates. We also offer research degrees (Mlitt, Mphil, PhD) in all areas of our expertise.

Research Interests and Expertise

Our research is strongly oriented towards the interdisciplinary study of Latin America, complemented by linguistic and cultural expertise in relation to the Iberian Peninsula:

Languages: In addition to the major world languages Portuguese and Spanish, we offer Catalan and Quechua, key minority languages of the Hispanic world (Howard)

Culture: Spanish & Latin American popular culture in film, music and the visual arts – in particular such matters as gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, nationalism, landscape, trauma and memory.(Catalá Carrasco, Morgan, Page)

Society: Latin American anthropology, cultural identity, education development, indigenous issues, women’s movements (Oliart)

History: Late 18thC to late 20C Latin American political, social, and intellectual history, esp. Brazil and Southern Cone; state formation and nation-building, including the philosophical debates that shaped these processes;  social reforms, esp. in education, and frontier modernisation; sub- and supra-national regionalism. (Hentschke)

Linguistics: Spanish syntax, Spanish varieties (Latin America and Iberian Peninsula), Spanish historical linguistics, Standardization. (Mackenzie)

Research in these areas benefits from collaboration with the School and also from interaction in larger Faculty groupings such as the Centre for Film and Digital Media, Centre for Latin American and Caribbean Studies and the Centre for Research in Linguistics & Language Sciences.

Recent & Current Research Postgraduates

Fernando Gonzalez Velarde: Culture, Nature and Development in a Context of Change: Discourses of Tourism and Senses of Place in Beach Towns of Northern Peru

Sarah Bennison: Who are the children of Pariacaca? Exploring identity through narratives of water and landscape in Huarochirí, Peru

Sarah Duggan: Social meanings of place: exploring cultural narratives and symbolic spaces of collective identity in the Chapada Diamantina, Bahia, Brazil.

Antonia Manresa: Education policies, epistemological struggles and indigenous politics in Ecuador

Ximena Córdova: Performance and identity in the Oruro Carnival in Bolivia

Josep Cru: Indigenous Language Endangerment and Language Rights in Latin America

Claire Donneky: Minority languages in France and Spain

Selina Patel Nascimento:  Kept Indoors?: Concubines, Power, and Gender in Late Colonial Bahia, Brazil, 1750-1831

Steven Robinson: The Europeanisation of Portuguese Foreign Policy after 1974

Research Seminars and Cross-Disciplinary Groupings

SPLAS contributes actively to the SML Research Seminar Series, which features prominent U.K. and overseas scholars. In addition, the Instituto Camões-funded Centro de Língua Portuguesa has developed its own dynamic programme of Portuguese-related events. SPLAS also contributes significantly in organising seminars and conferences with the Centre for Latin American and Caribbean Studies.

Members of Staff in this Area
Spanish, Portuguese And Latin American Studies

Samuel Anaya-Guzman

Dr Jorge Catala-Carrasco
Senior Lecturer in Hispanic Studies

Dr Josep Cru Talaveron
Teaching Fellow in Spanish Language

Dr Dunja Fehimovic
Lecturer in Spanish & Portuguese

Dr Fruela Fernandez
Lecturer in Spanish Translation

Professor Jens R Hentschke
Professor of Latin American History and Politics, Habil., FRHistS - Deputy Head of School, Director for Postgraduate Research, Degree Programme Director for Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies, President of the Society for Latin American Studies

Lucy Hill
Spanish language teacher

Professor Rosaleen Howard
Chair of Hispanic Studies

Professor Ian MacKenzie
Professor of Spanish Linguistics

Dr Nick Morgan
Lecturer in Latin American Studies

Dr Patricia Oliart
Lecturer in Latin American Studies

Dr Philippa Page
Lecturer in Hispanic Studies

Francina Payeras Rebassa
Lecturer in Catalan

Dr Conceicao Pereira
Lecturer in Portuguese, Co-ordinator of the Portuguese Language Centre - Camões ICL

Angela Uribe de Kellett