Bienvenidos, Bem-vindos, Benvinguts

Spanish & Portuguese at the University of California, Berkeley

Welcome to the web resource of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at the University of California, Berkeley. Our department is a medium-sized one, big enough to offer a wide variety of approaches to teaching and research yet small enough to afford students at both the graduate and undergraduate level personal attention and mentoring. We offer an abundance of opportunities to learn and achieve mastery of the languages and cultures we study, which include Catalan, Nahuatl, Portuguese, Romance Studies and Spanish. Our programs are specially designed for highly motivated students with a passion for other languages, literatures and cultures, for imaginative approaches to these and for careful crossing of traditionally defined geographic, linguistic and disciplinary borders.

Several of our faculty are formally involved with or are active in other departments or academic units on campus—for example, Comparative Literature, Digital Humanities, Film and Media, Gender & Women’s Studies, Linguistics, Near Eastern Studies, Rhetoric, the Portuguese Studies Program, the Spanish Studies Program, the Catalan and Occitan Studies Program, the Center for Latin American Studies and Renaissance and Early Modern Studies.

Upcoming Events

News

Professor McEnaney quoted in the New York Times. Congratulations!

​Congratulations to Professor McEnaney, who is quoted in a recent article in ​The New York Times, “What Do We Hear When Women Speak?” (11/20/19).  The article, which focuses on perceptions of women’s voices in the context of the most recent Democratic presidential debate, draws on Professor McEnaney’s research and teaching in the emerging field of Sound Studies:

In a course called “Sounding American,” at the University of California at Berkeley, Tom McEnaney, a professor of comparative literature and Portuguese and Spanish, teaches that there is in fact a sound that people associate with authority in this country — and, while it is constantly evolving, it has its roots in many things, one of which is early broadcast technology. Dating back to the phonograph, he said, engineers had created a device that was designed for the male voice — newscasters, presidents, public figures — to the extent that if a woman spoke into it, her voice would sound distorted, thin or scrambled.  […]

 “So there was a bias in the engineering. That bias in the engineering produced distortion, which was mistakenly associated with women’s voices, and then listeners […] used that association as the justification for their ongoing prejudice against women’s voices,” Professor McEnaney said. “And those carry up to the present day.”

The full article can be found at: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/20/us/politics/women-voices-authority.html?rref=collection%2Fbyline%2Fjessica-bennett&action=click&contentCollection=undefined&region=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=1&pgtype=collection

Congratulations, Holly Jackson!

Congratulations to Holly Jackson, who will begin as an Assistant Professor in Northern Arizona University in Fall 2019. In her dissertation, Writing Spain: Race, Migration and the Construction of the Pueblo (1937-2011), Holly focuses on twentieth-century Spanish literature as a territory of doubt, arguing that literary critique of Spain’s official national narratives happens across and beyond the historical and geographical borders of the modern-day nation.  Muchas felicidades, Holly!