The faculty members of the Spanish Literatures and Cultures program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign research and teach about the literatures and cultures of the Iberian Peninsula and the Americas including its past and current linguistic and cultural manifestations in Europe, Asia, and Africa. While our mission is grounded in the cultural, linguistic and historical specificity of these communities, our aim is to produce new knowledge that contributes to the broad areas of intellectual inquiry that comprise the Humanities.

The inherent interdisciplinarity of our research and teaching is reflected structurally in the formal affiliations of our faculty members with departments and programs beyond our departmental boundaries, such as Latina/Latino Studies, Comparative and World Literature, Gender and Women’s Studies, the Center for Translation Studies, the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, The Unit for Criticism and Interpretive Theory, and Global Studies. Likewise, faculty members from other disciplinary units contribute to our mission through their own affiliate appointments with the Department of Spanish and Portuguese.

As teachers, we are committed to encouraging our undergraduate students to develop and hone their skills in critical analysis of all sorts, as well as their linguistic and cultural competence in Spanish. Active participation in our faculty-led study abroad programs and in community-based learning contributes significantly to this development.

As dedicated mentors of our graduate students, we encourage and guide our students individually as they develop intellectually in the classroom as well as outside of it.  We offer graduate students structured guidance as they begin to contribute to our profession through presentations at national and international conferences, publication in journal articles, participation in conference organization, and in other ways. Graduate students who completed our doctoral program in the past ten years are currently employed in academic positions.



Xiomara Verenice Cervantes-Gómez, Assistant Professor ( Latin American cultural studies, critical theory, performance studies, queer theory, and contemporary literature)

Luisa Elena Delgado, Professor (Modern and Contemporary Spanish Studies; culture, ideology, aesthetics; cultural construction of identities;  normative citizenship; cultural and literary theory)

Javier Irigoyen-García, Professor (Early Modern Iberian Studies; Race and Cultural Studies; Orientalism)

Eduardo Ledesma. Associate Professor (20th and 21st century Latin American (including Brazil) literature and culture; film and new media theory; historic avant-gardes; experimental poetry and narrative; word and image interaction)

Mariselle Meléndez, Professor (Colonial Spanish America; eighteenth-century studies; global coloniality, race, gender and cultural studies; the cultures and politics of the Enlightenment)

Pilar Martínez-Quiroga, Teaching Associate Professor (20th and 21st Century Peninsular Literature and Culture)

Joyce Tolliver, Associate Professor (19th and 20th century literature and cultures of Spain; gender and sexuality studies; narrative and discourse theory; translation studies)

Anna Torres-Cacoullos, Assistant Professor (19th-21st -century Iberian literature and culture, film and media studies, visual culture, modernist aesthetics, the historical avant-garde, the connection between literature and film, and digital humanities scholarship)


Affiliated faculty:

Eric Calderwood, Associate Professor, Comparative and World Literatures (North African Literature and Film, Al-Andalus, Modern Spanish Literature and Film, Arabic Literature, Mediterranean Studies)

Fairchild D. Ruggles, Professor, Landscape Architecture (Islamic Art and Architecture, Islamic Spain and South Asia)

Antonio Sotomayor, Assistant Professor, University Library (Cultural and Identity Politics, Nationalism and National Identity, Sports and Leisure, Spanish Caribbean History, Colonialism)

Oscar Vazquez, Associate Professor, Art History (Spanish Art and Painting)