The Graduate Program of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese is one of the longest-established, largest, and most widely recognized programs in the field. Its many alumni are represented on the faculties of numerous colleges and universities throughout the world. We have recently built on those strengths and added new approaches in order to reformulate our graduate program as an innovative, flexible, and competitive research unit in the field of Iberian and Latin American studies.
Beginning in Fall 2013, we will offer a PhD program that includes three major areas of study: Iberian and Latin American Literatures and Cultures; Literatures and Cultures in Portuguese and Spanish; and, Iberian and Latin American Linguistics. These tracks seek to address important themes, including the cultural and linguistic diversity in Latin American, Iberian, Latino, trans-Atlantic, and trans-Pacific worlds, as well as the impact of the ensuing and continued contact among indigenous people, Africans, and Europeans as a result of conquest, slavery, displacement, and immigration. At the same time, our program addresses the impact of new media and methodologies of thinking, learning, and teaching in contemporary environments marked by new technologies of language and representation. These flows, encounters, and intersections shape the research and teaching of our faculty, resulting in a graduate program that is highly intersectional, interdisciplinary, and intercultural, as well as transnational, and hemispheric.
Our graduate students are brought together and represented by the Spanish and Portuguese Graduate Student Organization (GSO), which has input into course offerings and decisions affecting graduate students; it also helps to mentor and orient new students arriving in Austin. The GSO stimulates intellectual and cultural life by organizing events that bring them together as a community of learning and ideas. In addition, graduate students edit the on-line journal Pterodáctilo.
We have been successful in maintaining funding for students who are making good progress in our graduate program. As well as support from teaching appointments, our students are eligible for various fellowships and scholarships. These include the University Fellowships for Continuing Students granted by the Graduate School. Departmental funding includes research and travel grants from the Lila M. Casis Research Fund and the Wilkinson Fund, the Kennedy Scholarships for students who are studying the Spanish Golden Age, as well as fellowships funded out of the Fath Endowment. For incoming students we offer the Flawn Scholarship from the College of Liberal Arts and the University Pre-emptive Scholarship from the Graduate School. In addition, students are eligible to apply for various types of research-travel grants in competitions sponsored by the Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies, the Graduate School, and the Wilkinson Fund.
Professional development of graduate students is an important part of our program. We seek to prepare students for the job market through a Job Search Graduate Advising Series, which consists of several workshops, mock interviews, and individual mentorship. Students are encouraged to participate in professional life by presenting their work at conferences and placing articles in journals by the time that they complete their degrees. This is achieved thanks to the important role played by our faculty members in professional associations, journals, and similar endeavors in the fields of literature, cultural studies, and linguistics. In this respect, various programs have been designed to familiarize students with such aspects of professional life as writing grant proposals and preparing and teaching upper-level undergraduate courses and graduate seminars.
Our graduate students enjoy access to the many research and cultural resources of the University of Texas, among them the Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection, the Harry Ransom Center, the Perry-Castañeda Library, and the Blanton Museum of Art. The Benson Collection is the largest of its kind in the United States, and one of the most prestigious Latin American collections in the world. The Blanton Museum, one of the largest university museums in the country, also features one of the deepest and strongest collections of Latin American and European art.
The fastest growing city in the country, Austin is known for its vibrant live music scene and agreeable living environment, including many parks and a well-maintained Hike and Bike Trail that winds through several parts of town. Besides being a beacon for progressive politics, high technology, and economic innovation, the city has emerged as one of the primary cultural gateways to Latin America and Iberia in the United States. Among the city's many prestigious festivals, beyond the mega-events of South by Southwest and Austin City Limits, are the Cine Las Américas International Film Festival and the Pachanga Latino Music Festival.
If you have questions in regard to the administrative aspects of the Graduate Program, please contact the Graduate Coordinator: Laura Rodríguez; Department of Spanish and Portuguese, The University of Texas at Austin; Austin, TX 78712; (512) 232-4502. Furthermore, our faculty members are always open to intellectual dialogue related to their areas of expertise.