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Hispanic Studies

By engaging students in the exploration of cultural products, processes and perspectives of the Spanish-speaking world, and through access to multilingual communities locally and abroad, Hispanic Studies develops students’ communicative and intercultural competence in the Spanish language and promotes social engagement in their communities and the world. Central to this work is the recognition that, in the United States, Spanish is not solely a foreign language but a national one as well, and increasingly a mandate of American and global citizenship.



Melinda was a Spanish and physics double major who spent a summer in Madrid, where she conducted archival research on the Inquisition.

Her work there, supported by a student-faculty summer research grant and a grant from the Asher Fund in the Humanities, inspired her to pursue a doctorate in Spanish literature at the University of California, Irvine.

At DePauw, she minored in world literature and computer science, played on the women’s basketball team and was named to the NCAC honor roll. She also participated in the Bob Hershberger Servicio en las Américas, a program for first-year students interested in social justice, international curiosity, intellectual challenges and the Spanish language, and later served as a student leader and graduate assistant for the program.



Educational Programs Abroad, Mexican Embassy in Chicago, Immigration Law Firm, CAIT Idiomas, DePauw Servicio program leader, Greencastle Middle School World, Languages Program


State Department professional, Professor/teacher, Translator/interpreter, Consultant, Lawyer, Health care professional


Farah Ali, Ph.D., University at Albany, SUNY. Her specializations are in sociolinguistics and second/heritage language acquisition, with research interests in identity and multilingualism. Her most recent projects focus on multilingualism in Catalonia, Spain, and investigate language use among migrant populations, as well as linguistic ideologies reflected in Catalan language policy and media discourse.

Soledad Forcadell, Ph.D., Washington University in St. Louis. Her primary area of expertise is 21st-century Latin American prose fiction. Her research focuses on contemporary Southern Cone literature and spatial representations of poverty. Her current project explores the relationships between the senses and the artful crafting of chronicle as a genre embedded in traditional history in Latin America.

Paul Michael Johnson, Ph.D., University of California at Irvine. A specialist in the literature and culture of early modern Spain, he has interdisciplinary interests in critical theory, the history of emotion, Mediterranean studies, aural and visual culture, world literature, translation and community-based learning. His most recent student- faculty collaborative research project studied Inquisition manuscripts in Madrid, Spain.

Alejandro Puga, Ph.D., Indiana University. He specializes in Mexican literature and culture. He has published several pieces on Mexico City and collaborates with DePauw students and faculty who share that interest.

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