About the Major

At Hamilton, students find an array of courses in the Spanish language and in Latin American, Spanish, and U.S. Latinx literatures and cultures. And through our Academic Year In Spain headquartered in Madrid, they are immersed in Spanish life and language. Hispanic studies is a field of practical value for students interested in careers in international affairs, government, education, the arts, or any profession that requires competence in Spanish. 

Students Will Learn To:

  • demonstrate oral proficiency in Spanish.

  • demonstrate written proficiency in Spanish.

  • utilize their curricular studies of the Spanish language and Hispanic cultures through experiential learning.

  • demonstrate disciplinary practice by producing literary/film criticism that argues an original thesis.

A Sampling of Courses

Isabel Coixet film

Women in Spanish Literature and Film:''Chicas de pelicula''

With an emphasis in the last two decades, this class will focus on literary and visual constructions of women in Contemporary Spain. Movies, poems and short stories will help us ask questions and explore ideas concerning Spanish women and society such as war and gender violence, immigration, sexualities, citizenship, interpersonal relationships, masculinities in transition, etc. Films and literary texts by Bigas Luna, Isabel Coixet, Icíar Bollaín, Anna Rossetti and Carme Riera, among others.

Explore these select courses:

Intense focus on speech emergence and oral presentation. Study of diverse cultural readings and other aesthetic productions as a basis for refinement of grammar comprehension and as a means to further improve writing, reading and listening skills. Three hours of class, with additional activities, TA sessions and laboratory work. Taught in Spanish.

This course develops communication skills used in business, health, government, law, environmental studies, and social justice. Special emphasis is given to building vocabulary and the improvement of grammatical structures through practical application. Oral and written assignments are designed to expand knowledge of Hispanic social practices while increasing intercultural competence.

An in-depth study of the history and poetics of Hispanic films from the double perspective of Hispanic cultural contexts and the development of cinema as artistic expression. Examines how props, lighting, acting, editing, etc. say more than the words in the script. We will discuss how all these elements reflect the cultural visions and beliefs of different Hispanic filmmakers and the times and places they came from. The readings will focus on film theory and film history within the context of nationalism in the Hispanic World.

Studies the narrative of internationally recognized Latin American authors of the 1960’s-1970’s, contextualizing the literary "boom" of this time period, and introducing some of the fundamental works in twentieth century literature. Authors include Carlos Fuentes, Julio Cortázar, Mario Vargas Llosa, José Donoso and Gabriel García Márquez.

Meet Our Faculty

Jessica Burke

Chair, Associate Professor of Hispanic Studies


Latin American literature, Mexican literature, and culture and gender studies

Marissa Ambio

Assistant Professor of Hispanic Studies


19th-21st century Latino literature and culture

Marcelo Carosi

Visiting Assistant Professor of Hispanic Studies


Latina American literature and cinema; labor studies; neoliberalism; gender and sexuality studies

Luis Miguel dos Santos Vicente

Assistant Professor of Hispanic Studies


Medieval Iberian literatures and cultures; cross-cultural exchanges; medieval travel writing; Alfonso X of Castile; early modern Spanish travel; autobiography

Mihyang Cecilia Hwangpo

Associate Professor of Hispanic Studies


Latin American literature and culture; early 20th-century Argentinean and Cuban theatre and essay

Jack Martínez Arias

Assistant Professor of Hispanic Studies


Andean indigenous cultures and literature, Latin American literature, Environmental Humanities, and Spanish as a second language

Edna Rodriguez-Plate

Associate Professor of Hispanic Studies


Hispanic cinema, contemporary Hispanic Caribbean literature and culture, and Cuban studies

Joana Sabadell-Nieto

Burgess Professor of Hispanic Studies


feminist and gender studies; cultural criticism and Spanish poetry; narrative; urban studies; literature

Claudia Contreras Mendoza

Teaching Fellow in Hispanic Studies


Language, culture and society; Spanish as a foreign language; English as a foreign language; material design for ESL and SFL class

Explore Hamilton Stories

Jack Martinez-Arias

Martínez-Arias Publishes Article on Indigenous Science Fiction

Assistant Professor of Hispanic Studies Jack Martinez-Arias recently published an article titled "Ante el realismo cíclico en los Andes: la narrativa especulativa de Edmundo Paz Soldán" in the peer-reviewed journal Confluencia: Revista Hispánica de Cultura y Literatura (Colorado State University).

Mexico-U.S. border

Authority in the Borderlands is Students’ Levitt Research Topic

Who do people turn to for help? Many turn to family, close friends, or sometimes, they may even seek out state authorities. But what happens when these options are no longer available—when you have left behind your families and friends, and state authorities will sooner detain you than offer you help?

world map highlighting Argentina and Spain

Prunier ’23, Wandja ’24 Receive Gilman Scholarships for Study Abroad

Jacquelin (Jackie) Prunier ’23 and Adriel Wandja ’24 have been awarded Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarships for study abroad this summer. Prunier will travel to Argentina, while Wandja will study in Spain.

Careers After Hamilton

Hamilton graduates who concentrated in Hispanic studies are pursuing careers in a variety of fields, including:

  • Bilingual Literacy Tutor, AmeriCorps
  • Executive Director, City of Boston
  • Veterinary Student, Cornell University
  • Spanish Teacher, New York City Department of Education
  • Outreach Manager, Explorer Programs, National Geographic Society
  • Foreign Language Chair, Trinity-Pawling School
  • Executive Vice President/Chief Risk Officer, E*TRADE Financial


Department Name

Hispanic Studies Department

Contact Name

Jessica Burke, Chair

Office Location
198 College Hill Road
Clinton, NY 13323

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