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Spanish & Portuguese Studies


The Department of Spanish and Portuguese Studies contributes to the academic and professional development of our students by developing their skills in critical thinking and writing as well as honing their linguistic expertise. According to recent research, learning a second language as an adult sharpens cognitive skills correlated with academic success. Language study also improves employment prospects in a global economy; a study by Georgetown University found that foreign language majors had the lowest rate of unemployment of any field in the humanities. 


We offer majors and minors in Spanish and Portuguese, as well as new minors in Latin American StudiesLatina/o Studies and Translation & Interpreting Studies. In conjunction with the Department of Urban Education, we help students become certified to teach world languages as they complete their majors in Spanish or Portuguese. We  also offer several internships which allow students to gain academic credit and professional experience by teaching at the Hoboken Dual Language Charter School, serving as interpreters/translators at the Rutgers Law School Clinicsor other organizations in the community through the Lives in Translation Project, or working at the Brazilian Endowment for the Arts

Our department also serves as an important link between Rutgers University-Newark and the sizeable Latino and Lusophone populations in northern New Jersey and in the city of Newark.  We foster cultural and intellectual ties to these communities through our teaching, research, and outreach activities, and many of our students come from these communities. Every semester, our department offers scholarly and cultural events which are attended by faculty, students, and members of the wider community.

How You Will Learn

Our courses are broadly conceived. While we offer literature courses that study literary periods and genres, we also offer courses that place literature in relation to its political, cultural and historical processes, and its relation with other arts, including visual arts broadly understood. A capstone of this educational view are recent courses taught by our faculty such as: Latino Bilingualism; Oral History of the Ironbound; Performing the Nation in Portugal and Brazil; Journalism in Hispanic Literature; The Spanish Civil War in the Cultural Memory: Literature, Theater and Art; Catalan and Galician Literature in Translation; Gangs in Brazilian Literature and Film; The Mexican Revolution; US Hispanic Latino Literature; Slavery, Race and the Black Experience in Latin American Literature, among others. 

SOMOS Poetry and Culture Festival 2023

Please join us for our first annual SOMOS Poetry & Culture Festival 2023! For more information, please visit our website here. This event is free, but registration is required! More soon!

SOMOS Banner

SPS Guest Lecture Series

A series of Fall 2022 guest lectures on a variety of topics pertaining to Spanish and Portuguese Studies. Announcements coming soon!

For more information on guest lectures, please click here!

Seminar Room

VOICE: Virtual Coffee Chats

VOICE, part of Lives in Translation, aims to host virtual chats with artists, authors, linguists, translators, poets, and professors to discuss the power of language! Click here for more!

LiT banner of students holding #ISpeakSpanish posters

Lives in Translation

Rutgers-Newark Faculty, Students Create Open Platform for Language Translation Services

Brick City Collective

Students in Professor Kimberly Holton’s Portuguese-American Literature class attend spoken word poetry reading by the Brick City Collective at Paul Robeson Gallery at Hahnes’ Express Newark. 

brick city collective


Luciane Castilho

Luciane Castilho


Isadora Grevan

Isadora Grevan

Assistant Professor

Engelbert Santana

Engelbert Santana

Part Time Lecturer

Stephanie Rodriguez

Stephanie Rodriguez

Teaching Instructor, Director of Lives In Translation