More than half a billion people across five continents speak Spanish or Portuguese as their first language, and in the United States, with more than 38 million Spanish speakers, the Hispanic legacy is embedded in myriad aspects of American politics, arts, and culture. Our community of scholars studies and highlights the importance and influence of the Spanish, Latin American, and Luso-Afro-Brazilian histories, cultures, and languages in the Americas, Europe, Africa, and Asia, from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance to our globalized present.
Our department is a critical pillar of Princeton's commitment to internationalization and scholarly excellence. We encourage and facilitate interdisciplinary work, and our faculty are active in many other departments and programs on campus, including the Program in Latin American Studies, International and Regional Studies, Brazil LAB, American Studies, Global Health, Media and Modernity, the School of Architecture, Comparative Literature, Renaissance Studies, History, Art and Archaeology, the Art Museum, and the Environmental Institute.
Our mission is to help Princeton students flourish as global citizens, ready to face the challenges posed by an increasingly cosmopolitan and multilingual professional world. With this general purpose in mind, we offer a full range of language courses, advanced seminars on literature and culture, translation workshops and the opportunity for independent study. With the support and guidance of our talented faculty, students are able to study not only the Spanish and Portuguese languages, but also literatures, visual arts, music, urban cultures, as well as the complex political and social histories of the Hispanic and Luso-Afro-Brazilian worlds.
Students become familiar with renowned writers such as Miguel de Cervantes and Jorge Luis Borges, Nobel Prize laureates Gabriela Mistral, José Saramago, and Mario Vargas Llosa; influential artists such as the painters Diego Velázquez, Pablo Picasso, and Frida Kahlo, the architect Oscar Niemeyer, contemporary musicians Caetano Veloso, Gotan Project, and Calle 13; as well as international filmmakers such as Luis Buñuel, Pedro Almodóvar, Kleber Mendonça, and Alfonso Cuarón. In order to experience cultural and linguistic immersion, our students also have the opportunity to study abroad with our popular summer programs in Argentina, Portugal, and Spain, or with other approved international programs.
Our majors and certificate recipients are provided with the high linguistic proficiency, cross-cultural literacy, and critical and analytical skills that are key for careers in the humanities, law, medicine, government, international relations, international business, education, and community-based initiatives today. They also enable students interested in the environment to communicate effectively when doing research or volunteering in Spanish- or Portuguese-speaking regions. Our courses serve as passports for living and working in more than thirty countries, including some of the fastest growing economies in the world.