News and Events

2013 -2014 Student Awards

The Honors and Awards Committee (Laura León Llerena, Lucille Kerr, Jill Felten, María Reyes Moran Fuertes and Darío Fernández-Morera) evaluated the papers nominated for departmental prizes and decided to award the following papers:


--“Cuerpo y dictadura en la escritura de Roberto Bolaño y Diamela Eltit” by Anna Elder for Best Essay on the Literatures and Cultures of Latin America and/or Spain.

Elder’s paper examines how the discursive dichotomy between internal and external narratives is negotiated in the works of Roberto Bolaño and Diamela Eltit against the historical and political background of the Pinochet dictatorship.  The author achieves an excellent balance between primary and secondary sources in a detailed analysis that subtantiates her own opinions.

--“Construcción dialógica de la figura femenina en ‘El recado’ y ‘Mientras por competir con tu cabello” by Yun Leefor Best Essay for Spanish 200-level Literature and Culture Classes.

Lee compares these works by Elena Poniatowska and Luis de Góngora as dialogues which fashion the feminine body, but which do so with different versions of the dialogic construction.  The paper produces an excellent close reading of both works by making a convincing use of the theoretical concept of implicit dialogism.

We received 3 nominations for the Vera Teixeira prize but the Committee decided that these nominations did not meet the description of the prize.

We did not have candidates for Honors or the Barton Prize.

Congratulations Casey Drosehn!

Casey Drosehn, a CLS student homed in Spanish and Portuguese, has just published a peer-reviewed article in A contracorriente. It is entitled "De los medios a los remedios: Qué y Los mecanismos de la curación" and can be found at

Congratulations, Casey!

Congratulations to Pedro Varguillas!

Congratulations to Pedro Varguillas who was awarded the LACS Research summer grant with the project "La República del beta: excesos de la política y la cultura en la Venezuela contemporánea."

Great job Pedro!

Congratulations Sofia Falzoni! 

Our departmental tutor – Sofia Falzoni – has received a Fulbright ETA (English Teaching Assistantship) to teach English at a university in Brazil from March to November 2015. Apart from being an English teaching assistant in university classes, she will also develop and lead language learning activities, including cultural and social events for Brazilian students to practice English and engage in American culture. 

Sofia was born in Argentina and moved to the US in 2001. She is a senior in WCAS majoring in Sociology and International Studies with a minor in Business Institutions. She has taken Spanish and Portuguese classes at Northwestern, and is one of our Spanish tutors in 2013-2014.

Please join me in congratulating Sofia!

Congratulations to Emily McCall, Spanish major, whose final paper from Prof. Uslenghi's Borges class is going to be published in El Cid!  El Cid is a magazine published by The Citadel's Tau Iota Chapter of Sigma Delta Pi, the National Collegiate Hispanic Honor Society.   Phenomenal job, Emily. 


Humberto Robles, Professor Emeritus of the Department of Spanish & Portuguese, has been named to the prestigious Academia Ecuatoriana de la Lengua (Ecuadorian Academy of Language). The Academia was founded in 1875 in Quito and aims to bring together regional intellectual and literary groups.  The Academia is one of the most important cultural institutions in latin America.  Congratulations, Professor Robles!

Latin American Literature and Film Archive
Professor Lucille Kerr has created a website to research, gather, organize, and disseminate information about the relationship between Latin American literature and film. Check it out!

Bilinguals are Smarter!  Read about the benefits of bilingualism in a recent article titled Why Bilinguals are Smarter!:

NU Heights.  NU Heights is a Department of Spanish and Portugese-sponsored initiative entirely run and organized by Northwestern students. Around 60 Northwestern students will be making weekly trips to Pierce Elementary in Chicago's Andersonville neighborhood to tutor grade-school kids.  Read about this in Northwestern's News Network

Tutoring:  Did you know the Dept of Spanish & Portuguese offers Spanish Tutoring Services?

See the Daily Northwestern’s article about the Spanish Department’s informal conversation opportunities!


2012-2013 Student Awards

The Honors and Awards committee is happy to announce this year’s winners for student awards in the following categories:

Humberto E. Robles Prize for Best Honors Thesis in Spanish  Emily Bruhl

Emily Bruhl's thesis is clearly structured and well researched. She analyzes the relationship between representations of gender and food comparatively in three contemporary Latin American female writers, arguing that the places of food preparation and food consumption are constructed as liberating spaces for female characters and therefore contest a system of patriarchal culture. It is particularly interesting how the author brings together textual and socio-cultural analysis focusing on how food -its description, its place in tradition, its character as female legacy- becomes a vehicle of challenging apparently fixed social roles. 

Emily McCall also received honorable mention for the best honors thesis category.

2012-2013 Best Essay Prize on the Literatures and Cultures of Latin America and/or Spain   Orlando Torres

Torres's essay is a well-written text, with a good development of the critical argument and a good combination of critical references. He offers an cultural analysis of the deployment of photographic practices in the nation-state building  projects of late nineteenth and early twentieth century Latin America.  

2012-2013 Best Essay Prize for Spanish 200-level Literature and Culture Classes      Lauren Straus

Straus offers an interesting examination of the way these two poems articulate the complex and conflictive presence of the United States –its political interference and economical explotation-- in the affairs of Latin America. The paper is well written, the ideas are well-organized, and its argument clear.



2011-2012 Student  Awards

Best Essay on the Literatures and Cultures of Latin America and/or Spain Prize was awarded to Emily McCall for her essay, "Una identidad completa, llena de contradicciones: Un análisis de Historia del guerrero y de la cautiva de Borges."

The Josef J. Barton Prize for Undergraduate Service was awarded to Aja Ringenbach and Todd Levine, for their work with NU Heights.

Best Essay for Spanish 200-level Literature and Culture Classes Prize was awarded to Chelsea Glenn, for her essay, "The Marginalized Voice in the Political Sphere."


Faculty Awards and Honors

Freshman AdvisingPenny Nichols, Senior Lecturer, won a 2011-2012 Weinberg College Teaching Award for Outstanding Freshman Advising.

Junior Fellowship at the Kaplan Institute for the Humanities for 2012-13:  awarded to Nathalie Bouzaglo, Assistant Professor.  She will work on her book manuscript "Adulterated Nation: Illicit Passions in the Venezuelan Fin de Siècle" and participate in the intellectual life of the Institute.

2011-2012 ASG Faculty and Administrator Honor Roll:  Joel Colom-Mena



Elena Lanza, 2010 Distinguished Teaching Award from the School of Continuing Studies 


Rifka Cook, Faculty Affiliate of the Alice Kaplan Institute for the Humanities


Maria Reyes Morán Fuertes, ASG Faculty Honor Roll

Chyi Chung, Arts and Sciences Alumni Teaching Award

Joel Colom-Mena, ASG Faculty Honor Roll


Chyi Chung, SCS Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching Award

Stewart Adams, AccessAbility Award by the Office of Student Disability Services
Anna Diakow, AccessAbility Award by the Office of Student Disability Services
Penny Nichols Fahey, WCAS Community Building Award
Reyes Morán, AccessAbility Award by the Office of Student Disability Services


Dario Fernandez-Morera, SCS Distinguished Teaching Award

Elisa Baena, ASG Faculty Honor Roll
Chyi Chung, ASG Faculty Honor Roll


Nélida Zepeda, ASG Faculty Honor Roll


Elena Lanza, ASG Faculty Honor Roll


Chyi Chung, ASG Faculty Honor Roll


Heather Colburn, ASG Faculty Honor Roll


Heather Colburn, ASG Faculty Honor Roll


Heather Colburn, WCAS Alumni Teaching Award


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Department of Spanish & Portuguese 2014-2015 Yearly Course Planner




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