Spanish and Latin American Studies

                                      See Our Plans for Fall 2021!

Our programs examine the diverse societies of Latin America and Spain through a decolonial lens to explore and make sense of the experiences of the peoples of the region. Three fundamental questions structure this inquiry:

Argentina Rally

  1. How are gender, class, and ethnicity constructed in Latin America and Spain?
  2. How do these constructions intersect with structures of power? How is power contested and resisted?
  3. How are people building more tolerant and more inclusive societies?

We address these problems in cultural studies courses (taught in English) and Spanish language courses (taught in Spanish).

Folkloric customeCultural production reflects and critiques societyOur interests range from the study of novels, comics, film, poetry, music, art, performance, digital and traditional mass media, documentaries, etc. from representative authors and creators to the study of everyday social interactions to understand and question the values and practices that structure Latin American and Spanish societies.

At the same time, language always plays a central role in the construction of social relations and identity. Language mediates our relationship to the world; it is a way to make sense of it and to organize it. Spanish is the most widely spoken language in Spain and was imposed through conquest and colonization on what we now know as Latin America to structure the social, political, and spiritual lives of the region. It is the main linguistic force shaping Spanish and Latin American societies and by the time you complete the seven-course language sequence you will be able to:

  1. Understand the main ideas of complex text on both concrete and abstract topics, including technical discussions in your field of specialization.
  2. Interact with a degree of fluency and spontaneity that makes regular interaction with native speakers quite possible without strain for either party.
  3. Produce clear, detailed text on a wide range of subjects and explain a viewpoint on a topical issue giving the advantages and disadvantages of various options.

Why Should You Take Spanish with Us?

  1. Sep. 29, 2021Meet our new CTSA!

    The Department of Spanish and Latin American Studies is pleased to welcome our Fall 2021 co-op students, Abida Haroon, Erica Zhang, and Cecilia Martin to the team! As our Course Technical Support Assistants (CTSA), they will be assisting instructors navigate the online environment and ensuring all remote processes run as smooth as possible.

  2. Sep. 14, 2021W22 SPAN 344; Latin American Masculinities(?): Film, Fiction and Lived Experience
    Colloquial Latin American Street Scenery

    SPAN 344 Winter 2022

     SPAN 344 Latin American Masculinities(?): Film, Fiction and Lived Experience

    Through TV dramas like Narcos and El Chapo, the lives and names of some of the most infamous Latin American drug kingpins have now become familiar to non-Spanish speakin

  3. May 26, 2021 Hybrid Identities: The Representation of Cultures in English Language Latino-Canadian Literature
    Hybrid identities

    SPAN 344 Fall 2021

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Meet our people

Monica Leoni

Monica Leoni


Associate Professor

Director of Special Programs

Department of Spanish and Latin American Studies
University of Waterloo
Waterloo ON N2L 3G1

519-888-4567 x 32923