Spanish and Latin American Studies

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. 14, 2023Churros&Chat
    Churros and Chat


    We are kicking off our fall term with a Churros&Chat event on Sept. 21st from 3:30-4:30pm in ML 354.

    Come meet your professors, mingle with students, and most importantly eat some churros! 

  2. May 8, 2023Congratulations!

    Hats off to our Alum!

    We are thrilled to announce that our very own Rafael Ponciano will be beginning a Masters’ degree in Spanish in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at the University of Toronto come this September. Rafael is graduating this April with a B.A. Honours in Spanish and Latin American Studies and three Minors (Music, German, and Cultural Identities). 

  3. Sep. 13, 2022Guest Lecture on Salvadorian revolutionary music and socio-political movements

    Guest Lecturer for SPAN 344 - Music and Social Movements

    As a part of SPAN 344 "Music and Social Movements," we are delighted to have Guest Lecturer, Dr. Emily Abrams Ansari from Western University present a talk on "Salvadorian revolutionary music and its infuence on the development of social and political movements".

    Join us virtually on Thursday, October 6 at 4:00pm for a powerful lecture on music and social movements. Register through Professor Castaneda:

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Meet our people

Mario Boido

Mario Boido

Associate Chair and Undergraduate Officer

Associate Professor

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

519-888-4567 x 45621