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. 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:

  2. June 13, 2022Convocation 2022

    The Department of Spanish and Latin American Studies would like to extend our sincere congratulations to our graduating student of Spring 2022 and to those students who have completed their Minors or Diplomas in Spanish Language or a Minor in Cultural Identities. We are extremely proud of you and wish you all the best in your future endeavours.

  3. Mar. 2, 2022Definite Term Lecturer, Arts First

    Definite Term Lecturer, Arts First

    The Faculty of Arts at the University of Waterloo invites applications for a three-year Definite Term Lecturer position, with a start date of July 1, 2022. This position will support a Faculty-wide initiative, “Arts First” (, designed to help undergraduate students build foundational competencies in communication and analysis in small class settings.

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Meet our people

Photograph of Regina Vera-Quinn

Regina Vera-Quinn

Continuing Lecturer

Coordinator for Introductory Courses (On-campus and online)

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

519-888-4567 x 33683