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The Department of Iberian and Latin American Cultures at Stanford University supports doctoral study in the literatures and cultures of the Iberian Peninsula and Latin America (including Brazil). Core faculty in ILAC offer a broad geographic, linguistic, and intellectual range of approaches to culture, including literature, history, philosophy, political thought, cinema, memory studies, literary theory, and linguistic anthropology. In addition to geographic breadth, the program offers historical depth, training students in the medieval and early modern origins of the pertinent literary cultures and in the late modern and contemporary stages of the same. For detailed information on the areas of research of the ILAC faculty, click here.

Iberian and Latin American Cultures at Stanford is an integral part of the Division of Literatures, Cultures, and Languages. Our students may undertake cross-disciplinary work within the division through team-taught seminars, focal groups, research groups, lecture series, graduate conferences, and other opportunities for intellectual exchange with peers in cognate departments.

The academic program is enhanced through the Juníper Serra Visiting Chair in Catalan Studies, which features select visiting faculty in the Autumn. Other highlights include the frequent presence of Tinker faculty in Latin American studies and occasional visiting faculty in Basque, Galician, and Portuguese studies. The distinguished visitors add considerable breadth to the department’s regular offerings and become significant resources for students’ dissertation research. ILAC maintains close links to the Center for Latin American Studies and the Iberian Studies Program in the Europe Center. Both are significant venues for lectures that complement the department’s offerings as well as hosting research fellows whose work intersects with the department’s various foci of interest.

Our five-year PhD program offers unusual flexibility and a broad range of areas of expertise. It features first-rate training in Latin American Cultures, including studies on Brazil and Latina/o Studies, and it is globally recognized as a pioneer in Iberian Studies. Doctoral students focused on Latin American cultures must demonstrate or acquire proficiency in both Spanish and Portuguese. They also have the opportunity, if they wish, to study Quechua or another Native American languages. Students focused on Iberian Studies must acquire proficiency in Spanish, Catalan and Portuguese.

The DLCL in general and ILAC in particular are known for their innovative approach to the cultural disciplines, personalized guidance of graduate students, and insistence on the highest intellectual standards. Stanford has been repeatedly voted the top university in the world in the humanities. ILAC offers various opportunities for collaboration between graduate students and faculty, including the co-organization of workshops, conferences, and team teaching. Graduate students have ample opportunity to present their work and are encouraged to prepare their best essays for publication and given ample help to do so.

Graduate students in ILAC receive excellent training in second language pedagogy, and they have the opportunity to teach for at least five quarters. Language instruction takes place in the Stanford Language Center. Further training in teaching literature and culture is available in the department by working with faculty either as a teaching assistant or co-instructor. It is also possible to teach in one of the cross-disciplinary programs, such as Thinking Matters. Our PhDs graduate with an unusual combination of skills and cultural breadth, qualifying them to compete for a range of academic and non-academic positions. Our PhDs have been successful in obtaining positions in research universities and small liberal arts colleges, as well as in administration and alternative professional venues.

Graduate students may also take advantage of the resources available in Stanford’s Center for Teaching and Learning, where highly qualified staff provides support and training in public speaking and presentations, dissertation writing, effective teaching, and other professional skills.