World Languages and Literatures

Chair: Julian Arribas

The Department of World Languages and Literatures offers multifaceted French and Spanish graduate-level courses which, in tandem with the offerings in the School of Education, address the diverse global and intellectual challenges facing future educators and citizens of the 21st century.

Whether at the undergraduate or at the graduate level, our programs are rooted in diversity within and across cultures. We foster the international exchange of knowledge and information between humanities scholars, teachers and other professionals. Our instructional methods are aligned with national standards. The foreign language experience at UAB includes classroom learning, scholarship and research, experiential learning, and extracurricular opportunities. We offer graduate students a unique opportunity to interact with scholars and engage as well with faculty dedicated to serving their profession. Our UAB World Languages and Literatures faculty are engaged in their state and/or national professional teaching associations, serving on boards, organizing professional workshops, working every day to build connections and to enhance foreign language education opportunities in our state and beyond.

At the graduate level the UAB Department of World Languages and Literatures offers courses in culture, civilization, cinema and culture studies, linguistics, and literature.

For more information, visit the Department of World Languages and Literatures web site at

World Language Graduate Studies

M.A. in Education (French/Spanish)

At UAB, the Master of Arts in Education (MAEd) program for the teaching of foreign Languages (French and Spanish) consists of two tracks—traditional and alternative. The traditional track is for prospective students who completed an undergraduate degree in French or Spanish education, who already hold certification for teaching French or Spanish, and who wish to earn advanced certification. The alternative track is for prospective students who have an undergraduate degree with a 2.75+ GPA from a regionally accredited college, have passed the ETS Core Academic Skills Exam and the Praxis in French or Spanish, and who wish to earn initial certification for teaching French or Spanish in grades PK-12. 

Information sessions are offered on a weekly basis. Confirm your attendance by contacting Dr. Susan Spezzini (, Program Director for Secondary and K-12 programs. These information sessions take place as follows:

Alternative Master’s               Mondays at 5:00 in EB 100

Traditional Master’s               Thursdays at 4:00 in EB 100

For advising in World Language Education, contact:
Dr. Krista Chambless (, Advisor for World Language Education

FLL-Foreign Languages Courses

FLL 585. Foreign Language Seminar. 3 Hours.

Advanced seminar on broad cultural and cross-cultural topics in foreign languages; taught in English, readings and assignment in foreign languages.

FR-French Courses

FR 501. Histoires de France: French History Through Stories. 3 Hours.

Literature, culture, and civilization of seventeenth and/or eighteenth-century France reflecting the historical and literary ambience in which Ancient Regime writers, philosopies, and artists worked. Selected works of representative authors. Conducted in French.

FR 502. Aux Armes! Revolutions in the French-speaking World. 3 Hours.

This course reflects on the major revolutions that occurred in the 18th and 19th century, illustrating the impact of the French Revolution on the history and thought of Europe and the Americas. Conducted in French.

FR 503. Fin-de-Siecle France (1895-1940). 3 Hours.

Major authors and art movements of fin-de-siecle France from La Belle Epoque period through World War I. Selected works of representative authors. Conducted in French.

FR 504. French Literature since 1940. 3 Hours.

Cultural trends and literary movements from World War II to the present, including existentialism and the nouveau roman. Selected works of representative authors. Conducted in French.

FR 505. Race, Gender, and Transnationalism in Francophone Literature and Thought. 3 Hours.

French-speaking literature outside France that developed through colonization, decolonization, independence, sexuality, marriage, exile and emigration. Representative writers from Francophone countries with emphasis on Africa and the Caribbean. Selected works of representative authors. Selections will vary according to instructor. Conducted in French.

FR 510. Special Topics in French. 3 Hours.

Seminar on individual authors, specific genres, important literary movements, or literary discourse/theory. Selections will vary according to instructor. May be repeated for credit. Conducted in French.

FR 512. French Civilization: Pre-Revolutionary. 3 Hours.

Historical and cultural foundation of France from the conquest of Julius Caesar to the French Revolution. Conducted in French.

FR 513. French Civilization: Post-Revolutionary. 3 Hours.

The history and myths of France after the French Revolution that produced French civilization.

FR 521. Literature and the Environment in the French-Speaking World. 3 Hours.

This course examines the poetics of the environment, known as ecopoetics, in the 20th- and 21th-century literary and cultural productions of the Francophone world, notably France, the Caribbean and Africa. It explores how francophone poets, fiction writers and philosophers write and think about the environment in relation to tradition, memory, sexuality, law, poverty and global capitalism. This course pays particular attention to the role of the environment as a space to discuss historical and cultural events, ranging from colonization to the Anthropocene. Students will discuss French-language theories of ecocriticism and examine the many voices of French-language literature that incorporate the environment in their works. Conducted in French.

FR 590. Study Abroad. 1-6 Hour.

Approved program in a French-speaking country.

FR 599. Individual Studies. 3 Hours.

Individual studies.

SPA-Spanish Courses

SPA 501. Voices of Imperial Spain. 3 Hours.

Culture and civilization of Imperial Spain from the age of the Catholic Monarchs to the close of the Hapsburg Dynasty (1469-1716). Includes a study of the art, historical documents and literature from both the center and periphery of the Empire. Selected works by representative authors will vary according to instructor. Conducted in Spanish.

SPA 502. Voices of Colonial Latin America. 3 Hours.

Culture and civilization of Colonial Latin America from the advent of European dominance to the decades following the Spanish American War (1492-1920). Emphasis on the blending of Spanish, Amerindian, and African cultural forms and their diverse literary expressions. Selected works by representative authors will vary according to instructor. Conducted in Spanish.

SPA 503. Contemporary Spanish Literature and Film. 3 Hours.

Cultural and literary trends of Spain from the transformation of Spanish Society in the late-nineteenth century to the post-Franco era. Focus on impact of the Spanish Civil War.

SPA 504. Medicine and Literature in the Spanish-Speaking World. 3 Hours.

How does literature help us to understand the relationship between medicine, culture, and politics? This class, which seeks answers and related questions, focuses on the role of medical science in literary and cultural texts from Latin American countries, Spain, and the United States. Students will read short stories, poems, novel excerpts, and essays, and they will interpret films and visual art to discuss how science and the humanities supplement one another to create a richer understanding of the human body and its role in the historical development of Europe and the Americas. Graduate Students will have assignments beyond undergraduates and projects tailored to high school teaching. Offered in Spanish.

SPA 505. US Latino Writers. 3 Hours.

Literary trends of Spanish-speaking cultures within the borders of the United States. Focuses on discourse of exile, migration, bilingualism, and hybridity.

SPA 507. Indigenous and Indigenist Latin America. 3 Hours.

Cultural and literary forms of Amerindian, Hispanic or mixed decent writers of Latin America. Focus on the concepts of hybridity, syncretism and mestizaje.

SPA 509. Spanish-Speaking Nobel Laureates. 3 Hours.

This course offers a survey of the Hispanic authors who have been awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature since the award’s founding in 1901, including Gabriela Mistral (1945), Pablo Neruda (1971), Gabriel García Márquez (1982), Camilo José Cela (1989), and Octavio Paz (1990). The panorama includes critical discussions and reflections on the writing of these authors. Conducted in Spanish.

SPA 511. Cervantes and the Quixote. 3 Hours.

This course will review the major episodes of Don Quixote de La Mancha, one of the most influential works of Spanish and World literature, as well as other selected works written by Cervantes. Emphasis will be given to the author’s unique contribution to the birth of the modern novel and his ingenuity to create stories that transformed all literary genres. These readings will be analyzed within the civilization of the Golden Age of Spain, while exploring a diverse array of topics, such as: love and marriage, religion, race, class, magic, madness, and honor. Conducted in Spanish.

SPA 512. Voices of Contemporary Latin America, 1920-Present. 3 Hours.

Cultural and literary trends of Latin America from la nueva narrativa through the Boom and post-Boom periods. Focus on Mexico, Northern Latin America, and the Southern Cone.

SPA 514. Afro-Latin American Literature and Culture. 3 Hours.

The diverse cultures of many Latin American nations will be discussed with a focus on the descendants of Africa in the Americas. Slavery will be discussed during the colonial and independence periods. Black identity and cultural forms will be discussed through the writers, musicians, and filmmakers of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Parallels and connections will be drawn to race and history in the United States. Conducted in Spanish.

SPA 516. Special Topics in Spanish. 3 Hours.

Seminar on specific Spanish-speaking regions, individual authors, specific genres, literary movements, music, films, the arts, or transatlantic cultural studies. May be repeated for credit. Course conducted in Spanish.

SPA 520. Introduction to Hispanic Linguistics. 3 Hours.

This advanced Spanish linguistics course is intended to analyze, clarify and expand upon critical aspects of the Spanish language. The course will provide a general understanding of the Spanish sound system (phonetics and phonology), morphology and syntax, as well as an introduction of relevant topics within the field of Hispanic linguistics.

SPA 530. Spanish Sociolinguistics. 3 Hours.

This advanced Spanish linguistics course provides a general overview of sociolinguistics and the pragmatics of oral communication in Spanish. This course studies the Spanish language in its social context. In addition to specific regional linguistic features, social factors such as geography, social class, politics, race, gender, economics, education and history are discussed as determiners of the linguistic landscape.

SPA 540. History of Spanish Language. 3 Hours.

This advanced Spanish linguistics course provides a general overview of the evolution of Spanish language, while relating it to relevant historical events. It pays special attention to diachronic change in order to understand the phenomenon of language variation in a multicultural society.

SPA 550. Spanish Second Language Acquisition. 3 Hours.

This course describes the cognitive, developmental and linguistic processes involved in the acquisition of Spanish as a second language while exploring the basic research techniques used in the field.

SPA 555. Pop Culture in Translation. 3 Hours.

This course aims at further developing students’ proficiency in the language as well as an understanding of the process of translation through translation from English into Spanish and vice versa. Students will develop their translation skills through a number of activities translating cartoons, popular songs, professional documents, and slam poetry. Students will also increase their theoretical understanding of the translation process from a linguistic point of view. This course involves a translation project originated and connected with the professional needs of the Birmingham area and beyond. Offered in Spanish.

SPA 560. Globalization in the Hispanic World. 3 Hours.

This graduate-level course develops a constructivist framework for the study of contemporary globalization issues in the Hispanic world by engaging students in higher-level discussions and critical thinking. Through films, music and literature, and guided research, course explores history, politics, economics and sociocultural issues of the recent Spanish-speaking world. Conducted in Spanish.

SPA 561. Contemporary Spain. 3 Hours.

This graduate-level course develops a constructivist framework for the study of contemporary Spain by engaging students in higher-level discussions and critical thinking. Through films, music and literature, and guided research, course explores recent Spanish history, politics, economics and sociocultural issues. Conducted in Spanish.

SPA 562. Contemporary Latin America. 3 Hours.

This course develops a constructivist framework for the study of contemporary Latin America by engaging students in higher-level discussions, critical thinking, and active learning. Through films, music and literature, and guided research, course explores recent Latin American history (late 20th and 21st centuries), politics, economics and sociocultural issues and their global impact. Course conducted in Spanish.

SPA 580. Applied Spanish and Medical Interpreting. 3 Hours.

This graduate course blends an academic curriculum on Spanish for healthcare and medical interpreting with a semester-long service-learning project where students will work with a community partner and apply course materials to real-life situations pertaining the health of Latinos. Upon successful completion of this course, students will have satisfied the medical interpreting training required to take the medical interpreting examinations offered by the two certification organizations in the area (CCHI and NBCMI). Conducted in Spanish.

SPA 590. Study Abroad. 1-6 Hour.

Fifth-year level of approved program in a Spanish speaking country.

SPA 599. Independent Studies. 3 Hours.

Individual studies in Spanish.


Anderson de la Torre, M. Antonia,, Assistant Professor of Spanish,, 2019,, B.A. (Universidad de Los Andes, Bogotá, Colombia), M.A. (CEU San Pablo, Madrid, Spain), Ph.D. (Nebraska)
Arribas, Julian, Professor and Chair, 2015, BS (Universidad Pontificia - Spain), ABD (Universidad de Salamanca), M.A., Ph.D. (Michigan)
Chambless, Krista, Associate Professor of Spanish, 2006, B.A., M.A., Ph.D. (Alabama)
Clinkscales, Savannah, Visiting Instructor of Spanish, 2021, B.A. (Troy University), M.A. (Alabama)
Daniélou, Catherine F., Associate Professor of French; Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, College of Arts and Sciences, 1990, Licence-ès-Lettres, Maîtrise-ès-Lettres (Sorbonne), M.A., Ph.D. (Michigan State)
Hope, Sandrine,, Visiting Assistant Professor of French, 2018, B.A., M.A., Ph.D. (Alabama)
Maddox, John, Associate Professor of Foreign Languages, 2014, B.A., B.S.Ed., M.A. (Georgia), Ph.D. (Vanderbilt )
Mayoral-Hernández, Roberto, Associate Professor of Spanish, 2008, Licenciatura (Universidad Complutense de Madrid), Diploma de Estudios Avanzados (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid), Ph.D. (Southern California)
Moore, John K., Professor of Spanish, 2003, B.A. (University of the South), M.A.T. (Middle Tennessee State), Ph.D. (North Carolina-Chapel Hill)
O’Leary, Malinda Blair, Associate Professor of Spanish, 2005, B.A., M.Ed. (UAB), Ph.D. (Alabama)
Reynolds, Jenna, Instructor of Spanish, 2022, B.A., M.A. (Alabama)
Rodriguez Tsouroukdissian, Carolina, Assistant Professor of Spanish, 2020, BA (Universidad Catolica Andres Bello, Caracas, Venezuela), MA, PhD (Vanderbilt )
Sánchez-López, Lourdes, Professor of Spanish; Director, Spanish for Specific Purposes Certificate Program, 2001, B.A. (Universidad de Granada), M.A. (Southern Mississippi), M.A., Ph.D. (Universidad de Jaén)
Takamiya, Yumi, Assistant Professor of Japanese, 2015, B.A. (Bunkyo University, Japan), M.A. (Wisconsin-Madison), Ph.D. (Purdue )
Verstraet, Charly,, Assistant Professor of French,, 2019,, B.A. (Université Catholique de Lille, France), M.A. (North Carolina State .), Ph.D. (Emory )