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Romance and Classical Studies
Romance and Classical Studies


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Welcome to Romance and Classical Studies at Michigan State University! Our department fosters knowledge of the human experience as expressed historically and globally in the Romance and Classical languages. Together, students and faculty study French, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish and the cultures throughout the world where they are spoken and written, as well as the classical languages and cultural heritage of Greece and Rome. We enable students to become proficient in these languages, literatures and cultures, and to think critically about their world.

Our department offers Bachelor of Arts degrees in French and Spanish; undergraduate minors in French, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, and in Classical and Ancient Mediterranean Studies; and Teacher Certifications in French, Italian, Latin and Spanish. Graduate study leads to Master of Arts degrees in French Studies, Hispanic Literatures and Spanish as a Second or Bilingual Language, as well as to Doctoral degrees in French Studies and Hispanic Cultural Studies. Our students develop and apply their knowledge and skills through the extracurricular activities and study abroad opportunities in Europe and Latin America.

 Vision Statement

As part of its vision, Romance and Classical Studies aims to become recognized as a national leader in innovative research and teaching while preserving the values of the core curriculum. To this end, we will:

  1. Advance and disseminate linguistic, literary, and cultural research on Ancient Greece and Rome and the Romance world, their complex legacies and transnational ramifications. The range of this research addresses the diversity of human experience by considering the individual and social issues of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, class, and geopolitical identity, as expressed in language and culture.
  2. Form engaged citizens who participate critically in local and global communities and who navigate the world's ever-changing dynamics by furthering students' cultural understanding through broad and rigorous curricular initiatives.
  3. Create collaborative initiatives that not only generate digital cultural products but also critically examine such products.
  4. Strengthen pedagogical and research connections between our undergraduate and graduate programs within and across disciplines.



MSU Latinx Film Festival

February 22, 2019

Latinx Film Festival flyer

4:30pm Session - Through the Repellent Fence, Panel discussion
7:30pm Session - The Wall, Dangerous Times | Rebellious Responses
Walking for Ded Q&A with filmmakers

MSU RCAH Theater (Snyder-Phillips Hall)

Light refreshments will be provided from 6:30-7:30pm between sessions. Dining options available at The Gallery in Snyder-Phillips Hall.


The U.S.-México border and the sanctuary movement in Michigan. Two topics inextricably linked by immigration policies, state violence and imperialism, but also through attempts to resist xenophobia, contest coercion and transform the way we think about land, migration and human dignity. Two topics with shared themes: ONE NIGHT ONLY!

In the wake of the historic government shutdown, LxFF is proud to bring two highly acclaimed feature documentaries on the U.S.-México border to MSU for their mid-Michigan premieres: Through the Repellent Fence (MoMA/SXSW) and The Wall (2018 Pulitzer Prize).

We’re also happy to present two short films on the sanctuary movement in Michigan by emerging filmmakers: Dangerous Times|Rebellious Responses and Walking for Ded.


Congratulations to Giovanni Salazar-Calvo who successfully defended his Doctoral Dissertation Proposal “Instrumentalización hegemónica de la cruzada farmacológica under the direction of Professor Tony Grubbs.

Congratulations to Osvaldo Sandoval (PhD candidate, Hispanic Cultural Studies) for his two recent publications in peer-reviewed journals: “Lo irrepresentable en escena: los olvidados en la dramaturgia del Cono Sur latinoamericano,’ Religación. Revista de Ciencias Sociales y Humanidades 2.7 (2017), and “Hacia una retórica de la presencia en el exilio en la dramaturgia de Jorge Diaz y Jeronimo Lopez Mozo" (Revista Chilena de Literatura. 97, forthcoming 2018).


AT&T Award: Honorable Mention: Carmen De Lorenzo

De Lorenzo ATT Award, man and woman holding glass trophyIn April 2018, Carmen De Lorenzo, instructor and coordinator of the Italian language program, received an honorable mention in the category “blended” for her ITL 101 and ITL 102 courses in the 2018 ATT Awards of Excellence in Instructional Technology. The award recognizes and encourage best practices in the use of technology to enhance teaching and learning.


Paul Varg Alumni Award for Faculty: Professor Nancy Marino

Nancy Marino's husband, Frank, holding her Paul Varg Alumni AwardLast spring semester, Professor Nancy Marino received the Paul Varg Alumni Award. This award recognizes an Arts & Letters faculty member who has challenged students intellectually, maintained a national reputation in their field, provided service to the College, University, and community, and is the consummate professional. Professor Marino was honored at a Luncheon ceremony last April and her husband received the award on her behalf.

Promotion and Tenure

Professors Valentina Denzel and Safoi Babana-Hampton, portrait of two womenProfessor Safoi Babana-Hampton (Contemporary French and Francophone Studies) has been promoted to full professor. She is the author of Réflexions littéraires sur l’espace public marocain dans l’oeuvre d’Abdellatif Laâbi (2008) and, thanks to the support of two Humanities Without Walls grants, the director and producer of two documentary films Hmong Memory at the Crossroads(2015) and Growing up Hmong at the Crossroads (2017). Professor Valentina Denzel (16th-18th-century French Literature, Gender Studies) has been promoted to Associate Professor with tenure. She is the author of Les mille et un visages de la virago (2016) and recipient of a Humanities Without Walls grant for her project Legacies of the Enlightenment.

Pod Support Staff Awards

Pod Staff Award Recipients, three women and two menLast spring, four staff members of the LL/RCS POD received three awards and one recognition. Tanner Schudlich received the “Diversity, Equity, Justice, and Inclusion Award” for demonstrating skills in engaging across differences among the communities in which he works. Tanner makes our department a more accessible and welcoming place to all stakeholders. Jennifer Tetreau was recognized with the “Rising Star Award” for her exemplary dedication to the mission and vision of the language programs and the College of Arts and Letters at MSU. Michele Burton received the “Jo-Ann Vanden Bergh Award” for her attainment of excellence while fostering high quality work, dignity, respect, and integrity, and promoting teamwork that enhances effectiveness in the workplace. Jennifer Nelson was also recognized by Dean Chris Long for her 20 years of service at the College of Arts and Letters.

Main Office Contact Info:

Romance and Classical Studies
619 Red Cedar Road
Wells Hall B-331
East Lansing, MI 48824

P: (517) 355-8350
F: (517) 432-2736

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Honoring Professor Nancy Marino

Dr. Nancy F. Marino passed away on Sunday, March 11th, 2018, after a short but fierce battle with cancer. She holds the rank of Distinguished Professor of Spanish in the Department of Romance and Classical Studies at Michigan State University.


Collaborative Edges is an audio portal that showcases conversations on collaborative initiatives across disciplines, language programs and cultural studies at Michigan State University. We invite you to listen to these conversations in which we provide examples on how to break down traditional language and disciplinary boundaries and to foster creativity and new ways of understanding languages around the world.

Listen to the Collaborative Edges Podcasts Here

 RCS Past News