Michigan State University
Michigan State University
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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.




 Congratulations to Safoi Babana-Hampton, Associate Professor of French, for receiving the Best Documentary Award at the 2017 Universe Multicultural Film Festival, in Palos Verdes, CA, a festival dedicated to bridging cultures and people through film. Her film, Hmong Memory at the Crossroads weaves the stories of three generations of Hmong refugees in the Midwest and France. This film is a 2015 production of Michigan State University, in partnership with the Humanities Without Walls Consortium, based at the Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. 

 Official film website: http://hmc.cal.msu.edu/

Trailer: https://vimeo.com/138744767



Coya GPA.jpgCongratulations to Rocío Quispe-Agnoli, Professor of Spanish, for the publication of her latest book, Nobles de papel: Identidades oscilantes y genealogías borrosas en los descendientes de la realeza Inca (2016). She is also the recipient of a 2017-2018 HARP-Development grant with her book-length project: “From Coyas to Doñas: Inca Noblewomen and the Making of the Colonial Archive.” 





Congratulations to Bill VanPatten, Professor of Spanish Hispanic Literatures, on his presidency election to the AATSP. The AATSP is an organization of about 10,000 members that represents all levels of the teaching of Spanish and Portuguese as well as all disciplines.





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Congratulations to Valentina Denzel, Assistant Professor of French, for receiving one the 2017-2018 Humanities Without Walls  grants.  Her project, The Legacies of the Enlightenment: Humanity, Nature and Science in a Changing Climate, has been funded by the HWW Consortium at the Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.  She is collaborating with Professor Tracy Rutler (Penn State University) and MSU faculty members from English, Philosophy, and Spanish. 


Student News



Congratulations Jonathan Montalvo, a fifth year PhD student at MSU. Jonathan was offered, and accepted, an Assistant Professor of Spanish position at Graceland University in Lamoni, IA.


He will teach Spanish language classes as well as classes in the arts and culture of the Spanish-speaking world (such as Latin American Cinema and Caribbean Literature) starting in the Fall 2017.   


Osvaldo-Claudia-Jon.JPGJonathan Montalvo, Osvaldo Sandoval and Claudia Berríos-Campos, PhD candidates in Hispanic Cultural Studies, are featured in the College of Arts and Letters Graduate Site and the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies.  Jonathan speaks of his experiences of bringing Puerto Rican Culture to the MSU Spanish Program: http://www.cal.msu.edu/news/jonathanmontalvo . In short video-interviews, Osvaldo tells us a brief history of corn and chocolate and Claudia talks about her reasons to study literature and Latin America. Both videos are available here:    http://latinamerica.isp.msu.edu/information-resources/live-learn-latin-america/spanish-language-videos/  



Congratulations to our fall semester 2016 PhD candidates, Elizabeth White and Andreea Prundeanu. Elizabeth successfully defended her dissertation Subtitles and the Cultural Referent in Francophone Film in August. Professors S. Babana-Hampton, K. Harrow , L. Porter, M. Olds (director) were the members of her dissertation committee. Andreea defended her dissertation Cutting Delilah's Hair: Sentimental Collaborators and the Politics of Female Sexuality in WWI/II France in December. Professors E. Ahmed, V. Denzel and A. Norris (director) were the members of her dissertation committee.


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Anna Jenny Norris  


With deep sadness, we announce the passing of Professor Anna Norris from causes subsequent to a recent illness. As a beloved and inspiring teacher, an admired and deeply appreciated colleague, Dr. Norris touched many in the French program, in this department (which she chaired from 2008—2010) and in the College of Arts and Letters. Her polyvalent research  focused largely on the Deportation of French Jews during WWII. She was frequently invited by French universities to speak on this topic. 


 RCS Past News 

RCS Language Help Rooms Spring 2017 TBA

CeLTA B-135 Wells Hall

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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