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Hispanic Studies / Chair's Message

Chair's Message

The Department of Hispanic Studies at the University of Kentucky is committed to teaching excellence, innovative scholarship, and service to our community. We are deeply invested in our students’ success and in sharing with the UK community our expertise in the Hispanic world. Spanish is a global language, spoken by more than five hundred million people worldwide. The US has now the second largest population of Spanish speakers in the world (Mexico is the first). Because of this, learning to communicate in Spanish is crucial for those interested in joining the global market, as well as for many other professions in science and technology, diplomacy, healthcare, and education. Moreover, 4.6% of the population in Kentucky identifies as either Hispanic or Latinx. The Latinx presence in Lexington and in our UK campus keeps growing and providing diversity to our bluegrass region. Our department celebrates this diversity and encourages students to learn about and engage with the Latinx and Hispanic community here in Lexington, and abroad. We are interested in helping achieve language and cultural competency and a deep understanding of global diversity.

The faculty in our department studies the cultural production of the Spanish speaking world, including the study of indigenous, Afro-descendant, and Asian cultures, as well as the regions in contact with other less-spoken languages in Latin America, the Iberian Peninsula, and the US. We specialize in linguistics, literature, language, culture, theory, and history. The Hispanic Studies department at UK has a national reputation of excellence due to our high level of scholarly production, our innovative approaches to teaching, and our dedication to student mentoring. We strongly believe in the value of the humanities, and we share these beliefs with our students and peers through our scholarship, teaching, and service. By studying other cultures, we expand our views of the world.

I am honored to chair the Department of Hispanic Studies at UK, where I work and collaborate with people who are committed and passionate about what we do. I hope you will join us too!

Mónica Díaz