Romance Languages

David Wacks, Department Head 
119 Friendly Hall
1233 University of Oregon
Eugene, Oregon 97403-1233
541-346-4030 fax

The Department of Romance Languages offers an extensive range of courses and degree programs, from instruction in beginning languages through the study of the literatures and cultures of French-, Italian-, Portuguese-, and Spanish-speaking countries. Students can earn a bachelor of arts (BA) degree in French and Francophone Studies, Italian, Spanish, or Romance languages; the master of arts (MA) is also available in these areas. The doctor of philosophy (PhD), is awarded in either Spanish or Romance languages (RL). The RL PhD encompasses a primary language and literature and a supporting area. Romance languages is a liberal-arts major, providing a valuable background for students interested in graduate work, teaching, and a wide array of other professional and international careers that require strong analytical and communication skills.


The department recommends the following preparation for study leading to a major in any of the Romance languages:

  • As much work as possible in the student’s major language. Knowledge of a second Romance language is helpful but not required
  • Knowledge of the history, geography, and politics of the areas where the student’s major language is spoken
  • Communication skills, speech, and essay writing that help the student convey ideas logically. In literature and film courses, papers or essay examinations are generally required
  • Experience in literary and cultural studies and linguistics


Students who graduate with a bachelor of arts degree in Romance languages typically enter a variety of occupations. Language teaching is an obvious possibility. Proficiency in a second language and knowledge of other cultures enhances study and career opportunities in other areas as well. Romance languages majors, especially those who have a second major in another discipline (e.g., art history, business administration, economics, family and human services, history, international studies, journalism, music, or political science) find positions in communications media, government foreign service, international business and law, libraries, social service organizations, and travel and tourist-related agencies, among others.


Faculty members in the Department of Romance Languages actively participate in other UO interdisciplinary programs and departments (e.g., African studies, cinema studies, comparative literature, European studies, Latin American studies, linguistics, medieval studies, and women’s and gender studies). For descriptions, see those sections of this catalog.


The department administers scholarships for undergraduate and graduate students of Romance languages:

  • The Beall Graduate Dissertation Scholarship is awarded to doctoral students to support dissertation writing
  • The Françoise Calin scholarship is awarded every year to a French major or minor
  • The Giustina Family Italian Fund provides a one-time scholarship to Italian major/minors and RL majors with a 3.0 GPA or higher.
  • The Leona M. Kail Scholarship supports studies in the Department of Romance Languages (Offered on alternate years.)
  • Wayne Andre Gottshall Fund supports undergraduate students in studies in the Department of Romance Languages
  • The Emmanuel Hatzantonis Scholarship is awarded every year to a Romance languages major or minor who is studying in Italy with the university’s overseas study program
  • Dr. Carl L. Johnson Scholarship supports studies in the Department of Romance Languages with preference to French majors.
  • The Helen Fe Jones Spanish Student Fellowship supports study abroad in a Spanish-speaking country
  • The Perry J. Powers Scholarship is awarded annually to an outstanding Romance languages student
  • The Charles Stickles Endowment Scholarship is awarded for study in a Spanish-speaking country
  • Nicolette B. Weicker Memorial Scholarship is awarded with preference to students specializing in French or Italian. 
  • The James T. and Mary Alice Wetzel Graduate Scholarship is awarded every year to an outstanding graduate student in the Department of Romance Languages

More information may be obtained from the department office in early January or on the department website, Scholarships (RL) | RL: Romance Languages Major (

Study Abroad

One of the best ways to learn a language and its culture is the experience of immersion in it. The Department of Romance Languages strongly encourages students to participate in one of the numerous study-abroad programs that the UO offers. Visit the GEO website for more information. Home | Global Education Oregon (

The department sponsors programs for the study of French, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish languages and cultures. Students live, study, and travel in Europe, Africa, and the Americas, in countries such as Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, France, Italy, Mexico, Morocco, Peru, Senegal, and Spain. Cosponsoring programs include IE3 Global, the Council on International Educational Exchange, the School for International Training, and the National Student Exchange.

To ensure success in goals of language and cultural study, majors and minors in the department need to identify the program that best fits their academic requirements, financial situation, and personal interests. The list of programs posted on the department website is recommended based on their outstanding academic, linguistic, and cultural opportunities and strong on-site support.

Before traveling abroad, students should consult their assigned major or minor advisor about the selection of a program and the courses to be taken within that program.

Tips for Selecting a Study-Abroad Program

  • Choose a program that offers a maximum of immersion (e.g., living with host families or local students, course work entirely in the target language, direct university enrollment opportunities)
  • Longer programs offer you more opportunity to acclimate to the language, to be more fully immersed in the local culture, and to form meaningful relationships with people from the host country
  •  Courses in which the readings and lectures are in English do not count toward majors or minors in the Department of Romance Languages or the UO bachelor of arts second-language requirement
  • Students in all UO overseas study programs enroll in courses with subject codes that are unique to individual programs. Special course numbers are reserved for overseas study. Advisors can help students determine course equivalencies to maximize the credits applied to requirements for the degree
  • The department offers scholarships to help students with travel expenses for language learning and research projects. For more information, visit the scholarships page.

For additional information and to obtain applications for specific programs, contact the Office of International Affairs at (541) 346-3206. For questions on applying study-abroad credit to majors or minors, students should visit their assigned departmental advisor.

Cultural Ambassador Program in Spain

The Ministry of Education of Spain offers more than 1,200 openings for U.S. and Canadian language and culture assistants (termed “cultural ambassadors”). The positions are offered in Spain’s equivalent of the K–12 school system of public education.

Teaching Assistant Program in France

This program is coordinated by the French Embassy and offers 1,500 positions for native English speakers with a demonstrated knowledge of French to teach and its overseas department in France, to assist French teachers with English courses for a period of six to nine months, or both. The positions are offered in elementary and high schools (écoles primaire, collèges, and lycées). This is an excellent opportunity for graduating seniors with interest in education and experience abroad. It is open to United States citizens or permanent residents under 29 years of age with a demonstrated knowledge of French—not just majors or minors. The Department of Romance Languages does not administer the program, but simply offers guidance to interested students, and gives information and advice on the application process and on the program itself.


Maria Licia Aldana Rogers, instructor I (Spanish). BA 

Rafael Arias, senior instructor II (Spanish). BA, 2009, MA, 2011, Oregon (2011)

Grecia Chirinos, Career Instructor (Spanish) BA 2010, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú; MA 2017, Middlebury College (2023)

Amy Costales, senior instructor II (Spanish). BA, 1993, State University of New York, Cortland; MA, 2009, Oregon. (2007)

Liliana Darwin Lopez, senior instructor II (Spanish). BA, 2001, MA, 2007, Oregon. (2007)

Robert L. Davis, professor (methodology and pedagogy, Spanish and Romance linguistics). BA, 1983, Southern Mississippi; MA, 1987, PhD, 1991, North Carolina, Chapel Hill. (1991)

Lauretta De Renzo-Huter, senior instructor II (Italian); supervisor and coordinator, first-year Italian programs. Laurea in Lingue e Letterature Starniere Moderne, 1988, Torino; MA, 1992, PhD, 2001, Oregon. (2019)

Juanita Devereaux, senior instructor II (Spanish). BA, 1999, MA, 2001, Oregon. (2001)

Connie Dickey, senior instructor I (French); supervisor-coordinator, first-year French program. BA, 1979, Portland; MA, 1981, Seattle; PhD, 1991, California, Berkeley. (2014)

André Djiffack, associate professor (Francophone literatures, 20th-century French literature, colonial and postcolonial studies). BA, 1987, Maîtrise, 1988, Doctorat de 3e Cycle, 1992, Yaoundé; PhD, 1998, Cape Town. (2000)

Paula Ellister, senior instructor II (Spanish); supervisor and coordinator, first-year Spanish program. BA, 1992, MA, 1994, Oregon. (1994)

Cecilia Enjuto Rangel, associate professor (Spanish and Latin American poetry, transatlantic studies, gender and literary theory); director of undergraduate studies. BA, 1998, Universidad de Puerto Rico; MA, 2002, PhD, 2005, Yale. (2005)

Pedro García-Caro, associate professor (19th- and 20th-century literatures of the Americas, postcolonial studies, literary theory). Licenciatura, 1995, Murcia; BA, 1996, Roehampton; MA, 1997, PhD, 2004, University College, London. (2006)

Diana Garvin, assistant professor (Mediterranean studies). AB, 2006, Harvard; PhD, 2016, Cornell. (2019)

Amalia Gladhart, professor (20th-century Latin American literature, theater, feminist studies). BA, 1989, Michigan State; PhD, 1995, Cornell. (1995)

Devin Grammon, assistant professor (Spanish socio-linguistics). BA, 2010; University of Northern Colorado; MA, 2012, University of Colorado, Boulder; PhD 2018, The Ohio State University, Columbus (2018)

Paulo Henriquez, instructor (Spanish); licenciado en castellano, 2000, Universidad Austral de Chile; MA, 2005, PhD, 2012, Oregon. (2012)

Gina Herrmann, associate professor (contemporary Spanish literature, politics and culture, autobiographical studies, gender studies). BA, 1990, Cornell; MA, 1993, Columbia; PhD, 1998, Cornell. (2002)

Nathalie Hester, associate professor (French and Italian Renaissance and baroque literature and culture, travel literature). BA, 1992; MA 1993; PhD, 2001, Chicago. (2001)

Jon Jaramillo, Career Instructor (Spanish) BA, 2013, MA 2015, Ph.D. 2023 Oregon (2023)

Harinder Kaur Khalsa, senior instructor (Italian). BA, 1991, Istanbul; MA, 1996 and 1998, Oregon. (1999)

Kelley León Howarth, senior instructor II (Spanish). BA, 1995, Wisconsin, Eau Claire; MA, 2002, Oregon. (2002)

Sergio Loza, Assistant professor (Spanish heritage language education, Spanish socio-linguistics) BA, 2013, Arizona State University; PhD, 2019, Arizona State University. (2019)

Leah Middlebrook, associate professor (early modern Spanish and French literature and culture, lyric poetry, comparative literature). See Comparative Literature.

Lanie Millar, associate professor (20th- and 21st-century Caribbean and Latin American literature, Luso-African literature, global south studies). BA, 2002, Baylor; MA, 2003, Middlebury College; PhD, 2011, Texas, Austin. (2013)

Fabienne Moore, associate professor (French Enlightenment, prose poetry, contemporary France). License, 1987, Toulouse–Le Mirail; PhD, 2001, New York University. (2000)

Heather Quarles, senior instructor II (Spanish). BA, 2000, MA, 2003, Oregon. (2001)

Sergio Rigoletto, associate professor (European cinema, popular culture, gender studies). Laurea, 2002, Catania; MA, 2004, Birkbeck, London; PhD, 2010, Reading. (2012)

Andrew Rothgery, senior instructor II (Spanish); head undergraduate advisor. BA 1991, MA, 1994, Oregon. (1994)

Mariana Sabino Salazar, Career Instructor (Spanish) BS 2007 Universidad Iberoamericana; MA 2014 Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla; MA 2017, Ph.D. 2023, University of Texas at Austin (2023)

Maria Benedita Santos, senior instructor I (Portuguese). BA, 1974, Federal University of Maranhão; MA, 2007, Oregon. (2012)

Jésus Sepúlveda, senior instructor I (Spanish). BA, 1995, Universidad Metropolitana de Ciencias de la Educación; MA, 1997, PhD, 2003, Oregon. (2008)

Analisa Taylor, associate professor (Mexican literary and social history). BA, 1992, Oregon; MA, 1996, PhD, 2002, Duke. (2002)

Claudia Ventura, senior instructor II (Italian); supervisor and coordinator, second-year Italian. Laurea, 1995, Bologna; MA, 2006, Ca' Foscari, Venice. (2005)

David Wacks, professor (medieval Iberian literature and culture, Sephardic studies). BA, 1991, Columbia; MA, 1997, Boston College; PhD, 2003, California, Berkeley. (2003)

Nathan Whalen, senior instructor II (Spanish). BA, 1999, MA, 2001, Oregon. (2001)

Latifa Zoulagh, Career Instructor (French) BA, 1997, DESA, 1999 University of Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdallah; MA 2009, North Carolina State University; Ph.D. 2014 University of Oklahoma 2014 (2023)

Alex Zunterstein, senior instructor II (Spanish); assistant department head; Spanish heritage language undergrad program coordinator. BA, 2000, MA, 2002, Oregon. (2002)


Alexandre Albert-Galtier, associate professor emeritus. Licence, 1981, DEA, 1983, PhD, 1988, Lyon II. (1994)

Randi M. Brox, professor emerita. Cand. Philol., 1960, Oslo; PhD, 1965, Illinois. (1965)

Françoise G. Calin, professor emerita. Licence, 1963, Diplôme d’Études Supérieures, 1964, CAPES, 1966, Sorbonne; PhD, 1972, Stanford. (1973)

Nadia Ceccacci, senior instructor emerita (Italian). Corso di laurea in Lingue e Letterature Straniere, 1981, Università degli Studi di Perugia; MA, 1986, Oregon. (1989)

Richard H. Desroches, associate professor emeritus. BA, 1947, Clark; PhD, 1962, Yale. (1957)

Juan A. Epple, professor emeritus. Licenciate, 1971, Chile; MA, 1977, PhD, 1980, Harvard. (1980)

Leonardo García-Pabón, professor emeritus (colonial Latin American literature, contemporary Latin American poetry, literary theory). BS, 1980, Universidad Mayor de San Andrés; MA, 1981, Université Catholique de Louvain; PhD, 1990, Minnesota, Twin Cities. (1990)

Sylvia Giustina, senior instructor emerita. BA, 1956, Marylhurst; MA, 1966, Oregon. (1968)

Evlyn Gould, professor emerita. BA, 1975, California, Irvine; MA, 1977, PhD, 1983, California, Berkeley. (1983)

Mónica Lara, senior instructor emerita (Spanish). BA, 1982, MA, 1992, Oregon. (1992)Massimo Lollini, professor emeritus. Laurea, 1978, Bologna; PhD, 1992, Yale. (1992)

Elisabeth A. Marlow, associate professor emerita. Diplôme, 1953, Hautes Études Commerciales, Paris; MA, 1958, PhD, 1966, Oregon. (1958)

Karen McPherson, professor emerita. BA, 1970, Oregon; MA, 1983, PhD, 1987, Yale. (1998)

Rosario Murcia, senior instructor emerita (Spanish); supervisor-coordinator, second-year Spanish program. BA, 1984, Alicante; MA, 1988, Oregon. (1988)Barbara D. May, associate professor emerita. BA, 1972, MA, 1973, PhD, 1975, Utah. (1976)

Amanda W. Powell, senior lecturer emerita. BA, 1977, Yale; MA, 1983, Boston University. (1991)

F. Regina Psaki, professor emerita. BA, 1980, Dickinson; MA, 1986, PhD, 1989, Cornell. (1989)

Steven Rendall, professor emeritus. BA, 1961, Colorado; PhD, 1967, Johns Hopkins. (1967)

Wolfgang F. Sohlich, associate professor emeritus. BA, 1959, Johns Hopkins; MA, 1970, PhD, 1971, Emory. (1970)

Gloria Zabala, senior instructor emerita (Spanish). BA, 1983, MA, 1989, Oregon. (1989)

The date in parentheses at the end of each entry is the first year on the University of Oregon faculty.