Department of Hispanic Studies


At CSB/SJU, you'll find course offerings in the Spanish language, as well as in Hispanic literatures, cultures and linguistics.

We also invite you to explore our programs abroad. Spanish accounts for over 54% of all foreign language studies nation-wide and the study abroad programs in the Spanish speaking world are becoming the favorite destination among university students.

Department Highlights

Hispanic Studies and Spanish Club T-shirt Fundraiser

CSB/SJU Spanish Club is offering two new t-shirt designs as part of a fundraiser to support their on-campus programming this year. Students, faculty and staff can choose between one design featuring a quote by Guatemalan activist, Rigoberta Menchu, recipient of the 1992 Nobel Peace Prize and Cantinflas, actor, producer, and screenwriter who often portrayed impoverished Mexican campesinos.


2nd Ever "Poesía y Burritos"
Tri-lingual poetry reading with burrito bar

The McKeown Center at SJU was the site of the second ever CSB|SJU poesía y burritos on November 1, 2015.

CSB|SJU students, faculty, and friends came together for Baja California inspired fusion burritos prepared by Danielle Taylor with local ingredients from Dancing Bears Farm, the Common Ground Gardens, Baker's Acres and the Minnesota Street Market. The squash was a big hit, "I never thought of squash on a burrito," said one of the participants, "but that was awesome." It is all about the sauces. 

Our special invited guest, Emilio del Valle Escalante, who is on campus as a part of the Fall Latino Latin American Lecture Series led us in a collaborative poetry reading. We took turns reading in Spanish and English from a collection of Maya poetry. We also had the wonderful opportunity to hear Emilio read two poems by Pablo García in K'iche' Maya.

During the first half we heard poems by Calixta Gabriel, Francisco Morales Santos, Luis de Lión, Gaspar Pedro González, and Victor Montejo. We heard connection to the earth, to corn, to the Nawal. We learned about Hunapú and Ixbalanqué, the twin heroes, who came long before Superman and all his brothers. We heard a dialogue where the ancestors encouraged their descendants to reclaim their own ancient wisdom. Memory, identity, place and justice are just a few of the themes running through all of the poetry and our conversation.

After a coffee break, Emilio read two poems in K'iche' Maya from Pablo García's collection, Song from the Underworld.  We heard Maya Cu Choc's poetic voice refusing to be seen as a mythical character or a face on a postcard. Daniel Caño, in the last poem we heard, asks why or when a child stops talking to the plants and the butterflies. Indeed, what makes us think that our connection to the natural world is ridiculous and where does our curiosity go? 

Students who studied in Guatemala during 2015 described connections between this poetry and their experience abroad. Students getting ready to leave for Guatemala in January, 2016 called the event enlightening and eye-opening. Thanks to everyone for participating.

Thanks to the Latino Latin American Studies Program and the Department of Hispanic Studies for bringing our special guest to campus.

Most of all thanks to Emilio del Valle Escalante for bringing the poetry.


Students listen to Emilio del Valle Escalante (far right).  

Students participating in Poesía y burritos.


Assistant Professor Roy Ketchum speaks at Peace Studies Conference


Roy Ketchum, Asst. Prof. of Hispanic Studies, spoke at the 28th Annual Peace Studies Conference on September 14, 2015 at SJU. The theme of the conference was Justice, Peacebuilding and the Use of Circles in Minnesota's Schools and Communities. Ketchum spoke on restorative practices at the College of St. Benedict/St. John's University on campus and abroad. For more information, follow this link.



See our archived Highlights here.

Featured Alum

Shannon McEvoy '12

I am currently living in Valparaíso, Chile, the sister city to Viña del Mar, where I studied abroad in 2010.  Valparaíso is famous for its graffiti and murals, and when I first saw them in 2010, they inspired me to become a muralist myself. Read more.