Student Groups & Graduate Conference

grad conference party

Our graduate student groups allow both students & faculty to network and gain real-world experience.

The SpanPort Research Group (SPRG) is a graduate student led organization dedicated to the study and research of Spanish and Lusophone literatures and cultures at the University of Minnesota. SPRG desires to create a forum for graduate students, faculty, and local scholars to present their work and research in a less formal setting, which allows for constructive feedback from peers and colleagues.

We encourage participation from individuals both from within and outside the Department of Spanish & Portuguese as well as from scholars in the greater Twin Cities academic community. We want to be a forum that allows for the presentation of scholarship from multiple levels of academic preparation: from graduate students planning to present a paper at a conference to students, faculty, and community scholars seeking to publish their original research. In regards to the latter, there will be a handful of planned presentations throughout the academic year that showcase exciting research in the area of Spanish and Lusophone literatures and cultures. Contact SPRG by email or check out our official website

Founded in September of 2010, the SpanPort Research Group is a student organization run by the graduate students in the Spanish and Portuguese Studies program at the University of Minnesota. Meeting monthly throughout the academic year, the group seeks:

to contribute to the University of Minnesota’s diverse community through the promotion of Hispanic and Lusophone literatures and cultures;
to make available an open forum for the presentation of graduate student, faculty and community scholar work;
to support the genesis and continuation of a collegial network of graduate students and professors dedicated to professional development and scholarly inquiry concerning Hispanic and Lusophone literatures, cultures, and histories.

Over the last two years we have brought together both distinguished scholars from our field and emerging graduate student voices within our program, producing fruitful critical discussion on diverse research topics ranging from the representation of orphans in the Caribbean, to environmental concerns in contemporary Spain, to the memory work within film in Lusophone Africa.

Our work is dedicated to the memory of one of our founding members, Isabel de Sousa Ramos.

HaLLA exists to contribute to the University’s diverse community through the promotion of Hispanic and Luso-Brazilian languages and cultures and to make available a forum for the presentation of graduate student work within the Department of Spanish & Portuguese.

During our monthly HaLLA meetings, the Hispanic Linguistics students and faculty present their current work, completed or in progress, often in preparation for a conference or to gain feedback on a research project or idea. These meetings provide the presenters with a friendly and encouraging environment in which to problematize aspects of their research and to discuss the future directions and implications of their work with their peers.  

Since 2013, graduate students in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese Studies at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities have hosted their annual interdisciplinary conference in the spring, titled Calambur. Our conference has grown consistently since its beginning, and each year graduate students from across the country and internationally gather to present and discuss their research in the broad fields of Hispanic and Lusophone Literatures, Cultures, and Linguistics. The conference features two plenary talks from leaders in the fields of Hispanic and Lusophone Literatures, Cultures, and Linguistics, several paper presentation sessions, a movie screening and Q&A session, and several workshops and discussion panels.
Our annual Graduate Conference has four intended goals: 1) to promote networking with peers and professors from this university and others; 2) to provide graduate students with opportunities to present original research; 3) to receive and provide feedback on academic projects and ideas, and 4) to create a multidisciplinary space for discussion. By bringing students and faculty together, we are able to connect, share, theorize, and expand on our research and learning in ways that are only possible in such a communal setting. The value of the personal and professional connections afforded to our community through conferences of this kind is immeasurable, often leading to lasting relationships with researchers both in and outside of our specific field of interest. For more information, visit the conference website.

March 20-21, 2020

2019-20: Dualities: Hybrid States and Liminal Identities (Cancelled due to COVID-19)

Keynote Speakers: Dr. Kim Potowski, University of Illinois - Chicago Dr. John Beverley, University of Pittsburgh

Recent Past Conferences

2018-19: Tabu

Keynote Speakers: Professor Katarzyna Beilin, University of Wisconsin – Madison Professor Rena Torres Cacoullos, Penn State University

2017-18: Horror vacui

Keynote Speakers: Yuri Herrera, Tulane University Manuel Diaz-Campos, Indiana University