Students in action


Student podcasts on "Postales Musicales..." campus radio

Student Grace McClenahan joins Professor Chrissie Forster at CFUV Radio to start this term’s SPANISH 307 podcast series with the first episode about Cuba’s Nueva Trova song movement.  You can hear the students’ podcasts about Latin American music every Sunday 12:30-2:00 on “Postales Musicales de Latinoamérica” radio show on CFUV 101.9fm, or streaming each week at”
Grace M., CFVU studio, Nov 27.

Student Tara Matthews completes internship in Europe


Our students and former students explore the world and recognize the opportunities they have to expand their cultural horizons while studying with us.
Here’s a testimony by Tara Matthews:
“My time in Europe this summer as part of the UVic European Study Tour and Internship Program was an invaluable experience. I had the opportunity to learn about the institutions and functions of the European Union, including through a two-month work placement with the EU Directorate-General for Education and Culture in the Schools and Multilingualism Unit. During my time off, I visited several cities, such as London, Paris and Amsterdam, exploring famous monuments and getting to know new friends. My years as a student in the Department of Hispanic and Italian Studies served as a source of inspiration to seek further insight into European Studies as well. I’m grateful to this academic community for always encouraging me to go on new adventures!”


Poetry on “Postales Musicales de Latinoamérica”

SPAN 349 student Alexandria Brooks visits Professor Chrissie Forster live on-air at CFUV Radio to read some of her favourite poetry by Uruguayan writer Delmira Agustini. Photos featured below are of Delmira in Uruguay at the beginning of the 20th century and Alexandria live on "Postales Musicales de Latinoamérica" on Dec.18, 2022.

image  image


Congratulations Honours students!

July 4, 2022
Paige Arden defended her Honours essay entitled “Migración e infancia: el archivo y la imagen del viaje en Desierto Sonoro de Valeria Luiselli”. Paige explored the ways the Mexican novelist represents child migration through Luiselli’s 2019 novel Lost Children Archive, translated into Spanish as Desierto sonoro. In reviewing the objects, sounds and thoughts collected by the story’s child characters, it brings to the fore themes of childhood, parenthood, belonging, documentation, absence, and memory as they relate to the novel’s ideas of road trip and archive. Thanks to Dr. Dan Russek who served as advisor and Dr. Gabriela McBee who was the Reader. Congratulations & well done, Paige! 

April 25, 2022
Carmen Kaufman successfuly defended her Honours essay, “Exilio y Espacio” (details regarding her Honours essay to come). Congratulations Carmen!

Student podcasts on “Postales Musicales de Latinoamérica”

Sunday July 31, 2022
UVic student Megan Rees visits Chrissie Forster 'live' in the studio at CFUV 101.9fm Radio to introduce her own podcast about the Chilean singer-songwriter Violeta Parra on “Postales Musicales de Latinoamérica”. Listen to Megan’s podcast (and from more students in "Span 307: Latin American Culture Through Music”).



Behdis Mokhtarmaleki obtains a Master of Arts degree

Congratulations to Behdis Mokhtarmaleki who successfully passed her oral examination on December 11 to obtain her Master of Arts degree. The title of her project was “Images of Water in Saint Teresa’s Prayers and Spirituality”. It was supervised by Dr. Beatriz de Alba-Koch.

Behdis 1 Behdis 2

Joe Barzetti defends his Masters thesis about Spanish emblems and Machiavelli

Joe Barzetti successfully defended his Masters thesis on August 18. His project was about Spanish emblems and Machiavelli’s Il principe. Serving as supervisor was Dr. Pablo Restrepo-Gautier. Former member of the Department, Dr. Lloyd Howard, was also part of the Supervisory Committee. Congratulations to Joe, and our best wishes in his future endeavours.

Joe Barzetti 1 

Successful launch of PLVS VLTRA, the Department’s undergraduate journal

Congratulations to all students involved in the publication of PLVS VLTRA, the undergraduate journal of the Department of Hispanic and Italian Studies. The third and most recent issue includes articles by Sandra Wheeler, Jenny Osorio, Nicole Nairismagi, Kathryn Houston and Dane Rogers. The Launch Party took take place on Monday, April 3, 2017, at the Victoria Event Centre. If you are interested in purchasing an issue, joining the editorial board, volunteering in this academic project and/or contributing with a text, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the Department’s secretary (

plus ultra 1  plus ultra 2

Get-together for returning students from our Study Abroad programs in Ecuador and Spain 

On January 28, professors of the Department gathered to welcome the students who returned from our Study Abroad programs in Cuenca, Ecuador, and Alcalá, Spain (check out the information about these programs, here). It was nice to hear about our students' experiences. We are glad they had a fun and productive time abroad. Our thanks to Professors Rosa and Ken Stewart for hosting.

2017-01 get together

Angie Reamer becomes ABD after completing her candidacy exams 

Congratulations to Angie Reamer, who recently passed her PhD candidacy exams. She is now an ABD, or “All but dissertation,” having completed the rest of the requirements towards her degree. Her PhD dissertation will examine the work of Mexican poet Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz and her impact on contemporary Mexican literature and film.

María Paz Lundin successfully defends her MA thesis

Congratulations to María Paz Lundin for the successful defence on August 25th of her Master of Arts thesis: "El Neptuno alegórico y su cristalización poética: análisis de los mensajes políticos, filosóficos y simbólicos del arco sorjuanino." She is pictured here (L) with our Chair, Dr. Beatriz de Alba-Koch, her MA advisor.

Maria Paz and Beatriz

Emily Braden sings at Hermann's Jazz Club on July 9, 2016 

Emily Braden, former student of the Department, delighted us with an amazing night of songs and music at Hermann’s Jazz Club on Saturday July 9. We were glad to be part of the audience to welcome her and enjoy her performance. It is such a treat to see our students grow personally and professionally. Thanks for coming back, Emily! In the picture (L to R), Dr. Silvia Colás, Dr. Pablo Restrepo-Gautier, Emily Braden,  Dr. Dan Russek and Chrissie Forster. Check out Emily’s website, here:

Emily Braden at Hermann's

Laura Davis Awarded Jubilee Medal in Humanities, June 2016 Convocation

Congratulations to Laura Davis for being awarded the Jubilee Medal for the top student in UVic's Faculty of Humanities!  Laura received a B.A. in Linguistics, with a Minor in Hispanic Studies at the recent Convocation ceremonies.  Well done Laura!  We're proud of you.

Laura Davis Jubilee Medal

Kyle McCreanor, JCURA awardee, presented research on terrorism in Spain during IdeaFest 2016

Congratulations to Kyle McCreanor, who received a Jamie Cassels Undergraduate Research Award and participated in the JCURA Research Fair during IDEAFEST. His project was entitled “Terrorism and Resistance in the Basque Country 1959-1975”. Thanks go to his advisor, Prof. Matthew Koch, for his guidance in this project.

JCURA 2016JCURA 2016 -2

PLVS VLTRA, undergraduate research journal, launched in March 2015

Our recognition to all students involved in the creation and launching of PLVS VLTRA, the Department’s undergraduate research journal. The publication was presented on March 30, 2015 at the Victoria Event Centre. A big thank you to Meghan Casey, editor-in-chief, whose motivation made this project come to fruition. We encourage students to support this initiative by getting a copy of the journal, reading it and considering submitting an academic essay for publication.


At the Victoria Event Centre, from left to right, Dr. Dan Russek, María Paz Lundín, Vaughan Lewis, Oriana Varas, Carys Pinches, Andrew Gait, Meghan Casey, Kyle McCreanor, Devon Harlos, Simon Posluns, Travis Moffat, Adam Barron, Dr. Beatriz de Alba-Koch, Prof. Matthew Koch and Dr. Pablo Restrepo-Gautier.

Elise Coté, Kay Gallivan and Jennifer McLean, JCURA awardees, presented their research during IdeaFest 2015

Elise, Kay and Jennifer completed their research projects sponsored by the Jamie Cassels Undergraduate Research Award (JCURA). Under the guidance of Drs. Pablo Restrepo-Gautier, Beatriz de Alba-Koch and Lloyd Howard, respectively, they gained valuable experience in research techniques and expanded their academic horizons. Their projects were presented during IdeaFest on March 4th, 2015.

  2014-03 Elise and Pablo       2015-03-04 Beatriz and Kay

Dr. Pablo Restrepo-Gautier and Elise Cote       Dr. Beatriz de Alba-Koch and Kay Gallivan

                         2015-03-04 Jennifer

                                                      Jennifer McLean with Dante poster

Rose Prieto’s internship in Perú featured in International Office Newsletter

The January Newsletter of the International Office included a piece on Rose Prieto, student of the Department, who spent 6 months in the Peruvian Andes as an intern with Mosqoy, a non-profit organization based in Victoria and founded by alumna Ashli Akins. Mosqoy promotes the preservation of traditional weaving techniques and supports education initiatives. Click the links to read the Newsletter article (p.2) and about Mosqoy.

In 2014/15 there were three students from the Department who were recipients of the JCURAwards

Congratulation went to Elise Cote, Kay Gallivan, and Jennifer McLean who were last year's recipients of the Jamie Cassels Undergraduate Research Award.

Elise's project, under the supervision of Dr. Pablo Restrepo-Gautier, was in the area of translation and examined the translation process. She translated a selection of letters written during the Spanish exploration of the British Columbia coast in the late eighteenth century. A selection of letters regarding Pedro Alberni´s trip from San Blas, Mexico to Nootka Island, British Columbia was the focus. A complete translation of these letters exists in manuscript form, dating back to the early twentieth century. Elise created her own modern translations of the original letters and subsequently compared her translation to that of the translation done in the early twentieth century. This comparison tells a lot about the way that language changes over time, as well as the different translation decisions taken by different translators, but also allowed her critical reflection on her own translation process.

Kay's research focussed on a selection of engravings and street art by Mexican artists that belong to the Assembly of Revolutionary Artists of Oaxaca (Asamblea de Artistas Revolucionarios de Oaxaca, ASARO).  ASARO began in 2006 as a sub-committee of the Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca (Asamblea Popular de los Pueblos de Oacaxa, APPO), the central organizing body for an occupation of the city of Oaxaca, Mexico, which lasted from May to December of 2006.  During the occupation, ASARO filled occupied areas with political street art.  ASARO members have since exhibited in many art galleries internationally.  Working under the supervision of Dr. Beatriz de Alba-Koch, Kay studied the artistic traditions present in ASARO's works as well as the political history that led its artists to move from graffiti to gallery.

Jennifer's research, under the supervision of Dr. Lloyd Howard, explored recurrent themes of movement and memory in Dante Alighieri's Vita Nuova and Divine Comedy.  These important works exemplify Dante's unique poetic philosophy, which emphasized faith and theological discourse through the lens of the courtly love tradition:  for Dante, the true path to God was through the chaste love of a courtly lady.  As Dante follows the lead of his courtly lady, Beatrice, to salvation, he traverses a spiritual landscape that is rich in mythological, cultural and biblical symbolism, and is self-designed to prompt reflection and growth.  This project sought to more closely analyze the structure of Dante's journey towards revelation, and particularly the use of memory as a narrative building block in the poet's unique spiritual architecture.

2014  Awards Ceremony

Each year, the Department offers awards and scholarships to accomplished students.  Click on the link to read about recent recipients and see pictures of the awards ceremonies.

In 2013/14 two students from the Department were recipients of the JCURAwards  

Aidan Fridman and Kathleen Mullaney were the 2013/14 recipients of the Jamie Cassels Undergraduate Research Award.

Aidan's project examined the articulation of maternal voices expressed in the blogosphere by Spanish mothers living in the Iberian Peninsula and abroad. She worked under the supervision of Prof. Bettaglio. Kathleen's project consisted of researching bibliographical sources in the fields of Latin American culture and cinema, focusing on the first decades of the XXth century. She worked with Prof. Russek.