At Trinity College Hispanic Studies, usually begins with the rigorous analysis of linguistic codes and ends with … well, we really don’t know where it ends. That’s something that is ultimately up to the individual student. Recent graduates have ended up in areas such as publishing, overseas education, teaching, public policy, health administration, film making, international business, law, and academia. What we do know, however, is that each of our students participates in a program that is carefully designed to maximize his/her ability to live and act in the world as highly skilled, well-informed, and self-reflective citizens. At the core of our philosophy is a deep belief in the transformative power of learning, especially in disciplines like our own, which continually challenge us to reassess the “certainty” of the cultural constructs that shape our “native” existence as well as the “foreign” cultures we study.
Many people think that Hispanic studies revolves around studying the fine points, grammar and developing ‘fluency’ in written and spoken Spanish. While helping students perfect their oral capabilities and their theoretical understanding of grammar are certainly important goals for us, they are really one only part of the picture. Like mathematics, Hispanic studies begins with the rote learning of the necessary linguistic “facts.” However, we do not see this as an end unto itself but rather the beginning of an exciting and lifelong journey of cultural analysis. As we see it, “doing” Hispanic studies well and right is rooted in the practice of directed imagination and human empathy. Put another way, we see our goal as providing students with the intellectual tools and psychic dispositions necessary for establishing meaningful and historically informed dialogues with their “others” in the Hispanic world and beyond. We believe that by teaching these habits of human, intellectual, and ultimately, moral engagement, we are providing students with the best possible basis for future growth and for future success. So, if you think you might be interested in using the Spanish language to understand the broader, historically generated realities of Spain and Latin America as well as the emerging global realities of our time, we invite you to join us in the Hispanic Studies Program at Trinity College.