Greetings from the Chair


Hello and welcome to the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, an exciting and vibrant community of teacher/scholars and students dedicated to the study of French and Francophone Studies, Hispanic Studies, Italian Studies and Portuguese Studies; languages, literatures and cultures that constitute the very fibers of our Western world and civilization at both sides of the Atlantic. Please come in and find out what our Department has to offer.

Mercedes Juliá, Ph.D.
Professor and Chairperson


Welcome New Faculty Starting Fall 2014


Professor Enrique Chacón is close to completing his PhD degree in Hispanic Literature and Cultural Studies from the University of Pittsburgh. His research focuses on Mexican Literature of the 20th Century. Professor Chacón Ph. D. dissertation entitled "Juan García Ponce: 'el místico sin fe'. Hacia una reinterpretación de su itinerario intelectual" analyzes the  intellectual formation of the Mexican novelist and thinker Juan García Ponce. Enrique Chacón's studies from an interdisciplinary perspective García Ponce's essays, translations and novels to show how Ponce's radicalism influenced the Country. Professor Enrique Chacón's research is based on theories and ideas generated from Cultural Studies, History, Anthropology, Literary Theory, Aesthetic Theory and Continental Philosophy.


Prof. Cristiana Ferraro graduated in Sociology at New York University and completed her Masters in Italian literature and foreign language teaching methodology at Rutgers University.  She has been teaching the Italian language in undergraduate since 2008. She has taught Italian at Temple, Rutgers, Ursinus, and Drexel University. In her free time she plays classical guitar.  She is very proud to start teaching at Villanova this fall of 2014!


Dr. Mikel Lorenzo-Arza received his doctorate in Spanish Literature from the University of Connecticut in August 2014. His research investigates the relevance of landscape as a cultural tool in the nation building processes of the nineteenth century. Within this general frame, Professor Lorenzo-Arza focuses on the Spanish nation-building with an emphasis on the conflict between the nation’s center and its periphery; the conflict between rural and urban areas; as well as the integration of regional territories within the national project. Mikel has published several articles in peer-reviewed journals, such as “Sancho El Sabio,” which examines the attitude of the most representative fin-de-siècle Basque authors toward the decline of the rural world and urban growth. Dr. Lorenzo-Arza has recently submitted an article to Anales Galdosianos  on the development of liberalism within the working class in Pedro Antonio de Alarcón’s Historietas Nacionales. 


Dr. Mike Strayer graduated from Johns Hopkins University with a PhD in Latin American literature and culture. He currently investigates the convergence of avant-garde aesthetics and the revolutionary vanguards in Latin America, especially in Cuba, Mexico, and Nicaragua. He also currently serves on the MLA Subconference organizing committee and writes from time to time on academic labor issues.

Faculty Highlights: