Rebecca Gallahue ’14 Senior Profile: Hispanic Studies

Gallahue.RI chose Hispanic Studies as my secondary major after taking Literary Criticism my freshman year. I enjoyed and wanted to continue analyzing literary texts to discover how they contribute to the discourse on relevant socio-political and cultural issues. As a Hispanic Studies major, one of the most important lessons I have learned is that there is no singular, homogeneous “Hispanic” or “Latino” culture. For example, in the senior seminar “Confronting the Barrio,” we discussed the relationship between “barrioization” and “barriology”–theoretical terms that refer respectively to the representation of the barrio from within and from the outside–to determine how this space and places has been socially and historically constructed by various sources.

One of the best experiences I had through the Hispanic Studies program was studing abroad in Cádiz, Spain the summer of 2011. I feel fortunate that I was able to experience Spanish culture and travel through a beautiful country while making some of my closest friends here at William & Mary. The independent research project that I undertook focused on the connection between the life and works of noted Spanish poet Gloria Fuertes. One of my favorite memories from that summer was when the program ate at a bar in Madrid that Fuertes frequented.

While I plan on going to law school for public interest law in two years, I am currently applying to jobs at legal advocacy organizations. Thanks to Hispanic Studies, I qualify for positions that require applicants to be highly proficient in Spanish. I hope to continue to improve my reading, writing, and comprehension skills by obtaining a job that would allow me to interpret and translate for Spanish-speaking clients.

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