Building a Community: Showcasing the Hispanic Studies Major

A lively group of current HISP majors, minors, and interested students in general, joined the HISP faculty at the Botetourt Gallery of Swem Library in order to share their passion, their academic interests, and their experiences as part of the Hispanic Studies program.  During a warm February evening, Showcasing the Hispanic Studies major brought our community together, precisely in the scenario where several of our students, under the guidance of Prof. Ann Marie Stock and Troy Davis in the New Media Workshop, were making progress in their curatorial projects on UnMade in Cuba, an exhibit on “ghost films” designed for movies that were never produced.

The event was a great opportunity to reconnect, and to share stories, experiences, and a few laughs over pizza.  The venue also helped interested students get a more profound insight into the Hispanic Studies program.  In the words of one of our current majors,

Hispanic Studies isn’t just about showing employers you speak Spanish.  It’s about challenging you to think in a way that communicates concepts and ideas like no other discipline.  The creative thinking and problem solving that happens within the department pushes students to reshape their ideas of race, borders, culture, and countless other topics we engage with daily.  It’s an incredible major or second major, and it’s so much more than you can imagine when you first enter a Hispanic Studies class.

The evening was a great success, thanks in great measure to the organizational skills of Morgan Sehdev, and the graciousness of several students: Nichole Montour, current RA of the Hispanic House, shared her love for la Casa; Matt Adan was eager to talk about study abroad; Joanna Hernandez brought her knowledge of alternative break opportunities; Kyle McQuillan and Chantal Houglan were ready to talk about Honors theses and research in the program; Ryan Durazo presented “Memorias de Chapadmalal,” a photo-narrative project that he and Mary Ellen Garrett completed as part of their internship with our study abroad program in La Plata, Argentina.

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