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2016 Honors in French

April 28, 2016

We are truly proud of our students!

Lucas Godley, a double major in French and Linguistics, has been awarded a John Phillip Couch Scholarship to study in Montpellier in the fall of 2016.

And the following graduating seniors will be English language teaching assistants in France this coming year 2016-2017, on the TAPIF program:

  • Renata Barsanti
  • Tyler Clay
  • Tita Gonzalez
  • Mike Jacobs (’15)
  • Molly Jernigan
  • Morgan Martinez
  • Rachel Poulin
  • Nathalie Shearin


Statement from the Department of Romance Studies Faculty Regarding House Bill 2

April 10, 2016

The faculty of the Department of Romance Studies at Chapel Hill affirms and recognizes the University’s Policy Statement on Non-Discrimination (as revised October 2, 2015) as in full force and effect, and urges the North Carolina General Assembly and the Governor of North Carolina to repeal N.C. Sess. Laws 2016-3.

UNC-Chapel Hill is a world-class research university that serves the people of the State of North Carolina by attracting and retaining the very best faculty, staff, and students from around the state, the country, and the world. The provisions of the recently passed House Bill 2 (HB2) purport to “supersede and preempt any ordinance, regulation, resolution, or policy” (N.C. Gen. Stat. § 143-422.2 as amended by Sess. Laws 2016-3) concerning discrimination in employment and contracting that exists in a unit of local government or political subdivision of the State, and therefore are inconsistent with UNC-CH’s current non-discrimination policy, which is “not to discriminate on the basis of age, color, disability, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation or veteran status.” Nullification of non-discrimination policies in municipalities surrounding UNC-CH would make our mission and interests impossible. Therefore, repeal of HB2 is the only possible course of action if the State of North Carolina will continue to maintain its world-class university.  The text of the current policy on non-discrimination is posted at

Rosa Perelmuter wins University Diversity Award

March 30, 2016

Rosa PerelmuterThe Department of Romance Studies congratulates Professor Rosa Perelmuter, director of the Moore Undergraduate Research Apprentice Award and Professor in our department, on being selected as a 2016 recipient of the University Diversity Award, which “recognizes significant contribution to the enhancement, support and/or furtherance of diversity on the campus and in the community.”   Professor Perelmuter will receive the Faculty Award for this year.  For more information about the award and this year’s recipients please visit:

Spring 2016 Phi Beta Kappa Initiates

March 22, 2016

The Department of Romance Studies is pleased to announce that the following majors will be initiated into Alpha of North Carolina Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa!

  • Sarah Chaney
  • Brianne Nicole Marino
  • Claire Rolin Nielsen
  • Rachel Bethany Poulin
  • Julia D Simpson

Congratulations on this hard-earned honor!

Recent Faculty Publications

March 14, 2016

The faculty in Romance Studies have produced many great works recently.  Check out the newest titles below:

  • Dominguez, Frank. Carajicomedia: Parody and Satire in Early Modern Spain. New York and London: Tamesis, Boydell and Brewer, 2015
  • Estrada, Oswaldo Ed. Senderos de violencia. Latinoamérica y sus narrativas armadas. Valencia: Albatros (Serie Palabras de América), 2015
  • Gonzalez Espitia, Juan Carlos. La cosecha del sembrador. Comprehensive introductory study and edition of José María Vargas Vila’s unpublished novelistic tetralogy. Panamericana Editorial. Colombia. 2015
  • Luisetti, Federico, John Pickles, and Wilson Kaiser, eds., The Anomie of the Earth: Philosophy, Politics, and Autonomy in Europe and the Americas, Durham, NC: Duke University Press. 2015
  • Rao, EnnioCastroreale: Storia e Lingua. Terme Vigliatore: Giambra Editori, 2015
  • Alayrac, Fielding, Vanessa and Ellen R. Welch, eds. Cultural Intermediaries/Intermédiaires culturels. Etudes Internationales sur le Dix-Huitième Series. Paris: Honoré-Champion, 2015
  • Longino, Michele and Ellen R. Welch, eds. Networks, Interconnection, Connectivity. Biblio 17 Series. Tübingen: Narr, 2015

Rocha Vivas (PhD, 2015) awarded Premio Literario Casa de las Américas 2016

February 2, 2016

rochasMiguel Rocha Vivas, PhD in Romance Studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2015 (advisor, Professor Emilio del Valle Escalante), has received in Cuba the prestigious international literature award Premio Literario Casa de las Américas 2016.

The Premio Literario Casa de las Américas is a literary award given by the Cuban Casa de las Américas. Established in 1959, it is one of Latin America’s oldest and most prestigious literary prizes. The award is presented for works in Spanish, Portuguese, English, and French by writers from Latin America and the Caribbean. In addition to the main categories of fiction, poetry, and essays, there are categories for narrative and children’s literature.

Miguel Rocha Vivas received the Premio Literario Casa de las Américas 2016, in the category “Premio de Estudios sobre Culturas Originarias de América,” for his book Mingas de la palabra, textualidades oralitegráficas y visiones de cabeza en las oralituras y literaturas indígenas contemporáneas (Word´s Mingas, Oralitegraphic Textualities and Upside Down Visions in Contemporary Indigenous Oralitures and Literatures), a text based on his doctoral dissertation.

His book was chosen for “Being a profound, relevant and original study about contemporary Indigenous writings in Colombia, understood within the continental Indigenous literary movement. For establishing pertinent and luminous connections between these writings and other forms of register, languages and symbolic representations created by the Original Peoples. And for contributing knowledge to the Indigenous movements that have been prominent actors in the Americas in their desire for cultural and political self-representation, and the affirmation of their identities.”

Miguel Rocha Vivas is a Colombian writer, professor, researcher and traveler. Currently he is an associate professor at the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá. He has devoted part of his scholar career to study and foster indigenous literatures and creative work throughout the continent. He received his PhD in Romance Studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2015. During his residency in Chapel Hill (2012- 2015) he founded the Cineminga (intercultural cinema group) and became an active member of the Abya Yala Working Group, sponsored by the Consortium in Latin American and Caribbean Studies at UNC and Duke University. As a member of this working group he organized numerous events such as the visit of four indigenous writers, two Colombian social scientists, and one elder from the camëntsa nation. Miguel has held various academic positions. At UNC he taught Spanish and also a course on indigenous cinema and contemporary writing at the Institute for the Study of the Americas. Between 2004 and 2013, he was coordinator of the national Intercultural Education Program for indigenous researchers at Universidad Externado (Colombia). He has lectured in Europe, Canada, the U.S. and South America. Miguel is the author or coauthor of many books, including El héroe de nuestra imagen (literary criticism, 2004), Perumanta qanchis aswan allin willakuyna (narrative, 2005), Interacciones Multiculturales (essays, 2008), Antes el amanecer (anthology, 2010), El sol babea jugo de piña (anthology, 2010), Flores del diamante (poetry, 2010), Pütchi Biyá Uai, precursores (anthology, 2011) y Pütchi Biyá Uai, puntos aparte (anthology, 2011), Camino a Sí (aphorisms, 2012), Palabras mayores, palabras vivas (literary criticism, 2010/2012).

The recipient of national and international awards in 2006 and 2009, Miguel Rocha Vivas also won national literature scholarships sponsored by the Colombian Ministry of Culture and the Instituto Caro y Cuervo. In 2010 he received the National Research Award in Literature funded by the local government of Bogotá, and in 2012 was awarded an honorable mention for his collaborative work with indigenous nations from the Indigenous Parliament of the Americas, the Peruvian Congress, the Universidad San Marcos de Lima and the Universidad Austral de Chile.

We congratulate Miguel for receiving the prestigious Premio Literario Casa de las Américas 2016!

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Sam Amago receives award from IAH

January 19, 2016

Sam AmagoCongratulations to Dr. Sam Amago, who has recently won an award from the Institute for Arts & Humanities.

Dr. Amago has been selected by the Faculty Advisory Board to be a Faculty Fellow with the IAH in the Spring of 2017, allowing him to focus on his current research projects.

Thank you for all of your hard work!

Rosa Perelmuter wins $1,000,000 Mellon Grant

January 11, 2016

Rosa PerelmuterCongratulations to Prof. Rosa Perelmuter, Principal Investigator of a 4-year, $1,000,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in support of the Moore Undergraduate Research Apprentice Program (MURAP).

With additional funding from UNC, MURAP will be able to continue its mission to diversify academia by ensuring that high achieving, talented underrepresented minorities, as well as others committed to diversity, are given every opportunity to consider, and to succeed in, a career in higher education.

More information about the program is available at

More information about the grant can be found here:

Faculty are encouraged to recommend rising juniors and seniors interested in pursuing PhDs in the humanities, social sciences and fine arts by writing to or by directing them to the MURAP website.

Felicidades, Rosa!

Dorothea Heitsch wins 2016 Chapman Award

January 7, 2016

Heitsch, Dorothea

Congratulations to Dorothea Heitsch, who is this year’s recipient of the prestigious 2016 Chapman Family Distinguished Teaching Award for proven excellence in undergraduate education. The award conveys a semester’s leave as a fellow at the Institute for the Arts and Humanities.

This makes the second time a ROMS faculty member has won this award in recent years, making a total of 5 recipients from our department since the award’s inception in 1993.

Many thanks to Dr. Heitsch for her hard work and dedication to the Department of Romance Studies!

UNC Teaching Award to Luis Marcelino Gomez

November 20, 2015

Gómez, Luis MarcelinoCongratulations to Luis Marcelino Gómez!

He was chosen this year for a Student Undergraduate Teaching and Staff Awards (SUTASA).

SUTASA was established in 1989 to recognize outstanding undergraduate instruction at the University.

Each year, a committee of 15 to 20 undergraduate students selects the annual SUTASA awardees. Recipients are chosen based on demonstrated and consistent excellence in undergraduate teaching, creation of a dynamic intellectual environment and success in positively affecting a broad spectrum of students both in and outside the classroom.

On Wednesday, April 22, Luis Marcelino will be in a ceremony with the Chancellor for that recognition, receiving a Diploma and a $ 5000 check.