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Teaching Associate Professor Emerita of Spanish | Dey 138

At UNC since 1995


PhD in Linguistics and Hispanic Studies, 1978 Universidad de Puerto Rico
MA in Linguistics, 1967 University of Southern California
BA in French and German, 1965 Universidad de Puerto Rico

Other Appointments

Associate Director of the undergraduate Certificate Program in Latino Journalism and Media, School of Journalism & Mass Communication


Julia Mack is a Linguist from Puerto Rico, particularly interested in languages in contact. Her current teaching and her research focuses on the Spanish of the US and the acquisition of Spanish as a second language. Since it was first published, over 10 years ago, MEZCLA magazine has been the only magazine on the UNC campus devoted to bilingual and bicultural issues. It was founded by Mack’s First Year Seminar “Language and Identity: Hispanics in the US”, and she is still its Faculty Advisor.

She designed and teaches the two courses offered by the Department of Romance Studies for Spanish heritage learners: SPAN 266 and SPAN 326. Part of these courses is an experiential learning project that places UNC students in Frank Porter Graham Bilingüe to support bilingual teachers and students. She is a regular guest lecturer at the UNC School of Government, leading a session on “Working with Diverse Cultures” as part of the course “Managing the Tax and Finance Offices”, which is attended by senior North Carolina local government employees working in city or county tax and finance offices.  Her own bilingualism has allowed her to publish both in Spanish (scholarly work, language textbooks, short fiction) and English (conference papers and detective novels). Mack says her biggest challenge and accomplishment are her three children, all bilinguals, each one evidence of the complexities and pleasures of the bilingual continuum.


  • 2009 ¡¡A su salud! Spanish for Health Professionals
  • 2010 A Death by Any Other Name
  • 2011 Inheritance
  • 2012 Cuentos Tontos para Lectores Sabios

Typical Courses

  • SPAN 375 The Spanish of the United States
  • SPAN 335 The Hispanic Community of the United States
  • SPAN 326 Spanish Grammar and Composition for Heritage Speakers
  • SPAN 266 Spanish Conversation for Heritage Speakers

Awards & Honors

  • 2014 Order of the Old Well