About Us

Romance Studies is a multilingual, interdisciplinary, and genuinely global department that explores the culture, thought and practices of communities where romance languages — French, Haitian Creole, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish — are or were once spoken. Our department has an expansive reach through many centers, programs, and sites located at Durham and around the globe, including Center for French and Francophone Studies, Latino Studies in the Global South, Center for Languages and Cultures Across the Curriculum, Duke in Madrid, Duke in France, Duke in Chile, Duke in Costa Rica, Duke in Alicante, Duke in Spain, Duke in Paris, Duke in Bologna, Duke in Brazil, Duke in Aix-en-Provence, and Duke in Havana.

Our faculty mentor and guide our students from their initial steps learning the basics of the language to their intellectual and professional engagement with native cultures and their speakers. While our discipline is rooted in the philological and literary methods, Romance Studies’ excellent faculty specializes in health humanities, critical race studies, decoloniality, intellectual history, translation, visual studies, service learning, gender and sexuality studies, modernism, critical economics, and linguistic rights, among others, all studied through a rigorous frame. Using these critical lenses, we also help students understand and find viable, collaborative and sustainable solutions to pressing global issues that communities face, such as healthcare, education, and human rights.