Iberian and Latin American Studies

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History of the Department

The Department of Iberian & Latin American Studies is historically the merger of the Westfield and Queen Mary Departments, which celebrated the 50th anniversary of their foundations in 2005 and 2006 respectively, and which represent a long and eminent academic tradition. Here is a brief history of Iberian and Latin American Studies at Queen Mary and Westfield:

  • 1657 Foundation of the Spanish and Portuguese Jews’ Congregation Cemetery in Mile End. The Westfield Student Village, opened in 2004, is nearby.
  • 1917 East London College (now Queen Mary and Westfield) began teaching Spanish as a Subsidiary subject.
  • 1948 Spanish teaching begins at Westfield College.
  • 1955 First Honours students arrive at Westfield College.
  • 1956 Department of Spanish at Queen Mary College established.
  • 1963 Tamesis Books founded by professor John Varey. Tamesis is the leading publisher of Hispanic studies in Britain.
  • 1967 Foundation of the Medieval Hispanic Research Seminar by Professor Alan Deyermond.
  • 1989 Merger of the two Departments as the Department of Hispanic Studies at Queen Mary.
  • 1995 Department of Hispanic Studies becomes part of the new School of Modern Languages, now the School of Languages, Linguistics and Film.
  • 2000 Launch of Hispanic Research Journal.
  • 2001 Queen Mary Hispanic Studies receives 5* in the Research Assessment Exercise.
  • 2005-06 Celebrates 50 years of Honours teaching at Queen Mary and Westfield with a special alumni event on 25-26 June 2005.
  • 2006 Opening of the Centre for Catalan Studies.
  • 2008 Queen Mary Iberian and Latin American Studies ranked 8th in the UK in the Research Assessment Exercise.
  • 2010 Change of the Department's name to the Department of Iberian and Latin American Studies in recognition of the widened scope of teaching and research in the Department.
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