Spanish Language Observatory at Harvard: fifth anniversary

  • Culture

Spanish Language Observatory at Harvard: fifth anniversary

There are about 50 million Spanish speakers living in USA.
There are about 50 million Spanish speakers living in USA.

The Instituto Cervantes Spanish Language Observatory at Harvard University is celebrating its fifth anniversary as a Spanish culture reference centre in USA.

The Observatory was established in April 2013, by virtue of an agreement between Instituto Cervantes, Harvard University and Banco Santander, with the aim of promoting the learning of the Spanish language and the knowledge of the Spanish culture in American society.

The Observatory added a Spanish voice to the leading university in the state of Massachusetts, thus strengthening our presence in the American academic world.

Hispanic population: 58 million

According the latest population census, there are 58 million Hispanics living in USA. They account for 18% of the total American population. About 50 million among them are Spanish speakers. The Harvard Observatory studies multilingualism in USA. It has organised more than 100 language-related and cultural activities – panels, talks, seminars, conferences – and published 32 reports so far.

The Observatory analyses the reality of the Spanish language and culture in USA from multiple perspectives: the media, the publishing industry, translation and interpreting, the educational system, the literary canon at university, and many others.

Leading figures of Spanish and Latin American culture

In addition, the Instituto Cervantes Observatory in Harvard has participated in research projects on language contact and bilingual education. Also, it offers grants to Hispanic students at Harvard specialising in topics of Spanish language and culture.

For the academic course 2017/2018, the Observatory is planning activities on Mexican writer Juan Rulfo, on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of his birth, and architect Josep Lluís Sert, who made several contributions to Harvard University.

Finally, there will be a third ‘Reshaping Hispanic Cultures’ congress, gathering scholars studying the Spanish language and Hispanic cultures to share their latest findings.