Research & Creative Work

The study of human language spans a multitude of disciplines. Members of the Department of Modern Languages continue their research in a diverse array of languages and subjects such as modern literature, language pedagogy, socio-linguistics, phonetics, film studies, literature from past centuries, and the interaction of languages on each other, as well as the cultural importance reflected in various languages around the world. Our work examines globally oriented issues from Africa to the Caribbean, Western Europe to Eastern Asia, and French-speaking Canada to the southern tip of South America. Our research continues to inspire our students to pursue their goals in discovering the vast array of paths open to them through the study of language and culture. Faculty in the Department of Modern Languages examine topics including women's rights, minority consciousness in dominant cultures, regaining ties to lost heritage, and an overall recognition that in a myriad of ways, human language binds diverse linguistic and cultural communities to each other. Research in the Department of Modern Languages not only adds to the corpus of human knowledge, but with our interaction with people in society as a whole, we also create a bridge between academia and all the various communities that form our understanding of human existence.

Dr. Jenkins interviews with 9 News about southern Colorado Spanish:

The Spanish spoken for hundreds of years in the San Luis region of Colorado first arrived in the 1500s, when Spaniards and mestizos from Mexico brought words from the old and new worlds as they settled in what is now New Mexico. As mestizos and colonists clashed and then blended with Native American peoples in the Southwest, more indigenous words were added to the mix. The isolated and remote area became an incubator of the dialect. In the 1800s, a flood of English speakers began to arrive, which influenced the language heavily. “This dialect is so amazing. It's so unique. It's so precious,” says Modern Language Department Chair and Professor Devin Jenkins, who has studied the dialect for more than 20 years. 

9 News clip

Extended version clip


MA Graduate and BA Graduate Publish Together:  Kaylyn Blair and Sarah Lease

Congratulations to Kaylyn Blair, MA graduate, and Sarah Lease, BA Graduate, who published an article in Languages (2021): An Examination of Social, Phonetic, and Lexical Variables on the Lenition of Intervocalic Voiced Stops by Spanish Heritage Speakers


Dr. Rosenau was a guest speaker for Unpacking Activism – a free, asynchronous online course.

Check out the course, which is accessible to all until August 2022.


Lori Willard's and the French department's influence on how Hardy Rawanduzy's college career came to be:

Business School Grad Hardy Rawanduzy Pursues Passion for International Affairs

"Diving into his international business degree, Hardy knew he needed to learn another language, so he picked French 1 taught by Lori Willard, PhD. The professor and the entire French Department took the time to explain everything about pursuing a French degree alongside his international business degree, emphasizing what doors might open by learning another language. This was the first time Hardy felt like he was getting guidance on his career path. “I took it all in with so much appreciation,” he said.

Willard would eventually encourage Hardy to look into taking his French classes in France—something he never thought was possible as a first-generation student working multiple jobs. Hardy went on his first study abroad trip to the south of France and hasn’t looked back, going on three more study abroad trips, completing an international internship, and more, all before his graduation this December.

Hardy’s excitement for life became evident in his studies, too. He will graduate Dec. 12 with degrees in French, international business, human resources, and management with information systems—a goal he never would have had the willpower to accomplish before his world travels and discussions with Willard and CU Denver’s French Department."


Lema-Hincapié publishes two new books:

Saberes con sabor: Culturas hispánicas a través de la cocina 

by  Andrés Lema-Hincapié & Conxita Domènech

Es un manual avanzado que responde al creciente interés por el estudio de las prácticas culinarias y alimenticias de Ibero-América, sin desatender ni la lengua ni la cultura de esas regiones del mundo.

Cada capítulo comprende aspectos vinculados con recetas, lengua, arte y teoría. Los estudiantes son expuestos a temas de geografía, historia, literatura, política, economía, religión, música e, incluso, cuestiones de género que estarían implicadas en la elaboración y en el consumo de ciertas comidas. Y, esto, mientras mejoran sus habilidades en temas esenciales y específicos del español. A lo largo del libro, están incorporados materiales de internet —como vínculos para videos, registros sonoros, referencias históricas, sitios web de cocina y contenidos suplementarios para la investigación.

Muy útil en cursos universitarios, Saberes con sabor es un recurso original y único de aprendizaje para estudiantes fascinados por los placeres del paladar y, de igual manera, con una genuina pasión por las culturas hispánicas.

Indiscreet Fantasies  Iberian Queer Cinema

Edited by Andrés Lema-Hincapié, Conxita Domènech

Pedro Almódovar may have helped put queer Iberian cinema on the map, but there are also multitudes of other LGBTQ filmmakers from Catalonia, Portugal, Castile, Galicia, and the Basque Country who have made the Peninsula one of the world’s most vital sources for queer film. Together, they have produced a cinema whose expressions of queer desire have challenged the region’s conservative religious and family values, while intervening in vital debates about politics, history, and nation.
Iberian Queer Cinema is a unique collection that offers in-depth analyses of fifteen different films, each by a different director, produced in the region over the past fifty years, from Narciso Ibáñez Serrador’s La residencia (The House That Screamed, 1970) to João Pedro Rodrigues’ O ornitólogo (The Ornithologist, 2016). Together, they show how queer Iberian cinema has responded to historical traumas ranging from the AIDS crisis to the repressive and homophobic Franco regime. Yet they also explore how these films gesture towards a more fluid understanding of sexuality, gender, and national identity. This book will thus give readers a new appreciation for both the cultural diversity of Iberia and the richness of its moving and thought-provoking queer cinema.