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Maria Spitz

Maria Spitz


Associate Professor

Office Building

Wagner Hall



Mailing Address

Wagner Hall 103
School of American & Global Studies-Box 2275
University Station
Brookings, SD 57007


I joined SDSU in August 2005 and have taught all levels of Spanish, as well as Introduction to Global Studies. I consider being a student of the world the most fulfilling activity on the planet, aside from walking my dog. I also created the department Capstone class for our majors in languages and Global Studies, and have enjoyed helping them see the value in their education. My research has been published in well-known peer-reviewed journals, and I have presented papers at regional, national, and international conferences. I am especially proud of creating the first-ever study abroad experience at SDSU to combine Service-Learning with language study.


2001: Ph.D in Hispanic Languages and Literatures. Washington University-St. Louis.
1992: M.A. in Hispanic Languages and Literatures. Washington University-St. Louis.
1987 B.A. in Spanish and English. Monmouth College, Monmouth, IL.

Academic Interests/Expertise

Critical Theory on Cultures and Identity
Human Rights
U.S.-Latin American Relations

Academic Responsibilities

Spanish and Global Studies Major Adviser
Spanish Assessment
Curriculum Development
Adviser, Rho Chi Chapter of Sigma Delta Pi Spanish Honorary Society

Committee Activities

Faculty Senator for the College of Arts and Sciences
COHE Officer
Ad Hoc Conference Planning Committee

Awards and Honors

Study Abroad Leadership Award (2011)
TRIO Students' Choice Award (2008)

Professional Memberships

Modern Language Association
American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages
Society of Latin American Studies

Work Experience

2010-Present: Associate Professor, SDSU
2005-2010: Assistant Professor, SDSU
2002-2005: Assistant Professor and Department Chair, Blackburn College (IL)
1997-2000 Visiting Instructor, Ohio University.

Area(s) of Research

19th- and 20th-Century Spanish American Portraits of the Artist
Narratives and Cultural Identity
Visions of the U.S. in the Hispnic World
Human Rights in the Cold War and Globalization

Applications of Research

Much of Identity Theory, combined with historical study and analysis, can illuminate and explain political conflict in the world today and throughout history, thus preparing those students who wish to enter the foreign service, Non-profit work, International Business, and any number of other professions that require knowledge of how the world works and how to most effectively communicate in diverse situations.