Prof. Roser Salicrú is Senior Researcher in Medieval Studies at the Institució Milà i Fontanals of the Spanish National Research Council (Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas) in Barcelona. She received her PhD from the University of Barcelona in 1996, and is the author of several books on the relationships between Christianity and Islam across the Mediterranean, the history of maritime communications, slavery, and travel in the Middle Ages. Prof. Salicrú will offer a course entitled “Christianity and Islam in the Late Middle Ages: Human Contacts beyond Diplomacy, Trade and Captivity in the Western Mediterranean”.
The University of Chicago is one of only two universities in the US to offer a minor in Catalan studies. Why study Catalan?
With close to 10 million speakers living in four different states (Andorra, France, Italy, and Spain), Catalan occupies a special place among the languages of Europe. Although its recognition as a national language is relatively limited —it is the official language of only one sovereign state (the Principality of Andorra) and since the 1980s is co-official in three autonomous communities within the Spanish State (Balearic Islands, Catalonia, and Valencia)— it is the ninth most spoken language in the European Union, and the eighth language on the Internet.
Almost a third of the population of Spain live in areas where Catalan is both the co-official language (together with Spanish) and an essential component of cultural identity. With a literary tradition that dates back to the 12th century, Catalan has maintained an extraordinary dynamism, particularly since the early 20th century, and supported the development of a vibrant culture.
Our Catalan program offer a unique opportunity not only to study the language, but also to explore the extent and richness of cultural production in the Catalan-speaking territories. Besides regular courses taught by our regular faculty, each academic year the Joan Coromines Chair of Catalan Studies hosts a course by visiting professors to facilitate the study of Catalan culture from very different perspectives within the Humanities.
Students can get a Minor in Catalan. They can also study Catalan as part of either a Major in Latin American and Iberian Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, or a Major in Romance Languages, both of which combine the study of at least two languages. Accelerated language courses are offered at various levels, and while knowledge of another Romance language is recommended, students from all linguistic backgrounds are welcome. We also offer courses in Catalan culture and literature taught in English and sometimes in Catalan.
We want our students to be in contact with Catalan culture. Along the year we organize several cultural activities (book presentations, film screenings, concerts, etc.). Every April we celebrate the Catalan Book Day (la Diada de Sant Jordi), a Catalan tradition honoring the love of culture--and the culture of love.
Students have several study abroad opportunities that go from short periods of time to one full academic year in Barcelona. The program Barcelona: Civilization in Western Mediterranean (Winter or Spring) allows students to spend a quarter at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra. For those who wish a longer program, there’s also the possibility of spending a whole academic year at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra, with a direct enrollment program. During the summer, the Institut Ramon Llull offers three-week cultural and language programs for those students who have studied a minimum of two quarters of Catalan language. The Institut Ramon Llull sponsors most of the cost of the program but students can apply for a FLAG award to cover the rest.
The University of Chicago, Romance Languages and Literatures, Minor in Catalan Studies
Roser Salicrú i Lluch: Christianity and Islam in the Western Mediterranean World during the Late Middle Ages
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