Barnard Student Participates in Immersion Program on Latin American Literature in Chile

October 07, 2018

Sulema Arellano, a junior at Barnard College, is spending the July-December semester studying Latin American literature, translation, and linguistics at Universidad Católica in Santiago as part of the Institute for Study Abroad's Chilean Universities program. She had previously devoted the January-June semester to study lusophone literature at Rio de Janeiro’s Pontifícia Universidade Católica and plans to spend six months in 2019 learning francophone literature in Paris: “This will cap both my time abroad and the trinity of languages… When I finally return to campus, I plan to use what I have learned and gained abroad when composing my senior thesis”, she says.

Sulema is majoring in Comparative Literature, focusing on French, Portuguese and Spanish. “I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to study literature in various cities around the world; doing so allows me to better understand the cultural, political, and social contexts and landscapes in which certain works were written, in addition to helping me improve my language skills so that I can enjoy poems, novels, and short stories in the original languages in which they were written”, she explains.

Studying Latin American literature in Chile has allowed her to have a deeper, more meaningful interaction with and connection to the country’s literary work. “It is inspiring and humbling to be in a place that was and is home to countless renowned and emerging authors and poets who have made and are making significant contributions to the literature of Latin America, to walk down the same streets that they did, to see and visit the landscapes mentioned in poems, to see the name of a neighborhood in a short story and know exactly where it is and how to get there, as opposed to just imagining these things in my head. I am grateful to be able to inhabit, if only temporarily, a place with such a rich history and literary tradition”.