Erin Cowling is an Assistant Professor of Modern Lanaguages (Spanish) at Hampden-Sydney College (2015-). She previously taught Spanish at Grinnell College, and Gender & Women’s Studies at Queen’s University, Canada. She received her Ph.D. from the Johns Hopkins University, Department of German and Romance Languages and Literatures, in 2012. She speaks English and Spanish fluently, has an intermediate understanding of French and Italian, and is currently learning Irish Gaelic, as a way to connect to her ancestral roots.
Erin’s interest in the Spanish language and culture grew from her exposure to Spanish exchange students who were housed with her family annually. At the age of 16 she returned to Spain’s Basque region with a former exchange student to get to know the country and her exchange sister’s family. It was love at first tapa! Although she had only had one year of Spanish language learning prior to this experience, her passion for languages was only further enflamed by those 3 weeks in el País Vasco.
As an undergraduate she studied both History and Spanish. She eventually returned to Spain to take a summer course that focused on Golden Age Theatre and featured performances at the Almagro Festival de Teatro Clásico. She continued her studies at Western University Canada (formerly the University of Western Ontario) as a Master’s student and once again returned to Spain to work on a thesis that combined her love of history and the Spanish language, through archival research at the Archivo de Indias in Sevilla. During this time she live in Huelva, Spain and took classes at the Universidad de Huelva.