Magalí Rabasa

I absolutely love how connected L&C students are—to each other, to our campus community, to their own communities, to their professors, to their fields of study, and to their personal passions and interests.

Associate Professor Magalí Rabasa




Associate Professor of Hispanic Studies


World Languages and Literatures

What three words would you use to describe Lewis & Clark?

Connected, Broad, Green

How do you describe the liberal arts?

The liberal arts places process and experience at the center of education. A liberal arts education is participatory and interdisciplinary; it’s about asking questions and approaching them from a range of perspectives and practices.

What do you enjoy most about Lewis & Clark students?

I absolutely love how connected L&C students are—to each other, to our campus community, to their own communities, to their professors, to their fields of study, and to their personal passions and interests.

How does Lewis & Clark prepare students interested in your field to pursue a career and/or advanced studies after graduation?

At L&C, students get an education that is both highly specialized, because of the intensive work they do in their majors and minors, and broadly relevant, because of the wide range of courses and fields they have the chance to learn in through general education and electives. I think L&C prepares students really well for future studies because, upon graduation, their options are not limited to just the continuation of their major, and they’ve spent four years developing a really versatile tool kit that emphasizes communication, collaboration, and creativity. Those are skills that are directly applicable—and incredibly relevant—to any future studies or professional pathways.

What sets your department or program apart from other small liberal arts colleges?

The Department of World Languages and Literatures is unique in that there is a real emphasis on the interconnections between and across different languages. We see this in the world languages major, which allows students to combine the study of two languages, but also in the community of faculty and students that make up the program. We are the biggest department on campus, but we are still a tight-knit community that brings together nine different languages and a wide range of cultural and scholarly perspectives.

What should incoming students know about L&C?

You’ll be going to college in a forest (literally!), but it’s a forest filled with so much exciting cultural, social, political, and academic life!

What brought you to L&C?

After being in public schools and large public universities as a student and a professor, I was excited about the opportunity for the kind of balance between the personal and the academic that I think L&C really prioritizes, both for its students and faculty. We get to be teachers, researchers, and people with full lives, and I really value that. I think it makes us all better at everything we do. I was also really thrilled to have the chance to come back to Oregon, where I did my undergraduate studies, and to live in what I consider a pretty ideal city.

What’s your favorite spot on campus?

I love the rock garden next to Miller and Evans. It’s one of my favorite spots to eat lunch and read a book.

What’s your favorite thing about living in Portland?

Portland has so much amazing green space and is a patchwork of really lively and unique neighborhoods. I love that, without traveling too far, I can go on an extraordinary hike through a lush forest, eat a delicious and affordable meal at a food cart, and listen to live music in one of my neighborhood’s many parks all within a single day. There is always more happening than I can get to, but also plenty of opportunities and spaces to unplug and relax outside.

If applicable, what’s the best thing about conducting research with students?

I love how the practice of engaging with students in my research pushes me to think about things differently, as I see how they connect with the materials, ideas, and questions that I am so close to with fresh eyes and insights.

Describe your involvement with committees and symposia. What should incoming students know about this work?

I’m involved in a lot of interdisciplinary spaces on campus and I love the ways that that has radically expanded my community of colleagues and students. I’m a member of the steering committees for three interdisciplinary programs (ethnic studies, gender studies, and Latin American and Latino studies). Every year, I participate in the Gender Studies Symposium and the Ray Warren Symposium on Race and Ethnic Studies, which are two student-run multi-day events that bring together renowned local and international scholars, artists, and activists alongside L&C students for a fantastic program of workshops, panels, performances, and keynotes. This year, I joined the organizing committee for the Festival of Scholars and Artists and it was such a joy to get to know more about the diversity of student research and creative work happening at L&C, and to see our community come out to celebrate it.

Share something you think your students would be surprised to learn about you.

I used to be a DJ for a pirate radio show!

LiveWhale widgetHispanic Studies World Languages and Literatures

  • Associate Professor Magalí Rabasa
    shares what she appreciates most about Lewis & Clark.
    Portrait of Magalí Rabasa