The American Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAAS) recently released its report in defense of the humanities, “The Heart of the Matter: The Humanities and Social Sciences for a Vibrant, Competitive, and Secure Nation” (2013). The full report is available at the AAAS’s website and provides us with strong motivation to continue to push for what Spanish and Portuguese educators hold dear: it is no secret to us that language learning, international experience, and cross-cultural studies are the gateway to enhanced literacy, leadership development, increased innovation, research, and discovery across borders and in our local communities. Our profession truly is engaged in building twenty-first-century skills through promoting languages and cultures and through guiding students to activate critical thinking in all they do (at all levels).
I cannot think of a more innovative research area than what I will dub “Spanglish Studies.” Besides considering research on Spanglish as a product, the collective wisdom in this field has wide-reaching societal repercussions and applications. In this issue of Hispania, I am pleased to call attention to the AATSP’s on-going presence at the Modern Language Association (MLA). You will find contributions from the MLA panel (Boston 2013) on Spanglish in this issue in a special section. Organized and hosted by Domnita Dumitrescu, Hispania’s Book/Media Review Editor and notable Spanglish Studies specialist, the lively session titled “‘Spanglish’ and Identity within and outside of the Classroom” included panelists Regan Postma, Ana Sánchez-Muñoz, and Robert Train, who have summarized and penned their remarks from the AATSP-sponsored panel here in this current issue. Their essays form part of Hispania’s continuing attention to this controversial topic by a wide variety of scholars. You will read studies with observations that are pedagogical, historical, cultural, linguistic, demographic, literary, and more. Also not to be missed in this issue are two full-length articles on Spanglish—one appears in the literature section (see Alvarez) and the other in linguistics (see Dumitrescu). Indeed, Spanglish is a highly interdisciplinary topic of timely interest that considers languages in contact, issues of identity, societal relations, and much more. I invite you to read the vibrant and diverse articles in this issue in general and about Spanglish from a variety of perspectives. [End Page 435]