The Postgraduate Program in the Spanish Language and Spanish and Spanish-American Literature (Programa de Pós-Graduação em Língua Espanhola e Literaturas Espanhola e Hispano-Americana, PPGLELEHA) was created in 1977 and at the time had four doctors as supervisors. The first courses began in 1978, and another doctor joined the group in 1980. The program started taking students for the doctoral degree in 1984 and the first dissertations were defended in 1985. At that time, given that all the supervisors were specialists in Spanish or Spanish-American Literature, the research conducted in the program concentrated primarily in these areas.

In 1986, the program was recognized and accredited by CAPES, whereupon it started to operate at the level of master's and doctoral degrees. From that moment on, it started to take candidates graduating from other Brazilian public universities and also from Hispanic-American countries.

Due to the lack of specialists in linguistic studies for Spanish, the Program was unable to develop this area for several years. The situation changed in 1999, when three doctors in Linguistics whose research works focused on the Spanish language joined the Program. Since then, lines of research and specific projects for the area in question have been created.

Translations of works of Spanish or Spanish-American literature—annotated and prefaced by literary studies—have been carried out in the program for several decades, especially at the master’s level. In the early 2000s, the lines of research in the Spanish language also began to accept student projects (at master's and doctoral levels) addressing translation issues with more of a focus on linguistics. The process of reinforcing and diversifying this research in the Program culminated in 2008 with the creation of an area dedicated to translation studies.

Thus, the Program reached its current configuration and is today the only one in Brazil oriented specifically toward the study of the languages, literatures and cultures of Spain and Latin America.

The PPGLELEHA is directed by the Coordinating Committee of the Program (Comissão de Coordenação do Programa, CCP), itself subordinate to the Postgraduate Committee (Comissão de Pós-Graduação, CPG) of the Faculty of Philosophy, Languages and Literature, and Human Sciences (Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas, FFLCH) and the Pro-Rectory of the Postgraduate Program of the University of São Paulo (USP). The CCP consists of a Coordinator, a Deputy Coordinator, two program supervisors and a student representative.

With regard to its structure, the PPGLELEHA consists of two levels (master’s and doctoral) and four lines of research.

Lines of research—master’s and doctoral courses

  • Translation and comparative studies and studies of intercultural processes
    The theories and practices of Spanish–Portuguese translation are addressed, and/or the linguistic and discursive functioning in the socio-historical formations related to these two languages is compared. Research is also conducted into the teaching and learning of translation of the Portuguese–Spanish language pair from a cognitive perspective and descriptive studies of Portuguese–Spanish translation based on corpora, involving literary texts and multimodal texts, such as comic books and songs.
  • Studies of linguistic functioning, language acquisition, teaching and learning
    From different theoretical perspectives, analysis and description of the functioning of the Spanish language; the processes of acquisition, teaching and learning of this language by speakers of Portuguese; the processes relating to the teaching of translation and the development of translator’s skills; research related to the description of the linguistic/discursive functioning of the Spanish language, as well as investigations devoted to the comparison of the functioning of that language with Brazilian Portuguese and studies on the methodologies and didactics of teaching/learning Spanish as a foreign language in the Brazilian context.
  • Forms and processes in Spanish literature
    Studies of the processes of formation and consolidation of the various genres of Spanish literature from various theoretical and methodological perspectives. Research into the vast repertoire of two major study cores: the literature of 16th- and 17th-century Spain and contemporary Spanish literature. In both fields, studies are conducted into the discursive forms and significant problems of those periods, as well as contemplating the relations between Spain and Latin America.
  • Aesthetic problems and critical debates in Latin American literature
    Studies of processes and literary and theoretical problems within the complex territorial, cultural and historical imaginaries of Latin-American literature. The focus of the research is on contemporary times, based on axes such as memory, archives, experimentation and reforms and challenges to the canon. Studies are also conducted into the writing of essays and on relations between literature and linguistic otherness. On the other hand, the reflections include the aesthetic problems relevant to this literature throughout its history.