Published on June 11, 2024 by Diamond Nunnally  
Ana Carballal Headshot

Ana Carballal will be the new chair of the Department of World Languages and Cultures (WLAC) at Samford University’s Howard College of Arts and Sciences, effective August 1. She follows English professor Tim Sutton, who served as the interim WLAC chair for two years.  

“I am thankful for the chance to teach and contribute to Samford’s service and research commitments,” Carballal said. “I recognize the weight of responsibility in leading this esteemed department in alignment with the Christian values and mission of the university. Collaborating with faculty, I am eager to explore avenues for enhancing our service to students, the university and the wider Alabama community.” 

Originally from Galicia, Spain, Carballal, earned her undergraduate degree in English philology from the University of Santiago de Compostela, her master’s degree in Spanish-American Literature from the University of Kansas and her doctoral degree in Spanish and Galician Literature from the University of Missouri-Columbia. 

She comes to Samford from the University of Nebraska, where she served as director of the European Studies Conference, as chief editor of the European Studies Proceedings and as coordinator of study abroad programs in Spain and Mexico. She also served as the coordinator of Faculty Development and a member of the Faculty Senate. She is a founding member of the Master of Arts in Language Teaching (MALT) and the Master in Language Teaching Colloquium at the University of Nebraska. As part of the MALT Committee, she developed many courses, including Short Stories Spanish, Galician Literature, Literature of Equatorial Guinea, and Cervantes’ Don Quixote. 

“My objective [as chair] is to collaborate with my colleagues and students to continue providing the educational and professional opportunities necessary for our community to become well-informed global citizens dedicated to serving others,” she said. “The language program at Samford is not only one of the most comprehensive in Alabama and the Southeast but also represents the vital role of the university in national security, economic endeavors, scientific initiatives and ministerial pursuits.” 

Carballal’s research focuses on Galician Nationalism, Iberian Studies and the Literature of Equatorial Guinea. She’s written numerous chapters, books and articles, including:  

  • La parodia y su articulación en la obra de Marco Antonio de la Parra: King Kong Palace y La secreta obscenidad de cada día 
  • Vampiros, caníbales y chupadores de sangre: el arte culinario gallego en la obra de Castelao 
  • El exilio y la emigración en Cousas de Alfonso Rodríguez Castelao  
  • Nation Building and Identity in Juan Tomás Avila Laurel Áwala Cu Sangui  
  • The Protagonist of 98 in Carlos Casares’ Ilustrísima 
  • Dialectics of Representation in Xosé Neira Vilas' Memorias dun neno labrego 

When asked why she chose Samford, she said the university’s Christian mission, “academic excellence and dedication to undergraduate teaching further solidified my decision.” The WLAC department’s commitment to supporting diversity, fostering active learning in service to the global community and preparing students for the international community is why she is “humbled” and “honored” to accept this role.   

Carballal said, “The Department of World Languages and Cultures strives to cultivate thoughtful, vocationally equipped students capable of thriving in an ever-evolving, diverse and demanding Language Studies. This department contributes to the academic and moral development of all within the university, promoting collaboration and nurturing a culture of welcoming diversity.” 

Howard College of Arts and Sciences dean Dawn McCormack said, “We are fortunate to have Dr. Carballal as our next WLAC chair.  She will work with our faculty to ensure that our language programs continue to provide significant opportunities for our students as they prepare for employment in a global economy.” 

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.