José del Valle joined The Graduate Center in 2002 and has served as executive officer of the Ph.D. Program in Hispanic and Luso-Brazilian Literatures and Languages since January 2011. He received his Licenciatura in 1988 from the Universidad de Santiago de Compostela, Spain; his M.A. in 1990 from the University at Buffalo (SUNY); and his Ph.D. in 1994 from Georgetown University. As a result of his doctoral work, which dealt with issues of Spanish socio-historical linguistics and language change theory, he published El trueque s/x en español antiguo: Aproximaciones teóricas (1996). His research then turned to linguistic ideologies and the politics of language.
Del Valle coedited, with Luis Gabriel-Stheeman, The Battle Over Spanish Between 1800 and 2000: Language Ideologies and Hispanic Intellectuals (2002), which examines the postcolonial linguistic construction of national and pan-Hispanic identities in Spain and Latin America. An expanded Spanish edition of this book, La batalla del idioma: La intelectualidad hispánica ante la lengua, was published in 2004. In 2007, he published La lengua ¿patria común? Ideas e ideologías del español, which deals with Spain’s contemporary language policies and geopolitical interests in Latin America. More recently he coedited A Political History of Spanish: The Making of a Language, forthcoming in 2013 with Cambridge University Press.
Del Valle has published widely in scholarly journals and provided contributions to several edited volumes. He guest-edited a 2011 special issue of Sociolinguistic Studies on the representation of transnational languages in the context of globalization, high modernity, and new imperialism and, with Elvira Narvaja de Arnoux, a 2010 special issue of Spanish in Context on language, politics and ideology. In 2010 he received the Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Award from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.