About UsHéctor Álvarez Mella

HCIAS Research Associate

Tel.: +49 (0)6221 54-19334
Email: h.alvarez(at)uni-heidelberg.de

Dr. Héctor Álvarez Mella studied Philosophy (MA) and Sociology of Science and Social Communication (MA) at the Universidad de Oviedo and Translation Studies (MA) at Heidelberg University. In 2019, he completed his Ph.D. at Heidelberg University with an interdisciplinary thesis on the functions of translation in culture flows and trade. He has been a Visiting Scholar at Harvard University, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, and a Postdoctoral Visiting Fellow at the University of Chicago.  Héctor joined the HCIAS team in 2020 as a research associate and coordinator of HCIAS Publications and Knowledge Transfer.

HCIAS Publications and Knowledge Transfer

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Research Profile

Héctor Álvarez Mella's research interests focus on the cultural and social-scientific analysis of multilingualism, education, internationalization, and interculturality. By combining quantitative and qualitative methods, he examines the social and demographic dynamics of Spanish as a migratory language in Europe, addressing the factors that influence the intergenerational transmission of the heritage language in Spanish-speaking families. From the perspective of sociology and cultural studies, Álvarez Mella also explores the processes of economic and cultural exchange within the Spanish-speaking world in relation to the transnational dynamics of Spanish in contrast to other languages and against the backdrop of globalization.

Research in Progress

  • El español en Europa. Héctor Álvarez Mella is a coordinator and researcher for the international project Spanish in Europe directed by Francisco Moreno-Fernández (HCIAS), Óscar Loureda (HCIAS), and Johannes Kabatek (University of Zurich). The project analyzes the demographics of the Spanish-speaking community in Europe, focusing on the social, cultural, and educational spaces that Spanish speakers inhabit and create across Europe.
  • Public discourse on the pandemic in Ibero-America. Héctor Álvarez Mella is part of the research group of this cooperative project at HCIAS that aims to analyze the socio-communicative dynamics of discourse on the COVID-19 and the processes of the social construction of knowledge and perception of the pandemic.
  • Language and global circulation of culture.  As a research associate, Héctor Álvarez Mella collaborates with the Nebrija Observatory of the Spanish Language (Nebrija University, Madrid) and coordinates the research focus dedicated to the analysis of the impact of digital transformation on the relationships between cultural and language proximity and the circulation of culture.



  • Loureda, Ó., Moreno Fernández, F., Álvarez Mella, H., Scheffler, D. (2022). El español en la Alemania pre-covid19. Madrid: Instituto Cervantes.
  • Moreno Fernández, F., Álvarez Mella, H., (2022). La importancia internacional de las lenguas revisitada. Círculo de Lingüística Aplicada a la Comunicación, vol, 91, 201-224.
  • Álvarez Mella, H., Blattner, Ch., Gómez-Pavón Durán A. (in press). Family expectations towards Spanish language maintenance and heritage language programs in Germany. Journal of World Languages.
  • Loureda, Ó., Moreno-Fernández F., and Álvarez Mella H., (in press). Spanish as a Heritage Language in Europe: A Demolinguistic Perspective. Journal of World Languages.
  • Álvarez Mella, H. (2022). Post-migrant Multilingualism and the Bazaar of Foreign Languages. In Bueno, N. and Beato, S. (eds.). Intercultural Approaches to Space and Identity. New York: Nova Science Publishers.
  • Álvarez Mella, H. and García Delgado, J. L. (2022). El español como motor industrial: producción y distribución global. In  Gago, R., Saavedra, M. and Grijalba N. (coords.). La nueva edad de oro de las series de ficción en España: mercado, narrativas y públicos. Tirant Lo Blanch.
  • Moreno Fernández, F. and Álvarez Mella, H. (2022). Reexamining the International Importance of Languages. HCIAS Working Papers on Ibero-America, vol. 1, 1.
  • Álvarez Mella, H. (2021). Industria cultural e internacionalización en español. In García Delgado, J. L. (ed.). El español, lengua internacional. Pamplona: Editorial Reuters, 129-146.
  • Loureda, Ó., Álvarez Mella, H. and Blattner, C. (2021). Lengua española e inmigración en Europa: la mirada demolingüística. In García Delgado, J. L. (ed.). El español, lengua internacional. Pamplona: Editorial Reuters, 129-146.


Summer Semester 2024

  • Comunicación científica en ciencias sociales y humanas

HCIAS Course Catalog Summer Semester 2024


Dr. Héctor Álvarez Mella

Heidelberg Center for Ibero-American Studies | HCIAS
Brunnengasse 1, 69117 Heidelberg

Tel.: +49 (0)6221 54-19334
Email: h.alvarez(at)uni-heidelberg.de

Visiting address: 
Bergheimer Straße 58a, 69115 Heidelberg
Room 110 (4311.01.110)

HCIAS Publication AND Knowledge Transfer 

Heidelberg Center for Ibero-American Studies | HCIAS
Brunnengasse 1, 69117 Heidelberg
E-Mail: publications(at)hcias.uni-heidelberg.de