Language and Social Justice: Combatting the Reproduction of Linguistic Inequality
Language Matters Talk: Dr. Ana Celia Zentella
Monday, February 22nd, 2016
Ana Celia Zentella is one of the foremost researchers in what she has named “anthro-political linguistics”. She is a central figure in the study of U.S. Latin@ varieties of Spanish and English, Spanglish, and language socialization in Latin@ families, and a respected critic of the linguistic profiling facilitated by English-only laws and anti-bilingual education legislation. Her book, Growing up Bilingual: Puerto Rican children in New York (Blackwell, 1997) won the Book Prize of the British Association of Applied Linguistics, and the Book Award of the Association of Latina and Latino Anthropologists of the American Anthropological Association. Her edited collection, Building on Strength: Language and Literacy in Latino Families and Communities (Columbia Press, 2005), is a popular text in the USA and Europe. Most recently, Zentella has written two books with undergraduates, one at UCSD (Multilingual San Diego: Portraits of language loss and revitalization, 2008, and the other at Swarthmore College (Multilingual Philadelphia: Portraits of language and social change, 2010). A major sociolinguistic study, Spanish in New York: Language Contact, Dialectal Leveling, and Structural Continuity (Oxford University Press, 2011, was co-authored with Ricardo Otheguy.
Construction and Deconstruction of Octavio Paz’s The Labyrinth of Solitude
A presentation by Dr. Guillermo Hurtado Pérez
Thursday, March 10th, 2016
The Labyrinth of Solitude (TLOS), by Octavio Paz, has sold more than one million copies in Spanish alone, and, to this day, it continues to draw praise and criticism. The first part of this presentation examined the history of TLOS, from its first excerpts published in 1949 until its inclusion in the Complete Works of Octavio Paz in 1993. The second part included a critical review of the structure and contents of the book in its latest version. Finally, the third part offered a deconstructive reading of TLOS.
“Solitude is the profoundest fact of the human condition. Man is the only being who knows he is alone, and the only one who seeks out another. His nature – if that word can be used in reference to man, who has ‘invented’ himself by saying ‘no’ to nature – consists in his longing to realize himself in another. Man is nostalgia and a search for communion. Therefore, when he is aware of himself, he is aware of his lack of another, that is, of his solitude.” –Octavio Paz, The Labyrinth of Solitude
From the Cold War to Theory Wars. A Symposium on Latin American Thought
Thursday, April 28, 2016
During this symposium on Latin American Thought, organized by Dr. Alberto Moreiras, we had the opportunity to discuss different trends in Latin American Studies with a special focus on a critique to the decolonial theory and a reflection on different approaches to political philosophy in Latin American Studies. We welcomed as guest speakers Dr. Ángel Octavio Álvarez Solís (Universidad Iberoamericana, México), Dr. Pablo Lazo Briones (Universidad Iberoamericana, México), Dr. Patrick Uber (University of Texas-El Paso), and Dr. Charles Hatfield (University of Texas-Dallas).
The Cinema of Albert Serra: A Colloquium
Dr. Angel Quintana
September 21st and 23rd, 2016
On Sept 21 and 23, cinema director Albert Serra came to Texas A&M University. This was a very unique learning experience for our students and ourselves, made possible by funding provided by our department, the Glasscock Center, the Department of International Studies, the Film Studies Program, and the Universitat de Girona, Spain.
Albert Serra’s credentials are impressive. His work, while cinematic in nature, usually crosses over to installation art and other media. It has been internationally recognized, praised, and shown in the most prestigious venues, including the New York Film Festival, the Cannes Film Festival, the Venice Biennale, the Locarno International Film Festival, Germany’s Kassel’s Documenta, the Centre Pompidou in Paris, and the Virreina in Barcelona, among others. His last film, La mort de Louis XIV (2016) was presented on May 2016 in the “Special Screenings” Section at the Cannes Festival, to rave reviews, and will be presented in Toronto just a few days before Serra’s visit to Texas A&M. His 2015 work, Singularity, was at the 2015 Venice Biennale; Història de la meva mort (2013) won the 2013 Gold Lepoard at the Locarno Festival. His (Quixotic) Honor de cavalleria (2006) won Best New Director and Best Film in Catalan Language at the Gaudí’s 2007 Barcelona Film Award. Birdsong/El can’t dels ocells (2008) earned entry in the 2008 Cannes Film Festival. He was also an invited guest at 2013 Kassel’s Documenta, where he shot 200 hours of his still in-process film Three Little Pigs/Els tres porquets.
Mary Magdalene, Top Model of the Counter-Reformation
Professor Jordi Aladro
Friday, October 14th
The lecture dealt with the image of Mary Magdalene, focusing on the iconographical evolution of the figure throughout history and its relevance after the Council of Trent and the Lutheran Reform in a Catholic context. Dr. Jordi Aladro presented a profound analysis of said evolution of Mary Magdalene: from brief descriptions in the Bible and early Christian writings, a Medieval almost hieratical figure, to the post-Tridentine passionate iconography.
No es país para gringos: México en la obra de Cormac McCarthy
Professor Manuel Broncano
Tuesday, October 18th, 2016
Prof. Broncano is a member of our graduate faculty through our Cooperative Doctoral Program. He has recently published an extraordinary book on Cormac McCarthy, Religion in Cormac McCarthy’s Fiction: Apocryphal Borderlands (New York: Routledge, 2014). We are very grateful for his willingness to lecture for us. He is also the President of the Inter-American Studies Association, whose next biannual meeting will take place in Laredo this coming month of July.
Departmental Research Showcase
Friday, November 11th, 2016
During this event, we had a chance to meet prospective graduate students, who were as excited to meet future fellow graduate students as they were to meet the faculty. We also had the opportunity to learn what several of our colleagues are working on.
A Seminar on Heidegger’s The Origin of the Work of Art
November, 15th and 22nd