Editor’s Note: This article from March 5 has been updated to include a brief slideshow of photos from the symposium [satellite auto=”undefined” thumbs=”off”]
More than 120 authors and Spanish literature experts from throughout the U.S. and other countries, including Brazil, Canada, Cuba, Iran, Jordan, Perú, the Philippines, Spain, and Trinidad and Tobago, will present on their works and research at the 37th International Symposium of Hispanic Literature at California State University, Dominguez Hills from 9 a.m. to 8:15 p.m. Thursday, March 8, and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, March 9, in the Loker Student Union. The event is free and open to the public.
Assistant professor of modern languages Benito Goméz has been organizing the symposium on campus for several years, and on choosing authors to be featured he said he has in mind not only a potential speaker’s qualifications but also how the visit will affect students of Spanish literature.
“We usually select authors who have had a distinguished career in literature, but might not have received the critical acclaim that we believe they deserve, so we want to provide some exposure for their work.” Goméz added, “I have experienced how much our students enjoy the work of these authors in the classroom. Knowing that they will get to meet them soon in person really motivates [the students] to investigate their works and produce quality research.”
It’s evident that students do come away from the symposium with a lasting practical benefit—perhaps more than they would by just learning in classrooms and through textbooks. Each year, more students who attend the symposium subsequently become presenters. This year, CSU Dominguez Hills undergraduate Spanish literature majors Darwin Andrade Esmeralda Bueno, Selene Kubota, Joseph Martell, and George Osorio and will serve on panels presenting research alongside scholars and authors.
An increase in undergraduate participation may also be a result of current students seeing what their predecessors are doing in graduate programs and in the field. Returning this year are alumni who are now Ph.D. students, Karen Perez and Ruby Ramirez from UC Riverside, Itzel Olivares and Patricia Quintana from UC Irvine, and Juan Orellana, a Ph.D. student at UCLA.
Goméz is also expecting students and faculty from nearby colleges and high schools to attend, including two Spanish classes from Culver City High School, taking advantage of such a concentration of talent, with del Río Reyes as the focus.
The niece of Mexican writer Alfonso Reyes and assistant to painter Diego Rivera, Del Río Reyes is an artist in her own right. The author of several books of poems, novels, short stories, essays, and plays, her artistic career spans over 50 years. She has a Ph.D. in Hispanic literature and taught for several years at Central Florida University. She currently lives in Cuernavaca, Mexico, where she teaches literary workshops.
For more information about the CSU Dominguez Hills modern languages program, visit cah.csudh.edu/modernlanguage/, or call (310) 243-1021.
CSU Dominguez Hills is located at 1000 E. Victoria St., in Carson. On-campus visitor parking is available. Daily permits are $4 and can be purchased at kiosk machines located in each lot. To see a campus map, visit www.csudh.edu/VisitUs/campusmap.shtml.