The California State University, Dominguez Hills Department of Modern Languages will host the 34th International Symposium of Spanish Literature on March 10 and 11, in the Loker Student Union. The symposium is free and open to the public.
The symposium, conducted mostly in Spanish and featuring panelists from throughout the U.S. and Spanish-speaking regions of world, will emphasize contributions made by women of literature in the Hispanic world.
“We are paying homage to Rima de Vallbona, who is a preeminent Latin-American novelist, because she has made significant achievements in bringing attention to contributions that women have made in Latin-American literature, and of women’s issues in Latin America, through her literature,” said Benito Goméz, Ph.D., symposium organizer and assistant professor of modern languages.
Vallbona has received literary honors including the National Novel Prize, from Costa Rica; the Jorge Luis Borges Short Story Prize, from Argentina; and an Editor’s Choice Award; one of her poems has been included in “Poetry’s Elite: The Best Poets of 2000,” (International Library of Poetry); and His Majesty King Juan Carlos of Spain awarded her with the Medal of Civil Service for her cultural work in the Hispanic world.
The keynote address, “Desplazamientos y fronteras en la novelística de Rima de Vallbona” (Shifts and borders in the novels of Rima de Vallbona), will be delivered by Jorge Chen Sham, Ph.D., professor at the University of Costa Rica, on Thursday, March 10 at 9:15 a.m.
“Jorge Chen Sham is the most important critic of Vallbona’s work. He has done extensive research on her literature and has written a book about her literary contributions,” Goméz said. “Session one has presentations that concentrate on Vallbona.”
During eight sessions and two roundtables over two days, panelists will also discuss their own works.
Former CSU Dominguez Hills student Itzel Olivares (B.A. Spanish Literature, 2009), who is now working toward a Ph.D. and teaching introductory Spanish courses at the University of California, Irvine, will deliver a presentation, “Carmen: Icono Anarquista” (Carmen: Anarchist Icon), a paper which explores her interpretation of the lead character, from the Spanish movie “Carmen,” as an anarchist. Three of Olivares’ colleagues from UCI will be offering different interpretations of the same character.
A second-time International Symposium of Spanish Literature presenter, Olivares sees the event as an opportunity to exchange ideas with writers, professors and students during the question and answer discussions, which follow each presentation.
“[Symposium participants] told me what they thought of my project. How, perhaps, I could better it, or some of the flaws they saw in it. I learned a lot from other presentations, too. Everyone gets into these intellectual debates that are very fruitful,” Olivares said. “A general audience, not just Spanish-language students, would get a lot out of the symposium, because it’s very interdisciplinary, touching on areas of philosophy, history, sociology, cinema. And it’s good for just general knowledge.”
From the symposium, selected papers are compiled in “Alba de América,” a book published by the event co-sponsor, the Instituto Literario y Cultural Hispánico, a nonprofit organization, whose mission is to unite the Hispanic world through its literature and culture, and is based in Westminster, Calif. and founded by part-time CSU Dominguez Hills Spanish professor Juana Arancibia, Ph.D.
During the first day of the symposium, Thursday, March 10, six sessions will take place from 10:00 a.m. to 8:15 p.m. On Friday, March 11, the final two sessions and two roundtable events are scheduled from 9:00 a.m. to 4:15 p.m., with closing remarks immediately following. For a detailed symposium schedule, click here.
To learn more about Rima de Vallbona in Spanish, click here.
For more information about 2011 Latin American Film Festival at CSU Dominguez Hills, email: firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about the CSU Dominguez Hills modern languages program, click here or call (310) 243-1021.