The University of Texas-Pan American will host the XVI International Symposium on Modern Languages, an event that has consistently offered a space for critical reflection and dialogue among writers, artists, and cultural critics in the region and beyond for the past 16 years, April 14-16.
The theme of this year's event is "On the Border: Cultural Production and Consumption in Contact Zones," which promises to offer stimulating new perspectives on the multiple and, often times, conflicting realities experienced in the border region.
Through the conference, organizers hope to highlight the border visions through a confluence of multi-modal discourses and dialogues. The conference program reflects the unique flexibility that is the hallmark of border dwellers and thinkers.
The opening ceremony of the symposium will be held April 14, 9:30 a.m. at the Student Union Theater, with a keynote address by Dr. Javier Durán of the University of Arizona. During his speech, Durán will seek to push the limits of border theory through critical analyses of literary texts.
In addition, the XVI International Symposium on Modern Languages Art Exhibit will open April 14, 5:30 p.m. at the University Library featuring the photography of Byron Brauchli and Fernando Meza, and the artwork of Rivca Schneider. The visual presentation will be accompanied by a reading of critical work by Dr. Leticia Mora of the Universidad Veracruzana. All events are open and free to the public. Local high school teachers are invited to attend.
The program will also offer the opportunity to experience the border through the sounds of the UTPA Mariachi, directed by Dr. Dahlia Guerra, chair of the UTPA Department of Music, and the transnational experimental musical group, Grupo Kreación, directed by Dr. Kurt Martínez of the UTPA music department. At the same time, the program will offer a variety of critical and creative perspectives on border life from more than 40 students and scholars from both the United States and Mexico.
The symposium will include three distinct but related sessions on literary and cultural criticism, linguistics and creative writing. The sessions will be held at the Communication Arts and Science Building at UTPA.
A formal reception for all participants, in conjunction with Pan American Days, will be held at the Nuevo Santander Gallery in McAllen April 15 at 6:30 p.m. The reception will feature a poetry reading by Dr. Steven Schneider, chair of the UTPA Department of English, and the music of Grupo Kreación.
The conference is sponsored by the following UTPA departments: Department of Modern Languages and Literature, Department of Art, Department of Music, Department of English, College of Arts and Humanities, Office of International Programs, Office of External Affairs, and the SW Bell Lecture Series.
For more information or a complete schedule of events, call the Department of Modern Languages and Literature at 956/381-3441.