More than 85 speakers representing universities from all over the United States and Mexico will gather at The University of Texas-Pan American, April 27-29 for the 17th International Symposium on Spanish.
This yearly conference is dedicated to discussing issues related to the Spanish language, culture, and literature. This year's theme is "Women Writers of Latin America and the Border," and the University plans to celebrate the talents of these women through a series of presentations.
The symposium begins Thursday, April 27 at 5 p.m. with a formal welcome by UTPA President Dr. Blandina Cárdenas, followed by a panel of five guest speakers and artists.
The panel consists of Dr. Norma Cantú, keynote speaker and chicana author from The University of Texas at San Antonio; Rosario San Miguel, a novelist from Arizona State University; Raquel Brayda, a border writer; Minerva Margarita Villarreal, a poet from Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León; and Santa Barraza, an artist from Texas A&M-Kingsville.
Presentations during the symposium are all free of charge and open to the public, however, students and teachers are especially encouraged to attend.
The number of speakers is more than double what it has been in the past, according to symposium coordinator Dr. Lino García Jr., a UTPA Spanish professor and founder of the event. He said presentations this year will also be given by UTPA and UT Brownsville graduate students. The symposium, he noted, provides a good opportunity for graduate students to begin participation in conferences, which contributes to their professional growth.
"The University exists not only to educate the students within the walls of the University, but the University also exists to educate, to change, to instruct, and to develop the community, relative to academic subjects such as culture, literature and history," García said.
Sponsors for the event include Alamo Bank and the following UTPA departments: Office of the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs, Office of International Programs, Dean of the College of Arts and Humanities, Department of Modern Languages and Literature, and the new program in Women's Studies. Also involved in the planning for the event are Dr. Glenn Martinez, chair of the Department of Modern Languages and Literature, and Dr. Guadalupe Cortina, interim assistant dean of the College of Arts and Humanities.
Presentations will be held on the third floor of the Communication Arts and Sciences Building. For more information on the symposium or for a complete list of events, contact the Department of Modern Languages and Literature at 956/381-3441.