Interdisciplinary Symposium to Focus on Mexican Novelist Carlos Fuentes

Carlos FuentesUD will hold an Interdepartmental Symposium on Mexican Literature and Culture on Saturday, Feb. 9, honoring the late Mexican novelist, Carlos Fuentes (right). Fuentes, known for his magical realist novels, is one of Mexico's most celebrated and respected novelists, who wrote prolifically on topics varying from Mexican history to global politics.

The symposium will begin at 10 a.m. in Gorman C with a series of student presentations on pre-Hispanic Latin American cultures and literatures. Co-sponsors of the symposium include the Modern Languages Department, the English Department, the Cowan Chair, Constantin College and the Braniff Graduate School.

"Students will introduce the cultures and oral literary traditions of the Incas, Mayas and Aztecs, and will each include a short reading of poetry and prose," said José Espericueta, professor of Spanish.

After a break for lunch, the program will reconvene at 2 p.m. in the Art History Auditorium for a keynote presentation by Wendy Faris, professor of English and comparative literature at the University of Texas at Arlington, entitled "Of Stone and Water: Archaeology and Narrative in Carlos Fuentes' 'Distant Relations.'" Faris' presentation will be followed by a panel discussion with respondents Bainard Cowan, Cowan Chair in Literature, Amy Borja, affiliate assistant professor of Spanish, and Espericueta. A reception will follow in the Gorman faculty lounge.

"Fuentes [is] using magical realism effectively to re-imagine history, to re-envision the past by bringing it forward—magically—in ways that align [him] with other magical realist writers," said Faris in "The Question of the Other: Cultural Critiques of Magical Realism," published in an issue of Janus Head, guest edited by Cowan.

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