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Release: June 24, 2002

UI conference highlights Latin American literature July 2-6

The 34th International Conference of Latin American Literature will be at the University of Iowa July 2-6, drawing prestigious scholars from some 25 countries around the globe, including many Latin American countries, Europe and Canada.

The opening session is free and open to the public. Other events require registration, which can be arranged by calling the UI Center for Conferences and Institutes at (319) 335-4141 or toll free (800) 551-9029. All presentations will be in Spanish or Portuguese. Most events will take place in Phillips Hall on the UI campus.

The opening session includes welcoming remarks and a keynote speech "Brindis por la literatura (iberoamericana)" ("An Invitation to (Latin American) Literature") by Gerald Martin, Mellon Professor of Latin American Literature at the University of Pittsburgh and distinguished scholar of the Latin American novel. The session is Tuesday, July 2 at 1:30 p.m. in 100 Phillips Hall.

The Instituto Internacional de Literatura American Iberoamericana (International Institute of Latin American Literature), founded in 1940 and headquartered at the University of Pittsburgh, sponsors this biennial conference focusing on the relation between literature and the other arts in Latin America. In 2000, the conference was held in Salamanca, Spain, and in 1998 it was held in Santiago, Chile.

In addition to Martin, keynote speakers include: Rolena Adorno, a UI graduate who is now a distinguished professor of Colonial Latin American literature at Yale University, and Carmen Ruiz Barrionuevo, professor of Latin American literature at the University of Salamanca in Spain. UI professor Oscar Hahn, an internationally renowned Chilean poet who participated in the UI's International Writing Program in the 1970s, will read from his new poetry as will Argentine writer Luisa Futoransky, who also participated in IWP in the early 1970s.

Other respected scholars of Latin American literature who will participate in the conference include: Gwen Kirkpatrick of the University of California, Berkeley; Diana Sorensen of Harvard University; Mabel Morana of the University of Pittsburgh; Myrna Soloterevsky of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem; Mike Gonzalez of the University of Glasgow; and Richard Young of the University of Alberta.

"This is a significant opportunity for intellectual exchange among scholars of Latin American literature based in many countries around the world," said Daniel Balderston, conference president and chair of the Spanish and Portuguese department in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. "The theme of the interrelations between literature and the other arts will highlight the importance in literary text of music, cinema, visual arts, and other media."

Other activities include exhibits in the UI Museum of Art and the UI Main Library and a series of Latin American films on video that will be shown in Phillips Hall during the conference. There will also be a book sale held throughout the conference, featuring Latin American literature and literary criticism, in 315 Phillips Hall.

Co-sponsors of the conference include: the Spanish and Portuguese department, the Latin American Studies Program, International Writing Program, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, International Programs, and the Office of the Vice President of Research.

For more information or special accommodations to attend this conference, call Brandi Miller at (319) 335-2244. For a complete schedule of events, visit the following web site: and click on either the Spanish or Portuguese option.