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Spanish & Portuguese Research Group Forum (SPRG)

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sprg-sm.jpgYou are invited you to this year's first SPRG forum on Friday, Sept. 26 at 3:30 p.m. in Folwell 105.

There will have two presenters:


  • Visiting Assistant Professor Salvador Raggio, "Irrupciones de la pornotemática: Nuevas facetas de lo obsceno en la narrativa hispánica actual"

  • Visiting Assistant Professor Luis Anchondo, "El código secreto del Esopete ystotriado en el contexto de la exégesis literaria y su evolución hacia un método científico tardomedieval"

Weissberg MESDA 2014.jpgAssociate Professor Emeritus Barbara Weissberger was invited to give the Merle E. Simmons Distinguished Alumni lecture at her alma mater, Indiana University. The talk is September 12, and the title is "The Queen's Dreams: Lope de Vega's Representation of Queen Isabel I." A brief abstract follows:

Susana Perez CastillejoHispanic Linguistics Ph.D. Candidate Susana Pérez Castillejo will present her doctoral dissertation research "La entonación del español de Galicia desde una perspectiva sociofonética" on September 15th. Susana's areas of expertise are sociolinguistics and phonology, in particular Spanish phonology in dialect and language contact situations.

Her dissertation describes the intonational patterns of broad focus declaratives and absolute interrogatives in Galician Spanish, a poorly documented variety of Northwestern Spain in which intonation is perceived as a dialectal marker. A sociolinguistic analysis reveals five suprasegmental aspects of Galician Spanish that bear a relationship to the speakers' domain of exposure to Galician, the vernacular Romance language of the region. It also discovers two features that are subject to stylistic variation rooted in the unequal status of Galician and Spanish during the history of their contact. The status of these as contact-induced features or as changes brought about by language-internal causes is discussed, as well as other findings that contribute to our understanding of how language contact may affect intonation. This public presentation will be part of Susana's doctoral final exam.

Monday, September 15
2:30 p.m.
317 Folwell Hall
Free of charge. Everyone welcome.

Remembering Professor Hernán Vidal

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The Department of Spanish & Portuguese Studies is saddened to report the unexpected passing of Professor Hernán Vidal. He died at home on August 15, 2014 at the age of seventy-seven. He is survived by his wife, a son, two daughters, and five grandchildren.

Professor Vidal, who taught at the University of Minnesota from 1972 until his retirement in 2003, is widely known as an innovative, original, and productive scholar in the field of Latin American studies. The collective impact of his work and influence opened up new fields of intellectual inquiry to which he contributed through his high intellectual standards, independent spirit of inquiry, and unwavering commitment to human rights.

Professor Vidal was also a prolific writer. One of his early books, Literatura hispanoamericana e ideología liberal: surgimiento y crisis [Spanish American Literature and Liberal Ideology: Emergence and Crisis] (1976), soon became one of the classics of Latin American literary studies, providing a penetrating critique of the Latin American literary boom and contributing to the establishment of a new approach to the integration of literary study with social history.

PeaceSm.jpgHispanic Linguistics Ph.D. Candidate Meghann Peace will present her doctoral dissertation research "That was the goal, for her to understand": Spanish anaphora in L2 speech on June 3rd. Meghann's dissertation analyzes how second language speakers of Spanish use direct object nominal and pronominal expressions in communication, as well as how they vary these expressions in accordance with the status of the direct object referent, the pragmatic conditions under which it is being expressed and the speakers' own assumptions of their listeners' abilities and knowledge. This public presentation will be part of Meghann's doctoral final exam.

Tuesday, June 3rd
1:00 p.m.
317 Folwell Hall
Free of charge. Everyone welcome.

Corbin.1cr.jpgSpanish American Literatures & Cultures Ph.D. Candidate Megan Corbin will present her doctoral dissertation research Haunted Objects: Spectral Testimony in the Southern Cone Post-Dictatorship on May 9th. Megan's dissertation examines the role of the everyday, common object in relation to the human experience and capacity to give testimony--to communicate experiences of trauma, torture and suffering. In her research, she seeks to bring together a number of subfields: theoretical interpretation of testimonial narratives, trauma theory, memory studies, spectral theory, and object-oriented philosophy, in order to "think with things" in her analysis of narratives emerging in Argentina, Uruguay, and Chile in what is called the "Post-Dictatorship" period. This public presentation will be part of Megan's doctoral final exam.

Friday, May 9th
2:00 p.m.
317 Folwell Hall
Free of charge. Everyone welcome.

Rebecca-Atencio-1_1.jpgLecture by Rebecca Atencio, from Tulane​ University's Spanish and Portuguese Department

Thursday, May 1, 2014
1:00-2:15pm
10 Folwell Hall

Rebecca Atencio is an Associate Professor of Luso-Brazilian Literary​ and Cultural Studies. Her main area of research is Brazil's ​ post-dictatorial literary and cultural production.

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Review of the documentary "Elena"

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elena and girl-sm.jpg"As Dores Viram Agua"
Review of Elena, by Craig Foster

Acclaimed Brazilian director Petra Costa previewed her first feature-length film, Elena, to students, professors and visitors at the University of Minnesota on Monday, March 24. The most-watched documentary in Brazil of 2013, the film pulled attendees into a streaming current of reminisces in the director's search for her sister, the titular Elena, twenty years after they last saw each other.

Elena moved to New York City from Minas Gerais, Brazil when Petra was just seven years old. After early success starring in stage performance with the theater group Boi Voador, Elena saw what little opportunity remained in Brazil quickly disappearing under the strict austerity measures of then-president Fernando Collor. Disappointed with

The Talle Family Scholarship's purpose is to inspire, reward, and support academic excellence by awarding full tuition scholarships to exceptional students during their senior year in CLA. This prestigious award to outstanding undergraduate students is made possible through the generosity of Kenneth Talle. Margaret and Kenneth Talle graduated in 1966 from the University of Minnesota in the College of Liberal Arts. As one of ten scholarship recipients from across the college, you should be very proud of your success.

JuliaPotach.jpgJulia Potach is a Spanish and Global Studies major in her third year at the University of Minnesota. Last fall, Julia studied abroad in Quito, Ecuador through the Minnesota Studies in International Development Program. During her study abroad experience, she interned with the pro-environment Yasunidos campaign and helped organize the collection of signatures for a national referendum on the issue of drilling in Yasuní National Park. Julia's academic interests include social movements, indigenous rights, and alternative development proposals in Latin America. She is also passionate about immigrant rights in the U.S. and hopes to practice immigration law in the future.

Undergraduate Interdisciplinary Conference

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UIClogo2014-smallest.jpgFaculty, staff, and students are invited to join us for the Second Annual Undergraduate Interdisciplinary Conference (UIC), The UIC will take place on April 17th and April 18th and will include presentations in a variety of languages. The conference starts at 10:00am on both days in Coffman Memorial Union room 303.

Featuring Keynote Speaker
Taylor Krauss, Executive Director of Voices of Rwanda
Thursday, April 17, 12:30-1:30pm
Theater, Coffman Memorial Union

and

Musical Performances
Friday, April 18, 11:45a,-1:15pm
303 Coffman Memorial Union

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