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April 19, 2015

García-Pabón publishes edition and study of 19th-century Bolivian poet

La Creación Tapa-1Professor of Spanish Leonardo García-Pabón recently published an edition of La creación, y otros poemas by Bolivian poet Manuel José Tovar (1831-1869). “La creación” is one of the most important works of Bolivian 19th-century romantic poetry. A rewriting of the biblical Genesis, this long poem is an exalted description of nature at the beginning of time. It also shows the discussion between defenders of ideas of creationism and defenders of materialism in national education during the first decades after Bolivian independence (1825) .
This edition contains a sixty-page introduction by García-Pabón that places the book in its literary and historical context.


September 29, 2014

Herrmann publishes volume of essays on Spanish Holocaust Survivor

Associate Professor of Spanish Gina Herrmann, together with co-editor Professor Ofelia Ferrán (University of Minnessota), has published A Critical Companion to Jorge Semprún: Buchenwald, Before and After (Palgrave Macmillan 2014). The volume explores the life and work of Spanish Buchenwald survivor, author, and communist leader-turned-apostate, Jorge Semprún (1923-2011). Semprún led an extraordinary and risky life; he suffered and actively fought against Stalinism, Nazism, and Francoism. As a novelist, autobiographer, screenwriter, playwright, and essayist, his oeuvre grapples with the responsibility that surviving and deciphering paradigm-shattering historical events entails. This volume explores his cultural production in all its manifestations, across diverse languages and genres.semprun

May 29, 2014

Cecilia Enjuto Rangel Receives Excellence Award

Cecilia Enjuto Rangel, Associate Professor of Spanish in the Romance Languages department, has been awarded Excellence Award for Outstanding Mentorship in Graduate Studies this year.

Enjuto Rangel consistently supports not only her advisees, but all Romance Languages and Comparative Literature students by putting important scholarship, grant, and internship opportunties within reach. Additionally, Enjuto Rangel has provided unique mentorship opportunities by bringing academic and artistic events to campus that keep graduate students up-to-date on scholarly advances and to meet influential academics and artists in the field.

A common theme in Enjuto Rangel’s nominations was her generosity with her time. “We want to emphsize that Prof. Enjuto Rangel has markedly influenced our graduate study experience by giving a very precious and scarce gift among professors: time,” her nomination wrote.

Sayo Murcia Awarded for Excellence in Pedagogy

Congratulations to Sayo Murcia, Senior Instructor of Spanish for winning the prestigious Thomas F. Herman Achievement Award for Excellence in Pedagogy.

On Wednesday, May 28, 2014 UO President Michael Gottfredson (along with a large group of fellow faculty members, family, and friends) surprised Mrs. Murcia with the award during her Spanish 320 class.  You can watch a video of the ‘surprise award ceremony’ below.

May 1, 2014

Poemas de un bárbaro by Jesús Sepúlveda reviewed by El Mercurio (Chile)

barbaroThe most recent collection of poetry by Jesús Sepúlveda, Poemas de un bárbaro (December, 2013), was reviewed in Revista de Libros of El Mercurio—the most important newspaper in Chile. Jessica Atal reviews this anthology of selected poems, suggesting that the collection is a “truly existential journey through original images, installing Sepúlveda as one of the most prominent voices of current Chilean poetry.” The review was published on Sunday, April 13, 2014 under the title “El pensamiento vivo de Jesús Sepúlveda” and it can be read in the section Noticias (news) of the publishing-house’s website ( [alternative link].




March 31, 2014

Spanish Film Club: Celebrating the New Wave of Ibero American Cinema

Pa Negre

Pa Negre

Mondays at 7pm April-May 2014 (weeks 2-9)
Global Scholars Hall—Room 117

In collaboration with Latin American Studies, Romance Languages, the Yamada Language Center, Cinema Studies, the Oregon Humanities Center and the Global Scholars Hall.
SFC_Flyer_University of Oregon

March 11, 2014

Spanish Major Liz Fetherston wins top collegiate debating prize

My Spanish major has helped me engage in competitive debate at a high level, because of its obvious focus on cultural knowledge, historical context, and interrogating the efficacy and necessity of United States hegemony in its various manifestations. In debate, I’ve found this to be extremely important in discussions of US domestic policy, in terms of immigration, and US foreign policy, in terms of neocolonialist expansion and development.

The classes I’ve taken as a part of my degree have fostered this critical engagement with a given topic. Learning the material in a second language not only expanded my knowledge base, but also the very process of language learning is beneficial for my reasoning and problem solving skills. Speaking another language forces you to come up with novel ways to get your point across, which is a very useful skill in debate.

For instance, arguments that interrogate the underlying epistemic or methodological assumptions of the other team’s arguments have become central to the style of debate that I most frequently engage in. My senior year in particular, I’ve tried to use my debate rounds as an activist space not just in terms of policy deliberations, but also to criticize the structures that govern the debate activity itself in an attempt to open the space to new kinds of knowledge and methods of politics.
This same process of critically examining an argument or text has been foundational to many of the classes I’ve taken as an undergraduate, and I’ve been encouraged in that space as well to be an activist and speak out about what I see as constructive or problematic in the material we discuss.

I want to use my degree and the skills I’ve learned to complete a masters program in education. I want to use my role as an educator to create the kind of classroom that empowers students in the same way I’ve felt empowered by competitive debate and by my undergraduate studies. – Liz Fetherston.

Tim Christie reports on the impressive success of Liz Fetherston. This is one of the many skills enhanced by learning another language and immersing in the study of the human sciences. See this piece from the Celebrating Champions page.

Liz Fetherston, a senior majoring in Spanish, was named best individual debater at one of the largest and most prestigious events in college parliamentary debate. Competing at the Mile High Swing Tournament against more than 200 students from 35 universities, including 22 of the top 25 college parliamentary debate teams, Fetherston and took home the top individual prize. And she’s got the big glass trophy to prove it.

February 25, 2014

Defending Human Rights: The Amazing Journey of a Mexican Journalist

Award-winning journalist and human rights advocate Lydia Cacho will visit the UO to deliver the 2014 “Bartolomé de las Casas Lecture in Latin American Studies”

Unfortunately, this talk has been cancelled.

Cachio534x800Born in Cancún, Mexico, in 1963, Lydia Cacho is widely recognized as one of the most courageous journalists in the world for her reports on domestic violence, child prostitution, organized crime, and political corruption.

She began her career as a journalist in the mid-1980s, working for the newspaper Novedades de Cancún, in Mexico’s eastern state of Quintana Roo, on the Yucatán Peninsula. In the 1990s Cacho wrote a series of articles about the prostitution of Cuban and Argentine girls in the city of Cancún. In 2003, Cacho published another series on the sexual abuse of minors for the newspaper Por Esto, including a report on a girl abused by a local hotel owner.

In 2005 Cacho published her book Los Demonios del Edén: El Poder Que Protege a la Pornografía Infantil (“The Demons of Eden: The Power That Protects Child Pornography”), in which she accused powerful businessmen and politicians of being involved in a child pornography ring operating in Cancún and the United States. In retaliation, she was sent to prison and subjected to violence and attempted rape and received numerous death threats. She has confronted her attackers in court and has refused to leave Mexico despite the multiple threats she has received and the offers of asylum made by foreign countries. In 2009, the Inter-American Human Rights Commission ordered the Mexican government to implement protection measures for her, and in 2012 Amnesty International mobilized its members worldwide in a campaign to demand protection for her given the death threats she continued to receive.

Her most recent book, Slavery Inc. The Untold Story of International Sex Trafficking (2012), follows the trail of the traffickers and their victims from Mexico to Turkey, Thailand to Iraq, Georgia to the UK, to expose the trade’s hidden links with the tourist industry, internet pornography, drugs and arms smuggling, the selling of body organs, money laundering, and even terrorism.


Talking to the IFEX Global Forum on Freedom of Expression in June 2009 in Oslo, Norway, Cacho said: “When I was tortured and imprisoned for publishing a story about a network of politicians, organized crime, child pornography and sex tourism, I was confronted with the dilemma: ‘Should I keep going? Should I continue to practice journalism in a country controlled by only 300 powerful men, corrupted and rich? Was there any point in demanding justice or freedom in a country where nine out of 10 crimes are never investigated? Was it worth risking my life and my freedom?’ Of course the answer was ‘Yes!’”

Ms. Cacho is also the founder and Director of the “Centro Integral de Atención a las Mujeres” in Cancún, an NGO that provides support to victims of domestic and sexual violence and sex trafficking.

She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the International Press Institute’s World Press Freedom Hero Award; the Amnesty International Ginetta Sagan Award for Women’s and Children’s Rights; the International Women’s Media Foundation Courage in Journalism Award; the Oxfam Novib/PEN Award; the UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize; the Wallenberg Medal from the University of Michigan; the PEN/Pinter Prize as an International Writer of Courage; the International Hrant Dink Award; the Civil Courage Prize of The Train Foundation; and the Olof Palme Prize (shared with Italian journalist Roberto Saviano).

Lydia Cacho’s visit to deliver the 2014 Las Casas Lecture is made possible thanks to the co-sponsorship and financial support of the Oregon Humanities Center and its 2013-2014 “Vulnerable” Theme; the School of Journalism and Communication; the Department of Romance Languages; the Office of International Affairs and its Global Studies Institute; the Center for Latino/a and Latin American Studies; the Wayne Morse Center for Law and Politics; and the Center for the Study of Women in Society and the 2014 Lorwin Lectureship on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (funded by a gift from Val and Madge Lorwin to the University of Oregon College of Arts and Sciences and School of Law).

For further information please contact Carlos Aguirre at or 541-346-5905.


February 19, 2014

Sepúlveda reads from new books in tour of Chile

Sepulveda-ValparaisoSenior Instructor Jesús Sepúlveda traveled to his native Chile in December to present his most recent book of poetry, Poemas de un bárbaro (Santiago de Chile: Contragolpe Ediciones, 2013)—a 261-page anthology of his selected poems that covers almost 30 years of writing.  He toured Santiago, Valparaíso, and La Serena to do poetry readings and talk to writers and the general public.  He also presented his new book of aphorisms, Antiegótico (Viña del Mar: Nihil Obstat, 2013), and the reprint of the Chilean edition of his eco-anarchist essay El jardín de las peculiarides (Olmué: Nihil Obstat, 2011)—the second French edition of this essay was also reprinted last year in Paris by Aux Forges du Vulcain.

Sepulveda-La SerenaIn January, he delivered a paper “El rito del viaje: Artaud y los tarahumaras” during the “VII International and Interdisciplinary Conference Alexander von Humboldt, Claudio Gay, and Ignacio Domeyko” at the University of Chile, where many scholars from the US, Latin America, and Europe participated.  This paper is part of a larger project called Intoxicated Texts.

February 18, 2014

The RLGSA presents 3rd Annual ‘Works In Progress’

The Romance Languages Graduate Student Association presents the 3rd Annual Works in Progress Symposium on Friday, March 7th.  The event will take place in Lilis Hall room 112 from 4:00-6:00pm.

Presenters include Claudia Holguin, Alicia Luque-Ferreras, Marc Schachter, Eva Serfozo, and Leonardo Garcia-Pabon.


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