2012-13 Series

SPEAKER

Dr. Iana Konstantinova

TITLE

The Creative Art of Crime Reporting: Journalism and Metafiction in Claudia Piñeiro’s Betibú and Alberto Fuguet’s Tinta roja

WHEN

2012-09-27 @ 07:45 PM

WHERE

Turman room, Virginia Military Institute

HOST

Dr. Ivelise Faundez-Reitsma, Virginia Military Institute, the MLC Department and VALHEN, present Dr. Iana Konstantinova Osborne’s lecture, “The Creative Art of Crime Reporting: Journalism and Metafiction in Claudia Piñeiro’s Betibú and Alberto Fuguet’s Tinta roja”.

ABSTRACT

This study examines the role played by journalism, and more specifically crime reporting, in two novels written during the last twenty years: Alberto Fuguet’s Tinta roja (1996) and Claudia Piñeiro’s Betibú (2010). While very different in style and structure, each novel is self-reflexive and metafictional in nature. Each revolves around the crime section of a fictional newspaper and each comments on the blurring of the boundaries that traditionally separated the act of crime reporting and the act of writing fiction. Furthermore, each novel also comments on the question of freedom of the press (or lack thereof), political and economic corruption and information control.

BIO

Dr. Iana Konstantinova received her Ph.D. in Spanish Literature from the University of Virginia in 2006. She has published eight articles and a book review in a number peer reviewed journals including Crítica hispánica, The Monographic Review/Revista Monográfica, Variaciones Borges, Letras Hispanas, Ciberletras, Hipertexto, and Hispanet Journal. She also serves on the editorial board of Hispanet Journal. Her latest article entitled “Borgesian Libraries in Popular Culture” has been accepted by The Journal of Twentieth and Twenty First Century Literature and is scheduled for publication during the next year. She has been a two-time participant in Crítica y Creación: Literatura Argentina en la Argentina, a seminar where critics and current authors meet to discuss the authors’ works and exchange ideas. Dr. Konstantinova is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Sigma Delta Pi, among other honor societies. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Spanish at Southern Virginia University.

SPEAKER

Dr. Diana Risk

TITLE

Hispanics in America: Five Hundred Years of History Not Told

WHEN

2012-10-15 @ 12:30 PM

WHERE

Blechman Room in the Trible Library, Christopher Newport University

HOST

Department of Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures. Facilitator: Lourdes Travieso-Parker, Ph.D.

ABSTRACT

The presence of Hispanic culture in our country goes beyond 500 years but for some the term “alien” continues to be a defining concept when talking about Hispanics. The recent national conversation about the growth of the Hispanic population and its impact on the political map has been a point of reflection for most people who try to understand the demographic changes this country has experienced in the last decades, but perceptions of Hispanics over time have contributed to form a social construct that is divisive and unclear. What questions need to be asked in understanding the Hispanic presence? I offer a reflection on what could facilitate knowledge about the Hispanic presence and its representation in the United States, and what could help appreciate their assimilation and contribution to American culture.

BIO

Dr. Diana Risk began her studies at the Facultad the Ciencias y Humanidades in the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México and received a Master of Arts degree from the University of Northern Iowa (1994). She completed her doctoral studies at The University of Iowa (2000) with an area of expertise in Post Modern Spain. She is currently Associate Professor of Spanish at Virginia Wesleyan College and teaches courses on Peninsular and Latin American civilization and culture, as well as Study Abroad Courses for summer and winter programs. Her articles cover a variety of Spanish and Latin American authors; most recent are on Elena Poniatowska, Angeles Mastretta, Luz Argentina Chiriboga, Yolanda Añazco, and about Manuela Sáenz. She has participated in numerous international conferences and has published in proceedings and Diáspora (SAU). Her latest project, The Rewriting of History, Nation, and Identity in the Work of Four Contemporary Women Writers, a book she has helped co-authored, is scheduled for publication in the spring of 2013. Dr. Diana Risk also writes and teaches about Latino issues in the U.S.

SPEAKER

Dr. Brenci Patiño, Assistant Professor of Spanish and U.S. Latina/o Studies at Mary Baldwin College

TITLE

“Nosotras las sirvientas”: Representations of the Domestic Employee in 20th Century Mexico

WHEN

2013-04-11 @ 04:30 PM

WHERE

Parents & Friends Lounge at Venable Hall, Hampden-Sydney College

HOST

Department of Modern Languages. Facilitator Dr. Alfonso Varona, Assistant Professor of Modern Languages

ABSTRACT

The figure of the domestic employee in Mexican culture is as constant as the multiple telenovelas in which they serve as the backdrop to their upper-class counterparts’ stories. In said medium, the “maid” takes on multiple iterations varying from the submissive worker who is unconditionally loyal to the señora to that of the gossipy and ill-intentioned muchacha. The relationship between señoras and muchachas in both cultural and literary production is a bit more complicated than telenovelas would have us believe. When women work for other women, the balance of power is shaken by the employee’s entrance into a home that is other woman’s domain. As such, it would seem that the employer holds absolute power over a work arrangement that provides little benefits to the employee. This notion, however, is challenged by the fact that in many instances, the “maid” becomes an integral part of the emotional development of her boss. To that end, I analyze Elena Garro’s “La culpa es de los Tlaxcaltecas” and Juan García Ponce’s “La noche.” On one hand, I look at the domestic employees’ limited “power” due to their marginal status. On the other hand, however, literature provides examples in which the “maids” are key characters in the lives of their privileged counterparts.

BIO

Dr. Patiño is currently Assistant Professor of Spanish and U.S. Latina/o Studies at Mary Baldwin College. She holds a Ph.D. and a M.A. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2010), and a B.A. from The University of Texas at Brownsville. Her research interests include cultural and literary representations of working-class women, U.S. Latina/o literature and cultural production, and contemporary Mexican narrative fiction. She has presented her work at national and international conferences such as the Latin American Studies Association (LASA), Jornadas Metropolitanas de Estudios Culturales, the South Atlantic Modern Language Association (SAMLA), among others. Dr. Patiño’s most recent publication is the chapter “Space, Crime, and Gender in Border Cultural Production,” published in 2012 in Gente de Frontera: The Mexico-U.S. Border in Hispanic Literature. At Mary Baldwin College, she teaches intermediate- and advanced-level Spanish, U.S. Latina/o literature and culture, 20th century Latin American literature and culture, in addition to serving as the Academic Advisor to the Latino Culture Gateway.