CONTACT: MARY GERAGHTY KENYON
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0011; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: March 14, 2001
UI hosts symposium on Spanish in the Americas March 23-24
IOWA CITY, Iowa A group of scholars will gather at the University
of Iowa for a two-day symposium, "Spanish in the Americas," March
23-24. Participants include linguists, literary theorists, and cultural scholars
who are interested in the historical development of the Spanish language in
North and South America. The symposium is free and open to the public. Some
presentations will be in Spanish, but the majority will be in English.
Issues to be addressed include Spanish in different cultural contact zones,
bilingualism, popular/cultural uses of Spanish, and politics of language.
This last issue is of particular relevance in Iowa as state lawmakers debate
whether to pass a law making English the states official language.
The keynote speaker is Steve Dworkin, professor and chair of the department
of romance languages at the University of Michigan. His presentation, "The
Historical Background of New World Spanish," is at 7:30 p.m. Friday,
March 23 in Room W401, Pappajohn Business Building. Dworkins principal
research area is the history of the Spanish language, with emphasis on the
evolution over time of the Spanish lexicon, and the nature of language change.
"This symposium has attracted a diverse group of scholars interested
in how linguistic and cultural contact has enriched the literary and cultural
production in the context of the Americas," said Laura G. Gutierrez,
a UI assistant professor of Spanish and Portuguese and one of the symposium
In addition to panel presentations and discussions, the symposium will feature
readings of recent poetry and fiction by UI professor Oscar Hahn; UI graduate
students Jesus Jambrina, Eduardo Corral, Alfredo Alonso Estenoz, Roberto Ampuero
and Oscar Casares; and by Ruben Medina and Tess Arenas of the University of
The symposium is sponsored by the Latin American Studies Program, the department
of Spanish and Portuguese and UI International Programs, with generous support
from the Stanley-UI Support Organization.
Following is a schedule of symposium activities. All activities will be in
W401 Pappajohn Business Building.
Friday, March 23
7:30 - 9:30 p.m.
Welcome Daniel Balderston & Mercedes Niño Murcia (University
Keynote speech by Steve Dworkin: "The Historical Background of New World
Poetry Reading by Chilean Poet Oscar Hahn (University of Iowa)
Saturday, March 24
9-10:30am: Linguistic Contact (chaired by Judith Liskin-Gasparro,
University of Iowa)
Mercedes Niño-Murcia (University of Iowa): "Texto y contexto de
la escritura en una aldea andina"
Carlos Eduardo Piñeros (University of Iowa): "Linguistic Traces
of Africa in Northern Colombia"
Irene Wherritt (University of Iowa): "Infiltration of English Only into
County Government: A New Tactic in Iowa"
10:45-11:45 a.m.: Bilingualism (chaired by Adriana Méndez Rodenas,
University of Iowa)
Yolanda Martinez San Miguel (Rutgers University): "Bilinguismos latinos:
La ficcion como otra lengua materna"
Andrew Lynch (University of Miami): "Sociolinguistic Discontinuity in
Bilingual Miami: Implications for a Theory of Language Shift"
1:15-2:30 p.m. Fiction Reading
Roberto Ampuero (University of Iowa)
Héctor Domínguez (Denison University)
Oscar Casares (University of Iowa)
2:45-3:45 p.m.: Borders & Languages (chaired by Phillip Round,
University of Iowa)
Laura Gutierrez (University of Iowa): "En/Coded Desires: Sexuality and
Linguistic Playfulness in Contemporary Latina/o Performance"
(Denison University): " Mi vida en rosa: Agencias discursivas
en la narrativa oral de la Frontera Mexico-US"
4-5:30 p.m. Poetry Reading
Tess Arenas (University of Wisconsin System)
Jesús Jambrina (University of Iowa)
Eduardo Corral (University of Iowa)
Alfredo Alonso Estenoz (University of Iowa)
Rubén Medina (University of Wisconsin Madison)