Language, Literature and Culture

Greek Tablet

News and Events

Letters from Professor Michael Spingler

Three days after the attacks, here are some random thoughts and observations, not, I fear terribly well organized. More in the way of an anecdotal diary than “expert” analysis; I will leave that to the media, the journalists, pundits and politicians. First of all, a response to a headline I saw today on the Huffpost — “Paris stricken by panic.” Read More

The Candles and Flowers of the Place de la République: The homeless are shivering under their tattered blankets on the sidewalks, old women are begging on the street, the unemployed musicians, of varied talent, are back busking in the metro, and Joe Long, my friend from Dublin, had his pocket picked Saturday while grocery shopping in a local Franprix. So we could say that life in Paris is getting back to normal. Read More

Maia Moore's Video Essay

Maia Moore, class of 2016, created this video essay about her experiences with cultural adaptation through dance during her semester abroad in Buenos Aires

The 2014-2015 Seniors' awards go to:

Danielle JacquesThe J. Fannin King Prize for Excellence in French

Molly Burns & John OliverasThe Theodore and Phyllis Barbera Award for Excellence in Spanish

Jennifer ManglassThe J. Fannin King Prize for Excellence in Comparative Literature

Latin Pulse interview with Prof. María Acosta Cruz

Latin Pulse interview with Professor María Acosta Cruz (starts at the 6:26 mark). Latin Pulse is an online radio program that goes out to more than 130,000 subscribers weekly. To listen to this online radio program, please follow this link:

Latin Pulse Acosta Cruz interview

Professor Belen Atienza gives talk about Juan Ruiz de Alarcon, Mesico's first Baroque dramatist.

Professor Belen Atienza gave a talk about Juan Ruiz de Alarcon, Mexico's first Baroque dramatist. El Sur, a Mexican newspaper from the state of Guerrero, wrote an article about it. The talk was entitled "La locura en tiempos de Juan Ruiz de Alarcon" (or "Madness in Juan Ruiz de Alarcon's time". She spoke at a conference in Taxco Guerrero, the XXVIII Jornadas Alarconianas on Tuesday May 26th. You can read the article (in Spanish) at the link here.

Life and Hope Beyond AIDS : A bilingual poetry reading by Latino poet Norberto Stuart

Belen Atienza organized a bilingual poetry reading by Puerto Rican and Latino poet Norberto A. Stuart: "Life and Hope Beyond AIDS" March 30th from 10 to 10:50 am. This event was co-sponsored by the Language, Literature, and Culture Department and the Henry J. Leir Chair for Comparative Literature.

Dream Nation: Puerto Rican Culture and the Fictions of Independence

Author Event
September 23, 2014 at 7 pm Free Event
Harriet Beecher Stowe Center
Over the past fifty years, Puerto Rican voters have roundly rejectd any calls for national independence. Yet the rhetoric and iconography of indepenendence have been defining features of Puerto Rican literature and ulture. In the provocative new book Dream Nation, María Acosta Cruz investigates the roots and effects of this profound disconnect bretween cultural fantasy and political reality.

"No other book weaves together so beautifully and comfletely the political, historical, social, economic, and cultural threads which make up the tapestry of Puerto Rican nationalism. Graceful, thought provoking, and deeply learned, Dream Nation will certainly have a lasting impact." -Frederick Luis Aldama, author of a Concise History of Latino/a Literature.
Co-presented with Mark Twain House & Museum
Reservations: or 860-522-9258 ext 317
Buy the book at the Stowe Museum Store and save 10% ( 15% for Stowe Center members)

Prof. Atienza celbrates Julia de Burgos' 100th Birthday

Belen Atienza organized a celebration of Puerto Rican poet Julia de Burgos' 100th Birthday on Friday, Feb. 28th, from 7 to 9pm. This bilingual Spanish/English poetry reading and concert was sponsored by the Language, Literature and Culture Department and the Office for Diversity and Inclusion and hosted by Stone Soup (4 King St. Worcester).

Julia de Burgos (1914-1953) is considered by many as one of the greatest female poets of Latin America. She was an ardent civil rights activist for women and African/Afro-Caribbean writers both in Puerto Rico and in the United States. She migrated to New York in 1940 where she struggled to earn a living as a writer because of racial, ethnic and linguistic discrimination and died in Harlem in 1953.
Today she has become a cultural icon and a role model for contemporary feminist writers and visual artists.

Prof. Tobin introduces Poet Laureate Richard Blanco to Clark community

Richard Blanco with statue of Freud at Clark University Robert Tobin, the Henry J. Leir Chair in Language Literature, and Culture, organized Clark's celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day on Monday, January 20. As part of the day's events, Tobin introduced Poet Laureate Richard Blanco who read aloud the same poem he had written and read at President Obama's inauguration in 2013. Tobin, in his opening remarks, reflected that "Blanco's poetry, as it slips between Spanish and English, invites us to scrutinize how we speak and how we think about such concepts as freedom, civil rights and America." Read more

(Above left: Richard Blanco with statue of Freud in Red Square)