Skip Navigation
UMass Amherst Back to LLC Site

Spanish and Portuguese, Deparment of Languages, Literatures and Cultures


Lecture Series

The Spanish & Portuguese Program believes that the study and appreciation of the diverse and dynamic cultural heritage of the hundreds of millions of Spanish, Portuguese and Catalan speakers in the Americas, Europe and Africa, including the various Latino communities in the United States, has intrinsic value and is central to a comprehensive liberal arts education. Our Lecture Series aims to augment our current program, allowing students the opportunity to network and gain critical information within their field of study. Although the topics of the lectures vary from session to session, their analytical nature guarantees that the access of knowledge remains a constant.

Events: Spring 2015

Susan M. DiGiacomo
Monday, January 26th
Machmer W25 @ 2:00pm

Susan M. DiGiacomo, professor of anthropology at the Universitat Rovira i Virgili in Tarragona (Catalonia) will give the talk "Now It's Time: The Catalan Independence Process". An anthropologist and long-time scholar of Catalan nationalism and language politics, Susan DiGiacomo was directly involved in the mobilizations for a referendum on Catalan independence.

Events: Fall 2014

Julio Ricardo Varela
Thursday, September 25th
Herter 301 @ 2:30pm

Born in Puerto Rico and raised in El Bronx, Julio Ricardo Varela is often recognized among the most influential Latin@s in social media. Founder of Latino Rebels, he has worked as a digital producer for Al Jazeera America's The Stream and written regularly for NBC Latino. Julio's talk is entitled Be Bold and Courageous: How Latin@s Can Empower Themselves in the Digital Age. Download the flyer here.

Pilar Prieto
Thursday, October 16th
Herter 301 @ 11:30am

Pilar Prieto is an ICREA research professor at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona, Catalonia, where she is the coordinator of the Prosodic Studies Group. She studies how melody and prosody work in language, and how they interact with other types of linguistic knowledge. She also studies the role of prosody and facial/manual gestures in the expression of linguistic meaning. Her talk Intonational and gestural meaning reflect information about spaces of commitment will focus on the role of prosody and gesture in the expression and assessment of the epistemic stance of the speaker as well as the role of prosody and gesture in the interpretation of denial in Catalan. Download the full abstract here.

Ana Ibaños
Friday, October 24th
Herter 301 @ 1:30pm

Joining us from Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul, Professor Ana Ibaños will be giving a talk entitled Tu sabe, você sabe, a gente sabe: BP prominal system revisited. Traditionally, Brazilian Portuguese (BP) has been considered a pro-drop language, which allows the absence of subject pronouns in the sentence. But studies have shown that it is losing some of the properties that typically characterize a pro-drop language (Duarte 1995; Xavier 2006; Kato 2000). Some even state that BP is evolving from a pro-drop to a non-pro-drop language (Duarte 1995). Professor Ibaños' talk is about some changes in the pronominal system in Brazilian Portuguese that would prevent the Null Subject Parameter hence changing its status.

Events: 2013/2014

Judith Colell
Tuesday, April 22nd
Herter 207 @ 4pm

Judith Colell, born in 1968 in Barcelona, is a film director with a degree in Art History and film studies at the New York University. Colell combines her work as a director with university teaching and has recently became Vice-President of the Spanish Academy of Cinematographic Arts and Sciences. Her filmography as a director includes titles such as Escrito en la piel (1995, Short), Nosotras (2001), 53 dias de ivierno (2007) and her latest success, Elisa K (2010). The last one, co-directed with Jordi Cadena, has won the Special Jury Award at the International Film Festival of San Sebastián (2010) and has been nominated for 5 Gaudi Awards, at the same time having a Goya nomination for the best adapted screenplay. Judith Colell, will give a talk on her short film "Elisa K" to be followed by the introduction of her film "53 dies d'hivern" at 6:30 with the Catalan Film Festival.

Dr. Alejandro Jacky
Tuesday, April 15th
TBA @ 1pm

Alejandro Jacky is a Latin American cultural studies scholar, specializing in transnational gangs and the representations of urban violence in Hispanic and U.S. Latino popular culture. Alejandro incorporates this focus on transnational gangs and their expressive tradition in his approach to teaching, engaging students across all levels through these articulations of culture. Furthermore, his passion for more traditional literary and artistic expressive forms establishes a dynamic classroom experience, where students are in control of their own learning experience via interactive lesson plans and lively in-class discussions. An opponent of the “talking head” style of teaching, he believes that the best way to help his students learn is by challenging them to participate, debate, and formulate their own ideas. Professor Jacky's talk will focus on his his work with the The Hispanic Hartford Project.

Dr. Simone Pinet
Monday, April 14th
Renaissance Center @ 5:30pm

Dr. Simone Pinet is Associate Professor of Spanish and Medieval Studies at Cornell University. She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in medieval and renaissance Spanish literature and culture; the approach in these courses tends to be interdisciplinary, addressing literary cultures, theories of space, poetics, books of chivalry and prose fiction in general, theories of fiction, cartography, and critical theory. Her talk is entitled "Orienting the Cleric:Plots and Plans in Iberia."

Dr. Alessandra Lorini
Thursday, April 10th
Herter 301 @ 6:30pm

Alessandra Lorini (Ph.D, Columbia University) has taught History of the Americas at the University of Florence, Italy, for many years, has written extensively on North-American public culture and US-Cuban relations. Among her numerous international fellowships: fellow at the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute (Harvard University,1996), Fernand Braudel Senior Fellow at the European University Institute (2010). Her publications include: Rituals of Race: American Public Culture and the Search for Racial Democracy (Virginia UP, 1999), L’impero della libertà e l’isola strategica: Gli Stati Uniti e Cuba tra Otto e Novecento (Liguori, 2008). Lorini's talk is entitled "Symphonies from the New Wolrd".

Rafael Galante
Tuesday, April 8th
Herter 301 @ 4pm

Brazilian ethnomusicologist Rafael Galante will come to Umass for a talk on Fernando Trueba's fascinating movie El Milagro de Candeal. "The Miracle" is the unique Brazilian "favela" of Candeal, where the young residents gave up their guns for musical instruments under the influence of rocker Carlinhos Brown. After spending 43 years in exile in Sweden, 85-year-old Cuban-born pianist Bebo Valdes makes his first trip to Salvador da Bahia. He stumbles onto musician Mateus leading a church choir, and Mateus takes him to Candeal to introduce him to Brown. It is Brown that shows Valdes improvements that have been made to the slum, which used to be without water, plumbing or electricity. Today, there are music schools and a state-of-the-art recording studio used by Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil. There is a Bob Marley Street and impressive percussion bands composed of young kids and teenagers. Amazingly, the violence endemic in the favelas is practically nil.

Cinema, Poetry & Video Games
Tuesday, April 1st
Herter 207 @ 4pm

The Spanish and Portuguese Lecture Series featured an informal conversation about Cinema, Poetry and Videogames with the participation of:
Domingo Sanchez-Mesa of the University of Granada "Videojuegos y cine: intermedialidad y transmedialidad" (from Granada via Skype) and
Dolores Juan Moreno of the University of Massachusetts: ""Huella color celuloide: El cine en la poesía española después de 1980"

Dr. Pilar Chamorro
Friday, March 7th
Herter 301 @ 3pm

Assistant Professor of Linguistics from University of Georgia, Dr. Chamorro’s research deals with temporal reference and the truth-conditional and pragmatic contribution of temporal, aspectual, and modal expressions across languages. She is also interested in the semantics of plurals. More specifically, her work explores the expression of event plurality in periphrastic constructions in Galician, Portuguese, and the Spanish spoken in Galicia. She examines their relation with verbal pluractionals and similar quantificational expressions cross-linguistically. She is also conducting research on the semantics of perfect constructions in Southern varieties of African American English (AAE). Her talk at UMass is entitled: On the Plurality of Western Iberian Romance Periphrastic Pasts.

Marcos Rohena-Madrazo
Friday, February 21st
Herter 301 @ 4pm

Assistant Professor of Spanish at Middlebury College, Dr. Marcos Rohena-Madrazo specializes in Spanish sociophonetics. He is a native of San Juan Puerto Rico, and earned his PhD in Linguistics at New York University in 2011. In his talk, he will present a sociolinguistic analysis of the voicing variation of /ʒ/: [ʒ~ʃ] in Buenos Aires Spanish (BAS), which has been characterized as a sound change in progress from /ʒ/ > [ʃ]. For more information, please see Dr. Rohena-Madrazo's detailed abstract.

Daniel Erker
Friday, November 22nd
Herter 301 @ 3pm
Assistant Professor at Boston University, Professor Daniel Erker teaches courses in general linguistics and Spanish linguistics. His research interests include language variation, contact, and change, acoustic and articulatory phonetics, Spanish in the United States, the languages of Latin America, and the evolution of human language. Professor Erker is currently developing the Spanish in Boston Research Project, a community based study which examines how Spanish is spoken in the greater Boston area.

Venezuela hoy: María Figuera
Thursday, November 7th
Herter 601 @ 4pm
Associate Professor at the Universidad Simón Bolívar in Venezuela and former graduate of the Spanish and Portuguese Program at UMass, María Figuera will present Perspectivismo histórico en la novela venezolana del siglo XXI

Aurora Luque
Tuesday, November 5th
Herter 601
Spanish poet and scholar Aurora Luque will give the talk "María Rosa de Gálvez, dramaturga ilustrada". Luque is one of the foremost contemporary poets of the Spanish literary scene, and has published important collections of poetry as well as translations and critical essays on Spanish, Greek, and French literature. After her presentation on 18th c. dramatist María Rosa de Gálvez, Aurora Luque will talk informally about her own poetry.

Page Piccinini
Thursday, October 31st
Herter 301 @ 10
Page Piccinini is a graduate student in Linguistics at the University of California-San Diego. Page's research interests include speech perception, speech production, bilingualism, code-switching, accented speech and language implications on cultural interactions. She has worked extensively on Spanish-English codeswitching and her most recent work deals with L3 speech perception.

Venezuela hoy: Federico Sucre
Thursday, October 24th
Herter 301 @ 4pm
Federico Sucre- Eugene Wilson Fellow at Amherst College- presented Poesia y Politica en la Venezuela Contemporánea

Marta Segarra
Thursday, October 3rd @ 6:30 Herter 301
Professor Marta Segarra, from the Universitat de Barcelona, gave a lecture on women writers from the Maghreb, women who currently live in Catalunya and have published a corpus in Catalan. The title of her talk was Nacionalismo y postcolonialismo: Escritoras catalanas del Magreb.Marta Segarra is the co-founder and director of the Centre Dona i Literatura. Gènere, sexualitats, crítica de la cultura at the Universitat de Barcelona. She is the coordinator of the C´tedra UNESCO Dones, and editor-in-chief of the journal, Expressions maghrbines that publishes new, cutting edge research in French and English on literature and other cultural forms - film, music, etc.- rooted in the Maghreb and its diasporas.

Events: 2012/2013

aLmOdóVaR en eVoLuCIóN
Lunes 6 de Mayo 2013 --Du Bois 702
Keynote Speaker:
Eduardo Urios-Aparisi from the University of Connecticut, "Ángeles terrenales: el modelo cultural de la gran cadena del sur en Almodóvar
Fran Zurián from the Universidad Complutense de Madrdi, "Los inicios creativos de Pedro Almodóvar"
Presentations by:
Lola Juan Moreno, "¿El hábito no hace al monje?: color y vestuario en el cine de Almodóvar"
Gorka Maiztegui Zuazo, "Sangre, sudor y lágrimas: el amor en Almodóvar"
Christina Beaubien, "La normalización de la violencia en la horda primitiva de Almodóvar"
Giseli Tordin, "En los bordes de la ficción y de la ciencia en el cine de Almodóvar"
Alexander Joy, "La autocreación del auteur en el cine de Almodóvar"
Ponencia de clausura:Barabara Zecchi, "La piel de Almodóvar"
Comite Organizador: Barbara Zecchi, Christina Beaubien, Giseli Tordin, Lola Juan Moreno, Gorka Maiztegui Zuazo

Anton Carrera i Liz Castro
Excel·lent participació als actes de Sant Jordi (23 d'abril) a la Universitat de Massachusetts que va cloure l'escriptora i editora resident a molts pocs quilòmetres d'Amherst, Liz Castro, amb la presentació del seu últim llibre What's up with Catalonia? El dia abans i coincidint amb la diada de Sant Jordi el poeta i pintor Anton Carrera va presentar el seu últim llibre de pintures i poemes Enlloc, i va comentar les traduccions que havien fet els estudiants del programa de català del poema número 20 del seu últim poemari.

Revisiting the Spanish Civil War
Co-Sponsored by SpanPort
Sebastiaan Faber (Professor of Hispanic Studies and Chair of Latin American Studies at Oberlin College, Director of the Oberlin Center for Languages and Cultures, and Chair of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives) came to present his paper "Historians Behaving Badly: The Perpetual Polemics about the Spanish Civil War" and engage discussion about contemporary debates among Spanish historians and intellectuals; how to appropriate, interpret, remember and memorialize the Spanish Civil War (1936-39).

Kathrin Rosenfield
Co-Sponsored by SpanPort
Luso-Brazilian culture has historically ignored tragedy as a genre, but Brazil's oral and musical traditions provide ideal components for a critical and creative investigation of the problems and potentials of this ancient art form. Popular poetry - performed, chanted, and danced - is still alive in the Brazilian backlands, the sertão. In the barren high plateaus of the Brazilian Northeast, poetry is still chanted and danced: festivities involving the local cattle traditions like Bumba-meu-boi [Bumba my ox] combine the choral processions of Ancient Greece with the medieval carnival dances of the wooden horses; pelejas [spontaneous verbal duels] are still practiced as a living genre of poetic insult: a combat opposing two chanting poets - just like Greek poets or medieval Minstrels; the rural communities of the Northeast still relish the chanted recitations of oral and written narratives, the cordel; and all over Brazil carnival reigns, with its large "body" of dancing and chanting individuals packed together by the moving-chanting-and-musical corpo de baile, the Chorus-line.

Patricia Ferreira
Co-Sponsored by SpanPort
On Tuesday March 5, Spanish Film Director Patricia Ferreira introduced her documentary Señora de... and gave a talk on multilinguism in Spanish cinema. The discussion was coordinated by Jordi Dosaiguas.
On Wednesday March 6, Barbara Zecchi introduced Ferrera's movie Els Nens Salvatges for the MultiCultural Film Festival. The screening of the movie was followed by a A&Q session with the director coordinated by Eva París-Huesca and Jordi Dosaiguas.

An afternoon of Poetry and Sculpture with Márgara Russotto and Román Hernández
Thursday, March 28th: Herter 301
Margara Russotto is a poet and a professor of Latin American Literature and Culture at UMass/Amherst. Román Hernández is a sculptor and a professor of Sculpture at the University of La Laguna, Faculty of Fine Arts, Islas Canarias, Spain

Latinos Beyond Reel: Challenging a Media Stereotype
Co-Sponsored by SpanPort
In "Latinos Beyond Reel," filmmakers Miguel Picker and Chyng Sun examine how US news and entertainment media portray -- and do not portray -- Latinos. Drawing on the insights of Latino scholars, journalists, community leaders, actors, directors, and producers, they uncover a pattern of gross misrepresentation and gross under-representation -- a world in which Latinos tend to appear, if at all, as gangsters and Mexican bandits, harlots and prostitutes, drug dealers and welfare-leeching illegals.

Ángel Quintero
Co-Sponsored by SpanPort
Dr. Quintero Rivera is currently the Director of the Social Research Center of the University of Puerto Rico in Rio Piedras which is the most prominent research institution in the social sciences in the country. Since the 1980s the main focus of Quintero Rivera's research has been a historically grounded and theoretically informed analysis of popular culture in the Hispanophone Caribbean and Latin America. In this vein, his book Salsa Sabor y Control: Sociologia de la Musica Tropical, won several awards including best book in Spanish by the Latin American Studies Association (LASA) and the Casa de las Americas prize. His most recent book Cuerpo y Cultura: Las Musicas Mulatas y la Subversion del Baile, pursues and developed this line of investigation of Caribbean and Latin American popular culture, developing a theory of cultural production by means of an historical and empirical analysis of dance practices and performances. Professor Angel Quintero Rivera is a prolific and versatile scholar who writes about different domains of cultural creation (music, dance, art, religion), framing his research in historical perspective while developing original theoretical analyses.

Lawrence Flores
November 29, Herter 209
Professor at the Universidade Federal de Santa Maria in Brazil, Lawrence Flores gave a reading of his poems. His book Engano Especular (2012) is the result of an ongoing work on poetry and poetic translation over the past 15 years. His translation of Hamlet is forthcoming by Editora 34, Sâo Pauo. Currenty, he has a Research Grant by the Brazilian government to develop his translation of King Lear.

One-Day Conference on Contemporary Spanish Cinema
The Second International Conference on Spanish film, SPANISH CINEMA TODAY
Opening Remarks Catherine Portuges (Director, Film Studies Program, UMass) Barbara Zecchi (Conference Organizer, UMass)
Cine y Representación Giulia Colaizzi (Univ. Valencia, Harvard University) Cine y Cultura Digital Vicente Luis Mora (Brown University) Cine y Periodismo Concha Gómez (Univ. Carlos III Madrid, UMass Amherst) Cine e Inmigración Domingo Sánchez-Mesa (Univ. Granada, UMass Amherst) Cine y Erotismo Santiago Fouz-Hernández (Univ. Durham, Harvard University)

Film director Mara Cristina Carrillo at UMASS
On Thursday Oct 11 at 2:00 in Herter 301, Film Director María Cristina Carrillo will introduce her documentary _La Churona_ about the controversial efforts of a large community of Ecuadorians in Madrid to get an image of their Virgin La Churona into a Catholich church in Spain.

GYNOCINE: Mujeres, Dones and Cinema
El propósito de este encuentro es establecer un puente entre la teoría fílmica feminista y la práctica cinematográfica de las mujeres españolas, y empezar un nuevo diálogo.
Presentaciones Margarita Alexandre: actriz, directora, productora Mar Coll: directora Inés Parí­s: directora, guionista Alicia Luna: guionista Margarita Lobo: Filmoteca Nacional Susan Martin-Márquez: Rutgers University Núria Triana-Toribio: University of Manchester Kathleen Vernon: SUNY at Stony Brook