In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, the University of Mississippi Department of Modern Languages will host its first-ever Hispanic Heritage Series of lectures and films. The series begins Thursday, Sept. 17, 2015, with events continuing through Nov. 12.
Organizers Diane Marting, associate professor of Spanish, Irene Kaufmann, lecturer in Spanish, and Karma Sanchez, instructor of Spanish, hope to provide insights into the diverse Hispanic American societies in our community and abroad. The series will explore contemporary issues such as religion, gender and immigration.
“We want to facilitate enriched understanding of our global community,” said Sanchez, an instructor of Spanish.
All events are free and open to the public. Each event takes place in the Turner Center Auditorium, Room 205, with a brief reception beginning at 5:30 p.m. preceding the 6 p.m. lectures and screenings. Campus parking is free to guests after 6 p.m.
The five lectures, delivered by UM professors, reflect upon history and current events in the Hispanic world and are followed by contemporary films from Spanish-speaking countries. All films are in Spanish with English subtitles, and the screenings end with question-and-answer sessions.
“We are really lucky to have speakers available about so many different areas of Latin America – and the films,” said Marting, associate professor of Spanish. “They are brand-new, commercially released ones, unlikely to ever be shown in Oxford in the theater.”
Marting begins the series Thursday with a lecture on Adrián Caetano’s Argentine film, “Bolivia,” about an immigrant who suffers mistreatment in Argentina.
“Like the United States, Argentina has accepted many European migrants in the past, but there are still many groups within Argentina who feel threatened when new waves of migrants arrive,” Marting said. “Today when Syrian migrants are so much in the news, it is interesting to compare what is happening in Europe, or on the U.S. border, to Caetano’s 2001 film.”
The lecture will be followed by the Argentine comedy “Chinese Take-Away,” winner of the best film, best actor and best supporting actor awards in 2011 by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Argentina.
“While not documentaries, the lectures and films work to open minds to cultures that are integral to our community,” said Kauffman, lecturer of Spanish.
The lecture series is supported by grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities through the Mississippi Humanities Council. The Spanish Film Club series is made possible by Pragda, SPAIN Arts and Culture and the Secretary of State for the Culture of Spain.