News and Announcements
Congratulations to the Winners of the 2012 Spanish Prizes
Gabriel Mistral Award - Rachel Black
Lope de Vega Award - Justin Sohn and Andrew Smyth
Established in 1962 by an anonymous gift, monetary prizes, for men and women respectively, are awarded to members of the freshman class who show excellence in secondary school preparatory work in Spanish. The examination presupposes a minimum of two years’ study in a secondary school or its equivalent. Not open to native speakers or people with more than one month abroad.
In Memorium: Carlos Fuentes (1928-2012)
Renowned Mexican novelist and public intellectual Carlos Fuentes died at his home in Mexico City on May 15, 2012, at the age of 83. He had been a Brown University Professor-at-large based at the Department of Hispanic Studies since 1996, and had just been to campus in April to participate in the department's sixth Transatlantic Conference, "Transatlantic Poetics: Toward a Cross-Cultural Syntax."
Fuentes came to Brown every spring to teach classes, give public talks, participate in dialogues with other leading figures of the Hispanic world, and to contribute to the series of Transatlantic Conferences organized by Professor Julio Ortega and students from the department of Hispanic Studies. He presented lectures within the departments of French Studies, Latin American Studies, and Literary Arts, while also partaking in a number high-profile, international Brown events: he was part of former Brown president Vartan Gregorian's Dedication to Hispanic Studies; he participated in Brown's Transatlantic gathering in Madrid with then-Brown president Gordon Gee; and served as co-host, along with fellow Latin American author Gabriel García Márquez, to president Ruth Simmons for her Julio Cortázar invited lectureship at the Universidad de Guadalajara, Mexico. He received an honorary doctoral degree from Brown in 1995, when Professor Ortega was chair of the department of Hispanic Studies, consistently recognized as one of the top in the country by the National Research Council.
Carlos Fuentes is the author of 50 books that cover the spectrum of genres, including novels, essays, plays, and anthologies. Best known throughout the Spanish-speaking world for what many call his masterpiece, La muerte de Artemio Cruz (The Death of Artemio Cruz, published in 1962), Fuentes became well known within the United States for his 1985 novel Gringo viejo (The Old Gringo) -- the first book by a Mexican novelist to become a best seller here. The Old Gringo was later made into a film starring Gregory Peck and Jane Fonda (1989). With Professor Ortega, Fuentes edited The Picador Book of Latin America Short Stories that was launched by Vintage Press in New York. Professor Fuentes' collected works (Obra reunida) are currently being published by the leading Mexican publisher, Fondo de Cultura Económica, and a group of graduate students from Hispanic Studies has worked as editorial assistants on the production of the first four volumes of the series. For his writing, Fuentes has been the recipient of, among other prizes, the Premio Rómulo Gallegos (1977), the Premio Cervantes (1987), and the Premio Príncipe de Asturias de las Letras prize (1994). Before joining Brown he was a visiting professor at Harvard, Pennsylvania, Dartmouth and Princeton. Fuentes is survived by his wife, Mexican journalist Silvia Lemus, and a daughter from his previous marriage to Mexican actress Rita Macedo, Cecilia.
Brown's department of Hispanic Studies has received notes of condolence from former students worldwide, praising Fuentes' talks and attention. One of them writes: "I came to Mexico to study his work, loved the country and the Spanish language, met my husband and have my children, and we still leave here. He changed my life."Another, from our doctoral program, now a professor, adds: “I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to have met him at Brown, and to have interviewed two years ago. My first conference paper and publication were on Artemio Cruz. My book has just now been published, and much of it is bound up with him, too. So, there is a lot of sadness for me with this news.”