Arts & Culture

Hispanic studies courts students

Film screenings, cultural discussions held to attract students to department course offerings

By
Senior Staff Writer
Tuesday, February 9, 2016

The Department of Hispanic Studies is hosting Spanish Language Week, a series of movies, talks and programs, Feb. 8 to Feb. 12 in hopes of garnering greater interest in the department as well as the study of the Spanish language.

“We are very excited about Spanish Week,” wrote Janet Blume, interim chair of the Department of Hispanic Studies, in an email to The Herald. “We are grateful to Professor Ercan Balci, the director of the Center for Language Studies, for organizing the series of language weeks.”

Spanish Language Week is part of a larger series of language weeks initiated by the Center for Language Studies that will take place over the 2015-2016 academic year. The series has already included an American Sign Language Week, a German Week and a Korean Week, among others.

The language weeks are a “wonderful way of making foreign languages more visible on campus,” said Professor Nidia Schuhmacher, who helped organize Spanish Language Week along with fellow Hispanic studies faculty, graduate students and concentrators.

“We wanted students at Brown to have the opportunity to engage with Spanish intellectual life and culture on campus and not just solely in the classroom,” said Hannah Rice ’16, who helped plan the week and is one of three leaders of the Hispanic Studies Departmental Undergraduate Group.

“Everybody (in the department) contributed ideas and conversations,” Schuhmacher said. She added that she hopes the week highlights the strengths of Hispanic studies at the University.

“There’s a lot of energy in our department,” Schuhmacher said.

“Language and culture are important components of a liberal education,” Blume wrote. “It is wonderful to have the chance to showcase opportunities in Hispanic studies.”

Spanish Language Week was slated to start yesterday, but the first event — a screening of “Metegol,” an animated film directed by Juan Campanella — was cancelled due to inclement weather. 

The rest of the week is set to go on as scheduled, including a Wednesday night screening of “Vivir es fácil con los ojos cerrados,” directed by David Trueba. Spanish Language Week will also feature a talk Tuesday at 2:30 p.m. at McCormick Theater by Chilean author Alejandro Zambra. Spanish Language Week will culminate Friday with an event called “Café, té y pan dulce,” a gathering designed to unite Hispanic studies concentrators and interested students in discussion.