Wednesday, October 8, 2014



California State University, Los Angeles
April 14, 2017



California State University, Los Angeles
Music Hall
April 14-15, 2017


Sponsored by Cal State L.A.'s Office of the President, Office of the Provost, the Gigi Gaucher-Morales Memorial Conferences, the College of Arts and Letters, the College of Natural and Social Sciences, the Department of Chicana/o and Latina/o Studies, the Latin American Studies Program, the Emeriti Association at Cal State L.A., and the joint sponsorship of
Consulado General de México en Los Angeles, 
Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), 
Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León (México),
and México's Secretaría de Cultura.




This Conference is Free and Open to the Public. 

Cal State L.A. Map Website:
http://www.calstatela.edu/univ/maps/index.php





Acclaimed by his peers as Mexico’s “Universal writer,” Alfonso Reyes (Nuevo León, México, 1889-1959) was the admired embodiment of the Latin American poet, essayist, and literary theorist during the first half of the twentieth century. The son of Bernardo Reyes, governor of Nuevo Len and army general under Porfirio Díaz, Alfonso Reyes served México in various diplomatic posts from 1913 to 1939 in Argentina, Brazil, France, and Spain, and functioned as the President of the Mexican delegation to UNESCO after the Second World War. Reyes was the director of the Casa de España (1939), later known as Colegio de México. Through his travels and many years of diplomatic service abroad Reyes worked and corresponded with leading Latin American and European writers and philosophers such as José Ortega y Gasset (Spain), Jorge Luis Borges (Argentina), Juana de Ibarbourou (Uruguay), and Werner Jaeger (Germany), to name a few. He translated into Spanish works by Jules Romains, G.K. Chesterton, Robert Louis Stevenson, G Murray, C.M Bowra and, among others, Laurence Sterne and Homer’s Iliad. Reyes was the guiding mentor of younger Mexican writers, Octavio Paz and Carlos Fuentes among them, whose work can only be fully understood in the light of Alfonso Reyes's vast and varied literary creativity. While post-Revolutionary Mexico stood for a break with a national past marred by dictatorships and colonialism, Reyes sought continuity in terms of Mexico’s stratified past—Mesoamerican, colonial, post-Independence, and contemporary—and with a Greco-Roman humanist tradition that flourished in Mexico as of the sixteenth century. These national and classical heritages were regarded by Alfonso Reyes as founding origins for Mexico’s quest toward a culture of criticism, historical change, and democratic institutions. In El arco y la lira (1956), Octavio Paz  declared his indebtedness to Reyes for his unconditional friendship and for being a writer’s model: in Reyes’s essays Paz claimed to have found order, lucidity, and illumination.

Alfonso Reyes’s literary background was shaped by major national and international conflicts: among the former, the Mexican Revolution and the political tensions in post-revolutionary Mexico; most salient in the latter: international events such as the First World War, the rise of European fascism, avant-garde movements (Cubism, Futurism, Surrealism), and the emergent realities of nationalist and right-wing politics in Latin America. Alfonso Reyes wrote with insight and independent spirit about avant-garde movements, and with ethical force against the rising tide of Italian fascism and Nazi politics in Hitler's Germany. With an astonishing intellectual curiosity and capacity for work, Reyes thought and wrote about every important topic and major intellectual current that continue to define his beleaguered times. 


The 2017 Conference on Alfonso Reyes includes eight keynote and featured speakers representing France, Mexico, and the United States. Three sessions on various conference-related topics and one book presentation complete the conference program.  To view the biographies and lecture abstracts of speakers and panelists, scroll down to the end of the online conference program. This conference is the result of a close collaboration of Mexican and U.S. faculty, and was made possible by Cal State L.A.'s Office of the President, the Office of the Provost, the Gigi Gaucher-Morales Memorial Conference Series, the College of Arts and Letters, the College of Natural and Social Sciences, the Department of Chicana/o and Latina/o Studies, the Latin American Studies Program, the Emeriti Association at Cal State L.A., and the joint sponsorship of Consulado General de México en Los Angeles, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León (México), and México's Secretaría de Cultura. For questions on the conference, contact Dr. Roberto Cantú at rcantu@calstatela.edu







conference program


Friday, April 14

Registration (free admission):
8:30-9:00 A. M.
Music Hall
California State University, Los Angeles


Left to Right: Steven Trujillo, Richard Pérez, 
and Cristόbal Palma (Registration team)



Michael Cervantes (Alumnus, Conference Photographer)





introduction and welcome
9:00-9:30 a.m.
Music Hall





DR. LYNN MAHONEY
PROVOST AND VICE PRESIDENT FOR ACADEMIC AFFAIRS
CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY, LOS ANGELES




Ministro Andrés Webster Henestrosa
Mexico's consulate general 
in Los Angeles








opening of conference
With Dr. Alfredo Morales and Steven Trujillo (Alumnus)

Conference Organizer: 
Roberto Cantú 
Department of Chicana/o and Latina/o Studies
California State University, Los Angeles


Conference Co-Organizers:


Nora Cisneros 
Department of Chicana/o and Latina/o Studies 
California State University, Los Angeles




Alejandro Covarrubias
Department of Chicana/o and Latina/o Studies
California State University, Los Angeles



Alex Espinoza 
Department of TV, Film, and Media
Program in Creative Writing and Literary Arts
California State University, Los Angeles




















Keynote Speaker
Friday, April 14, 9:30-10:30 a.m.
Music Hall





Dr. Héctor Perea
Instituto de Investigaciones Filológicas
Universidad Nacional Autόnoma de México

Title of Lecture:

 “The Bronze Statue, in Flesh and Blood”


Moderator:



Alex Espinoza
California State University, Los Angeles










Teatro Degollado, Guadalajara (Jalisco), México

Plenary Session # 1
Friday, April 14, 10:45 A.M.-12:00 p.m.
Music Hall




Alfonso reyes: Poetry, Philosophy, 
and Literary theory”


Moderator: Alejandro Covarrubias, California State University, Los Angeles

Panelists:



1.  “Hacia un deslinde de la literatura: Alfonso Reyes ante la crítica filosófica”
Aurelia Valero Pie, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México


2.  “A Friend in Foreign Lands: Alfonso Reyes and Werner Jaeger”
Stanley M. Burstein, California State University, Los Angeles


3. "Beyond Philosophy: Alfonso Reyes and the Modern Mexican Essay"
Robert Sánchez, Mount Saint Mary’s University, Los Angeles



   
4. “A Reading of Alfonso Reyes’ Homero en Cuernavaca
Fabián Espejel, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México








Luncheon Break: 12:00-1:00 p.m.






Featured Speaker

Friday, April 14, 1:00-2:00 p.m.
Music Hall



Dr. Ignacio M. Sánchez Prado
Washington University in St. Louis





Title of Lecture:

The Alphonsine Literary Form:
Idealism, Modernism and the Essay


Moderator:


Hildebrando Villarreal
California State University, Los Angeles








Plenary Session #2
Friday, April 14, 2:15-3:30 p.m.
Music Hall


“Alfonso Reyes: Correspondence and literary lineages”



Moderator: Jorge LealCalifornia State University, Los Angeles

Panelists:





1. “Carlos Pereyra y Alfonso Reyes, correspondencia y obra”
Aurora Díez-Canedo F., Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México


  




2. “Alfonso Reyes y Carlos Fuentes: Linaje literario”
Georgina García Gutiérrez Vélez, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México







Featured Speaker

Friday, April 14, 3:45-5:00 p.m.
Music Hall



Dr. Florence Olivier
Université Sorbonne Nouvelle Paris 3, France


Title of Lecture:

Autorretrato y retrato oblicuo de Alfonso Reyes:
La correspondencia con Genaro Estrada
entre 1927 y 1937


Moderator:

Sara González
California State University, Los Angeles






Marcos Daniel Aguilar (UNAM) interacts with panelists




Book Presentation
Friday, April 14, 5:10-6:00 p.m.
Music Hall







EQUESTRIAN REBELS
CRITICAL PERSPECTIVES 
ON MARIANO AZUELA AND THE NOVEL 
OF THE MEXICAN REVOLUTION (2016)



Moderator: Roberto Cantú, California State University, Los Angeles

Panelists:
1. “Mariano Azuela, la novela de la revolución y la revolución mexicana vistos por los escritoires españoles”
Aurora Díez-Canedo F., Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

2. “La crítica literaria de Mariano Azuela”
Georgina García Gutiérrez Vélez, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

3. “Epica en modo menor o guerrilla narrativa en Cartucho de Nellie Campobello”
Florence Olivier, Université Sorbonne Nouvelle Paris 3, France

4. “Accidentes de tránsito: itinerario del escritor Mariano Azuela”
Fernando Curiel Defossé, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México




Sebastián Pineda Buitrago


Ignacio Sánchez Prado











Saturday, April 15



With (L to R) Sara González, Cristόbal Palma, Juan Carlos Parrilla, and Manuel Castillejos





Plenary Session #3

Saturday, April 15, 9:00-10:30 a.m.
Music Hall




“The Nation, the Avant-Garde, 
and Alfonso Reyes’ obras completas




Moderator:  Nora Cisneros, California State University, Los Angeles

Panelists:


1. “Modelo amoroso de nación: Alfonso Reyes antes de Octavio Paz”
Rosa María Hernández García, Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey, Nuevo León, México




2. “La idea de revolución educativa en América Latina: Un diálogo intelectual y de vanguardia entre Alfonso Reyes y Cecília Meireles”
Marcos Daniel Aguilar, Universidad Nacional Autόnoma de México



3. “Un hilo de Ariadna: Constancia poética y el proyecto editorial alfonsino”
Raúl Cruz Villanueva, FFyL-UNAM










Founders of Mexico’s Colegio Nacional, with (Left to Right, back row) José Clemente Orozco, Diego Rivera, Isaac Ochoterena, Ignacio Chávez, Antonio Caso, Alfonso Reyes, Carlos Chávez, and (below, L to R) Manuel Uribe Troncoso, Mariano Azuela, Ezequiel A. Chávez, Enrique González Martínez, Manuel Sandoval Vallarta, and José Vasconcelos.


Featured Speaker

Saturday, April 15, 10:45 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
Music Hall


Dr. Fernando Curiel Defossé
Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

Title of Lecture:


“letras en claro


Moderator:


Alejandro Covarrubias
California State University, Los Angeles





Fabián Espejel and Dr. Goriça Majstorovic




Luncheon Break: 12:00-1:00  p.m.





Featured Speaker
Saturday, April 15, 1:00-2:00 p. m.
Music Hall



Dr. Adela Pineda Franco
Boston University


Title of Lecture:

Alfonso Reyes Facing Early Cinema
and the Fateful Years of the Mexican Revolution


Moderator:


Alex Espinoza
California State University, Los Angeles





Featured Speaker
Saturday, April 15, 2:15-3:15 p.m.
Music Hall


Dr. Goriça Majstorovic
Stockton University, New Jersey

Title of Lecture:


Alfonso Reyes 
and Cosmopolitanism


Moderator:


Nora Cisneros
California State University, Los Angeles



Dr. Adela Pineda Franco intervenes in the Q & A



Featured Speaker
Saturday, April 15, 3:30-4:40 p.m.
Music Hall



Dr. Sebastián Pineda Buitrago
Universidad Iberoamericana
Puebla, México


Title of Lecture:

A ‘Pragmatic poet’ 
in the Interwar Period (1914-1939): 
Alfonso Reyes 
and the Modern Anglo-American Essayistic Tradition




Moderator:


George B. Sánchez-Tello
California State University, Los Angeles




  





Keynote Speaker

Saturday, April 15, 4:45-6:00 p.m.
Music Hall



Dr. Víctor Barrera Enderle
Facultad de Filosofía y Letras
Universidad Autόnoma de Nuevo Leόn, México


Title of Lecture:

“Alfonso Reyes and the Latin American Essay”


Moderator:


Roberto Cantú
California State University, Los Angeles







--Conclusion of Conference--











Names of keynote and featured speakers,
Titles of Presentations, and Abstracts





Keynote Speaker
Dr. Víctor Barrera Enderle
Facultad de Filosofía y Letras
Universidad Autόnoma de Nuevo Leόn, México

Title of Lecture:

"Alfonso Reyes and the Latin American Essay"


Alfonso Reyes was not only a representative figure of the twentieth century Latin American essay, but one of its leading theorists and scholars. Reyes created a theory of the essay and put it into practice, which allowed him to develop a complex map of Latin American cultural life. The particularities of this literary genre offered him, at the same time, a critical strategy for reading and appropriating the best of Western culture, as well as the ability to configure a voice in the constellation of Spanish-speaking authors in the first half of twentieth century. When Alfonso Reyes began writing essays (driven by his friend and mentor Pedro Henríquez Ureña), this literary genre had acquired in Mexico its own characteristics: the search for identity, reflections on nationalism, and a survey of our relationship with Western culture. Reyes brings two fundamental elements to the Latin American essay: subjectivity and criticism.  In this lecture I will discuss these elements and issues in depth.


Dr. Víctor Barrera Enderle (Monterrey, México, 1972) is Professor in the Facultad de Filosofía y Letras at the Universidad Autόnoma de Nuevo Leόn (México).  He received his Ph.D. at the Universidad de Chile, where he subsequently taught as a Visiting Professor. In addition, he has been Visiting Researcher at the Ibero-Amerikanisches Institut (Berlin, Germany). Dr. Barrera Enderle is a writer, essayist, literary critic and one of the world’s leading Alfonso Reyes scholars. He was a ecipient of the 2008 Fellowship awarded by the Consejo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes, and has served as the editor of the literary journal Armas y Letras, and as coordinator of the Centro de Escritores de Nuevo León. He is a member of the Sistema Nacional de Investigadores de México and co-editor of the online literary journal Levadura where he publishes his column titled "Aristarquía." Dr. Barrera Enderle’s many publications include the following books: La mudanza incesante. Teoría y crítica literarias en Alfonso Reyes (Monterrey, UANL: 2002); De la amistad literaria (Ensayo sobre la genealogía de una amistad: Alfonso Reyes / Pedro Henríquez Ureña, 1906-1914) (Monterrey, UANL: 2006, recipient of the 2005 Award  “Certamen Nacional de Ensayo ‘Alfonso Reyes”); Globalización y literatura (La Habana: Casa de las Américas, 2008); La reinvención de Ariel. Reflexiones neoarielistas sobre humanismo crítico y posmodernidad a América Latina (México: Conarte /Conaculta, 2013); and, among other titles, Siete ensayos sobre literatura y región (Monterrey: Facultad de Filosofía y Letras /UANL, 2014) and Nadie me dijo que habría días como éstos (Monterrey: Analfabeta, 2015).    
  



Featured Speaker
Dr. Fernando Curiel Defossé
Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

Title of Lecture:

“Letras en Claro"

El objectivo de esta presentación es el estudio de Historia documental de mis libros, serie de artículos en los que Alfonso Reyes anticipa a la historia intelectual en México.  El enfoque es sobre los antecedentes mediatos e inmediatos; el proceso de escritura; método y medios; período comprendido (1911-1924); período faltante (1925-1959); proyectos paralelos (Obras completas, Memorias, Diario), y conclusiones.


Fernando Curiel Defossé holds a Law degree, a master’s degree in Arts and Letters, and a doctorate in history from Mexico’s National University (UNAM). He is a writer of fiction, essayist, researcher, editor, disseminator, and actively involved in university government. He is the author of wide-ranging publications in areas of literary studies, industrial literature, communication, and generational history, with salient titles such Onetti: calculado infortunio (Premio Xavier Villaurrutia), La querella de Guzmán (Premio José Revueltas), El cielo no se abre. Semblanza documental de Alfonso Reyes (Premio de Biografía Colima), Hijo de Lampazos. García Naranjo en sus memorias (Mención Premio Alfonso Reyes) y La revuelta. Interpretación del Ateneo de la Juventud (1906-1929). He has edited literary journals, epistolary anthologies, diaries, and memoirs written by modernist writers and members of the Ateneo de la Juventud, and the Contemporáneos generation. He edited the facsimile edition of Revista AzulRevista Moderna, the newspaper edition of La sombra del caudillo, and the research publications titled Índice de las revistas culturales del siglo XX and Darío en México.






Featured Speaker
Dr. Gorica Majstorovic
Stockton University, New Jersey

Title of Lecture:

“Alfonso Reyes and Cosmopolitanism

This presentation addresses (Latin) Americanist constructions of cosmopolitanism, conceptualized in relation to the imperial geopolitics as a situated, critical stance, in the texts of Alfonso Reyes and his contemporaries, most prominently Pedro Henríquez Ureña, Dominican essayist, philosopher, and literary critic, and Victoria Ocampo, Argentine writer, essayist, and editor of the journal Sur from 1931-1976. Alfonso Reyes’s works, such as “Notas sobre la inteligencia americana” published in 1936, and Ultima Tule published in 1942, interrogate standard notions of universal humanism, and advocate—among other ideas—an American utopia, while fully acknowledging coloniality as the central problem of modernity and committing “to use a cosmopolitan stance to decolonize Latin American intellectual practice” (Ignacio Sánchez Prado, “The Age of Utopia”). Setting into conversation Henríquez-Ureña’s La utopía de América (1925), and Reyes’ texts that analyze a projection of an ideal utopian future onto America, the talk seeks to establish a transnational understanding of these aesthetic and political developments as significantly marked by the two world wars. During the interwar years, Alfonso Reyes was first the ambassador of Mexico in Argentina, and then he served in Brazil, from where he wrote an essay commemorating El Día Americano in 1932. Upon analyzing immigration movements and the subsequent revaluation of the nation, I suggest that in Alfonso Reyes cosmopolitan mediation is “dis-hierarchized,” almost always located in a periphery, unlike Victoria Ocampo, whose cosmopolitan visions are mediated from a “center” and related to a hierarchy of aesthetic and political values. Reyes’s seminal work, cautiously suspicious of “epistemological privilege, views from above or from the center” (as Rebecca L. Walkowitz  referred to a cosmopolitan style), is ideally placed not only to map the future of Latin Americanism but also to trigger a debate on possible alternatives to globalization and global humanities under siege.


Dr. Gorica Majstorovic is Associate Professor of Spanish and Coordinator of Latin American and Caribbean Studies at Stockton University. Her research concerns the intersection of comparative literary history and Latin American studies, with particular emphasis on translation, travel, visual arts, and the role cultural institutions and intellectual networks play in the construction of cosmopolitanisms across the Global South. She has forthcoming articles in Atlantic Studies: Global Currents and Studi Interculturali, among others. Her publications have appeared in Latin American Research ReviewSymposiumVeguetaProFemina, MonTi, Arizona Journal of Hispanic Cultural StudiesIberoamericana: América LatinaA Contracorriente: A Journal on Social History and Literature in Latin America, and in several anthologies.





Featured Speaker
Dr. Florence Olivier
Université Sorbonne Nouvelle Paris 3, France

Title of Lecture:

“Autorretrato y retrato oblicuo de Alfonso Reyes:
La correspondencia con Genaro Estrada entre 1927 y 1937”


La correspondencia entre los dos grandes humanistas y diplomáticos que fueron Alfonso Reyes y Genaro Estrada brinda a la posteridad del escritor regiomontano una suerte de retrato oblicuo y polifacético del primero por el segundo y viceversa a la vez que ambos corresponsales incurren en el autorretrato confidencial. El horizonte de la posteridad distaba de estar ausente puesto que Reyes había dispuesto que su correspondencia se publicase póstumamente aunque con el prudente plazo de espera de veinte años tras su muerte. Al hilo de los intercambios epistolares con su amigo, cómplice en el quehacer literario de toda índole, y superior jerárquico en la carrière, Alfonso Reyes aparece y se muestra en calidad de sujeto privado, de hombre de letras, de servidor del Estado mexicano e intelectual cosmopolita y, por ende, de mediador entre la literatura mexicana y la argentina durante los dos periodos en que fue Embajador de México en Argentina (1927-1930 y 1936-1937); entre la mexicana y la brasileña cuando asumió las mismas funciones en Brasil (1930-1936); y más allá de los intercambios entre literaturas latinoamericanas, entre la mexicana y la francesa o la española. La peculiar escansión de tal correspondencia, que ofrece momentos de gran intensidad alternados con otros de intensidad menor, arroja luz sobre la forma cómo a la distancia procura Alfonso Reyes, con la complicidad de Genaro Estrada, participar en la vida literaria e intelectual mexicana, cuando no en el proyecto cultural nacional, cuyas aventuras, percances y tensiones vive, y a veces sufre, sin cejar. Así es cómo puede leerse en ella un compendio de la biografía pública y privada de la revista Contemporáneos, o indagarse en los enfrentamientos ideológicos que regían la vida cultural mexicana del periodo y cuyas trampas sorteaba el humanista, cosmopolita y mexicanista.


Dr. Florence Olivier is Professor of Comparative Literature at the University of Paris III Sorbonne Nouvelle where she has taught since 2009. She specializes in Latin American Literature and has published critical editions of the novel Los días terrenales, by Mexican writer José Revueltas, and the complete works of Juan Rulfo in the Colección Archivos (ALLCA-UNESCO).  She is the author of  Carlos Fuentes o la imaginación del otro (Mexico: Editorial de la Universidad Veracruzana, 2007), a translation of the French edition published in Paris by Aden in 2009 under the title Carlos Fuentes ou l’imagination de l’autre. She has published numerous articles in French and Mexican academic and cultural journals, and is a member of the  Centre d’Études et de Recherches Comparatistes (EA 172), and of the Board of Directors of Research Center at the University of Paris 3 Sorbonne Nouvelle, where she also co-edits the literary journal América. Recent issues include Violence d’Etat, Paroles libératrices (2006), Exils, Migrations, Création. Vol. IV (2008), both published by Editions Indigo, París, and Cultures et conflits/ cultures en conflit (Michel Houdiard, 2009), La littérature latino-américaine au seuil du XXIe siècle. Un parnasse éclaté, co-edited with Françoise Moulin-Civil and Teresa Orecchia-Havas (Aden, 2013). She has translated works by Diamela Eltit, José Revueltas, Nellie Campobello, Guillermo Samperio, Alain-Paul Mallard, Margo Glantz, and  Rogelio Guedea. 




Keynote Speaker
Dr. Héctor Perea
Instituto de Investigaciones Filológicas
Universidad Nacional Autόnoma de México

Title of Lecture:

“The Bronze Statue, in Flesh and Blood”

The lecture will examine the profile and oeuvre of Alfonso Reyes from the perspective of his everyday existence and thus from personal circumstances and situations. The interpretive approach is not canonical nor with an institutionalized reverence toward a bust cast in bronze; the critical entry into Reyes’s work, on the contrary, intends to demystify, to re-think, and to examine the seldom-studied aspects of his daily existence and the content and form of his most personal writings. The proposed critical scrutiny into Alfonso Reyes’ identity traits in light of his enormous work composed of concise and brief essays will reveal a seldom-seen dimension of the creative character and sensibility of Alfonso Reyes, a writer/poet who is essential and vital to the literature written in Spanish.   


Dr. Héctor Perea obtained a bachelor’s degree in journalism at the Universidad Nacional Autόnoma de México (UNAM), and a Ph.D. in Information Sciences from the Universidad Complutense (Madrid, Spain). He is Senior Researcher at the Instituto de Investigaciones Filológicas and Professor of Graduate Literary Studies at UNAM. He is a distinguished member of the Sistema Nacional de Creadores de Arte and was also member of the Sistema Nacional de Investigadores. He was awarded fellowships by the Centro Mexicano de Escritores under the mentorship of prominent and renowned Mexican writers such as Juan Rulfo, Salvador Elizondo, and Francisco Monterde. A world authority on Alfonso Reyes, Dr. Perea has published more than thirty books, with titles that include: La caricia de las formas: Alfonso Reyes y el cine (1988); España en la obra de Alfonso Reyes (1991); La rueda del tiempo: Mexicanos en España (1996); Los párpados del mundo (2009), and Ojos de Reyes (2009), to name a few. He co-edited the volumes  Alfonso Reyes. Iconografía (awarded the Pemio Nacional al Arte Editorial) and Curiose inquietudini. Sedici racconti del Messico contemporaneo (2014). Dr. Perea has received many literary and national awards, among the latter: “Rosario Castellanos de Periodismo Cultural” (1989) y “José Revueltas de Ensayo Literario” (1994). In 2011 Brown University (USA) and FONCA honored him with the Cátedra Cultura de México Award, and in 2012 he was elected to the prestigious Seminaire Amérique Latin-Centre de Recherches Interdisciplinaires sur les Mondes Ibérique Contemporains (University of Paris-Sorbonne). Since 1999 Dr. Perea has been an honorary member of the National Collegiate Hispanic Honor Society Sigma Delta Pi, Chapter Mu Epsilon, University of Louisville, Kentucky. Dr. Perea has lectured and taught in several universities, including Sapienza Università di Roma, Universidad de Salamanca (Spain), Universidad de Buenos Aires (Argentina), Instituto Cervantes de Sao Paulo, and other distinguished universities such as Brown, Liverpool, Irvine (California), Louisville, Paris-Sorbonne París, London, Chicago, and Alburquerque. He has lectured at IV Congreso Internacional de la Lengua Española de Cartagena de Indias; at the Mexican Embassy in Italy; at the Mexican Institute in Spain, and at Casa de México in París. The Instituto Cervantes elected Dr. Perea to be the  curator and editor of the exhibition Alfonso Reyes: el sendero entre la vida y la ficción (2006-2010), with eleven exhibits in Mexico, Spain, France, Portugal, Brazil, the United States, and Cuba.






Featured Speaker
Dr. Sebastián Pineda Buitrago
Universidad Iberoamericana
Puebla, México

Title of Lecture:

“A ‘Pragmatic Poet’ in the Interwar Period (1914-1939): 
Alfonso Reyes and the Modern Anglo-American Essayistic Tradition”

Alfonso Reyes (1889-1959) was part of a liberal society founded in an ideology of revolution and progress. First as an exiled writer in Spain (1914-1920), due to the Mexican Revolution, and then as an ambassador of the Mexican Revolutionary State in France, Brazil and Argentina, Reyes dealt with several problems in a specific situation and in a reasonable and logical way instead of depending on ideas and theories. One could sense that sort of pragmatism in the practice of Reye’s literary criticism –a pragmatism which explicitly refers to the modern Anglo-American essayistic tradition that extends from Thomas Carlyle to Ralph Waldo Emerson, and from William James to G. K. Chesterton. Being an independent writer in Madrid, Reyes translated Chesterton’s short stories, essays, and the novel The Man who was Thursday (1908). One could even notice this literary influence also in Reyes´s poetry. In his prologue to Poesía en movimiento (México, 1915-1966), the generation-defining anthology of Mexican poetry, Octavio Paz said that Reyes introduced the poetic prose of the English tradition to the modern poetry in Spanish language. In my presentation I will illustrate the manner in which Alfonso Reyes found affinities with the Anglo-American pragmatist movement (Carlyle, Chesterton, Emerson, James), known for its stress on “action,” “practice,” and the “ethical,” and how he adapts pragmatism to his own ideas about a writer’s worldly tradition, individual conduct, and criticism.  The reading of Reyes’s literary criticism and creative writing itself through the prism of an Anglo-American essayistic tradition can now break out of a narcissistic self-referentiality, and return to a consciousness of history.

Dr. Sebastián Pineda Buitrago is Professor of Literature and Philosophy at Universidad Iberoamericana in Puebla, Mexico. His research focuses on the relationship between intellectual history, narrative and essayistic tradition in the Hispanic World, with a particular focus on Alfonso Reyes. He is the author of La musa crítica: teoría literaria de Alfonso Reyes (2007), Breve historia de la narrativa colombiana (2012), Tensión de ideas: el ensayo hispanoamericano (2016), and of an anthology on Alfonso Reyes titled Comprensión de España en clave mexicana (2014). He has published several scholarly articles on Mexican, Colombian and Spanish intellectual history, and on literary and cultural theory.







Featured Speaker
Adela Pineda Franco
Boston University
  
Title of Lecture:

“Alfonso Reyes Facing Early Cinema
and the Fateful Years of the Mexican Revolution”

Humanism and Latin Americanism are the two major trends which frame the work and trajectory of Alfonso Reyes. As such, the majority of the studies dedicated to this thinker revolve around his contributions to these fields. A less-studied aspect of Reyes’ work is his relationship with popular and mass culture, particularly to film. Reyes, like Walter Benjamin, perceived how film inaugurated a new way of perceiving reality in which the register of emotions and senses were implicated like never before. This talk will address Reyes’ reflections on early cinema, but it does so in connection with another historical event, a mobilization of the masses which likewise altered the distribution of the sensible: the Mexican Revolution. Both cinema and the Revolution influenced Reyes thinking during the period of 1910-1920 about the development of new forms of knowledge. This talk will also highlight the role of Henri Bergson in Reyes’ thought from a phenomenological perspective.


Dr. Adela Pineda Franco is Associate Professor of Latin American literature and film at Boston University. Her research focuses on the transatlantic practices of writers from the Latin American modernista movement and from the Ateneo de la Juventud; the relationship between film and politics in Latin America; and the impact of the Mexican Revolution around the globe. Some of her key publications include her book Geopolíticas de la cultura finisecular en Buenos Aires, París y México: las revistas literarias y el modernismo, and several volumes she has coedited such as Alfonso Reyes y los estudios latinoamerianos (Instituto Internacional de Literatura Iberoamericana, 2004), Open Borders to a Revolution (Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press 2013) and Cinéma et turbulences politiques en Amérique Latine (Presses Universitaires de Rennes 2012). She has been a visiting professor at the Université de Rennes, Brown University and the Universidad Autónoma de Puebla. Currently she directs the Latin American Studies Program at Boston University.






Featured Speaker
Dr. Ignacio M. Sánchez Prado
Washington University in St. Louis

“The Alphonsine Literary Form:
Idealism, Modernism and the Essay”

This presentation proposes a theoretical reflection on the literary form as practiced in the writings of Alfonso Reyes. It does not seek to systematize Reyes’s own theory of literature, something that has been admirably done by various scholars in the past. Rather, it engages Reyes’s literary writing through three theoretical axes. The first one sustains the importance of the literary ideologies of German idealism and romanticism to understand Reyes’s literary forms. This will be argued in dialogue with one of his most important contemporaries Georg Lukàcs, and his ideas on “soul” and “form,” as well as through the readings of romanticism and idealism as developed by Slavoj Žižek in Less than Nothing, and Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe and Jean-Luc Nancy in The Literary Absolute. The second part of the presentation analyzes some of Reyes’s key works from the lens of modernism, in dialogue with Audrey Wasser’s groundbreaking work The Work of Difference. Finally the paper will conclude discussing Reyes’s later pedagogical turn in his large treatises, engaging the idea of philology as developed by Werner Hamacher in Minima Philologica. In following this path, the paper has three objectives: 1. Providing a reading of Alphonsine form from a vantage point not theorized by Reyes himself; 2. Bringing studies on Alfonso Reyes to a space of dialogue with contemporary theory, and 3. Rethinking Reyes as a writer aligned with a long-durée tradition of Western idealism and not just as a Latin American writer tied to Arielismo.


Dr. Ignacio M. Sánchez Prado is Associate Professor of Spanish and Latin American Studies at Washington University in St. Louis. His research focuses on the relationship between aesthetics, ideology and cultural institutions in Mexico, with a particular focus on literature and cinema. He is the author of El canon y sus formas. La reinvención de Harold Bloom y sus lecturas hispanoamericanas (2002), Naciones intelectuales: Las fundaciones de la modernidad literaria mexicana (1917-1959) (2009, winner of the LASA Mexico 2010 Humanities Book Award); Intermitencias americanistas: Ensayos académico y literarios (2004-2009) (2012); and Screening Neoliiberalism. Transforming Mexican Cinema 1988-2012 (2014). He has edited and co-edited eleven scholarly collections, the most recent of which are Democracia, Otredad y Melancolía: Roger Bartra ante la crítica (with Mabel Moraña. 2015), and A History of Mexican Literature (with Anna Nogar and José Ramón Ruisánchez, 2016). He has published over forty scholarly articles on Mexican literature, culture and film, and on Latin American cultural theory.







NAMEs of Panelists,
TITLES OF PRESENTATIONS, AND ABSTRACTS




La idea de revolución educativa en América Latina: Un diálogo intelectual y de vanguardia entre Alfonso Reyes y Cecília Meireles”
Marcos Daniel Aguilar, Universidad Nacional Autόnoma de México

En diversos ensayos y artículos periodísticos publicados entre 1930 y 1932, Alfonso Reyes planteó la idea de transformación educativa como medio para realizar una revolución social no solo para México sino para toda América Latina. A partir de estos textos el escritor y diplomático mexicano sostuvo largas conversaciones con la poeta y periodista Cecília Meireles quien expresó ideas similares en los diarios brasileños para los que trabajaba. Esta idea de vanguardia toca temas puntuales como el papel de la literatura y del intelectual, la vida política de los estudiantes y las universidades, así como el tema de la democracia en esta región.


A Friend in Foreign Lands: Alfonso Reyes and Werner Jaeger”
Stanley M. Burstein, California State University, Los Angeles

In March 1942 a package arrived at the Institute for Classical Studies at Harvard University. The package was addressed to its director, Werner Jaeger, and contained a copy of Alfonso Reyes’ La critica en la Edad Ateniense. Jaeger’s response was positive and led to a relationship that was conducted almost entirely by correspondence—they met only once in 1943--that lasted until Reyes’ death in 1958. Their friendship constituted a unique moment in the cultural history of the Americas.  Alfonso Reyes and Werner Jaeger were among the most distinguished humanists of the mid-twentieth century. Reyes’ massive output included over twenty works devoted to Greek themes, and Jaeger was the world’s most distinguished authority on Aristotle, and as the former professor Greek literature at the University of Berlin, he was among the most high profile refugees from Nazi Germany in the United States. Forty-four of their letters survive:  ten from Reyes to Jaeger and thirty-four from Jaeger to Reyes.  The purpose of this paper is to provide a preliminary evaluation of the evidence provided by these letters for the reaction of their authors to the crisis of humanism during World War II and the post war period.

“Un hilo de Ariadna: Constancia poética y el proyecto editorial alfonsino”
Raúl Cruz Villanueva, FFyL-UNAM

Las Obras completas de Alfonso Reyes son vistas, al mismo tiempo, como herramienta y como escollo: es el trabajo de toda una vida revisado, reunido y editado para conformar algo que no cuadra con lo que podría entenderse como “antología de autor” o, ni siquiera, como “obras completas” —pues, desde el primer tomo, Reyes deja claro que no son en realidad obras completas, sino seleccionadas. El tomo en el que es más evidente este juego doble (herramienta/obstáculo) quizá sea el décimo: Constancia poética no reúne varios libros cronológica o temáticamente: queriendo compilar (casi) toda la poesía alfonsina, Reyes propone una lectura simultánea de su trabajo editorial, teórico y crítico, particularmente en la articulación de "Repaso poético”, apartado del libro que, más que una antología, es una propuesta de lectura. En él, cada poema tiene una relación profunda con el que va antes y después, cada apartado de “Repaso” está, también, dialogando con los poemarios como Homero en Cuernavaca o Ifigenia cruel, ¿pero qué tal si Constancia es una clave de lectura para Obras completas, si la forma como se imbrican sus elementos es, también, la forma como puede ser leído El deslinde o las traducciones (o ese medio camino que es la Ilíada, entre adaptación y traducción)? Más que pensarlo un caos, mi lectura del tomo X es, de acuerdo a Georges Didi-Huberman siguiendo a Walter Benjamin, una imagen dialéctica, un “caos controlado”, que, dentro de sí abraza y proyecta lecturas e intereses estéticos, poéticos y políticos que repercuten en la forma como pensamos no sólo la obra de Reyes, sino su propuesta de país y del trabajo poético y político del intelectual latinoamericano.

“Carlos Pereyra y Alfonso Reyes, correspondencia y obra”
Aurora Díez-Canedo F., Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

La correspondencia entre el historiador coahuilense Carlos Pereyra y Alfonso Reyes durante los años 1914-1933 trata sobre los años cruciales de la Revolución mexicana vistos por dos exiliados que viven en la Europa de la primera guerra y conviven en el Madrid neutral, relacionándose con los círculos intelectuales de la época. El vínculo entre el historiador y el ensayista se estrecha debido a las circunstancias, y se refleja sobre todo en la formación del polígrafo neoleonés y en sus obras escritas en esos años; años de una intensa productividad por parte de ambos. Visiones divergentes, la situación política y la personalidad de cada cual, acabarán por distanciar definitivamente a estos dos mexicanos pertenecientes a dos generaciones pero con un pasado común en el que se encuentran claves para entender su respectiva obra posterior.

“A Reading of Alfonso Reyes’ Homero en Cuernavaca
Fabián EspejelUniversidad Nacional Autónoma de México

Alfonso Reyes is widely known in the Hispanic literary field as an exceptional essayist. The poetic source of his pen, however, is always present in all of his short fiction and prose writings. Less known, much less studied, is his poetry, in spite of having achieved three milestones in the poetry of the twentieth century: for instance, his best known poetical work, Ifigenia cruel (Cruel Ifigenia, 1923), along with Aquiles agraviado (Agrieved Achilles), and his translation of the Iliad into Spanish--of Homeric proportions-- and the sonnets written as marginal rhapsodies, collected under the title Homero en Cuernavaca (Homer in Cuernavaca). During the time he spent translating Homer, Reyes devoted himself to preparing a considerable amount of notes and a character catalog for his Iliad, as well as to writing the thirty sonnets of Homero en Cuernavaca, between 1948 and 1951. Reyes published these poems a year later in his Obra poética (Collected poems) after “considerations too hard to explain,” but ultimately relegated to the category of a literary caprice. The proposed analysis offers an approach in which reading, criticism, and writing converge on a study of Reyes’ Homero en Cuernavaca.

“Alfonso eyes y Carlos Fuentes: Linaje literario”
Georgina García Gutiérrez Vélez, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

La relación entre Alfonso Reyes y Carlos Fuentes configura una cadena genésica  cuyos eslabones vertebran las letras mexicanas del siglo XX. Sin duda, Reyes marcó la poética  de Fuentes. En este ensayo prosigo mi aproximación a sus nexos literarios, vitales, intrínsecos.


“Modelo amoroso de nación: Alfonso Reyes antes de Octavio Paz”
Rosa María Hernández García, Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey


Este trabajo nace de la comunión entre Alfonso Reyes y Octavio Paz, sobre temas literarios y mexicanos que aparecen en sus cartas centradas en la edición de poemas y ensayos: Correspondencia Alfonso Reyes-Octavio Paz (1939-1959). La edición de Anthony Stanton da inicio a la articulación de un espacio común público para interpretar los ensayos de Reyes como obras de fundación cultural. Para construir el espacio común, utilizo marcas textuales de un corpus de 24 ensayos de Reyes que tratan acerca de los conceptos de amor y nación. Las marcas textuales, además, se vinculan hacia las ideas de Paz en La llama doble. Amor y erotismo (1993). La correspondencia entre Reyes y Paz, el corpus de ensayos de Reyes y La llama doble, manifiestan que la creación y apreciación poéticas cambian la manera de comprender de las personas, y con ello se puede incidir en el comportamiento de los individuos y en el devenir de las sociedades. La labor de Reyes como fundador cultural define su integración a los proyectos de restauración nacional posrrevolucionarios. Para mi análisis son importantes las aproximaciones sobre la literatura como educadora sentimental de Charles Taylor en Fuentes del yo (2006) y el concepto de “encuentro textual” de Küisma Korhonen en Textual Friendship: The Essay as Impossible Encounter (2006). Ambas propuestas sirven para estudiar la argumentación de los ensayos bajo una luz nueva y llevan a la conclusión sobre la búsqueda “encuentro textual”: a través del diálogo entre literatura y amor, el entendimiento reforma al mundo.


“Beyond Philosophy: Alfonso Reyes and the Modern Mexican Essay”
Robert Sánchez, Mount Saint Mary’s University, Los Angeles

In the history of twentieth-century Mexican philosophy, Alfonso Reyes is often (though respectfully and backhandedly) disregarded as  un gran pensador, ensayista, or poeta, and he was often at odds with the philosophical currents of his day, particularly mid-century existentialism.  However, in this paper, I will argue that the philosophy/not-philosophy binary, which was endorsed by several prominent Mexican philosophers, is ethnocentric, imitative, and fails to fully appreciate one of the main Mexican contributions to world philosophy—namely, a style of essay that explores the intersections and tensions between the universality and particularity of cultural identity. So, the extent that Reyes offers a model of what I call “the Latin American essay”—which promises to enrich our contemporary understanding of the aims and parameters of philosophy, and thus of “philosophy” itself—I argue that there is a sense in which Reyes ought to be considered one of the most important Mexican philosophers, that is, one of the most productive representatives of the uniquely Mexican contribution to philosophy. This paper, than, is a further attempt to enlarge a contemporary, predominantly European conception of contemporary philosophy to make room in the canon for Mexican philosophy in general and for los filósofos de lo mexicano in particular


“Hacia un deslinde de la literatura: Alfonso Reyes ante la crítica filosófica”
Aurelia Valero Pie, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

Publicado en 1944, El deslinde constituye una obra pionera de teoría literaria, no sólo en México, sino en el mundo de habla hispana. En identificar la especificidad que distinguía a las bellas letras, por oposición a otras creaciones del espíritu, consistía, como es sabido, la finalidad que Alfonso Reyes se impuso en aquellas líneas. Pese a la voluntad de afirmar la autonomía del campo literario, no deja de resultar paradójico, sin embargo, que la recepción inicial de la obra se verificara entre los practicantes de otras disciplinas. Así lo muestra el “Symposion” que a la ocasión organizó la revista Filosofía y Letras, invitando a diversas personalidades a pronunciarse sobre el tema. Con acierto, los editores justificaron la iniciativa, aduciendo que “la excepcionalidad de esta obra en nuestra literatura —y en cualquier otra— y la autoridad eminente de que goza su autor en este campo, pueden promover en los distintos especialistas una conciencia reflexiva sobre los problemas formales de la expresión literaria”. Resulta sintomático, en ese sentido, que al convivio intelectual acudieran dos filósofos y un historiador —Gabriel Méndez Plancarte, Juan David García Bacca y Edmundo O’Gorman— y que sus objeciones se centraran en el pretendido fracaso de Reyes al momento de delimitar el terreno de la literatura frente al de la filosofía. Estudiar esa controversia como un medio para entender, tanto el estatuto de la teoría en ese momento, cuanto la progresiva definición y especialización disciplinaria, conforma el propósito de la presente propuesta.






Dr. Jeanine “Gigi” Gaucher-Morales

     The Gigi Gaucher-Morales Memorial Lecture Series has been established by the Morales Family Lecture Series Endowment in memory of the late Dr. Jeanine (Gigi) Gaucher-Morales, who passed away on May 20, 2007. Born in Paris, France, Dr. Gaucher-Morales was a professor emerita of French and Spanish at Cal State L.A. She taught from 1965 to 2005, thus devoting four decades of her academic life to Cal State L.A., where her friends, students, and colleagues knew her as Gigi.
     During her long and productive tenure at this campus, Gigi taught generations of students the literature and culture of France, of the Anglophone world, and of Latin America, including the Caribbean. With her husband, Dr. Alfredo O. Morales, also professor emeritus of Spanish, she co-founded, directed, and served as advisor of Teatro Universitario en Español for almost 25 years, bringing to Cal State L.A. annual theater productions based on plays stemming from different traditions and languages, such as the Maya (“Los enemigos”), Colonial Mexico (“Aguila Real”), Spanish (“Bodas de sangre”), French (“The Little Prince”), and English (“Under the Bridge”). In addition, Gigi was the founder at Cal State L.A. of Pi Delta Phi, the national French honor society. She was recognized and honored by the French government for her contributions to the knowledge of French civilization in Latin America and the United States. Gigi was also honored by her peers at Cal State L.A. with the 1991-1992 Outstanding Professor Award.
     On March 7, 1997, Gigi was recognized by the Council of the City of Los Angeles, State of California, with a resolution that in part reads as follows: “Be it resolved that by the adoption of this resolution, the Los Angeles City Council does hereby commend Dr. Jeanine ‘Gigi’ Gaucher-Morales valued Professor of Spanish and French at California State University, Los Angeles for her vision and her gift to the people of Los Angeles and for contributing to the richness of multi-cultural arts in Los Angeles.”
     Every spring quarter, the Gigi Gaucher-Morales Memorial Lectures will honor Gigi’s academic ideals as a teacher, colleague, and mentor. The lectures will respond to Gigi’s diverse yet interconnected interests in civilizations of the world, such as Mesoamerica and those of the Andes, Latin America, Asia, and Francophone America, from Canada to Haiti. Gigi embodied the highest academic standards in a range of academic fields that were truly global and interdisciplinary. The Memorial Lectures shall serve as a forum for distinguished guest speakers who engage vital topics of our age in a world setting, thus offering students, staff, and faculty at Cal State L.A. an opportunity to be critically exposed to different areas of study and artistic traditions that constitute the highest cultural aspirations of humanity. On April 6-7, 2018, the Gigi Gaucher-Morales Memorial Conference Series will sponsor a conference on Chicano History, Historiography, and the Historical Novel. For more information on this conference, visit:  http://chicanohistoryatcalstatela.blogspot.com/