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Guatemalan writer and critic speaks at Loyola

November 13, 2009

Accomplished fiction writer, literary critic and professor Arturo Arias will speak at Loyola University New Orleans about the subversive role of literature in Guatemalan society when he presents “Peace and War: Literature, Indigeneity and Change in Guatemala.”

The lecture takes place Wednesday, Nov. 18 at 6 p.m., in the Danna Student Center Audubon Room. The free event is sponsored by Loyola’s Biever Lecture Series and the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies.

Arias will point out connections among unique pieces of Guatemalan literature, the prominence of indigenous cultures and languages in the country and the recent history of civil war.

Arias is a professor of Latin American literature at the University of Texas at Austin. He is an expert on Central American literature, with a special emphasis on indigenous literature, as well as critical theory, race, gender and sexuality in postcolonial studies.

He has published several fiction and critical works including “After the Bombs,” “Rattlesnake,” “Taking their Word: Literature and the Signs of Central America,” “The Rigoberta Menchú Controversy,” and “Ceremonial Gestures” as well as a critical edition of Miguel Angel Asturias’ “Mulata.” Arias co-wrote the film “El Norte,” and has published six novels in Spanish, most of which have been translated into English.

He is a two-time winner of the Casa de las Americas award for his fiction, and winner of the Ana Seghers Award for fiction in Germany. He was given the Miguel Angel Asturias National Award for Lifetime Achievement in Literature in 2008 in his native home of Guatemala.

For more information about the lecture, contact Nathan Henne, assistant professor of languages and cultures, at nchenne@loyno.edu or call 504-865-3842.

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