News and events

 2020

Dr. Marina Bettaglio is awarded SSHRC Grant

Congratuations to Dr. Marina Bettaglio who was awarded a prestigious SSHRC Insight Grant for a project entitled Maternal Self-Expression in Spanish Graphic Narratives: Beyond Patriarchy and Neoliberalism? The project will examine representations of motherhood in comics and graphic novels in Spain in the last five decades.

Dr. Russek publishes an entry on Julio Cortázar in new Encyclopedia

Dr. Russek recently published an entry on Argentine writer Julio Cortázar in the Wiley Blackwell Companion to World Literature. The four volume publication covers writers of the modern period as they contributed to the expanding field of world literature.

Ideafest featured on The Times Colonist

The Times Colonist published an article on March 1st about Ideafest. It mentions the session “Serious Comics,” co-organized by Dr. Marina Bettaglio. The session dealt with graphic novels and its importance in today’s media landscape. 

Department presence at the JCURA Fair

The Jamie Cassels Undergraduate Research Awards (JCURA) Fair took place on March 4 in the Michele Pujol room at the SUB. A cohort of bright students from all Faculties displayed the results of their academic projects. Congratulations to this year’s JCURA student, Lindsey Schneider. Her project was about Spanish theatre during the dictatorship of Francisco Franco (1939-1975). She was supervised by Prof. Silvia Colás.

Dr. Russek and Prof. Forster participate in the Victoria Film Festival

The film “Havana, from on High" by Venezuelan director Pedro Ruiz screened during the annual Victoria Film Festival on February 16th. Claire Wood (on recording device) and Emma Shuparski (on camera) from SPAN 185 joined Professor Chrissie Forster to interview the director. Dr. Russek also met the film director and was in charge of the Q&A session after the screening of the movie.

The Department joins Explore UVic

On Februray 1st, members of the Department participated in Explore UVic, an event that showcased the many programs offered by UVic across Faculties, Divisions and Schools. In attendance were Professors Rosa Stewart, Gabriela McBee, Pablo Restrepo-Gautier and Dan Russek. Special thanks to our student Megan Thompson for volunteering.

Students of the Department honoured at the University Club

The annual Awards Ceremony in celebration of the hard work and commitment of our students took place on January 28 at the University Club. Congratulations to everyone who received scholarships, awards and prizes. The Department recognizes their achievements.

2019

Dr. Bettaglio gives talk at the Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona

Professors on Study Leave prepare future courses, conduct academic research and disseminate knowledge in conferences and publications. Here’s a shout-out to Dr. Marina Bettaglio, who gave a talk on December 4 at the Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona. The talk dealt with patriarchy, neoliberalism and maternity in today's Spain.

Dr. Bettaglio co-edits volume on gender violence

Congratulations to our colleague Dr. Marina Bettaglio, whose co-edited volume Rappresentare la violenza di genere was featured in the Bologna Festival Against Gender-Based Violence on November 25. A special seminar was organized around the publication.

Students participate in Mexican Day of the Dead celebration

Department student Rebecca Dhillon shared her experiences setting up the traditional Day of the Dead altar in Clearihue. Members of the Latinos Without Borders Student Club prepared food and drinks that were offered after the dedication, including tamales, the traditional “pan de muerto” and hot chocolate.

Dr. Casas from UBC gives presentation on Spanish tourism

Our thanks to Dr. Anna Casas, from UBC, who gave a talk entitled “Images of Difference: Tourists in the Visual Culture of Spain (1960-2018)” on October 29. We are glad to welcome scholars from neighboring institutions who come to share their projects. (In the picture, from left to right: Dr. Pablo Restrepo Gautier, Dr. Anna Casas, Dr. Silvia Colás, and Dr. Dan Russek).

Prof. Forster performs Latin American folk music in Café Simpatico

The folk trio Raices, headed by Prof. Chrissie Forster, performed on October 25 at Café Simpatico, in the Fernwood Community Association. Raices is composed by community members Diego Barrientos, Alberto Callo and Chrissie on vocals, flute and guitar.

The Department celebrates its 35th Annual Colloquium

Thanks to all who participated in, and attended, the Department’s Colloquium, our 35th. It included an engaging series of academic presentations. Special thanks to Lansdowne Visitor Juan Arturo Brennan, Mexican music critic and radio producer, to Profs. Susan Lewis and María Virginia Acuña, and Monique Salez, from Raino Dance. The event wrapped up with a presentation about South American folk music and performance by the group Raices, headed by Prof. Chrissie Forster (more information in the Colloquium tab).

Cuarteto Latinoamericano performs as part of the Department’s 35th Colloquium

It was an amazing night of music making by the Cuarteto Latinoamericano, who performed on October 20 at the School of Music as part of our 35th Annual Colloquium, this year devoted to “Music in the Hispanic and Italian Worlds”. Our heartfelt thanks to the members of the Cuarteto, Arón, Alvaro and Saúl Bitrán, and Javier Montiel, for accepting our invitation to play in Victoria.

Alumna Emily Braden talks in Prof. Forster’s class and sings at Hermann's Jazz Club

Emily Braden, alumna of the Department and jazz singer extraordinaire who calls New York home, gave a presentation during Prof. Chrissie Forster's class on October 11. Later that night she performed on October 11 at Hermann's Jazz Club. Our thanks to Emily for acknowledging from the stage her years as a student of Spanish in the Department.

Ten years of the Latin American and Spanish Film Week on campus

The annual event took place in Cinecenta from Sepetmebr 17 to 22 featuring movies from Argentina, Cuba, México, Paraguay, Peru and Spain. This year the event celebrated its tenth anniversary with a party at Vertigo, in the S.U.B, with live music courtesy of piano player Pablo Cárdenas and the West Coast Cuban All Stars (more information under Fim Week).

Grupo Raices with Prof. Forster participates in the Viva Victoria Latin Festival

The Viva Victoria Latin Festival took place on August 3 at Centennial Square. The event featured live music, food, dance, and culture from Latin America. Prof. Chrissie Forster joined the line-up with her folk ensemble Raices.

Alumni of the Department engage in refugee community project

Alumni Rosa Prieto, Elise Coté and Manon Ambriz-Gómez volunteered at the Gorge Tillicum Refugee Sponsorship Group to raise funds to bring a family of eight Somali refugees to safety and resettlement in Victoria. Read more about the project on their website

Student Stephen Bagan publishes article on Indigenous languages

Congratulations to Stephen Bagan, co-editor of PLVS VLTRA, who published an article about the importance of second language acquisition and the revitalization of Indigenous languages. The text appeared in The Cascadian Arc, an expository magazine hosted by the University. 

Profs. Stewart and Forster organize trip to Spain with Continuing Studies

Professors Rosa Stewart and Chrissie Forster lead UVic’s Division of Continuing Studies Travel-Study Tour to Spain and Gibraltar from April 24 to May 13. The trip included 21 participants from the Greater Victoria community.

Department secretary Donna Fleming retires after 32 years of service

On Wednesday April 17 Department members gathered for lunch to celebrate our secretary, Donna Fleming, who retires after a long career at UVic. Her patience, kindness and deep knowledge of the ins and outs of the University’s administrative and legal structure will be sorely missed. We thank her deeply for her professional commitment and her exemplary attitude.

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 5th issue of PLVS VLTRA is launched at the Victoria Event Centre

On April 7 the latest issue of PLVS VLTRA, the Department’s undergraduate academic journal, was presented at the Victoria Event Centre. Special thanks to Stephen Bagan and Isaac Nazaroff, co-editors. The issue includes articles by Lynden Miller, Michel Paramchuck, David Romero-Espitia, Michael Graeme and Courtney McDonough. Thanks go as well to academic advisors Dr. Pablo Restrepo Gautier and Prof. Matthew Koch.

Alumna Ashli Akins receives the first Emergent Humanist Award

Ashli Akins, who studied Spanish in the Department, received the first Emergent Humanist Award from the Faculty of Humanities for her work supporting cultural and educational projects in the Peruvian Andes through Mosqoy (mosqoy.com), the charitable organization she founded more than ten years ago. The ceremony took place at the Baumann Center on March 15.

Dr. Russek attends conference on cinema and literature in Portland

Dr. Russek attended the Cine-Lit 9 conference in Portland, Oregon from March 8 to 12. His presentation dealt with the ethics of representation in the documentaries of British-Mexican filmmaker Trisha Ziff. In 2016, Ziff came to Victoria to present her work during the 8th Latin American and Spanish Film Week.

Students Rosalie Duquette and Layma Maslova present at JCURA Fair

On March 6, Rosalie Duquette and Layma Maslova successfully presented their research projects during the Jamie Cassels Undergraduate Research Awards Fair. Rosalie analyzed the images of women in the Mexican novel Arráncame la vida by Angeles Mastretta, and Layma explored the urban problems brought by tourism in Barcelona.

Dr. Bettaglio organizes and participates in panel on mysogyny during IDEAFEST

Dr. Marina Bettaglio organized and participated in a panel discussion on misogyny on March 4 as part of IDEAFEST, an annual event that features ongoing debates and research projects by students and faculty members. She also joined the panel “Great Expectations: Pregnancy and Childbirth across Time and Cultures” on March 6.

Prof. Ulysses featured in The Nuntius, newsletter of the Faculty

Prof. Alicia Ulysses was recently profiled in The Nuntius, the newsletter of the Faculty of Humanities. Alicia talks with Stephanie Harrington about her days as a student in the department, her teaching approach, her volunteering with University 101 and her family: birthday: felicidades!).

2018

Profs. Forster and McBee participate in event at the Fernwood Community Association

Prof. Chrissie Forster played Latin American folk songs with her group Raíces, and Dr. Gabriela McBee delivered a talk about the Zapatista movement and the indigenous cultures in Chiapas, Mexico, during an event at the Fernwood Community Association organized by Café Simpático on November 30.

Dr. Bettaglio publishes edited collection on women and violence in Italy

Congratulations to our colleague Dr. Marina Bettaglio on the publication of her co-edited volume, Rappresentare la violenza di genere, which examines the representation of gender-based violence in Italian culture. It was launched at a conference in Sevilla. She also participated in the presentation of the book Escenarios en crisis at the Centro de Documentación de Artes Dramáticas de Andalucía.

Lina de Guevara visits class and reads the poetry of Pablo Neruda

Lina de Guevara, actress, director and cultural promoter, presented a collective reading of Chilean Pablo Neruda’s poetry in Dr. Russek’s SPAN 385 course. Our thanks as well to the community members who were present, and to Cam Culham, Tony Adams and Monica Ogden for participating in the reading.

The Department celebrates 50 years on campus with big party

On October 13 students, faculty, and community members gathered at the Baumann Centre for a party celebrating 50 years of the Department of Hispanic and Italian Studies at UVic. It was nice to see old acquaintances and meet new people. The event included a slide show, music, dance, food and two tasty cakes. We look forward to our next 50 years!

34th Annual Departmental Colloquium on culture and tourism

The department celebrated its 34th Annual Colloquium on October 11. It included presentations by Faculty members Silvia Colás, Chrissie Forster and Dan Russek, and invited speaker Eugeni Osácar, from the Universitat de Barcelona, who delivered a talk about “The Tourism Image of Barcelona Through International Films“.

9th Latin American and Spanish Film Week takes place in Cinecenta

The six-night event took place from September 18 to Sunday 23 and featured movies from Argentina, Cuba, Mexico, Panama and Spain. Mexican director Natalia Beristáin presented her movie Los adioses (The Eternal Feminine), about novelist and poet Rosario Castellanos. She also gave a talk about Mexican women filmmakers today in Dr. Russek’s SPAN 385. More information, here: www.hispfilmvic.ca.

Professor Forster participates in Latin American cultural event

Professor Chrissie Forster participated in the 1st Annual Viva Victoria Latin Fest on Saturday August 4 at Centennial Square. The Latin American inspired event featured live music, dance, food, and cultural activities. Chrissie played the flute with a group of community members who promote Latin American folk music in Victoria.

Michael Graeme recently awarded a 3M Fellowship

Congratulations to Michael Graeme who was recently awarded a prestigious 3M National Student Fellowship. The award recognizes students’ achievements and future potential to enhance teaching and learning at the post-secondary level, and includes $5,000 as well as support for a year-long collaborative group project. Michael participated in our Study Abroad program in Cuenca, Ecuador, in 2016. Read more about the awardees: https://www.uvic.ca/news/topics/2018+3m-winners+news

mike graeme at jcura 2018

Former student Ashli Akins and Dr. Russek attend academic congress in Barcelona

Ashli Akins, alumna of the Department and founder of Mosqoy, a charitable organization that has been working for more than ten years “towards global sustainability and resilience by empowering local culture” in the Andean mountains of Peru, participated in the Congress of the Latin American Studies Association in Barcelona at the end of May 2018. Ashli is currently pursuing a PhD at UBC. Standing beside her is Dr. Dan Russek, who also participated in the academic event.

Ashli in Barcelona 2018

Successful Travel-Study Program to Chile And Argentina

Prof. Chrissie Forster (holding a camera) and Prof. Rosa Stewart (wearing a purple shirt in the first row) are featured below during a visit to the Museo Violeta Parra in Santiago de Chile, along with the participants of a Division of Continuing Studies Travel-Study Program to Chile and Argentina in My 2018. The museum Violeta Parra celebrates the life and work of the iconic Chilean singer and songwriter.

Travel Study Chile 2018

Angie Reamer rehearsing for her presentation on baroque poet Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz

Angie Reamer, PhD student, prepares for her presentation of her thesis on Mexican baroque poet Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz on Tuesday March 6 at 2:30 at Cinecenta, as part of IDEAFEST. Featured in the photographs are dancers from the group Viva Mexico! Folklore Dance Association. Wearing a green dress is Katya Delancey, a professional actor who kindly volunteered for the project.

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The Department joins Faculty of Humanities at Explore UVic

Explore UVic took place on Saturday February 17. It was a good opportunity to showcase the Departments of our Faculty. It was also nice chatting with prospective students interested in our courses, programs and events. Our thanks to students David Romero and Stephen Bagan for volunteering and manning the tables.

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2017

Altar set up in occasion of Day of the Dead in the Department’s hallway

Members of the Latinos without Borders Student Club, led by Mexican grad student Héctor Vázquez, set up in the Department an altar, or ofrenda, celebrating the traditional Día de Muertos, or Day of the Dead, on November 2. It included colourful papel picado (cut paper), paper flowers, fruit, chocolate, soda, and photographs of victims of the recent earthquake in Mexico and the hurricane in Puerto Rico, to whom the display was dedicated.

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Dr. Bettaglio gives talk at the Center for Studies in Religious and Society

Dr. Marina Bettaglio, who is a fellow this academic year at the Center for Studies in Religious and Society, delivered a talk on 26 October entitled “From Mater Dolorosa to Mater Glamourosa: Maternal Mystique in Contemporary Spain.” It explored the resignification of motherhood in contemporary Spain.

Dr. Bettaglio participates in the Week of the Italian Language

The celebrations of the Settimana della lingua italiana, Week of the Italian Language, took place from Monday October 16 to Sunday 22. They included the screening of Michelangelo Antonioni’s Le Amiche at Cinecenta. Prof. Bettaglio helped organize these events.

Dr. Russek joins roundtable in SFU about Mexican writer José Emilio Pacheco

On October 10 Dr. Dan Russek participated in a roundtable celebrating the life and work of Mexican writer José Emilio Pacheco, recipient of the prestigious Premio Cervantes in 2009. He event took place in Simon Fraser University and included George McWhirter, Pacheco’s translator into English, Dr. Carolina Navarrete (UBC) and Dr. Josema Zamorano (Capilano College). It was organized by Patricia de la Maza, from the General Consulate of Mexico in Vancouver. Our thanks to Patricia de la Maza, media liaison.The General Consul Berenice Díaz Ceballos was in attendance.

Dr. Restrepo-Gautier presents talks about Spanish explorers in BC

Dr. Pablo Restrepo-Gautier delivered two talks at the University: on Sept 26, he presented “The Spanish at Yuquot: Santa Cruz de Nutka,” about a Spanish settlement in the province. The talk was presented by the Archaeological Society of BC. On October 5, he spoke at the Division of Continuing Studies about the Spanish exploration of the Pacific Northwest during the 18th century.

Dr. Andrachuk retires after 37 years of service

On July 23 we bid farewell to Dr. Gregory Andrachuk, who retired from the Department after a frutiful tenure at UVic. Dr. Andrachuk was a specialist in Spanish Medieval literature and the works of Gonzalo de Berceo. Faculty, family and friends were there to wish him the best in his well-deserved retirement. Thanks to Dr. Lloyd Howard, who retired last year, for hosting the event in his beautiful house.

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Mexican festival in downtown Victoria on July 8 and 9

On July 8 and 9, the 11th Festival Mexicano took place in Centennial Square. The event was organized by the Mexican Canadian Community Association of Victoria. It included well-loved mariachi songs, colourful dancers and tasty food. Dr. Russek greeted Ms. Berenice Díaz Ceballos, Consul General of Mexico in Vancouver, who opened the event.  

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Drs. de Alba-Koch, Restrepo-Gautier and Russek attend Congress of the Canadian Association of Hispanists

Professors Beatriz de Alba-Koch, Pablo Restrepo-Gautier and Dan Russek recently participated in the Annual Congress of the Canadian Association of Hispanists at Ryerson University, Toronto, from May 31 to June 2. The event was an important occasion to disseminate the results of their ongoing research projects and get in touch with peers from other Canadian universities. http://www.hispanistas.ca/congresos/2017/programa2017.pdf

Dr. de Alba-Koch participates in workshop that explores links between art and religion

Not everything in the life of the university professor is teaching, research and service. Faculty members explore as well their artistic and spiritual side, broadening their horizons. Our Chair, Dr. Beatriz de Alba-Koch, participated in Vancouver in a workshop led by artists Alex and Allyson Grey entitled “Gems of Awareness: Turning Your Mystic Visions into Art”. Through techniques such as “guided imagery, meditation, shamanic ascent, the doors of the imagination are open to the theatre of revelation”.

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Professors Stewart and Forster travel to Spain and Portugal with Continuing Studies group

Nothing like traveling to expand our cultural horizons. Professors Rosa Stewart and Chrissie Forster traveled with a group of Continuing Studies students to Spain and Portugal. They started in Madrid, then they headed to Toledo, Segovia, Salamanca, Santiago de Compostela, Porto and Lisbon, among other places in Portugal, then to Andalucia before ending up in Madrid again.

Rose in Spain

Professor Ulysses teaches Summer course to international students

Prof. Alicia Ulysses has taught SPAN 149, a Summer evening course, for over 15 years. The class includes a diverse group with 25 students from China, Korea, Japan, Aruba, India, Portugal, Sweden and Greece as well as 12 English-speaking Canadians. Nothing like learning Spanish to unite so many diverse cultures at UVic.

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Faculty and staff gather for end-of-term lunch at the University Club

Professors and staff met at lunch at the University Club capping another successful academic year. Featured in the picture (L to R), Chrissie Forster, Dr. Pablo Restrepo-Gautier, Rosa Stewart, Alicia Ulysses, Dr. Dan Russek, Estelle Kurier, Donna Fleming, Dr. Beatriz de Alba-Koch and Dr. Silvia Colás.

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Dr. Beatriz de Alba-Koch publishes two scholarly articles on Mexican literature and culture

Congratulations to our Chair, Dr. Beatriz de Alba-Koch, for two recent publications: “Los indígenas en la obra de Fernández de Lizardi: Justicia, caridad y devoción” that appeared in Sujetos coloniales: escritura, identidad y negociación en Hispanoamérica (siglos XVI-XVIII), edited by Carlos Cabanillas Cárdenas (New York: Institute of Golden Ages Studies, 2017), and “Celestina and Agustín Arrieta’s China Poblana: Mexico’s Female Icon Revisited” in Companion to Celestina, edited by Enrique Fernández Rivera (Leiden: Brill, 2017).

Members of the Department participate in the Latin America Research Group’s 7th Workshop

On Saturday, March 11, 2017, the Latin America Research Group hosted its 7th Workshop showcasing the exciting research projects on Latin America being conducted at the University. The event included guest speaker Dr. Jean Stubbs from the University of London, faculty and students from UBC and UVic, and members of the Department Dr. Gabriela McBee, Dr. Pablo Restrepo-Gautier, Dr. Dan Russek, and our Chair Dr. Beatriz de Alba-Koch, Chair of Latin American Studies, who organized the workshop.

Dr. Grossi presents lecture on “the love sickness” in Medieval Italian literature

Dr. Joe Grossi delivered the keynote lecture for the conference “Imagining Medicine before 1660”. The event, which took place on February 24, was organized by the Mardinalia Research Collective and co-sponsored by the Medieval Studies Program. The title of the talk was “The Love Sickness: Medieval Italy's First-World Problem?" It dealt with medieval medical diagnoses and literary representations of “la malattia d'amore” in Cavalcanti and  Dante. 

Dr. Restrepo-Gautier delivered talk on Spanish explorers in the Pacific Northwest

On February 6, Dr. Pablo Restrepo-Gautier spoke about the 18th Century Spanish exploration of the Pacific Northwest. The presentation took place at the Mary Winspear Centre in Sidney and was organized by the Division of Continuing Studies.

Dr. Russek participates in homage to Mexican writer Fernando del Paso in Vancouver

On November 10, Dr. Russek was part of a panel of scholars from UBC and SFU who paid tribute to the life and work of Mexican author Fernando del Paso, awarded in 2015 the Cervantes Prize, the highest literary honour in the Hispanic world. Also in attendance were two daughters of Fernando del Paso, Paulina and Adriana. The event was organized by the Mexican General Consulate in Vancouver.

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Dr. Marina Bettaglio organizes "Fashion, Language, and Identity: An Interdisciplinary Dialogue"

Following the success of last year's celebrations of the Settimana della lingua italiana, Italian Language Week, on October 20, 2016 Dr. Marina Bettaglio brought together scholars in Art History, French, and Italian studies to explore how fashion and language intersect to create new meanings.  Dr. Joseph Grossi (English, Hispanic & Italian Studies), Dr. Catherine Harding (Art History & Visual Arts), Dr. Erin Campbell (Art History & Visual Arts), Dr. Hélène Cazes (French) joined Dr. Bettaglio in an interdisciplinary dialogue over fashion, self fashioning, wealth, power, and national identity. The event participates in the celebrations of the Settimana della lingua italiana, the Italian Language Week organized by the Italian Government and was sponsored by the Faculty of Humanities.  Get more information about the Settimana around the world here: http://www.accademiadellacrusca.it/it/attivita/settimana-lingua-italiana-mondo

Get-together with graduate students at the University Club

On September 30 members of the Department gathered at the University Club for a graduate student welcome and get-together. In the picture (L to R), graduate students Steve Slavic and Fernando Guadarrama, Department Chair Dr. Beatriz de Alba-Koch, Dr. Dan Russek, Dr. Lloyd Howard and Dr. Silvia Colás. Consider pursuing a Masters degree with us (check out the details of our programs in this departmental webpage clicking on the Graduate tab).

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Dr. de Alba-Koch joins the Editorial Board of the academic journal Literatura Mexicana

Our faculty members make important contributions to the advancement of knowledge in their fields of research. Congratulations to our Chair, Dr. Beatriz de Alba-Koch, who was recently invited to join the Editorial Board of Literatura Mexicana, a prestigious academic journal published by the National University of Mexico (UNAM). https://revistas-filologicas.unam.mx/

Prof. Daniela Lorenzi, Assistant Teaching Professor in Italian, retires

It was another emotional afternoon for the retirement function of Prof. Daniela Lorenzi on Friday September 9 at the Grad House. Daniela was a devoted and beloved sessional instructor and Assistant Teaching Professor in Italian for many years. She will be sorely missed in the Department, and we all wish her the best in her future endeavours.

Dr. Lloyd Howard retires after a fruitful career at Uvic

It was an emotional gathering at the University Club on Wednesday August 31st for the retirement function of Dr. Lloyd Howard, a Dante specialist and former Chair of the Department. Lloyd worked in UVic for 39 years. Colleagues praised his wisdom, leadership, kindness, and support over all these years. He will be sorely missed in Clearihue. Enjoy your well-deserved retirement, Lloyd!

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Dr. de Alba-Koch visits the International Museum of the Baroque in Mexico

The Department's Chair,  Dr. Beatriz de Alba-Koch, traveled to the beautiful city of Puebla, Mexico, to visit the brand new Museo Internacional del Barroco. The museum surveys the important cultural and aesthetic contributions of that style to Hispanic culture, both past and present. 

Beatriz en Puebla

Dr. Bettaglio participates in the Congress of the International Association of Hispanists

Dr. Bettaglio delivered a paper entitled "En busca de un lenguaje propio: trauma y maternidad en La primera vez que no te quiero de Lola López Mondéjar" at the conference of the Asociación Internacional de Hispanistas. The event took place in Munster, Germany from July 11 to 16.

Donna Fleming engaged in humanitarian cause

Donna Fleming, our wonderful secretary, not only keeps the Department running smoothly and on solid administrative ground: she is a world traveler who engages in humanitarian causes. She has been part of the Annual Water Garden Tour organized by the For The Love of Africa Society that promotes educational projects in Tanzania. Our thanks to our former Chair, Dr. Lloyd Howard, who volunteered his beautiful garden as part of the 2016 tour. In the picture (L to R), Dr. Lloyd Howard, Donna, Dr. Beatriz de Alba-Koch, our current Chair, and Dr. Dan Russek.

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Dr. Bettaglio supporting our Study Abroad program in Recanati, Italy

It’s summer, but our professors keep up their good work all year long. Here’s Dr. Bettaglio last June in the Campus L'Infinito Italian language school in Recanati. Featured as well are Italian Studies students Ailsa Craig, Mulin Ma, and Anna Grossi. Check out our Study Abroad program in Italy.

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Drs. Bettaglio and Russek present papers at the 2016 ACH Congress

Drs. Bettaglio and Russek presented papers at the 2016 Congress of the Canadian Association of Hispanists held in Calgary, June 1-3. Dr. Bettaglio talked about comics, postfeminism and motherhood, and Dr. Russek spoke about the work of Mexican essayist Gabriel Zaid and the role of poetry today. Check out the program of the event.

Dr. de Alba-Koch investigates crosses as cultural artifacts in South America

In May, our Chair, Dr. Beatriz de Alba-Koch, conducted field work in Perú. Her academic research deals with crosses as forms of resistance in Colonial Latin America. Here she is in Cusco, where crosses are dressed and carried in procession to churches where they are blessed. 

Beatriz in Cusco

Dr. Bettaglio presents paper at UBC conference

Dr. Marina Bettaglio attended the conference "Regional Identities on a Global Scale: Translation, Audience, Reception. Transnational Perspetives in Italian Studies” that took place at UBC from March 31 to April 2. Her talk was entitled “Translation, Intertextuality, and Creation: Natalia Ginzburg and Carmen Martín Gaite”. Read more about the event, here  http://blogs.ubc.ca/translationaudiencesreception/

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Dr. Russek attends ACLA meeting in Harvard

Dr. Dan Russek attended the annual meeting of the American Comparative Literature Asoociation in Cambridge, Massachussets, from March 17 to 21. His talk dealt with the dimensions of urban aesthetics in a disenchanted world.
 

Dr. Bettaglio on graphic novels and good mothers during IDEAFEST 2016

It was a great turnout to listen to Dr. Marina Bettaglio, who participated in two IDEAFEST events on Monday March 7: the first explored the world of graphic novels, and the second was an engaging interdisciplinary roundtable discussion about “The Myths of the Good Mother”.

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Potluck welcoming returning Study abroad students

On Saturday January 23 Prof. Rosa Stewart hosted a welcome back potluck for our students returning from Spain and Ecuador. It was a lively gathering (thanks, Rosa, for hosting!). We are glad that our students had a rewarding experience, improved their Spanish skills and expanded their cultural horizons. If you are interesting in our Study Abroad programs, check out the information on our website or contact our secretary at spanit@uvic.ca

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Get-together to thank donors and welcome grad students

On Friday January 22 the Department had a get-together at the University Club to thank our donors and welcome our new graduate students. Our heartfelt thanks for the continued support of Judd and Kaye Buchanan, Frances Forrest-Richards, Peter Fothergill-Payne, Ken and Rosa Stewart, and Ivor and Anne Williams. We also welcome students Joe Barzetti and Behdis Mokhtarmaleki who join our graduate program.

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The Department  co-sponsors a movie at the 2016 Victoria International Film Festival

The Department is proud to present the documentary Our last tango by German Kral, a story of love between the two most famous dancers in tango's history, at the upcoming VIFF. It takes place Sunday February 14 at 6.30 PM at the Odeon 2. Check out the list of Latin American and Italian movies. For more info and trailers, go to the VIFF website.

Dr. Russek publishes an “Oda a la Gordura” (Ode to Plumpness)

Dr. Russek’s composition was included in a collection entitled Poet-Tree 2015 Project: The Poetry of Sports and the Sport of Poetry, edited by Prof. Maria Figueredo at York University. The poem is an homage to the odes of Chilean poet Pablo Neruda. Read the original Spanish version and its English translation.

Dr. Bettaglio publishes article about Italian author Turchinovich Giuricin

Dr. Bettaglio published an article in the daily newspaper La voce del popolo, in Istria (former Italian territory, now Croatia). It is entitled “I confini della lingua italiana” (The Boundaries of Italian Language) and deals with the work of Italian writer and journalist Rosanna Turcinovich Giuricin, who recently visited the Department. Read it here: http://www.editfiume.com/lavoce/cultura/15664-i-confini-della-lingua-italiana

Travel-Study Tour to Cuba on May 2016 with Prof. Chrissie Forster

The Department is engaged in furthering its educational and cultural missions beyond the classroom.  Professor Chrissie Forster will be hosting a Travel-Study Tour to Cuba May 9-25, 2016 through UVic’s Division of Continuing Studies.  The cost is $5,820 per person, and includes five pre-travel lectures on Cuban history and culture. For more information, see pp.3-7 of this brochure. Contact program coordinator Janet McDonald:  jaking@uvic.ca and check out the Division’s website: https://www.uvcs.uvic.ca/travel/courses/2016/cuba/

Lecture by Italian Writer and Journalist

"Miriam With the Violet Eyes: From Tiachiv (Czechoslovakia) to Trieste to Auschwitz to Toronto.  A Holocaust Survivor Interview Novel."

MONDAY, OCTOBER 19, 2015, 2:30-3:30 p.m. in Clearihue Building, Room A307.

The lecture was presented by Rosanna Turcinovich Giuricin, Italian writer and journalist, who discussed this book which is a fictionalized biography of Miriam Frankel, a Jewish woman born in Tiachiv (Czechoslovakia) in 1927 but raised, from ages 5 to 14, in Trieste (Italy).  After surviving Auschwitz, Witzendorf, World War Two, Miriam emigrates to Canada.  Now in her eighties, she lives in Toronto and devotes her time to her family and to going into schools in Ontario to talk to young people about the Holocaust by way of her own life narrative.  This lecture was part of the Settimana della Lingua Italiana (week of the Italian language).  It was co-sponsored by the Department of Hispanic & Italian Studies and the Centre for Global Studies.  (see poster)

Lecture by Renowned Italianist

"Getting Married in Renaissance Italy:  The Process and the Customs"

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 20, 2015, 9:30-10:30 a.m. in University Centre, Room A180

In order to understand what constituted a wedding in early modern Italy we need to set aside our modern understanding and look, with a more critical eye, at the documents (archival, literary, and visual) that describe such ceremonies.  This presentation focussed on Renaissance Italy and examined some of the artworks of the time to identify a number of practices that characterized Italian Renaissance weddings.

Guest speaker Konrad Eisenbichler is a Professor of Italian at the University of Toronto.  This lecture was part of the Settimana della Lingua Italiana (week of the Italian language).  It was co-sponsored by the Departments of Hispanic & Italian Studies, Art History & Visual Studies, and Religious Studies.   (see poster)

Community groups join the Department during Film Week

Community engagement is an important part of our mission. Drs. Gabriela McBee and Acting Chair Pablo Restrepo-Gautier (far right) advertised the Departament's courses and programs during the opening night of the 6th Latin American and Spanish Film Week on September 22, 2015 at Cinecenta. Also pictured are members of the Mining Justice Action Committe (left) and Mosqoy (center).

Film Week - Gabriela and Pablo

Dr. Russek publishes book on Latin American literature and photography

Congratulations to Dr. Russek for the recent publication of his book Textual Exposures: Photography in Twentieth Century Spanish American Narrative Fiction by the University of Calgary Press. The book studies the impact of photography on the work of eight Latin American writers.

Dr. Restrepo-Gautier presented a talk at the Congress of the Canadian Association of Hispanists

Dr. Pablo Restrepo-Gautier spoke at the annual Congress of the Canadian Association of Hispanists that took place at the University of Ottawa on June, 2015. His talk was entitled "Los Voluntaris de Catalunya y la exploración española del Pacífico Noroeste en el siglo XVIII".

Dr. Bettaglio delivered a lecture on Spanish writers in Seville

Dr. Marina Bettaglio was invited to give a guest lecture at the Universidad de Sevilla on June 8, 2015. It was entitled "Literatura, pintura y maternidad en Una primavera para Doménico Guarini de Carme Riera y Lo raro es vivir de Carmen Martín Gaite." The lecture was part of the doctorate in Humanities organized by the Universidad de Sevilla and sponsored by the research group Escritoras y Escrituras directed by Dr. Mercedes Arriaga Flórez.

Marina Sevilla

Dr. Russek to conduct academic research at the Huntington Library

Dr. Russek has been awarded a Fellowship at the Huntington Library in Pasadena, California, to conduct academic research in July 2015. His project revolves around technologies of illumination and their links to modern literary culture in Latin America.

Dr. Bettaglio presented paper on comic books during IdeaFest

As part of “Graphic Ideas@Uvic,” a comic book fair that took place on Monday March 2, Dr. Marina Bettaglio presented a paper entitled "Mafalda, Maitena, and Pat Carra: a Gendered View of Argentinian and Italian Comics". Here she is holding a book of Mafalda, one of the iconic and most beloved cartoon characters of the Hispanic world, penned by Argentine cartoonist Quino.

Marina and Mafalda 2

Drs. de Alba-Koch, McBee, Restrepo-Gautier, and Russek participated in 6th LARG Workshop

Professors of the Department joined colleagues and students from UBC and SFU in the 6th Latin American Research Group Workshop that took place on Saturday March 14th. Click here to see the poster of the event.

Program for March 2015 Colloquium

Check out the program for the presentations given at the 30th Annual Colloquium "Performing Gender and Genre in the Hispanic and Italian World", as well as the Lansdowne visitor, Dr. Francisco García Vicente, from Murcia, Spain.

Dr. Bettaglio and Dr. de Alba-Koch both participated in the MLA Convention

Dr. Marina Bettaglio presented her research on literary and media studies at the Modern Language Association Convention held in Vancouver in January 2015 with a paper entitled "Dal miracolo economico al nichilismo in Niente, più niente al mondo di Massimo Carlotto."

Dr. Beatriz de Alba-Koch participated in the special session "Connecting Spanish and Portuguese Empires".  The title of her paper was "Convergence and Conversion: Crosses East and West."

Dr. Russek publishes literary chronicle on Buenos Aires’ sidewalks

Dr. Dan Russek published a literary essay about aesthetics and the urban landscape in Argentina’s capital. The text is entitled “Veredas de Buenos Aires” and it appeared on the app for tablets of the literary magazine Letras Libres on November 2014 (the text is accessible here).

Kyle McCreanor wins undergraduate journal naming contest

Congratulations to Kyle McCreanor who came up with the name PLVS VLTRA for the new undergraduate journal.

Kyle McCreaner wins journal naming prize

Meghan Casey presents Kyle McCreanor with the prize of a UVic Bookstore gift card. [December 2014]

Dr. de Alba-Koch published article on Cuadernos Hispanoamericanos

Dr. de Alba-Koch's article on the baptism of the Indigenous lords of Tlaxcala at the time of the conquest titled "Memoria política de la conquista y evangelización en Nueva España" appears in the July-August 2014 issue of Cuadernos Hispanoamericanos.  Her book chapter "For Love of Patria:  Locating Self and Nation in Clavigero's Rendition of the Conquest of Mexico" is now in print in Jesuit Accounts of the Colonial Americas:  Intercultural Transfers, Intellectual Disputes, and Textualities (Toronto: Univ. of Toronto Press, 2014). [September 2014]

Professors in support of public education

Marina Bettaglio (Hispanic & Italian Studies) and Elena Pnevmonidou (Germanic & Slavic Studies) were heard on CFAX Radio Wednesday morning speaking to Frank Stanford about a petition in support of public education that a group of UVic professors have signed.  Podcast (listen from 34:00)

Dr. McBee accompanies Ethnographic Summer Field School in Cuba

Last May Dr. Gabriela McBee joined a diverse group of students, led by Dr. Alexandrine Boudreault-Fournier from the Department of Anthropology, on the first four-week-long Cuba Field School that took place on the Eastern part of the Caribbean island. 

Dr. Restrepo-Gautier and Prof. Stewart take part in Convocation, June 2014

Convocation 2014

L-R: Dr. Greg Rowe (Greek & Roman Studies), Thunder (Vikes Mascot), Dr. Pablo Restrepo-Gautier, Prof. Rosa Stewart

Dr. de Alba-Koch to serve on editorial board of the RCEH

The new direction of the Revista Canadiense de Estudios Hispánicos has invited Dr. de Alba-Koch to continue serving on its Editorial Board.  She has collaborated with the Revista in this capacity since 2003.

Prof. Stewart interviewed by local newspaper

Prof. Stewart was recently interviewed on her many volunteer activities through the UVic Speakers Bureau.  To read the article, go to the Victoria News link.

Drs. Restrepo-Gautier and Russek participated in 2014 ACH Congress

Two department professors delivered papers at the 2014 Congress of the Canadian Association of Hispanists that took place at the end of May at Brock University. Dr. Restrepo presented on the legal system and the honor code in Spain’s Golden Age drama, and Dr. Russek talked about the links between academic research and aesthetic experience. For more information, go to http://hispanistas.ca/congresobrock2014/

Dr. Russek in round table paying homage to Octavio Paz

Dr. Russek was part of a panel of scholars celebrating Mexican poet Octavio Paz’s 100th birth anniversary. The event took place at Simon Fraser University last March and was organized by the Mexican Consulate General in Vancouver.  

Dr. Howard recognized by Medieval Studies

The Chair of the Department, Dr. Lloyd Howard, was recently honoured for his contributions to the Medieval Studies Program at the University. He was one of its co-founders back in the 1980s and he was Director of Medieval Studies in the mid-1990s. He organized three workshops and he actively participates in the Program's events. Congratulations, Lloyd!

Dr. Bettaglio interviews leading Spanish women writers

      While conducting research on the representation of motherhood in
      contemporary Spain, Dr. Bettaglio interviewed three leading writers,
      journalists, and bloggers: Rosa Montero, Lola López Mondéjar, and Isabel
      García-Zarza. Her interview with García-Zarza is forthcoming in Ambitos
      Feministas.

Annual events

Colloquium

The department has proudly organized a yearly Colloquium since 1985.  An established tradition on campus, this one to two day-long event brings together scholars, students and members of the community and provides an ideal forum to hear about and discuss the latest research projects of faculty members and graduate students.

The next Colloquium will take place in the second week of March 2016.  The topic and line-up of this Colloquium will be Screens of Desire: New Perspectives on Text and Images in the Hispanic and Italian World.

Film week

The department has sponsored an annual Film Week that features recent Latin American and Spanish movies.  Now running in its sixth year, this activity provides a wonderful window into the art of film in today's Latin America and Spain.

The event takes place in the third week of September in Cinecenta and is open to the public.