Saturday, March 5, 2011

2012 Conference on Carlos Fuentes:
Ancient Mexico, Modernity,
and the Literary Avant-Garde

May 4-5, 2012
Golden Eagle Ballroom
California State University, Los Angeles

This Conference is Free and Open to the Public

Sponsored by 

UCLA's Department of Spanish and Portuguese, and Cal State L.A.'s Gigi Gaucher-Morales Memorial Conference Series, the Center for Contemporary Poetry and Poetics, the College of Arts and Letters, the College of Natural and Social Sciences, the Department of Chicano Studies, the Department of English, and
the Emeriti Association.

Homage to Carlos Fuentes,
one day after his sudden death,
in Bellas Artes, Mexico City,
May 16, 2012

Carlos Fuentes (November 11, 1928-May 15, 2012) ranks as the most acclaimed modern novelist in Mexico and one of the central figures in Latin America’s literary “Boom,” a generation that consists of Julio Cortázar, Gabriel García Márquez and, among others, Mario Vargas Llosa.  Raised in a family that represented Mexico’s economic and diplomatic interests in Latin America and in the United States, Fuentes was an award-winning novelist often associated with questions of national identity, historical origins, Mexico’s capital as a megacity, and the unresolved conflicts--with Spain, with the United States, and with itself--that define Mexico as a modern nation. 
     From his early short stories in Los días enmascarados (1954), to novels and essays that include  La región más transparente (1958), Cambio de piel (1967), Terra Nostra (1975), and Los cinco soles de México, memoria de un milenio (2000), Fuentes portrayed Mesoamerica—generally allegorized as Mexico-Tenochtitlan, therefore with an emphasis on the Nahua--as a determining force in modern Mexico, and as an integral part in the world's history of ruling transnational powers.  The unresolved cultural and social conflicts between Mexico’s native peoples in relation to the Spanish conquest and colonial New Spain remain to this day a thematic constant in Fuentes’s novels and essays, portrayed as the fundamental background and condition to Mexico’s modernization and political development as a democracy. Fuentes’s novels thus mark the historical present as an artistic  possibility for reflection and symbolic resolution to modernity’s most crucial questions, arguably a juncture shared by Mexico with other developing countries.
     The simultaneous representation of the national and the global in Fuentes's narrative has been a determining factor in its translations to major world languages. An impressive bibliography of critical studies  has recognized in Fuentes's work a will to poetry and an energetic narrative experimentation stemming from 20th-century aesthetic movements, such as Cubism and Surrealism.  Consistent with his views on national origins--often defined by Fuentes as Mexico's question of being and becoming, or as the weight of the past and the spur of a desired future--Fuentes claimed a double origin for the modern novel: on the one hand, as an avant-garde poetics intent on redefining art and its function in a contemporary world; on the other, as the uninterrupted artistic heritage that Latin America's literary modernity has embraced and appropriated in Miguel de Cervantes’s Don Quixote de la Mancha.
     The death of Carlos Fuentes on May 15 thus marks the horizon that best defines the achievements, vitality, and poetic imagination of a generation of writers who ambitiously reshaped the Latin American novel into narratives where poltiics, art, culture, and history merged and produced novels known for their exceptional singularity, such as Pedro Paramo, by Juan Rulfo; The Death of Artemio Cruz, by Carlos Fuentes; Hopscotch, by Julio Cortazar; and, among others, The Green House, by Mario Vargas Llosa.  A younger generation of Latin American writers can only benefit by the challenges posed by writers like Carlos Fuentes, who from the beginning was too big for one nation, one genre, and one literary tradition.  Although now dead, Carlos Fuentes is more alive than ever.      
     The 2012 Conference on Carlos Fuentes included five sessions on the novels, short stories, and essays of Carlos Fuentes; one session on Ancient, Colonial, and Modern Mexico; and a full staging of one of Fuentes's plays: Orquídeas a la luz de la luna (1982), with actresses Alejandra Flores and Cristal González playing the roles of Mexican film icons María Félix and Dolores del Río. The conference also included five keynote and featured speakers who are distinguished  world scholars in the field of Fuentes studies.  With the sudden death of Carlos Fuentes ten days after this conference, our two-day discussions, sessions and lectures were in retrospect a tribute and celebration of the life and writings of Carlos Fuentes.  For more information on this conference, write to, or to this address:      

Dr. Roberto Cantú
Professor of Chicano Studies and English
California State University, Los Angeles
5151 State University Drive
Los Angeles, CA  90032


Conference on Carlos Fuentes
Group Photo
May 5, 2012
Golden Eagle Ballroom

Left to Right:  Julio Cortázar, Carlos Fuentes, and Luis Buñuel

Carlos Fuentes Library Exhibit

April 16-May 31, 2012
John F. Kennedy Memorial Library
California State University, Los Angeles

Romelia Salinas, Ph.D., MLIS
Head, Access Services
JFK Memorial Library

Campus Map
Cal State L.A. Map Website:

Nearby Hotels:  Alhambra and San Gabriel, CA.  Make your reservations ASAP.
1.       San Gabriel Hilton (San Gabriel, CA). This hotel is close to the San Bernardino Freeway (10), and to Cal State L.A.  It is located in the heart of nice shops and several restaurants, with luxurious rooms and beautiful décor. Highly recommended. All conference participants who are guests at the San Gabriel Hilton will receive a corporate rate of only $119 plus 10% tax per room (one King bed, or two Queen beds).  The San Gabriel Hilton‘s address is 225 West Valley Boulevard, San Gabriel, CA, 91776.  Make your reservations online, or call Central Reservations. If by e-mail, write to the hotel manager, Mr. Darwin Wang, at  If by telephone, Cell (626) 202-3366, Direct Line: (626) 270-2712. Fax (626) 270-2777. Please inform Mr. Wang that you are participating in Cal State L.A.’s Conference on Carlos Fuentes to receive the special rate.  Transportation from the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) to the San Gabriel Hilton:  Super Shuttle, telephone:  (800) 700-1983, or (626) 679-3598.  

2.      Days Inn-Alhambra (Alhambra, CA).  This hotel is nearby restaurant row and close to the University. The managers (Mrs. Dimple or Mr. TJ) have agreed to give conference participants the corporate rate of $69 plus tax for a King bed; $79 plus tax for 2 Queen beds, per night. Continental breakfast is included.  Make your reservation by telephone: (626) 308-0014; or by Fax:  (626) 281-5996.  To receive this special rate you must identify yourself as a participant in Cal State L.A.‘s Conference on Carlos Fuentes.  Transportation from the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) to the San Gabriel Hilton:  Super Shuttle, telephone:  (800) 700-1983, or (626) 679-3598.   

Conference Meals
Speakers and panelists will have two luncheons and two dinners as part of Cal State L.A.‘s hospitality during the conference. The cost of the four meals is a reduced rate of $95 (includes tax and service charge).  The deadline for meal payments is April 20; for participants flying from abroad, the deadline extends to morning registration on May 4.  Make checks payable to Golden Eagle Hospitality, and mail to Roberto Cantú (see above address).  All conference participants are expected to pay the $95 for conference meals, even if dining outside of the conference. The two luncheons and two dinners (one corresponds to the conference banquet on May 5), are open only to conference participants and to our general audience.  After the morning registration on May 4, participation in the meal program will be closed.

Conference Program

Left to Right:  Mauricio Montoya and Juan Carlos Parrilla, members of the
Conference Registration Committee 

Right:  Rosario Soto, member of the Conference Registration Committee

Teresa Metcalf-Yzaguirre, Administrative Analyst Specialist (Cal State L.A.),
and Coordinator of the Conference Registration Committee

Michael Cervantes, Conference Photographer
and Cal State L.A. Alumnus
All Conference Photos Copyright by Michael Cervantes

Left to Right (at tables):  Cristobal Palma and Gloria Bautista

Sara Gonzalez, Cal State L.A. alumna, displaying conference T-shirt

Friday, May 4,
8:30-9:00 a.m.

Registration & Coffee
Golden Eagle Ballroom
California State University, Los Angeles

Roberto Cantú & Conference Co-Organizers
Donald O. Dewey and Maarten van Delden

Welcome and Introduction
9:00-9:30 a.m.
Golden Eagle Ballroom

Session # 1

50th Anniversary of The Death of Artemio Cruz

9:30-11:15 a.m.
Golden Eagle Ballroom

Moderator:  Louis R. Negrete, California State University, Los Angeles

1.      La breve agonía de Artemio Cruz: a propósito del tiempo narrativo en La muerte de Artemio Cruz de Carlos Fuentes
James Hussar, California State University, Fullerton

2.      Unas relaciones textuales entre La muerte de Artemio Cruz y El seductor de la patria de Enrique Serna
Salvador C. Fernández, Occidental College
3.  Carlos Fuentes’ The Death of Artemio Cruz (1962)
Eliud Martinez, University of California, Riverside
4.  La muerte de Artemio Cruz, un tortuoso y modernista bildungsroman
     Valentin González-Bohórquez, Biola University

Left to Right:  Professors Lou Negrete, Salvador Fernandez,
Eliud Martinez, and Valentin Gonzalez-Bohorquez

Left to Right: Professors Lou Negrete, James Hussar, etc.

Professor Eliud Martinez at the podium

Featured Speaker #1

Dr. Maarten van Delden
University of California, Los Angeles

Title of Lecture:

La muerte de Artemio Cruz
as Modernist Text”

May 4, 11:30 a.m.-12:45 p.m.
Golden Eagle Ballroom

Professor Cantu introduces and welcomes
Professor Maarten van Delden's featured lecture

May 4, 1:00-2:15 p.m.
Golden Eagle Ballroom-3


Sesame Beef Stir-fry,
Steamed Rice, Stir-fry Vegetables,
Asian Green Salad, Desserts,
Water, and Iced-Tea

Featured Speaker # 2

Dr. Florence Olivier
Université Sorbonne Nourvelle Paris 3, France

Title of Lecture:

"Coloquio del sueño y la razón
en Terra Nostra y 'Gente de razón'"

May 4, 2:30-3:30 p.m.
Golden Eagle Ballroom

Emeritus Dean Donald O. Dewey Introduces
Featured Speaker Professor Florence Olivier

Session # 2

Carlos Fuentes’s Imperial Narratives:
Terra Nostra and The Buried Mirror

May 4, 3:45-5:00 p.m.
Golden Eagle Ballroom

Moderator: Timothy Steele, California State University, Los Angeles

1.      Conjectural Legacies after Borges and Bataille in Terra Nostra and Cervantes, o la crítica de la lectura
Michael Paul Abeyta, University of Colorado, Denver

2.      Claves para una nueva lectura de Terra Nostra, de Carlos Fuentes
Young M. Park, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

3.      Historicity and Culture in The Buried Mirror
Alejandro Bárcenas, Texas State University – San Marcos

Left to Right:  Professors Timothy Steele, Michael  Paul Abeyta, and Alejandro Bárcenas

Session # 3

A Book Presentation:
Tradition and Innovation in Mesoamerican Cultural History

5:00-6:00 p.m.
Golden Eagle Ballroom

Moderator:  Aaron Sonnenschein, California State University, Los Angeles
Participating Authors and Chapter Titles:

1. Kinship Terms in Colonial Valley Zapotec
Michael Galant, California State University, Dominguez Hills

2. Lord 8 Deer's Beard: The Mesoamerican Ballgame Tradition and its Protective Equipment
Ricardo García, University of California, Los Angeles

3. Ancient Maya Funerary Urn Use Reveals Social Dimensions
Stephanie Lozano, Los Angeles County Museum of Art

4. Evidence about Proto-Zapotec from a Colonial Document
Pamela Munro, University of California, Los Angeles

Left to Right:  Professors Aaron Sonnenschein, Ricardo Garcia,
Stephanie Lozano, and Mchael Galant.

Featured Speaker # 3

    Dr. Lanin A. Gyurko
       The University of Arizona

Title of Lecture:

"Carlos Fuentes and World Film”

Friday, May 4, 6:10-7:15 p.m.
Golden Eagle Ballroom

Professor Maarten van Delden introduces and welcomes
Professor Lanin Gyurko's featured lecture

Dinner, May 4, 7:30-9:00 p.m.
University Club


Chicken Fajitas, Mexican Rice and Beans,
Tortillas, Salsa, Full Salad Bar,
Desserts, Water, and Iced-Tea


Session # 4

Carlos Fuentes and the Gothic Literary Tradition

May 5, 9:00-10:20 a.m.
Golden Eagle Ballroom

Moderator:  Bill Bollinger, California State University, Los Angeles

1.      Aura y sus descendientes:Tradición gótica en la obra de Carlos Fuentes
Adriana Gordillo, Southern Oregon University

2.      Aura: arquitecturas del desorden
Pablo Baler, California State University, Los Angeles

3.      Vlad: or Gothic Postmodernism According to Carlos Fuentes
John Ellis, Scottsdale Community College, Arizona

Left to Right:  Professors Adriana Gordillo, Pablo Baler, Bill Bollinger (moderator), and John Ellis

Session # 5

Carlos Fuentes, Modernity, and Mexico’s Post-Boom Writers

May 5, 10:30-11:45 a.m.
Golden Eagle Ballroom

Moderator: Abbas Denishvari, California State University, Los Angeles

1.      Carlos Fuentes y la nueva narrativa mexicana: ¿Continuación del Boom o subversión contra el perenne intelectual y padre literario?
Iliana Alcántar, Queens College, CUNY

2.      Reencarnación de la memoria en Inquieta compañía
Agustina Ortiz, Indepentent Writer, Germany

3.      Carlos Fuentes between Baroque and Modernity: The Question of Self-Representation in Fuentes’s Essays
Reindert Dhondt, KU Leuven, Belgium

4.      The Canonizing Eye: The Art Criticism of Octavio Paz and Carlos Fuentes
Manuel Gutiérrez, Rice University

Left to Right  Professors Iliana Alcantar, Agustina Ortiz (Independent Writer), Abbas Daneshvari (moderator), Reindert Dhondt, and Manuel Gutierrez

Featured Speaker # 4

Dr. Steven Boldy
Cambridge University, United Kingdom

Title of Lecture:

“From Affront to Melodrama: 
Aesthetics, Violence, and Family
In the Recent Narrative of Carlos Fuentes”

Saturday, May 5, 12:00-1:15 p.m.
Golden Eagle Ballroom

Left to Right:  Professor Hildebrando Villarreal introduces and welcomes
Professor Steven Boldy's featured lecture

Professor Steven Boldy replies to questions from the audience

Lunch, May 5, 1:15-2:30 p.m.
Golden Eagle Ballroom-C


Basil Pesto Pasta & Grilled Chicken,
Garlic Bread, Full Salad Bar,
Dessert, Water, and Iced-Tea

Session #  6

Carlos Fuentes in World Literature:
Translators,Translations, and the Transcultural

2:30-4:00 p.m.
Golden Eagle Ballroom

Moderator: Jun Liu, California State University, Los Angeles

1. Domnita Dumitrescu, California State University, Los Angeles
“Sobre las traducciones de Carlos Fuentes al rumano”

2. Manuel Azuaje Alamo. University of Tokyo, Japan
“A Mexican writer in a completely foreign context: The discourse surrounding the translations of Carlos Fuentes into the Japanese language”

3. Wendy B. Faris, University of Texas at Arlington
“Of Stone and Water: Archeology and Narrative in Carlos Fuentes’s Una familia lejana

Left to Right:  Professors Toming Jun Liu (moderator) Wendy B. Faris, Domnita Dumitrescu

Left to Right:  Professors Wendy B. Faris, Domnita Dumitrescu, and Manuel Azuaje Alamo

Copyright Photo Art by Hans Alvarez

Staging of a Play written by Carlos Fuentes

“Orquídeas a la luz de la luna”

(in Spanish)

Performing Artists:

Alejandra Flores
as María Félix


Cristal González
as Dolores Del Río


Ricardo Salcido
as the Fan


Dr. Lanin A. Gyurko
The University of Arizona

May 5, 4:15-6:00 p.m.
Golden Eagle Ballroom

Alejandra Flores as Maria Felix

Cristal Gonzalez as Dolores Del Rio

Ricardo Salcido as the Fan

Left to Right:  Alejandra Flores, Ricardo Salcido, Cristal Gonzalez, and Manuel Castillejos

Performing Artists receive a Standing Ovation!!

María Félix and Mexican Cinema

Mexican Actress Dolores del Río

Keynote Speaker

Dr. Georgina García Gutiérrez Vélez
Centro de Estudios Literarios del Instituto de Investigaciones Filológicas
 Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

Title of Lecture:

“Carlos Fuentes and Diego Rivera:
Leading Creators of ‘Renaissances’ in Mexico”
Saturday, May 5,  6:00-7:15 p.m.
Golden Eagle Ballroom

Professor Maarten van Delden introduces and welcomes
Professor Georgina García Gutiérrez Vélez's keynote lecture

Conference Banquet
May 5, 7:30-9:00 p.m.
Golden Eagle Ballroom-C


Grilled Salmon, Roasted Red Potatoes,
Bread, Fresh Vegetables, Dessert,

Water and Iced-Tea

Conference Abstracts

Conjectural Legacies after Borges and Bataille in Terra Nostra and Cervantes, o la crítica de la lectura
Michael Paul Abeyta, University of Colorado, Denver

In Terra Nostra and Cervantes, o la crítica de a lectura the question of Spain’s legacy as both burden and promise is a primary dilemma of these works, and is also complemented by a principle of reinvention, the promise of a future difference.  Indeed, the entire project of Terra Nostra is predicated on the renovation of an inherited heterogeneous legacy, that of Spain, and by extension the Mediterranean, and the indigenous Americas above all.  This paper explores the ways Terra Nostra and Cervantes respond to this legacy, and how the concept of herencia operates throughout the novel in relation to the thought of J.L. Borges and Georges Bataille.  (I prefer not to translate this word into English because to do so might limit its multivalent meaning.)  Fuentes’s reading of Georges Bataille’s general economy in Cervantes, particularly “la economía del don,” is crucial for an understanding of the novel. The concept of herencia, in this regard, carries the sense of debt and obligation, of gift-countergift or potlatch, the play between memory and forgetting, and above all, the possibility of renovation and reinvention through the conjectural genealogy of fiction after Borges.  As Fuentes puts it in Geografía de la novela: “Lejos de las historias pertrificadas y con los puños llenos de polvo archivado, la historia de Borges le ofrece a sus lectores la oportunidad de re-inventar, re-vivir el pasado, a fin de seguir inventando el presente (54-55). “La herencia” as the subject of inquiry in Terra Nostra takes on a certain non-fixity and resists nostalgia as it offers up the possibility of rethinking the past.   This is what is meant by “conjectural legacy”: the past itself is open to reinterpretation and reinvention, which in turn destabilizes any essentialist or singular notions of identity for both the present and the past of Spain and Latin America. 

Carlos Fuentes y la nueva narrativa mexicana: ¿Continuación del Boom o subversión contra el perenne intelectual y padre literario?
Iliana Alcántar, Queens College, CUNY

En el año 2004, bajo el marco de la Feria Internacional del Libro, el célebre Carlos Fuentes pasa la estafeta a los nuevos valores de la literatura nacional en uno de los foros de la FIL titulado “Del boom al boomerang”. Ignacio Padilla, Jorge Volpi, Pedro Ángel Palou, Cristina Rivera Garza y Xavier Velasco son los agraciados que acompañan a Fuentes en esa ceremonia de iniciación y desde entonces han sido denominados como “los vástagos literarios de Fuentes”. El acto—criticado por unos y celebrado por otros—no deja de sorprender y resonar en el campo literario de nuestros días, ya que puede vérsele como una estrategia más de mercado o como un genuino interés de parte del “padre literario” por promover los nuevos valores de la narrativa mexicana. Como sea, podemos deducir que la lista le queda pequeña a Fuentes y a la diversa producción literaria del México actual, y que en su afán de apadrinar a sus hijos consentidos, deja por fuera a otros talentosos e innovadores escritores que han logrado realizar importantes aportaciones al corpus literario mexicano reciente.

Teniendo en cuenta el marcado interés de Fuentes, cabe preguntarse entonces, ¿en qué se interesan los escritores mexicanos de hoy en día? ¿Cuáles son los temas que les ocupan y cómo los desarrollan? ¿Cómo o dónde podemos ubicar la producción narrativa mexicana contemporánea? ¿Qué han aportado al género de la novela las más recientes generaciones o movimientos literarios como los autores del Crack, los escritores del desierto o la frontera norte, la literatura femenina, basura, neo-fantástica y aquellos autores que dentro del mainstream literario aún resultan inclasificables, en unos casos, y periféricos, en otros? En sus obras, ¿existe realmente un esfuerzo conciente por desasociarse de los monstruos literarios del boom y del tan cercano Fuentes, así como de los distintos postbooms? ¿Qué proponen estos escritores en su afán de reconceptualizar el género de la novela y el lenguaje? Y al hacerlo, ¿realmente están renegando de Fuentes y de la tradición literaria que éste representa o sus obras son una continuidad de la misma?

Este estudio tiene múltiples propósitos. De entrada, explorar posibles respuestas a las anteriores incógnitas y así tratar de iniciar la conversación de sobre qué estamos hablando cuando hablamos de una nueva narrativa mexicana. Asimismo, se busca evidenciar el papel protagónico y el carácter camaleónico en la obra de Carlos Fuentes para demostrar que el intelectual mexicano continúa siendo relevante tanto en la sociedad mexicana como en las letras hispanoamericanas, lo cual queda ampliamente demostrado con su reciente publicación de 2011, La gran novela latinoamericana.

A Mexican writer in a completely foreign context: The discourse surrounding the translations of Carlos Fuentes into the Japanese language.
Manuel Azuaje Alamo. University of Tokyo, Japan
  The purpose of this article is to survey the current state of Carlos Fuentes’s literature available in translation into the Japanese language, and to describe his reception and interpretation by Japanese critics and readership. By doing this it hopes to clarify the challenges that Fuentes’s literature faces when presented to a foreign reader as a text of World Literature.

The main body of this paper describes the cultural Japanese context into which Fuentes’s literature has been translated, and reviews the coverage that Fuentes’s literature has received in important Japanese literary magazines. This analysis is centered on the literary magazine Sea (『海』) and its coverage of Carlos Fuentes’s translated works. This magazine published in 1980 a special number dedicated fully to the works of Carlos Fuentes. In 1981 the same magazine also featured Fuentes’s Miguel de Cervantes o la crítica de la lectura in a special number dealing with literary criticism. This paper presents a critical reading of the meta-text surrounding the translated literature of Fuentes, as well as a description of the cultural moment in which his main works were presented to the Japanese readership.

In the Japanese language Fuentes’s novels have lacked a single specialized translator. Instead, a number of translators across different publishing houses have translated a portion of his works into Japanese. Thus representative novels such as La Muerte de Artemio Cruz, Cambio de Piel, and Gringo Viejo have been published in Japan. However, the lack of translations of important works such as Terra Nostra or Cristóbal Nonato underlines the difficult task the average Japanese reader faces when engaging the multiple references to Latin American and Spanish history throughout Fuentes’s oeuvre, so it can be argued that the biggest challenge for the Japanese translator is the contextualization of these types of cultural references.

Aura: arquitecturas del desorden
Pablo Baler, California State University, Los Angeles

En "Arquitecturas del desorden" ensayaré una lectura creativa de una obra temprana de Carlos Fuentes, Aura (1962), a la luz del discurso critico ofrecido por sus primeras obras teóricas. Carlos Fuentes, como tantos otros autores fundacionales del boom latinoamericano, pertenece a una tradición de escritores que articularon la poética que subyace a sus propios textos, ofreciendo así otro camino alternativo de acceso a sus ficciones. Aura, la alucinada nouvelle de lo íntimo y lo sobrenatural, se enriquece desde las ideas propuestas en el opúsculo teórico La nueva novela hispanoamericana (1969). La aspiración revolucionara expresada en este texto se cifra en una visión Bakhtiniana, dialógica, del lenguaje literario. Esta atomización lingüística refleja la exploración de un desorden más profundo: el del espacio y el tiempo. Algunas de las preguntas aquí ensayadas arrojaran luz sobre cuestiones más vastas del quehacer literario: tal como la relación entre teoría literaria y escritura creativa, entre filosofía y literatura, y por sobre todo, una cuestión central a la sensibilidad del Boom; la relación entre realidad, representación y lenguaje.

Historicity and Culture in The Buried Mirror
Alejandro Bárcenas,Texas State University – San Marcos

            The question of the existence of Latin American philosophy has haunted philosophers in the Americas during most of the 20th century. This feeling of angst – that occurred when scholars compared Latin America with other cultures which possess a well-known philosophical tradition – was perhaps best explained by the Peruvian philosopher Augusto Salazar Bondy in his book, originally published in 1968, “¿Existe una Filosofía en Nuestra América?” Even now this doubt reverberates in many works on the subject without providing a satisfactory resolution or, perhaps worst, a constructive direction. As a result, Latin American philosophy seems even today in many aspects to be caught up in a situation that does not know how to resolve.

            In my presentation, I’ll argue that Carlos Fuentes’ The Buried Mirror has filled a void of meaning that was has been, in a sense, created by the discipline of philosophy because it has been incapable of articulating the cultural manifestation and sensibilities of Latin America using its traditional notions. For instance, the metaphysical approach of Francisco Romero or the epistemological works of Samuel Ramos seem to have made only a limited contribution to the understanding of the Latin American “Spirit” – as Hegel would have said.

In contrast, Fuentes’ essay is an invitation to understand the complexity of Latin America from a different perspective. Fuentes sensibility towards the historicity of thought in the Americas – that is, an awareness of how ideas are manifested in social and cultural instances – has allowed him to overcome what seems to keep Latin American philosophy away from its proper subject. Still, one might say that Fuentes did not pretend to compose a philosophical work in nature. But, I would like to argue that The Buried Mirror has captured the philosophical essence of Latin America precisely because it has been the result of his unorthodox attempt to try to comprehend the ideas behind the historical and cultural circumstances that define the Americas. What better way to comprehend the ideas that give meaning in Latin American than to analyze them in their highest manifestations? Art, music, dance, film and, of course, literature. It is by studying the cultural manifestations underestimated by previous philosophers that Fuentes has been able to express what I would like to characterize as the “Phenomenology of the Latin American Spirit” in The Buried Mirror.

Carlos Fuentes between Baroque and Modernity: The Question of Self-Representation in Fuentes’s Essays
Reindert Dhondt, KU Leuven, Belgium

The relation between Carlos Fuentes and Modernity has been the object of important books (Van Delden 1998) as well as of several articles (e.g. Phaf 1995, Williams 1996, Van Delden 2002). These studies have frequently laid bare a fundamental ambivalence with regard to the concept of Modernity in the work of Fuentes. The relation between Fuentes and the Baroque, however, has not been explored yet from this point of view, despite Fuentes’s explicit and self-conscious identification with the Baroque. This is strange because it appears as an intriguing case in the debate. On the one hand, in contemporary philosophy and theory (e.g. Glucksmann 1994, Echeverría 1998, Chiampi 2000, Lambert 2004), the resurgence of the Baroque is invariably presented as interconnected to the critique of Modernity and, consequently, to a “countermodern” paradigm. However, a previous study of this topic in Fuentes’s narrative work (Dhondt 2011) has demonstrated that Baroque and Modernity are rather compatible terms in his discourse (converging in the image of the ruin for instance), which might be related to Fuentes’s ambivalent relationship to Modernity altogether. For Fuentes, the Baroque does not only constitute a critique of the grand narratives of Modernity but it is also an expression of Modernity itself since “our conflictive modernities have ensured the continuity of the Baroque” (Fuentes 1993: 407). In this conference, we will broaden our scope towards the essayistic production of Fuentes and center on his self-image or “ethos” (Maingueneau, Amossy) as a Baroque-modern author.

Sobre las traducciones de Carlos Fuentes al rumano
Domnita Dumitrescu, California State University, Los Angeles

Entre las muchas lenguas del mundo a las cuales  está traducida la obra de Carlos Fuentes, se encuentra también el rumano, una lengua románica hermana que cuenta con hispanistas expertos y traductores  diestros. En esta ponencia me propongo comentar brevemente las traducciones al rumano de algunas de las grandes obras  del autor mexicano, empezando con la más antigua , La muerte de Artemio Cruz (1969) y terminando con la más reciente, de 2010, Todas las familias felices. Entre estas fechas se sitúan, a pocos años de distancia, empezando con el año 2002- que parece ser el año del redescubrimiento de Fuentes por lo lectores rumanos- Instinto de Inez, La silla del águila, En esto creo, Diana o la cazadora solitaria, Constancia, Gringo Viejo, Inquieta compañía y la segunda edición de Todos los gatos son pardos (la primera había visto la luz d ela imprenta muchos años atrás, en una revista  de literatura universal). Me voy a referir tanto a la calidad de las traducciones (en general, excelente) como a las notas y/o los estudios introductorios que acompañan a  algunas, convirtiéndose a veces  en verdaderos ensayos críticos originales, que revelan una interesante  percepción de la obra del gran mexicano entre los intelectuales rumanos  de hoy día.

Vlad: or Gothic Postmodernism According to Carlos Fuentes
John Ellis, Scottsdale Community College, Arizona

The short novel, Vlad, marks Carlos Fuentes's foray into Vampire Gothic. While the vampire has appeared before in Mexican literature, it has done so under the Romantic model in more popular forms of art, such as film and comics. Fuentes, too, has employed Gothic elements in previous works, making him in the words of Gutiérrez Mouat, "the most Gothic of all Latin American writers." Vlad, however, is different.
This difference, in part because of the apparent naïveté of the main character/narrator and the inversion and exaggeration of the other characters' traits as relate to the models they are based on, may lead some to view Vlad as a sort of parody of the genre. Nevertheless, a closer read, informed by the recent work on Gothic Postmodernism by Fred Botting, Catherine Spooner, and Maria Beville,  reveals an essentially postmodern work.
My presentation will make the case that Vlad, with its perfunctory-dialogues, wikipedic-erudition, and graphic-novel-styled angst, should be read as a work within an emerging genre, distinct from Postmodern Gothic: the Gothic Postmodernism, a genre in which Fuentes's tale of the vampire in modern-day Mexico, seen through this lens, turns out to be a masterful exemplar.

Of Stone and Water: Archeology and Narrative in Carlos Fuentes’s Una familia lejana
Wendy B. Faris, University of Texas at Arlington

The ruins of Xochicalco (near Cuernvaca) constitute a meaningful presence in Una familia lejana de Carlos Fuentes.  Particularly inspired by the stones there, the narrative trannsforms itself into words that resemble the fluidity of water-- una “carta hidrográfica que estamos dibujando.” In proceeding in that way, the novel uses the ruin but rejects  a complete and accurate reconstruction in favor of a confused and incomplete web of interwoven stories that require contsant participation of narrators and readers.  For example, the most substantial description of the ruins evokes “las miradas invisibles del pueblo antiguo de México, la memoria vecina, la imágen rendida por el espejo sitiado de nuestras palabras.” This textual description embodies a lively imagned contemporary construction of the past in contrast to a fixed and factually accurate reconstruction of it.  Furthermore, even though the evocation of Franco-Latinamerican poets like Supervielle, Heredia, and others, celebrates a cosmopolitan hybrid cutlure, the lyrical description of this relatively unknown ruin values the local and the national within the cosmpolitan, constituting a kind of ekphrastic activism.  Perhaps that interartistic and interculturally proactive strategy is confirmed at the end of the novel when the pool of the Automobile Club of France is converted into a jungly ruin, as if it were conquered by the water gliph at Xochicalco, an indigenous object brought to life and an example of the transformation of stone into water that characterizes this fluid and reanimanted text, which therefore represents a variety of  reconquest of the old by the new world.  

Unas relaciones textuales entre La muerte de Artemio Cruz y El seductor de la patria de Enrique Serna
Salvador C. Fernández, Occidental College

Casi veinte años después de la publicación de la novela de Leopoldo Zamora Plowes, Quince uñas y Casanova, el personaje histórico y literario de Antonio López de Santa Anna aparece en una de las más importantes de la narrativa mexicana contemporánea La muerte de Artemio Cruz (1962). En contraste a la visión carnavalesca y satírica de Zamora Plowes, al final de la novela La muerte de Artemio Cruz Carlos Fuentes hace alusiones literarias a la figura de Antonio López de Santa Anna como un personaje clave para examinar la herencia histórica que el siglo XIX tiene para el México contemporáneo. A través de esta figura histórica el lector se da cuenta que la genealogía del personaje central, Artemio Cruz, comienza en las plantaciones del estado de Veracruz, la misma localidad nativa de Santa Anna. De una manera similar a las narrativas del siglo XIX, Fuentes utiliza la localidad y el ambiente del cual Santa Anna surgió para tipificar y destacar las características físicas y psicológicas que marcan el desarrollo personal y político no solamente de este caudillo mexicano, sino también de Artemio Cruz. Como anticipan las obras de Zamora Plowes y Carlos Fuentes, la nueva novela histórica mexicana produce una desautorización del discurso histórico y causa en el lector una enajenación o distanciamiento que lo hacen cuestionar los signos históricos tradicionales. Una obra más reciente de este tipo de narración, es la obra de Enrique Serna El seductor de la patria, ya que ésta recrea y revalora, con un gran éxito, la vida personal, política y social del Antonio López de Santa Anna (1794-1876). Por lo tanto, este trabajo examina la carnavalización del espacio privado y público como un vehículo literario que Zamora Plowes, Fuentes, Serna utilizan para establecer una visión tragicómica no solamente de la figura histórica de Antonio López de Santa Anna, sino también del período político dominado por él, ya que evidentemente marca el desarrollo socio-cultural mexicano.
La muerte de Artemio Cruz, un tortuoso y modernista bildungsroman
Valentin González-Bohórquez, Biola University
Aunque en general la producción fictiva de Fuentes se caracteriza por la experimentación narrativa y estilística (y en particular el ciclo inaugural de sus cuatro primeras novelas, de la cual LMDAC es la tercera de ellas), ninguna alcanza la complejidad estructural de ésta en los diversos niveles de su propuesta narratológica y metanarratológica. La novela emplea una constante alternancia de estilos en los que están presentes, entre otros, la escritura automatizada de los dadaístas, el barroquismo a lo Carpentier y elementos del interiorismo narrativo del Ulises de Joyce, como el monólogo interior y las percepciones de lo que se sabe —o se cree que se sabe— frente a la intuición desconcertada. El discurso narrativo busca intencionalmente la participación activa del lector, y de ello es prueba la gran cantidad de estudios de LMDAC que se concentran en tratar de discernir los reductos de significación y las diversas puertas de entrada al texto a partir de las fórmulas de autotratamiento y autorrepresentación del personaje. Una de dichas aproximaciones es la concepción del texto dentro del entorno temático de una bildungsroman (o aún quizás más precisamente, de una anti-bildungsroman), caracterizada dentro de las preocupaciones modernistas del personaje fragmentado, cuya unidad busca desesperada e inútilmente en los estragos de su memoria y su conciencia. A través del juego de oposiciones binarias —bildungsroman/anti-bildungsroman—, LMDAC despliega el recurso de la alternancia de trato que se autoasigna el narrador único, para inferir la polivalencia de un personaje que carece de centro, pese a que toda su estrategia verbalizadora sea un esfuerzo por encontrarlo.
Aura y sus descendientes:Tradición gótica en la obra de Carlos Fuentes
Adriana Gordillo, Southern Oregon University
Aura ha hecho correr ríos de tinta desde su publicación en 1962. Exploraciones que van desde la figura de la bruja en relación con el imaginario femenino, la capacidad germinativa y tanática del impulso erótico, la recurrencia de símbolos como el doble, el espejo, el enigma y el mito, pasando por la noción de una historia total, la representación del tiempo y la nación, los elementos fantásticos y góticos del texto y sus múltiples relaciones intra e intertextuales, así como la recepción del texto, la evaluación de la estructura narrativa de la obra, y hasta la recepción de la novela en el salón de clase. Pero la capacidad germinativa de Aura no se limita a la producción crítica. En esta presentación haremos un recorrido por los personajes de las obras que el autor ha integrado bajo el título “El mal del tiempo” y que prolongan la existencia del personaje Aura-Constancia como una figura seminal. Nos enfocaremos aquí no en los ancestros literarios de Aura (referidos en numerosas ocasiones por el autor), sino en su descendencia, expresada tanto en personajes que recuerdan a Aura, de manera transparente como en “Constancia”, como en relación con reflexiones que el autor ha hecho sobre la fotografía, el texto literario y la memoria.
El personaje de Aura-Consuelo presenta un ser total y disperso al mismo tiempo, en donde se figura la tensión entre el ser individual, limitado por el tiempo y el espacio, y un ser atemporal que se identifica con un todo social y natural que persiste fuera del mundo racional. Si este ser, como dice Fuentes al final de la novela, es la “memoria de la juventud, la memoria encarnada,” es justo revisar las subsecuentes encarnaciones de este personaje en la obra del mexicano para entender cómo esa “memoria” muta y se mantiene estable al mismo tiempo (41). A pesar de que en 1982 encontramos una primera descendiente de la novela en la obra de Peter Straub, The General’s Wife, escrita como homenaje a Aura, lo que nos interesa aquí es enfocarnos en las reproducciones del personaje de Aura que hace Fuentes a lo largo de “El mal del tiempo”, dado que a través de ellas el autor prolonga la existencia de su propia novela. En otras palabras, al reproducir la esencia de Aura (personaje) en subsecuentes textos, Fuentes está convocando una serie de ideas y símbolos que, al reescribirse, invitan a pensar en cómo el referente bruja o fantasma se reconfigura para discutir problemáticas que aparecen y reaparecen en cada nueva generación, y que se concretan a través de la fotografía como metáfora de las contradicciones relativas al paso del tiempo. En suma, discutiremos la génesis de la escritura a partir de la fotografía como metáfora de la reproducción de lo irrepetible (Aura), y el sentido fantasmático que cohesiona tanto la escritura, la fotografía, como el acto creativo que es la lectura que le da sentido al texto.

The Canonizing Eye: The Art Criticism of Octavio Paz and Carlos Fuentes
Manuel Gutiérrez, Rice University

Octavio Paz constructed his art criticism as part of a broader campaign that called for the establishment of an autonomous cultural field in clear opposition to the dogmatism of Mexican nationalism. His essays on art, therefore, were written as a “defense” of “independent” painters whose works resisted nationalist folklore and ignored the doctrine of socialist realism. For Paz, the poet’s mission was to stand in solidarity with painters and artists committed to creating a contemporary art capable of engaging with a vexed modern world. Octavio Paz was not alone in this endeavor. Carlos Fuentes shared Paz’s concern for independent art and viewed his own essays as a contribution to this effort. In this presentation I will examine the art criticism of these two canonical authors. Published a decade apart by the state-funded Fondo de Cultura Económica, Paz’s two-volume Los privilegios de la vista (1993) and Fuentes’s Viendo Visiones (2003) are not only a significant testament to their interest in the plastic arts but also serve as an example of the important role the lettered intellectual played in interpreting visual culture for a broader audience. Moreover, these works of criticism also reveal Paz and Fuentes’s commitment to fostering a contemporary understanding of Mexican art. Turning away from the Muralists, they dedicated many essays to the works of lesser-known painters, often contributing to their later international success. Reading their essays as counternarratives to the prevailing aesthetic currents of the 1950s and 1960s, it becomes evident that their effort as art critics was significantly connected to their own literary projects and cultural politics. Writing about national painters —including, Juan Soriano, José Luis Cuevas, Manuel Felguérez, Alberto Gironella, and others— as well as international artists—Valerio Adami, Fernando De Szyzlo and Eduardo Chillida— they shared in many ways a common sense of purpose. Together, imbued with their unique cultural authority and literary prestige, they helped cement Mexican and Latin American modernism as one of the most significant artistic movements of the twentieth century. Yet, despite their efforts to create a modern understanding of art, in their monumental tomes, both ignored younger generations of artists and remained solely interested in traditional genres of painting, paying little to no attention to the experimental arts of the 1970s and 1980s. Their canonizing eyes galvanized interest in a particular understanding of art and cast a shadow on movements outside of their purview. Understanding both Paz’s and Fuentes’s artistic interests reveal much about the shifting cultural fields on Mexico in the twentieth century.

La breve agonía de Artemio Cruz: a propósito del tiempo narrativo en La muerte de Artemio Cruz de Carlos Fuentes
James Hussar, California State University, Fullerton

Los 50 años de crítica literaria acerca de La muerte de Artemio Cruz (1962) de Carlos Fuentes no han sido suficientes para resolver dos asuntos básicos: la duración y la fecha de la agonía del personaje del título. Hay varias propuestas diferentes: según Victor Fuentes, Cruz fallece el 9 de abril de 1959 después de 12 horas de agonía; Gerald W. Petersen fija la muerte para un día después. En la opinión de Roberto Domínguez Cáceres, la novela relata las últimas 24 horas de Cruz durante un “ignoto día de 1960”, año que Julio Ortega corrobora. El cálculo menos específico de Linda S. Glaze, quien apenas propone que Cruz agoniza durante varias horas y menos de un día, tal vez sea el más prudente, porque el texto de Fuentes no comprueba definitivamente ninguna de las otras aserciones.
La dificultad de determinar una cronología exacta para la agonía y la muerte del protagonista se debe a que la única fuente de información en la novela, Cruz, es un narrador indigno de confianza; su estado decaído, subjetividad, tendencia a errarse y proclividad a inventar detalles comprometen el texto. Mi presentación parte de estudios seminales y recientes de la narrativa para exponer la falibilidad de Cruz como narrador. De acuerdo con Santiago Tejerina-Canal y Roberto Domínguez Cáceres, arguyo que las tres voces narrativas (“yo”, “tú” y “él”) que producen la estructura trina de la novela le pertenecen a Cruz; como consecuencia, todo que se relata en ella, inclusive las referencias temporales de que se podrían valer los proponentes de una agonía extensa para Cruz, es sospechoso.
En consideración de la frecuente y exacta repetición de pasajes completos en las primeras diez secciones narradas en primera persona, la cual sugiere que éstas son iteraciones de una sola escena y no diez escenas distintas, propongo un tiempo narrativo reducido y, por ende, una agonía más breve que la anteriormente señalada por la crítica. Mi lectura coincide con los estudios parapsicológicos de las experiencias cercanas a la muerte (ECM), en que los supervivientes afirman haber visto sus vidas enteras en una serie de recuerdos veloces e intensos. También coincide con los análisis de las técnicas cinematográficas en la novela, en el sentido de que porciones del texto se pueden interpretar como una transcripción de las últimas imágenes que se le pasan volando frente a los ojos de un moribundo, como si estuviera viendo una versión fílmica de su vida.

Carlos Fuentes’ The Death of Artemio Cruz (1962)
Eliud Martinez, University of California, Riverside

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the novel by Carlos Fuentes. Reduced to the simplest terms the novel is the biography of a complex man, Artemio Cruz. His life provides the author with a pretext to narrate facets of Mexican [and U.S.] history.  The novel begins in April 1959 in the present; Artemio Cruz is dying in a hospital.  The novel moves towards Artemio's birth and simultaneously to his death.
The novel shows that Artemio Cruz's life has been shaped by the lives and deaths of others. He is a man of multiple personalities: newspaper tycoon, husband, lover, revolutionary soldier, father, grandson of Ludivinia and creoles, son of  mulata Cruz Isabel or Isabel Cruz and criollo Atanasio Menchaca—Artemio, the green- eyed bastard.

The novel begins in a hospital room where a seventy- one year old man will die within twenty four hours.  He is wakened by light that penetrates his closed eyelids and by the cold steel of an instrument inserted in his penis. As Artemio Cruz is dying, his whole life passes in review through his mind.  The novel presents his life in thirteen significant episodes.  These can be arranged chronologically, but are not so in the novel.

Fuentes uses Artemio's life to trace the whole history of Mexico in the twentieth century since the Revolution, and to connect this history with the most remote origins of Mexican people, not just to the Gulf of Mexico and Cocuya, Artemio's birthplace, not just to the coast of Veracruz, to the African hut where he was born and where the Mediterranean criollos came into contact with African people, but beyond the Atlantic, to the Mediterranean and to Africa, and further still, to the Bosporus: Artemio Cruz's green eyes.  He represents many Mexicos (Simpson, 274).

Hence the importance too, of the three narrative voices, I, he, you.   I, Artemio in the present, seventy- one years old, dying in the hospital, remembering, regretting the choices that he made that cancelled out other choices; he is reflecting on the man that he was in the past, who did what he did, the sum of lies and deceptions, a man who survived because of other people's deaths, in both a real and metaphorical sense; pondering in his consciousness and in his conscience, you, the Artemio who is dying, able to foresee the past and remember the future, the Artemio who could have been.

Artemio Cruz is Mexico:  the product of rape, symbol of the Conquest, his green eyes bring Visigothic and Ostrogothic Spain into Mexican ancestry. Because his mother is mulata, the people of African ancestry evoke the race and caste system of New Spain;  Artemio is hero, coward, tender lover, unfaithful husband, endearing father to Lorenzo, middle aged lover, aging lover; ruthless tycoon, corrupt businessman who makes gringo businessmen cringe….
I propose to show how The Death of Artemio Cruz by Carlos Fuentes tiene vigencia after 50 years.

Reencarnación de la memoria en Inquieta compañía
Agustina Ortíz, Independent Writer, Germany

El asunto de mi  trabajo es un acercamiento a la interpretación de las metáforas y símbolos que nos da Carlos Fuentes en el libro de relatos fantásticos  Inquieta compañía (2004). La estética fantástica, de rasgos góticos, que predomina en esta obra es sólo un medio que utiliza Fuentes para fusionar lo real y lo sobrenatural en planos y momentos de la historia mexicana. El lector se adentra a los espacios solitarios, oscuros y tenebrosos, por donde lo guían los seis narradores personajes. Juntos, lector y narrador, ven, sienten y presienten con estupor, la resurrección de la memoria individual y colectiva. Esta última brota de un personaje que palpita: la ciudad de México. En ese viaje oculto se observan las raíces frescas de un pasado y un presente, que circulan y siguen dando vida a un pueblo (aunque rico y abundante para pocos) devastado por la fuerza brutal del poder. 
Claves para una nueva lectura de Terra Nostra, de Carlos Fuentes
Young M. Park, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

Terra Nostra, de Carlos Fuentes, es una novela enciclopédica, de extrema complejidad e inusual extensión. Justamente, debido a la complejidad y amplitud de Terra Nostra, no resulta nada facil hacer una lectura “común“ de la novela. De aquí que buena parte de los criticos la considere una novela “imposible” o “ilegible”. Ahora bien, dado que ya otros nos han antecedido en la tarea de buscar y encontrar cómo está organizada (configurada) la novela, recurriremos a una doble base que nos parece imprescindible para nuestro intento de ir “más allá“ en la lectura de Terra Nostra.  Esta doble base está constituida por la propuesta poética de Fuentes y por los diversos análisis que la crítica ha realizado sobre la novela.

Así, en la primera parte del presente trabajo, trataremos de señalar cómo Fuentes concibe la composición novelesca, y cómo lo manifiesta en particular en su novela Terra Nostra. Para realizar dicha investigación, nos concentraremos en tres aspectos básicos: “la historia literaria“ (poética histórica), el lenguaje (la palabra), y el tiempo y el espacio novelescos (cronotopo).

En la segunda parte, examinaremos los elementos estilístico-composicionales que constituyen los discursos (la palabra) de las diversas culturas, es decir, el plurilingüismo, ya que a través de ellos se construyen las imágenes del hombre y sus respectivas visiones del mundo en la novela.

En la tercera parte de nuestra tesis haremos una atenta y cuidadosa lectura de los planteamientos propuestos sobre el trabajo de Lus Rodríguez Carranza: Un Teatro de la Memoria. Análisis de Terra Nostra de Carlos Fuentes en especial por su inapelable valor como fundamento para nuestra propuesta de lectura. De hecho, es el único análisis realizado sobre la novela que toma en cuenta tanto el nivel de la narración como el nivel metaficcional. De ahí que proporcione claves imprescindibles tanto sobre los personajes y los narradores, entre otros, como sobre la interpretación autorreflexiva de la novela.
En la ultima parte, examinaremos la forma composicional de Terra Nostra dividiéndola en dos niveles básicos: el nivel ficcional o “argumental“ (“interno“) , que es donde se expresan y representan los acontecimientos, y el nivel metaficcional o de la escritura y la lectura (“externo“), que es donde se “configura“ y se explícita “desde adentro“ el nivel ficcional.
Para terminar, tendremos lo opportunidad de analizar la manera en que el nivel “argumental“, o construcción “interna“, se articula con el nivel de la escritura y lectura, o construcción “externa“ y como  ambos constituyen el Gran Acontecimiento, es decir, la manera en que el autor, Carlos Fuentes, configura, como autor implícito, la novela como el se “refleja“ y se “refracta“, sin estar expresado ni representado directamente como tal, en la configuración (composición) de la propia forma arquitectónica de Terra Nostra, y ello a partir de los diversos discursos de las múltiples tradiciones histórico-culturales hispanoeamericanas.

Conference Keynote and Featured Speakers

Keynote Speaker

Dr. Georgina García Gutiérrez Vélez
Centro de Estudios Literarios del Instituto de Investigaciones Filológicas
 Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

   Dr. Georgina García Gutiérrez Vélez received her Ph.D. in Literature and Linguistics from the Colegio de México, with a dissertation on the narrative of Carlos Fuentes. She is Professor in the Graduate Literature Division at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), and has taught at El Colegio de México, the University of California, San Diego and, among other institutions, at  Indiana University-Pennsylvania. She is a member of the Cátedra Carlos Fuentes (UNAM), and was elected as the “Scholar Outside the USA and Canada”, by the Assembly of the Modern Languages Association (1991-1993).  Dr. García Gutiérrez Vélez has organized four international conferences:  one on Carlos Fuentes’s novel La región más transparente (Where the Air is Clear), held on November 10-14, 2008, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the novel’s first edition.  She is currently editing the volume of essays presented at the 2008 conference.  Among her many distinguished publications, her books on Carlos Fuentes include the following:  Los disfraces. La obra mestiza de Carlos Fuentes (El Colegio de México, 1981; second edition, 2000); a critical edition, annotated and with an introduction, on Carlos Fuentes, La región más transparente (Madrid: Cátedra, 1982); editor and contributor in Carlos Fuentes: Relectura de su obra: Los días enmascarados  y Cantar de ciegos (Universidad de Guanajuato/El Colegio Nacional/INBA, 1995); and editor of Carlos Fuentes desde la crítica (México:Taurus, 2001).  She has been a member of Mexico’s Sistema Nacional de Investigadores since 1990.   Her work in progress is a book on the Poetics of Carlos Fuentes.   

Featured Speakers

Dr. Steven Boldy
Cambridge University, UK

Dr. Steven Boldy was born in Yorkshire, England.  He took a BA degree in Modern and Medieval Languages at Cambridge University (1973) and a PhD there in 1978.  He has taught at the Universities of Liverpool, Tulane, New Orleans, and, since 1984, in Cambridge, where he is Professor of Latin American Literature.  He is the author of The Novels of Julio Cortázar (Cambridge: UP), The Narrative of Carlos Fuentes: Family, Text, Nation (Durham, 2006/2012) and, among other books, A Companion to Jorge Luis Borges (Tamesis, 2009). Professor Boldy has published articles on Latin American writers, including Juan Rulfo and Alejo Carpentier.

Dr. Lanin Gyurko
The University of Arizona

Dr. Lanin Gyurko is Professor of Spanish at the University of Arizona in Tucson. Born in Connecticut, he received his B.A degree from Yale University and Master's and Ph.D. in Romance Languages from Harvard University, where he studied with Enrique Anderson Imbert and Raimundo Lida. Gyurko has served as Director of Graduate Studies in Spanish and Portuguese at Yale University, where he was Associate Professor; Chair of the Department of Modern and Classical Languages at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, and Head of the Department of Romance Languages at the University of Arizona. In 1984 he founded and developed, and has since been the Director, of the Mexican and Mexican American Literature and Culture Program in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at the University of Arizona. His areas of specialization include Latin American Literature and Culture of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, with emphasis on narrative and theatre, Mexican Literature and Culture from the Pre-Columbian Epoch to the present, Chicano Literature and Culture and Film Studies. Gyurko has published extensively on Argentine and Mexican Literature, and with Nancy Hall, edited the book Studies in Honor of Enrique Anderson Imbert. Professor Gyurko is the author of extensive monographs and more than sixty essays on the narrative and dramatic art of Carlos Fuentes, including books such as:  Lifting the Obsidian Mask: The Artistic Vision of Carlos Fuentes (Potomac, Maryland: Scripta Humanistica, 2007); The Shattered Screen: Myth and Demythification in the Art of Carlos Fuentes and Billy Wilder (New Orleans: University Press of the South, 2009); and Magic Lens: The Transformation of the Visual Arts in the Narrative World of Carlos Fuentes (New Orleans: University Press of the South, 2010).  In 2002, Professor Gyurko was given the Orden de los Descubridores Award by Sigma Delta Pi, La Sociedad Nacional Hispánica. He enjoys playing chess and baseball, listening to Chicago Dixieland jazz, particularly Louis Armstrong and Bix Beiderbecke, and reading the poetry of the Voice of New England, Robert Frost.

Dr. Florence Olivier
Université Sorbonne Nourvelle Paris 3, France

Dr. Florence Olivier is Professor of Comparative Literature at the Université Sorbonne Nouvelle Paris 3, with a distinguished teaching record in the fields of Latin American literature and translation.  Professor Olivier has made major critical contributions to the critical editions of Los días terrenales, a novel by José Revueltas, and to Toda la obra de Juan Rulfo, both published as part of the prestigious Colección Archivos (ALLCA-UNESCO). She is the autor of Carlos Fuentes o la imaginación del otro (México: Editorial de la Universidad Veracruzana, 2007), later published in France as Carlos Fuentes ou l’imagination de l’autre (Paris:  Aden, 2009).  In addition, she has published numerous articles in academic and cultural journals in Mexico and France on topics that include literary journals such as Contemporáneos and S.Nob, and on authors such as Nellie Campobello, Xavier Villaurrutia, Gilberto Owen, Juan Rulfo, José Revueltas, Carlos Fuentes, Carmen Boullosa, Juan Villoro, Jorge Volpi, Martín Solares, Calvert Casey and, among many others, Roberto Bolaño. In 2006 she edited the book Violence d’Etat, paroles libératrices (Paris: Indigo) with Pascale Budillon-Puma.  Professor Olivier served as Lecturer of French at El Colegio de México; she founded and coordinated university courses on translation at the Instituto Francés de América Latina in Mexico City where she edited Alfil, a bilingual cultural journal. In France she has taught at the Université Michel de Montaigne (Bordeaux), at the Université París X-Nanterre, and at París 12-UPEC where she served as Director of the Department of Romance Languages.  She is currently an active member of the Comparatist Research Group (CERC) at the Université Sorbonne Nouvelle, and is also a member of the Centre de Recherche Interuniversitaire sur les Champs Culturels en Amérique Latine (CRICCAL) founded by Claude Fell at the Université Sorbonne Nouvelle.  Professor Olivier is co-editor of América, a journal published by CRICCAL. 

Dr. Maarten van Delden
University of California, Los Angeles

Dr. Maarten van Delden is Professor and Chair of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at UCLA. He obtained his BA in English from the University of Cambridge, his MA in General Literature from the University of Utrecht, and his PhD in Comparative Literature from Columbia University. Prior to joining the faculty at UCLA in 2009, he taught at New York University, Rice University, and the University of Southern California.  He has been a Research Scholar at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven and a Visiting Professor at the Universidad Veracruzana in Xalapa. Van Delden is the author of Carlos Fuentes, Mexico, and Modernity (Vanderbilt University Press, 1998) which was recognized as an "Outstanding Scholarly Book" by Choice, and co-author (with Yvon Grenier) of Gunshots at the Fiesta: Literature and Politics in Latin America (Vanderbilt University Press, 2009). In addition, he is the author of numerous articles and reviews on topics in the fields of Mexican Studies, Latin American Literature, Comparative Literature, and U.S. American Literature.  His article “Máscaras mexicanas en La región más transparente” is forthcoming in a collection of essays on Carlos Fuentes edited by Georgina García Gutiérrez Vélez.


Charlie Rose interviews Carlos Fuentes

Documentary on Carlos Fuentes
(with English subtitles)

Carlos Fuentes on the publication of Carolina Grau (2010) 

Escritores en Primera Plana--Carlos Fuentes

Los amigos de Carlos Fuentes--Steven Boldy

Dr. Jeanine “Gigi” Gaucher-Morales

     The Gigi Gaucher-Morales Memorial Conference 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 till 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 Conferences will honor Gigi’s academic ideals as a teacher, colleague, and mentor.  The conferences will respond to Gigi’s diverse yet interconnected interests in civilizations of the world such as Mesoamerica and that of the Andes, Latin America, Asia, and Francophone America, from Canada to Haiti. Gigi embodied the highest academic standards and a range of academic fields that were truly global and interdisciplinary. The Memorial Conferences 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.  In May 3-4, 2013, the Gigi Caucher-Morales Memorial Conference Series will sponsor a two-day conference on the theme of Global Modernities.  For specific information on this conference, visit:

Announcing the 2012 IDIEZ Nahuatl Summer Institute at Cal State L.A.: