The three-day conference, "As Time Goes By … y así nuestros quince años …" begins on Thursday, November 1, and features a series of discussions and presentations on campus and in downtown Santa Barbara that celebrate the work of Poniatowska and of Carlos Fuentes, the Mexican novelist and essayist who died last May. All events are free and open to the public.
The opening session is at 5 p.m. in the McCune Conference Room, 6020 Humanities and Social Sciences Building, with opening remarks by UCSB Chancellor Henry T. Yang; David Marshall, the Michael Douglas Dean of Humanities and Fine Arts; and Silvia Bermúdez, chair of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese. Also speaking will be Carol Genetti, acting dean of the graduate division; and Sara Poot-Herrera, professor of Spanish and Portuguese, and director of the UC-Mexicanistas Intercampus Research Group one of the conference co-sponsors.
Poniatowska's keynote address, "We Are All Writers," will follow at 7:15 p.m. in the McCune Conference Room. The first woman to receive Mexico's National Award for Journalism, Poniatowska founded the newspaper La Jornada, and the first Mexican feminist magazine, Fem. She also is the author of "La noche de Tlatelolco," considered by many to be the definitive book about the 1968 Tlatelolco Plaza Massacre, in which army troops gunned down 250 student protesters, at the behest of the Mexican government, 10 days before Mexico City's hosting of the Olympics.
Other discussions and sessions over the course of the conference will be held in the Crowell Reading Room, 6028 Humanities and Social Sciences Building at UCSB; the campus's MultiCultural Center; and at Casa de la Guerra, 15 E. De la Guerra St. in Santa Barbara.
A daylong series of presentations will begin at 9 a.m. on Saturday, November 3, at Casa de la Guerra, concluding with "Diálogo entre Elena Poniatowska y el público," a discussion between Poniatowska and the community, at 5 p.m.
In addition to honoring renowned writers Poniatowska and Fuentes, the conference also celebrates the 15th anniversary of UC-Mexicanistas. With participants including more than 50 faculty members, writers, alumni, and other scholars from California and the United States, as well as Mexico and Europe, the group addresses a number of diverse research areas. Among them are literature; cultural and social studies; art; socio-political and economic issues; issues of social justice; and binational and border issues, including cultural migrations.
Questions about the conference can be directed to the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at (805) 893-3161.