Impact crises have on literature topic of lecture hosted by Dept. of Modern Languages

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons

Edison Espinosa/ Contributing Writer

The Department of Modern Languages at the University has organized its International Conference titled “Literature and Crisis.”


This international symposium will encompass all of what is currently happening in the world and how it relates to literature.


Maya Boutaghou, assistant professor in the Department of Modern Languages and in the Center for Women’s and Gender Studies, is one of the key figures who is organizing the event. She hopes to achieve conversation within the University community.


“[I hope that this] conference solicits a discussion on how world literature reflects and responds to ‘crises,’” said Boutaghou.


But she does not just want to stop there.


Seeing as how people live in the Miami area, Boutaghou thinks that the city of Miami is one of the most culturally diversified areas in the nation because the people are a link between both Latin America and other parts of the world.


She believes that this unique space in which people reside could harvest some of the greatest conversations about how literature affects everyone.


According to her, students should be interested in attending because it will provide the opportunity to engage in activities that are happening around campus and that can open students’ minds to new ideas, new ways of thinking and seeing things through different perspectives.


Boutaghou believes that this behavior is what University President Mark B. Rosenberg always expresses as “Worlds Ahead”.

She, along with her team, have brought in several speakers from around the nation to come to campus for the panel discussion.


Among the speakers are Anna Veprinska from York University in Toronto, Canada, Justine Wiesinger from Yale University, and several other professionals on the topic.


Keynote Speakers also include Mihoko Suzuki of the University of Miami, who will be opening with his piece, titled, “Antigone’s Example: Women’s Political Writing and Civil War” and Joshua Landy of Stanford University, who will be closing the event with a talk titled, “Slight Expectations: Literature in a Crisis.”


Anais Torres, a junior majoring in education, is particularly excited that the Department of Modern Languages decided to bring experts to campus.


“When we talk about crisis, we’re not just talking about a specific thing,” she said. “We’re talking about social, political and environmental atmospheres. I think that the fact that we’re bringing experts from such prestigious universities says a lot about FIU as a whole. This is good.”


Eduardo Mora, a freshman engineering major, shares Torres’ sentiment.


“Literature is also really important and I think I’m just curious to see how these speakers plan on relating literature to crisis,” he said, “We all know about crises… just look around you and you can see it every day, but we don’t ever really stop to think about how it affects our everyday life. I think this conference will do that.”


The two-day conference will begin on April 9 at 9 am at the Modesto A. Maidique Campus MARC Pavilion. It’s free and open to the public.

“You won’t want to miss these speakers, as they will be some of the most memorable,” said Boutaghou.

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