CCNY Hosts First Cátedra Vargas Llosa in United States

UCLA Professor Efraín Kristal to deliver inaugural lecture at November 4 event celebrating advent of center honoring 2010 Nobel Laureate

The City College of New York will host the first Cátedra Vargas Llosa in the United States. The Cátedra is an international academic project honoring Mario Vargas Llosa, the 2010 Nobel laureate in literature. It will serve as an interdisciplinary resource for the study of Mr. Vargas Llosa's writings and will promote emerging Spanish-language writers, as well.  

To celebrate the advent of the Cátedra, City College will host an inaugural lecture by Dr. Efraín Kristal, professor and chair of comparative literature at UCLA, Monday, November 4. Prior to the lecture, CCNY President Lisa S. Coico and Mr. Vargas Llosa will sign an agreement establishing the Cátedra. The event begins at 5:45 p.m. It will take place in The Great Hall, Shepard Hall, on the City College campus, 160 Convent Avenue, Manhattan, and is free and open to the public.
The Miguel de Cervantes Virtual Library Foundation in Spain launched the Cátedra Vargas Llosa project in 2011 in Madrid with a mission to promote the study of contemporary literature and culture and to encourage new writers. Cátedras have been established at 20 institutions in Spain, Peru, Mexico and France, in addition to City College.

"The Cátedra Vargas Llosa project here will further enrich the educational experience on campus and foster communication within the academic community of New York City and internationally," said Dr. Raquel Chang-Rodríguez, who will head the Cátedra at City College. A distinguished professor of Spanish-American literature and culture, she is currently co-editing an issue of "Review: Literature and Arts of the Americas," devoted to Mr. Vargas Llosa's writing. 

"There will be an emphasis on younger writers and the connections of literature to other arts, particularly film," added Dr. Carlos Riobó, associate professor and chair of foreign languages and literatures at City College. He, along with Professor Chang-Rodríguez, will represent CCNY in the consortium of Vargas Llosa cátedras.

About Mario Vargas Llosa
Mr. Vargas Llosa, a native of Peru, was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature for his body of work in 2010, becoming the first Latin American writer to win since Octavio Paz in 1990 and only the sixth since the award was established in 1901. His 1963 novel, "The Time of the Hero," which drew on his military school experiences, catapulted him onto the literary scene. Among his other well-known novels are "The Green House," "Conversation in the Cathedral," and the epic saga "War of the End of the World." He has authored more than two dozen books and his writings have been translated into more than 30 languages. In 2010, City College awarded him the honorary degree Doctor of Letters.

About Efraín Kristal 
Efraín Kristal is professor and chair of UCLA's Department of Comparative Literature. He is author of "Temptation of the Word: The Novels of Mario Vargas Llosa" (1998) and editor of "The Cambridge Companion to the Latin American Novel" (2005). He also was an associate editor of "The Blackwell Encyclopedia of the Novel" (2010) and co-editor of "The Cambridge Companion to Mario Vargas Llosa" (2012). Professor Kristal is a Fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and has held the Julio Cortázar chair at the University of Guadalajara. 

About The City College of New York
Since 1847, The City College of New York has provided low-cost, high-quality education for New Yorkers in a wide variety of disciplines. More than 16,000 students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in: the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; the Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture; the School of Education; the Grove School of Engineering; the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education, and the Colin L. Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership.  

Set on a striking, 35-acre hilltop campus in upper Manhattan, CCNY has produced more Nobel laureates than any other public institution in the United States. The College has been touted as one of America's Top Colleges by Forbes, one of the Best Colleges in the United States as well as one of the Best Value Colleges by the Princeton Review, and ranks among U.S. News' top regional universities.


Jay Mwamba
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