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Gloria Anzaldua Stamp
Gloria Anzaldua

Events honor author Gloria Anzaldua May 16-17

By Kris Rodriguez
Public Affairs Specialist

(May 11, 2009)--The UTSA Women's Studies Institute and the Society for the Study of Gloria Anzaldua will host the first international conference focusing on her life and work, May 16-17 in the Buena Vista Street Building at the UTSA Downtown Campus.

A South Texas native, Gloria Anzaldua (1942-2004) was an award winning Chicana philosopher, writer, scholar and poet who wrote about borders and identities, linguistic differences, philosophies and cultural expressions. She felt borders should be fluid and unite people, rather then divide them.

More than 300 attendees representing seven countries including Italy, Spain, Belgium, Austria, England, Poland and the United States are expected to attend. The conference will feature presentations from some of the nation's top scholars representing University of California at Berkeley, University of California at Los Angeles, Stanford University, Arizona State University, Duke University, Vanderbilt University, The Ohio State University, University of Maryland, University of Iowa, University of Texas at Austin and University of Texas at San Antonio.

"I have a lot of students tell me that her most influential book, "Borderlands: La Frontera, The New Mestiza," has changed their lives," said Norma Cantu, UTSA professor of English and conference organizer. "Her work has impacted how we think about borders globally, and as they are being rethought and renegotiated, Gloria's writings are critical to those discussions."

In conjunction with the conference, the Esperanza Peace and Justice Center, 922 San Pedro Ave., will host an art exhibit, "El Mundo Zurdo," at 7 p.m. Saturday, May 16, featuring artists who were inspired by her writings.

The conference's final event "Tardeada de Poesia" at 3 p.m., Sunday, May 17 will feature poetry readings by local and visiting poets at Trinity University's Northrup Hall Room 040.

The conference follows a November 2007 symposium in San Antonio on Anzaldua's work that was so well received it led to the discussions that established an international conference to take place every 18 months.

Before the conference, participants will pay homage to Anzaldua on the fifth anniversary of her death by riding a bus to the Rio Grande Valley community of Hargill, where she was buried.

Registration is $75 and covers conference materials and lunch on Saturday. For more information, e-mail gloria.anzaldua.society@gmail.com.

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