Tuesday, March 7, 2017
Rolena Adorno, professor of Spanish at Yale University, will discuss the importance of the Spanish language, from its emergence on the world stage at the end of the fifteenth century to its status today as the world's second most-spoken language.
Rolena Adorno is the Sterling Professor of Spanish at Yale Univerrsity. Born and raised on a farm in Iowa, she began her study of Spanish-language literatures as an undergraduate at the University of Iowa and then as a Fulbright Scholar to Madrid, Spain. With a strong commitment to undergraduate teaching, Adorno has taught (in Spanish) very popular courses in Latin American literature and culture of the modern and earlier periods, and she is committed to the encouragement of Spanish-language studies for non-native and heritage speakers. A recipient of the Modern Language Association’s Award for Lifetime Scholarly Achievement, she is the first awardee whose work focuses on Hispanic literary and cultural studies.
Adorno's research is devoted to Latin American literature of the Spanish colonial period. Seemingly esoteric, this field of study raises issues pertinent to those faced today. Her books, The Polemics of Possession in Spanish American Narrative, Guaman Poma: Writing and Resistance in Colonial Peru, Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca, and Colonial Latin American Literature: A Very Short Introduction, explore the uneasy encounters between Spanish and Amerindian cultures, the debates about the rights of conquest and colonization, the emergence of literary voices (those of Amerindian as well as European heritage), and the resonance of the Spanish colonial heritage in Latin American literature today.
Appointed by President Obama in 2009, she serves on the National Council on the Humanities (NEH). She is an honorary professor at La Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Professor Adorno is a Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar and her Athenaeum presentation is co-sponsored by the Phi Beta Kappa Society.