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Latin American analysts Jean Franco and Roger W. Anderson to discuss nature of memory and communication during visit to UT Austin on March 4

Jean Franco, an observer of Latin American culture who has published more than five books and dozens of articles on Spanish and Latin American culture and literature, will speak at The University of Texas at Austin on March 4.

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AUSTIN, Texas—Jean Franco, an observer of Latin American culture who has published more than five books and dozens of articles on Spanish and Latin American culture and literature, will speak at The University of Texas at Austin on March 4.

Franco will discuss Memory and Memoirs in the Post-Dictatorship Literature of the Southern Cone,as one of the keynote addresses to the 10th Colloquium on Hispanic and Luso-Brazilian Literatures and Romance Linguistics, sponsored by the department of Spanish and Portuguese. Noted sociolinguist Roger W. Anderson, of the University of California, Los Angeles, will deliver the first keynote address on Thematic Streams in Conversationas applied to the Creole language of Papiamentu, which is spoken on islands off the coast of Venezuela and incorporates elements of Portuguese, Spanish, and Dutch.

Anderson will speak at 1:15 p.m. and Franco at 5 p.m. on Saturday, March 4 in the Quadrangle Room of the Texas Union building at 2400 Guadalupe. Room information is available at the information desk on the first floor. Admission to their presentations is free and open to the public.

There is a registration fee for the one-day conference, which also includes a dozen other panels ranging from Texas Spanish to the poetry of Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz. The conference will begin at 8:30 a.m. in the Texas Union. The registration fee for the general public to attend specialized sessions is $10 per person. For registration information, contact María Zalduondo, of the Spanish and Portuguese Graduate Student Organization, which is organizing the event, at (512) 232-4539 or via email at mzalduondo@mail.utexas.edu. The Institute of Latin American Studies is co-sponsoring the conference.

Franco says that memory is something quite different to a computer programmer than it is to a writer of memoirs or to those seeking justice and restitution outside official channel, as is the case of individuals in the Southern Cone of South America (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay) after the recent dictatorships. Among the writers she will consider in her speech are Juan Gelman, Zurita, Tununa Mercado and Diamela Eltit. Recent books include Critical Passions: Selected Essays(1999), Las conspiradoras(1994), On Edge: The Crisis of Contemporary Latin American Culture(1992 with Juan Flores and George Yudice) and Plotting Women: Gender and Representation in Mexico(1989).

Franco, who has been decorated by the governments of Chile (Gabriela Mistral Medal) and Venezuela (Andr¹s Bello award) for work on Latin American literature, has also been recognized by PEN, the international writers’ organization, for lifetime achievement (Gregory Kovolakos award). Franco was the first professor of Latin American Literature in England, having taught at the University of Essex and the University of London; she is professor emerita of Spanish, English and Comparative Literatures at Columbia University, has held a chair at Stanford University and lectured at the University of California, San Diego, and the Frei Universitat (Berlin).

Anderson, who earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin in the 1970s, has written more than 30 scholarly articles and edited several books. Recently he created Quechua Software (Version 1.5.1 (1995) and the Ucuchi-DV on CD-ROM (1999).