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Award-winning Author, Poet, and Scholar Cristina Rivera Garza to Speak at KU

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

LAWRENCE —The heart-wrenching narratives and testimony of Mexican cotton farmers are the subjects of a lecture by renowned Mexican author, poet and scholar Cristina Rivera Garza.

The University of Kansas Department of Spanish & Portuguese will welcome the award-winning author of six novels, three collections of stories, five collections of poetry and three nonfiction books to give a talk about her most recent project, which explores the history of marginalized cotton farmers who eventually suffered from exhaustion of resources, internal migrations and rampant narcoviolence. 

One of the foremost writers in the Spanish language, and one of the most interesting experimental writers in America, Rivera Garza will present “The Autobiography of Cotton: Documenting Writing and Crónicas from the Border,” tracing the history of cotton in North America with the focus of its role in Mexican history. Her lecture will ask and answer questions such as: What happened to the cotton industry after the abolishment of slavery in the U.S.? Who is exploited to provide us something to wear? What are the real costs of our jeans and T-shirts?

Rivera Garza, distinguished professor of Hispanic studies, was born in Matamoros, México, and has lived in the U.S. since 1989. She studied urban sociology at the National Autonomous University of Mexico and received her doctorate in Latin American history from the University of Houston. In 2012, she received a doctorate in Humane Letters Honoris Causa from the University of Houston, where she directs the Spanish Creative Writing Program. She is the recipient of, among other awards, the Roger Caillois Award for Latin American Literature (Paris, 2013) as well as the Anna Seghers (Berlin, 2005) and International Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz awards for her novel "No One Will See Me Cry" (University of Northwestern Press, 2001).

The lecture will take place from 4:30-6:30 p.m. Monday, April 17, in the Forum of Marvin Hall. A reception with light hors d’oeuvres and refreshments will be held in the Flex Space of Marvin Hall before the lecture. The event is open to the public.

For more information, please contact Alexandria Fraser at 785-864-3851 or spanport@ku.edu.


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