McGill welcomes Mexico’s leading cultural critic
How do Mexicans see themselves in the modern North American cultural context? Mexico’s foremost commentator on that country’s society will address this question at an important conference on North American culture presented by the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada (MISC).
Carlos Monsiváis, who has written extensively about his country’s history, culture and politics, will kick off “Are we American? Canadian Culture in North America” with a free public lecture. Mr. Monsiváis, invited by MISC, the Center for Developing Area Studies and the Department of Hispanic Studies, will talk about The Other North America, at 5 p.m. on Feb. 13, at the Hotel Omni Mont-Royal. Mr. Monsiváis will explore how Mexicans view their place in the North American cultural environment.
The conference, which runs from Feb. 13 to 15, will gather artists, entrepreneurs, policy-makers, media and scholars from Canada, the United States and Mexico to explore issues critical to the North American cultural landscape.
"For almost 40 years, Carlos Monsiváis has been the most lively, committed and interesting commentator on Mexican culture,” said Will Straw, acting Director of MISC and Chair of the conference. “The focus of his writings ranges from serious literature to lucha libre, Mexican's popular wrestling form. His writings challenge those in power and give voice to those who normally go unheard.”
Mr. Monsiváis's main publications are collections of literary journalism, and he is considered among the pioneers of the "nueva crónica," genre, which fuses traditional journalism with unconventional literary techniques. He has also edited books on art and poetry, and written biographies of Mexican artists and writers. He has won Spain's Premio Anagrama de Ensayo, as well as the Anagrama International Literature Prize for Aires de familia: Cultura y sociedad en América Latina (Family Pedigree: Culture and Society in Latin America, 2000). Other honors include the National Journalism Award (1977), the Mazatlán Prize for Literature (1987), the Manuel de Buendía Prize for Literature (1988) and the Francisco Zarco Journalism Award (1995).
This lecture is part of McGill’s Mini-Beatty Memorial Lectures series, with support from the Beatty Memorial Lectures Fund, established in 1952 to bring outstanding international scholars to McGill and to Montreal, both to give public lectures and to interact with faculty and students.
Media are invited to attend and encouraged to register for this event at www.mcgill.ca/culture2008/media/ . There is no charge for registration.