Priscilla Gac-Artigas, Ph.D., professor of Spanish and Latin American Literature in the Department of World Languages and Cultures, attended the 8th International Conference on the Historical Links Between Spain and the Americas on May 3. The conference was organized by the Universidad de Alcalá, the Instituto Cervantes, NY, and the City College of NY.
Gac-Artigas delivered a paper as part of the panel, Visiones críticas: colonialismo y extractivismo / Critical Visions: Colonialism and Extractivism, of which she also was the chair. In their lectures, the authors immersed themselves in the past through mass media documents, literature, and the chronicles and letters of the conquistadors to project themselves into our present day where we ponder about the effects of the historical links between Spain and the Americas in both our histories.
Gac-Artigas and Chilean poet and writer Gustavo Gac-Artigas presented the paper “Y la tierra era redonda: colonialismo y neocolonialismo económico” (“And the Earth was Round: economic colonialism and neocolonialism”) written in collaboration and delivered in a dialogical format. In this experimental research-writing collaborative work, the authors contrast the history as it appears in Gustavo Gac-Artigas’ novel “Y la tierra era redonda” and the historical facts gathered through research of academic texts to compare and contrast the reasons for the conquest of the Americas in the 15th century, as well as those of the current massive migration of Latin Americans to Spain and the United States. Additionally, they examine the economic neocolonialism that arises from the development of a global market that courts the so-called ‘Hispanic market,’ particularly the one represented by the 62.1 million Latin Americans in the United States.
Panel attendees praised Priscilla and Gustavo Gac-Artigas’ presentation for their innovative approach that combined rigorous research with a poetic text that makes historical facts easier to remember.
Gac-Artigas is a Fulbright scholar, a full member of the North American Academy of the Spanish Language (ANLE), and a correspondent member of the Royal Spanish Academy (RAE).