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AIH Conference

The fourteenth conference of the International Association of Hispanists was held in New York, at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, 365 Fifth Avenue, from the 16th to the 21st of July, 2001. There were more than 550 participants, arriving from some thirty countries from the Americas, Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia, countries as disparate with regard to Hispanism as Mexico and Venezuela on the one hand and India and Japan on the other. The inaugural act took place on Monday, June 16th, at 10.00 a.m. and boasted the attendance of the City University and the Graduate Center administrative authorities, the Duke and Duchess of Soria, honorary members of the AIH, and the diplomatic corps of Mexico and Spain.

In addition to six key-note speeches and fourteen simultaneous sessions of papers on themes and topics related to Hispanic languages, literatures and cultures, there were other activities hosted by the many institutions that share New York's cultural space with the Graduate Center: an exhibition of rare Hispanic books and manuscripts, organized by John O'Neill at the Hispanic Society with the title, Literary Treasures: Books and Manuscripts from the Library of the Hispanic Society of America; the exhibits Pintura Metarrealista in the Spanish Institute; Weightless Time. Photographs of Miguel Morales, in the Mexican Cultural Institute, and The Quijote in the World. Title-pages of Editions of the Quijote, organized by the Center for Cervantine Studies of the University of Alcala de Henares (Spain), in the Graduate Center. Furthermore, the Graduate Center also presented an exhibition of books and magazines of Hispanic studies that were of interest to specialists as well as the general public.

The AIH was founded in Oxford in 1962, and once again brought together in this international conference all those specialists who are interested in the study of themes and problems related to Hispanic languages, literatures and cultures throughout the world. As in all of its triennial conferences, in this fourteenth conference readings and interpretations of Hispanic texts were developed in a multicultural and interdisciplinary framework, in which Hispanism's long-standing philological and historical methods alternated with the most recent theoretical focuses from which Hispanic texts are studied these days. The cultural diversity of the members of the AIH was manifest in the plurality of perspectives with which Latin American and Spanish literature is studied currently, not only in the United States, the country which hosted the conference this year, but in an authentically international ambience. This New York conference awakened the same interest in Hispanic studies and in Hispanism in general as did the thirteenth conference in Madrid in July of 1998, inaugurated by the King and Queen of Spain.