Monday, March 11, 2013

Our next challenge

Our next challenge will take place in a few days. In the 16th and 17th of April, more than twenty researchers from many different universities will gather in our Faculty of Arts to take part in the I International Symposium Cultural Transfers of the American West: Beyond the Text. Following our recent interest on different genres and disciplines, REWEST understands that the American West can be approached from different perspectives and lenses. This time, scholars will deal with topics ranging from translation studies to cultural or film studies and embracing different genres and topics: music, movies, books; standard, African-American and homosexual cowboys; men and women; the city and the wilderness; Native Americans, Chican@s or Anglos. Not a single story, not a simple history. 
So far, the organizing committee is pleased to announce that, even though there might still be changes, again we will be honored by the presence of a good bunch of noted scholars and distinguished artists. This time, Jordi Solé, José Miguel Santamaría, Celestino Deleyto, Enrique Urbizu and David Fenimore will be our starting lineup. International, diverse and renowned, this is a lineup to win the NBA, isn't it?

Researching background; our credentials

REWEST Research Group was officially founded in 2009 but, even before the name was written for the first time, some of our researchers were already working together: 

In October 2005, the I International Conference on the American Literary West was helded at our home college, the Faculty of Letters at the University of the Basque Country (UPV-EHU). Great keynote speakers made this conference even better than we could have planned: Frank Bergon, Marc Chenetier, David Fenimore, Melody Graulich and María Herrera-Sobek

Four years later, in April 2009, we used our brand new name for the first time to organize the I International Seminar "Current Research in Contemporary Western American Literature". American writer Frank Bergon was guest we could think of to inaugurate our official start. 

In October 2010, we again take the challenge to organize a conference. This time, we call it the I International Conference "The American Literary West". New and old keynote speakers collaborated to make this conference a success: the celebrated basque writer Bernardo Atxaga, Phyllis Barber came right from the American West to lecture us on how to write good fiction and autobiographies, 
noted scholar Neil Campbell, always stimulating and entertaining, this time David Fenimore impersonated Woody Guthrie, and, finally, the Basque-American writer Gregory Martin gave a highly emotional and spiring lecture. 

In April 2011, we tried to give visibility to our more recent studies on place in the American West with the I International Seminar "Ecocriticism and Contemporary Western American Literature". This time, María Herrera-Sobek, Terry Gifford and Juan Ignacio Oliva enlightened us with their priceless insights on ecocritical approaches to the American West. 

In the year 2012, we split our I International Seminar "Place and Identity in Contemporary Western American Literature" in two. In March, half of our researchers met in Vitoria-Gasteiz to accompany Professor Charles L. Crow's plenary lecture. A month later, it was Rick Bass who traveled from Montana to Vitoria-Gasteiz in order to add her vision and experience of the American landscape
to that of some of our researchers. 

Finally, in October 2012, REWEST organized the Symposium "Literature and Ecology: An Introduction to Ecocriticism." Alicia Puleo and Carmen Valero were invited to take part and their contributions were highly appreciated by an avid audience ready to learn and discuss.