Tag Archives: Benson Latin American Collection

Benson Back To School Giveaway

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To kick off the school year right, the Benson is doing a giveaway to Crisol Danza Teatro, courtesy of Texas Performing Arts.

Simply follow the links above, or go to the Benson Facebook page (and, of course, “Like” them if you haven’t already), and enter the giveaway at the event page.

This giveaway ends at 3pm on September 21, but keep an eye out for more on the Benson’s Facebook page later this semester. 

 

 

¡A Viva Voz! Goes to the Movies

And…action!

The Benson Latin American Collection presents its ninth annual ¡A Viva Voz! at 7pm this Thursday featuring film producer Elizabeth Avellán, co-owner (with director Robert Rodriguez) and vice president of Troublemaker Studios.

Avellán co-founded Los Hooligan Productions with Rodriguez when the two began work on El Mariachi (1992) in 1991. She co-produced From Dusk Till Dawn (1996), Desperado (1995) and The Faculty (1998). In 2000, Los Hooligan became Troublemaker Studios, which has since generated such notable films as the Spy Kids franchise, Sin City (2005), the Rodriguez/Tarantino double-feature, B-Movie homage Grindhouse (2007), Predators (2010) and Machete (2010).

Avellán will discuss her work and rare position as a Latino woman in the traditionally male-dominated film business.

Charles Ramirez-Berg of the Department of Radio-Television-Film will make an introduction, and food will be provided by El Meson.

An exhibit of cinematic materials from Troublemaker Studios and Cine Las Americas as well as rare materials on the Golden Age of Mexican Cinema from the Benson’s extensive archival holdings will be on view at the Benson, as well.

Check out the trailer for Avellán’s latest production credit, just off its SXSW showing, Blacktino.

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Win Tickets to Percussionist Cyro Baptista

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The Benson Latin American Collection and Texas Performing Arts along with the UT Libraries are offering up a chance to win tickets to a unique performance by Brazilian Jazz/World musician and percussionist Cyro Baptista.

Baptista is reprising a performance from his debut album Villa-Lobos/Vira-Loucos, an homage to early twentieth-century classical Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos.

Baptista performs at 8 p.m., next Tuesday, October 26, at Hogg Auditorium.

From the TPA website:

Texas Performing Arts is proud to present Cyro Baptista performing his classical program, Villa-Lobos/Vira-Loucos, an evening focused on Baptista’s 1997 solo debut album of the same name. In this acclaimed collection, Cyro interprets and deconstructs a number of themes by the early twentieth-century classical Brazilian composer Hector Villa-Lobos. The recording is considered a true testament to Baptista’s mastery of music and the live experience beckons to you on a musical journey that is dynamic, virtuosic, grooving, and absolutely unique in sound and vision.

To be entered in the drawing for a pair of tickets, just visit the Cyro Baptista Trivia Question page and answer a Benson trivia question. Contest ends at 3 p.m. on Monday, October 25. Winner will be alerted via email and the Benson’s Facebook page.

Good luck.

Vargas Llosa Earns Nobel for Literature

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Mario Vargas Llosa was awarded the 2010 Nobel Prize in Literature on Thursday.

Though he holds Spanish dual citizenship and currently resides primarily in London, his birth, his background and his oeuvre make him thoroughly Peruvian.

In announcing the award, the jurors cited Vargas Llosa’s “cartography of the structures of power and his sharpened images of resistance, rebellion, and defeat of the individual.”

The author’s published works, in Spanish and translated editions, are held in the Benson Latin American Collection and other campus libraries, and a chapter from Vargas Llosa’s upcoming novel is available online.

Jorge Mario Pedro Vargas Llosa (1936- ) was born in Arequipa, Peru, a provincial capital south of Lima. He spent his youth with his mother and members of her family in Cochabamba, Bolivia, Piura, on the northern coast of Peru, and Lima, where he attended San Marcos University and published his first pieces of fiction.  In 1958, Vargas Llosa graduated from university and received a scholarship for study in Madrid, beginning a twelve-year residence abroad.

While living in Europe– first Madrid, then Paris and London– he worked as a journalist and wrote novels that gained critical acclaim.  La Ciudad y los perros (1963) won the Premio de la Critica Española despite stirring animosity in Peru for its thinly-veiled criticism of the ruling military. Publication of La Casa verde in 1965 firmly established Vargas Llosa as a member of what came to be known as the “Latin American Boom,” a generation of writers that include fellow Nobel laureate Gabriel García Márquez and Carlos Fuentes. Film aficionados may recognize La Tía Julia y el escribidor from its film adaptation as Tune in Tomorrow.

Vargas Llosa’s novels introduce his readers to Latin America’s rich legacy of historical characters.  La Guerra del fin del mundo evokes events of Brazil’s 19th century internal war and La Fiesta del chivo reflects on the last days of the Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo.  Two novels,  Historia de Mayta (1984) and Lituma en los Andes (1996) are set in the events of Peru’s intestine struggle with the guerrilla group, Shining Path.  This traumatic period in Peruvian history inspired Vargas Llosa to more than fiction.   He became a candidate for the presidency in the 1990 election.  His defeat by the now incarcerated Alberto Fujimori proved a blessing for a man whose artistic skills far surpass his politics and for those of us who find pleasure in reading.

Since the 1990s, Vargas Llosa has resided primarily in London.  He was awarded Spanish citizenship in 1993 and elected to the Real Academia Española in 1994.  He has become an articulate spokesman for the importance of the Spanish language and Spanish culture.  This fall Vargas Llosa is living in Princeton as a Distinguished Visitor and, now, a Nobel laureate.

David Block is Latin American Studies Bibliographer at the Benson Latin American Collection.

Benson a la Mexicana

When I first walked into the Benson Latin American Collection to do research during my graduate studies, I did not imagine that four years later my boss would ask me to travel to Mexico City to represent the Benson and University of Texas Libraries at an awards ceremony with the mayor of Mexico City and a luncheon hosted by the Libraries for Texas Exes in Mexico. And now, it has been a week since arriving back from Mexico City and I still cannot believe I did it. And I have not really recuperated from the journey. Oh, believe me, it was a wonderful trip, just way too fast and cut way too short.

David Block receives the Medalla 1808 from Mexico City Mayor Marcelo Ebrard.

When Dr. David Block received electronic word (in an e-mail) of the Benson being awarded the Medalla 1808, I don’t know if we all realized immediately what an honor it was. Then after an exhaustive search online to make sure David had not just received an e-mail from Ed McMahon suggesting “you may be a millionaire”, we began to see the reality of and the potential in receiving such an honor. Historically, the medal is presented on behalf of Mexico City to persons for significant contributions to the study and development of Mexican history and culture. And now, the Benson has become the first foreign institutional recipient of the medal.  Wow… Of course we all knew the importance of the Benson, but now Mexico City Mayor, Marcelo Ebrard would present us with an international honor to reinforce what we all know to be true.

Our Vice Provost Dr. Fred Heath and Director for Development Gregory Perrin knew this would be a wonderful opportunity to invite our alumni from Mexico City, and the surrounding cities, to attend the ceremony. They decided it would also be quite advantageous to host a luncheon following. And this is where I came in. Part of the role I play in working for the Libraries is as an event coordinator. I love it because of the opportunities of excitement that abound, meeting new people and creating a delightful atmosphere for the libraries’ constituent; although, a first trip to the interior of Mexico and hosting a lunch would definitely be something extraordinary. Continue reading Benson a la Mexicana

¡A Viva Voz! gets funky with Ocote Soul Sounds

Ocote Soul Sounds members Adrian Quesada (white shirt) and Marti
Ocote Soul Sounds members Adrian Quesada and Martin Perna. Photo courtesy Ocote Soul Sounds.

¡Baile!

The Benson Latin American Collection is going to be “coconut rock” central next Thursday (4/8) when Austin-born psychedelic Afro-Latin funk band Ocote Soul Sounds throw down the beats as part of the eighth annual ¡A Viva Voz!

Featuring the bandleaders of Grupo Fantasma and Antibalas – Adrian Quesada and Martin Perna, respectively – Ocote Soul Sounds has been described as “sounding like a sun kissed Brazilian soundtrack from the ’70s.”

¡A Viva Voz! kicks off  at 7pm with a lite reception and presentation by dj t-kay of KOOP 91.7 fm before the band starts to jam and those so inclined shake it up on the dance floor.

Continue reading ¡A Viva Voz! gets funky with Ocote Soul Sounds

Mexican History in 365 days

1910In case you weren’t aware, 2010 marks two major anniversaries in the history of Mexico – the bicentennial of Mexican Independence and the centennial of the Revolution – and in recognition of those milestones, a number of events will be taking place around the university and in the Austin community. The Libraries are particularly attuned to the celebrations due to our oversight of the preeminent Benson Latin American Collection, so we’ll be keeping tabs on the goings-on about town. We’ll also be part of the celebration with the launch of the Benson’s exhibition – Frente a Frente: The Mexican People in Independence and Revolution, 1810–1910 – early this summer.

You can find a fairly comprehensive list of the university offerings at the College of Liberal Arts Mexico 2010 site, and a Mexico 2010 Austin Organizing Committee headed by Chair Teresa Lozano Long and Co-Chairs Dr. Victoria Rodriguez & Dr. Hector Morales is coordinating the Austin community events. The Ransom Center’s exhibition “¡Viva! Mexico’s Independence” is already open to visitors, so make time for a visit. And this Thursday (March 25), a pair of events worth noting are taking place in town – Mexican writer Héctor Aguilar Camín will talk about the history of Mexican politics and journalist/novelist Ángeles Mastretta will participate in a Q&A after a screening of the movie based on her 1985 novel Arráncame la vida. Find out more about these events from our friends at ShelfLife@Texas.

Feliz Aniversario, México!

Science Study Break and Deborah Hay exhibit kick-start the home stretch

HAL 9000
HAL gets the once-over from Dr. Risto Miikkulainen in 2010's first Science Study Break "Machines Gone Wild"

As always seems the case, the Libraries are ratcheting up the post-Spring Break calendar with a slew of events.

After a brief hiatus, this week sees the return of the wildly popular Science Study Breaks series hosted by the Life Science Library. I won’t bother going into the background of this pop culture meets science program, but you can read about it in our most recent issue of the Libraries Newsletter.

At any rate, this first SSB of 2010 features Computer Science and Neuroscience faculty Dr. Risto Miikkulainen discussing “Machines Gone Wild” using Mr. Data from TNG and HAL 9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey as foils for discussion. The program gets underway at 6:30pm, Wednesday, March 24 in Wheeler Lecture Hall (4.102) in Robert Lee Moore Hall.

Also later this week, an exhibit of photos featuring post-modern dance maven Deborah Hay gets an opening reception at the Fine Arts Library. Twenty images Continue reading Science Study Break and Deborah Hay exhibit kick-start the home stretch

Time to get FORO on your calendar

utlibs_foro_logo_final_030210FORO, the Transborder Library Forum, is a volunteer organization that cultivates a venue for the cooperative exchange of ideas, and the discussion of experiences and efforts concerning the provision of library services in the border regions between the U.S., Mexico, and Canada.

FORO objectives include:

  • Strengthening links among information professionals concerned with building information bridges across international borders;
  • Planning and implement cooperative projects between libraries across geographic borders;
  • Facilitating the development of resource networks;
  • Introducing librarians to current commercial library products and services;
  • Sharing our cultural heritage while promoting literacy and library services.

The 2011 FORO will be held for the first time in Austin, Texas, July 21-23, 2011. Continue reading Time to get FORO on your calendar