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Tracing the Paths of Texts

March 23, 2009



Poster image of film from the Latin American Short Film Festival

The Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures conference will include, on April 2, a selection of films from the Latin American Poetic Short Film Festival at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe last fall in NYC. (Illustration by filmmaker Mike Park)   

As William Shakespeare sat down to pen Romeo and Juliet, it would be difficult to imagine he could perceive his story being reinvented hundreds of years later as a Broadway musical in West Side Story. The concept of intertextuality, when an author adapts or is influenced by the work of another, is the focus of  a conference hosted by the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures on April 2nd and 3rd.

"The conference offers a forum for debate and exchange on intertextuality and specific strategies of literary interactions across linguistic and national boundaries," said conference coordinator Ilka Kressner. "Since ours is a department of very diverse languages and literatures, the topics span wide areas and include several continents." Abstracts were accepted by the department in English, French and Spanish.

Among the topics: The influence of One Thousand and One Nights in the works of 20th-century Argentinean author Jorge Luis Borges. Much of Borgesí work looks back to the collection of Persian and Arabian tales.

Image from One Thousand and One Nights

The influence of One Thousand and One Nights on the works of 20th century Argentinean author Jorge Luis Borges will be among the topics presented at the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures conference April 2-3.

"Our conference covers a vast and truly inter-literary terrain," said Kressner, a visiting assistant professor whose specialties include 20th and 21st century Spanish American literature, intermediality of word, sound and image, and comparative studies of theater and film.

"Our annual LLC conference offers a unique opportunity to promote research by providing a context where students and faculty from various local institutions can meet for a fruitful exchange of ideas on a variety of topics outside of the classroom," said Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures Chair Jean-Francois Briere.

In addition to the presentations, a selection of films of the Latin American Poetic Short Film Festival held in NYC last fall will be shown on April 2. All have English subtitles; the film showings are open to the public.

This is the first year that participants have been invited from other campuses. There will be presentations from Utica College, Skidmore, and Dominican College in Connecticut. Thursday's session is from 4:30-6:30 p.m. with a film screening beginning at 7:30 p.m. The conference resumes on Friday, April 3, at 9:30 a.m.

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UAlbany Students

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