Hispanic Heritage Month at Wells

September 23, 2014
The College's Spanish faculty and student-run Spanish Club offer a variety of cultural events in the following weeks.
hispanic heritage month

From Assistant Professor of Spanish Gerardo Cummings:

President Barack Obama recently said the following about the start of the National Hispanic Heritage Month: “Nearly 50 years after the United States first observed what was then National Hispanic Heritage Week, Hispanics represent a vibrant and thriving part of our diverse nation. Their histories and cultures stretch across centuries, and the contributions of those who come to our shores today in search of their dreams continue to add new chapters in our national story… This month's theme, ‘Hispanics: A legacy of history, a present of action and a future of success,’ reminds us of all the ways Hispanics have enriched our union and shaped our character.”

The President’s proclamation is much more than a document at Wells College. In the past, with collaborative efforts between the administration, the faculty of the Dept. of Spanish and the students that lead the Spanish Club, Wells College has been able to offer a wide variety of events: an on-going film series, the very popular ‘Tapas Night’ and special guests such as Mr. John Laun—member of the Colombia Support Network—and Dr. Stephany Slaugther (Alma College) who spoke to our students via Skype after showing her film Which Way Home.

This year, Wells College is proud to yet again offer students, faculty, staff and the surrounding community an opportunity to partake in festivities in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month. Events at the College began before the month’s official official start:

On Thursday September 4, the Spanish faculty and the Spanish Club held a “Welcome Back Fiesta” for students;

On Saturday September 5, there was a special presentation by Nelson de Witt on his upcoming documentary Identifying Nelson/Buscando a Roberto—a very personal film about discovering his family ties to a Central American family;

On Sunday, September 14, the Spanish Club posted bilingual signs in Spanish and in English that educate the community as to the names of certain objects around campus. This tradition is not only a fun one, but also educational because you get to learn that ‘puerta’ means ‘door’, ‘baño’ means ‘bathroom’, ‘salida’ means ‘exit’, etc.

A number of additional events scheduled for the next month and a half continue the celebration. All are first invited to tour the Louis Jefferson Long Library and Cleveland Hall, where display cases with cultural artifacts give insights into the Hispanic culture. As you tour the campus, you will see flyers indicating the different events scheduled for Hispanic Heritage Month. All are welcome to attend the events listed below:

Thursday 9/18/2014 in Stratton 209 @ 7:30PM

FILM NIGHT: Mojados: Through the Night (USA, 2005, 63 mins). A documentary that gives a human face to the issue of illegal immigration.

Tuesday 9/23/2014 in Glen Park @ 7:30PM

COOKING DEMONSTRATION: Join Visiting Instructor Elizabeth Juárez-Cummings and members of the Spanish Club in a fun night of learning how to cook salsa, Mexican bean dips and maybe a surprise or two.

Tuesday September 30, 2014 in Stratton 209 @ 7:30PM

FILM NIGHT: Quinceañera (USA, 2006, 90 mins). Plot synopsis: “Magdalena is anxiously awaiting her 15th birthday and her quinceanara. An unexpected pregnancy leads to being kicked out of her home and abandoned by her family. She is taken in by her great-granduncle and cousin, and finds a new family and life.” There will be beverages and snacks served.

Friday October 3, 2014 in Stratton 209 @ 4:30PM

SPECIAL LECTURE: Faculty and staff are welcome to attend the first “Faculty Club” of the academic year. Visiting Instructor of Spanish Elizabeth Juárez-Cummings will give a presentation titled “Language in the Media: The Effect of Style in the Speech of Radio Announcers of Veracruz Mexico.” This presentation will examine the effect of style in the speech of radio announcers. She will first introduce those in attendance to the language in the media and tackle the question of whether people’s talk is influenced by the media or vice versa. She will then explore how different factors such as the type of program, the gender of the radio announcer, or the type of music, play a role in the language of radio broadcasting. This event is limited to Wells faculty and staff.

Thursday October 9, 2014 in Stratton 209 @ 7:30PM

SPECIAL LECTURE: Dr. Lauren Shaw from Elmira College will give a lecture titled "Song & Social Change in Latin America." The talk will be a condensed version of her book with emphasis on selected artists and chapters.

Wednesday October 15, 2014 in Stratton 209 @ 7:30PM

FILM NIGHT: Cesar Chavez. The cinematic biography on the life of the leader of the farmworker movement in the USA. There will be beverages and snacks served.

Saturday October 18, 2014 in the Sommer Center @ 10PM

DANCE: “Hispanic Culture Celebration Dance.” Students are welcomed to join the Spanish Club as they host the very first “Hispanic Culture Celebration Dance” that will feature music and dancing from Spanish speaking countries.

Sunday October 19, 2014 in the Sommer Center @ 6:30PM

FOOD: “Tapas Night.” The Spanish Club hosts their ever-popular ‘Tapas Night’, an opportunity for Wells College students to taste food from Spanish speaking countries as well as enjoy music, informative presentations and the chance to bond with other students.

At Wells, 30 days are not enough to celebrate the contributions of such an important culture. For this reason, events and programming surrounding Hispanic Heritage Month will be extended until early November, when the Spanish Club will host Churros and Candy Skulls Event for Friends and Family Weekend and the Spanish Department a Spanish Horror Film Series as well as special lecture from Dr. Patricia Keller (Cornell University). The last events are scheduled as follows:

Monday October 27

SPECIAL LECTURE: Guest Speakers from El Salvador will visit Wells College Campus. More information forthcoming.

Tuesday October 28, 2014 in Stratton 209 @ 7:30PM

FILM NIGHT: La Comunidad (Spain, in Spanish with English subtitles). From acclaimed Spanish director Alex de la Iglesia (Day of the Beast) comes his latest horror-black comedy. There will be beverages and snacks served.

Wednesday October 29 in Stratton 209 @ 7:30PM

FILM NIGHT: Abre los ojos (Spain, 1997, in Spanish with English subtitles). This incredible film won the heart of Tom Cruise, leading to an Oscar-nominated remake titled Vanilla Sky. Watch the original film and decide which one is better! There will be beverages and snacks served.

Thursday October 30 in Stratton 209 @ 7:30PM

FILM NIGHT AND SPECIAL LECTURE: Dr. Patty Keller from Cornell University will give an introductory lecture on the film The Skin I Live In (Spain, 2011, in Spanish with English subtitles), to be followed immediately by the showing of the film. There will be beverages and snacks served.

November 6, 2014 in the AER @ 7PM

POETRY READING: As part of the Wells College Visiting Writers Series, Kevin González, acclaimed poet, fiction writer, magazine editor, and anthologist will share his poetry and lead an informal Q&A.

To read the official White House proclamation about the National Hispanic Heritage Month, please click here.



For more information, contact Gerardo Cummings, Assistant Professor of Spanish, gcummings@wells.edu, 315.364.3306 or Ms. Morgan Holtsclaw (Spanish Club officer) at mrholtsclaw12@wells.edu. For questions related to Mr. González's poetry reading, please contact Dan Rosenberg at drosenberg@wells.edu or 315.364.3228.

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