Left to Right: President of the Association Professor Trevor Dadson; UoE conference organisers Professor Sally Faulkner, Dr Katharine Murphy and Dr Jonathan Bradbury and his Excellency Don Federico Trillo-Figueroa, the Spanish Ambassador

Spanish Ambassador attends Hispanic conference in Exeter

The University of Exeter hosted a prestigious visit from the Spanish Ambassador, as part of the 60th anniversary events surrounding the formation of the Association of Hispanists of Great Britain and Ireland.  His Excellency Don Federico Trillo-Figueroa attended the Association’s annual conference (13 – 15 April) and opened the 'Spain and England, Juan Luis Vives and Thomas More' exhibition on the Streatham Campus.

Academics from the department of Modern Languages organised this year’s conference on behalf of the Association, which aims to promote scholarly research into the study of Hispanic languages and cultures. Almost all former presidents of the Association and six presidents of the European Associations of Hispanists were in Exeter to support the conference and celebrate its anniversary. The Spanish Minister Counsellor for Cultural and Scientific Affairs, Fidel López, was also present.

Sally Faulkner, Professor of Hispanic Studies at the University of Exeter and co-organiser of the conference said:“We are deeply honoured to host both the conference and the Spanish Ambassador, his Excellency Don Federico Trillo-Figueroa at this year’s conference which coincides with the 60th anniversary of the Association of Hispanists of Great Britain and Ireland. This year also marks 500 years since the birth of the Spanish Roman Catholic saint and Carmelite nun Santa Teresa, whose books are an integral part of Spanish Renaissance literature.  Such historic icons form part of the Association’s aim to promote and discuss all aspects of culture and language, in addition to exploring contemporary issues.”

The exhibition which was opened by the Spanish Ambassador is about the two Renaissance Humanists, the Valencian Juan Luis Vives and the Englishman Sir Thomas More.  It originally premièred in Valencia, Spain in 2014, and examines (though videos, family trees, portraits, maps and flags) Renaissance Humanism across Europe. The retrospective delves into the world of the humanists of the 16th century, and through the friendship between two of them illustrates how they proposed a better world, one of concord and peace, of harmony among men and with God. Structured in three thematic blocks of politics, spirituality, and education the exhibition ends with an encounter between Cervantes and Shakespeare, who also explored questions of Spanish and English culture and the historic age of Vives and More through literature. 

The mixed-media exhibition exploring Renaissance Humanism is displayed at the University’s Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, and is open to members of the public until 13 May 2015.

The conference was generously supported by the Spanish Embassy and Santander Universities.







Date: 15 April 2015

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