Quito groupPictured: (l-r) Prof. Breckenridge, Jazmín López, Spencer Janyk, Bécquer Medak-Seguín and Prof. Solórzano-Thompson.

Spanish professors Nohemy Solórzano-Thompson and Janis Breckenridge recently traveled to Quito, Ecuador, for the XIX annual meeting of the Asociación Internacional de Literatura y Cultura Femenina Hispánica (AILCFH, a professional organization dedicated to the study of literary and cultural production by Hispanic women) to present original research on contemporary women’s film and literature. Solórzano-Thompson talked about Chicana subjectivity in two US/Mexico border films and Breckenridge presented a paper on Spanish lesbian writers. The conference was held at the FLACSO-Ecuador campus and attended by literary and cultural production scholars from the Americas and Europe.

Three Whitman students also attended the conference and presented original research. Spanish major Bécquer Medak-Seguín ’10 presented a paper on Puerto Rican writer Ana Lydia Vega, a project advised by Breckenridge. Spanish major Jazmín López ’10 presented an original documentary film about Mexican indigenous women from Oaxaca, a project she has been working on for two years under the guidance of Solórzano-Thompson and funded in part by Whitman and Mujeres Activas en Letras y Cambio Social (MALCS, a Latina women’s professional organization). At the end of her presentation, López was invited to present her film at a festival at Pacific Lutheran University next spring. And Gender Studies major Spencer Janyk ’10 presented a paper on Cuban American performance artist Coco Fusco, elaborated for an independent study taught by Solórzano-Thompson last spring. All three students received generous funding from the Provost and Dean of Faculty, which allowed them to attend and present at the conference.

“The students’ presentations were very well received and generated a lively discussion,” Solórzano-Thompson said. “They were the only undergraduate presenters in the entire conference, which was attended by professors and advanced graduate students. Conference attendees remarked how impressed they were by our students’ academic preparation, scholarly potential, and fluency in oral and written Spanish.”