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Writing in the Americas: Cultural Studies in Buenos Aires

CAS Prof Alicia Borinsky links U.S., Latin American culture in writing program

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Photo by Vernon Doucette

Alicia Borinsky, who was born in Argentina, is a professor of romance studies in the College of Arts and Sciences and a noted scholar and creative writer. She founded and directs the Writing in the Americas program, which has brought students from the United States and Latin American writers, filmmakers, and journalists together in Boston for a series of lectures, summer institutes, and seminars.

In 2007, Borinsky seized the opportunity to turn Writing in the Americas into a Study Abroad Program in Buenos Aires, offering courses for both graduate and undergraduate students during six weeks from early June to mid-July.

“Buenos Aires is an exciting city," Borinsky says, "very cosmopolitan, with beautiful architecture, museums, galleries, bookstores, and a stream of cultural offerings unrivaled in Latin America.”

It was home of Jorge Luis Borges, whose work has had such an intense impact on contemporary thought that his name has already turned into an adjective, “Borgesian.” During their stay in Buenos Aires, students take a course about his work and are able to visit the places he writes about, amidst cafés and bookstores where he met with friends and colleagues. Another course deals with more recent developments in Latin American literature and culture; both courses feature guest lectures and presentations by writers, journalists, scholars, and filmmakers.

Students live with local families, go on field trips, develop individual projects, and are offered individual Spanish tutoring. Classes meet in the downtown campus of the Universidad de San Andrés.

“It was a great pleasure to see students interact with the intellectuals and artists participating in the program and to see them enjoying a city that opened up further to them with each new reading and conversation,” says Borinsky. “I look forward to our next group and the new friendships and insights generated by the program.”

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