Each year the Spanish department's Graduate Student Advisory Committee organizes a graduate student conference, Diálogos. This year's conference was a great success! We were excited to welcome graduate students from universities beyond Indiana, including students from Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, and California. In addition to the several graduate students from IU that presented, we were thankful and proud to welcome some very talented undergraduate presenters.
The conference started Friday afternoon and went through Saturday evening with two or three parallel sessions at a given time. Literature topics included themes such as Latin American visual cultures, Latin American interventions, transatlantic Lusophone women in the 19th century, gender in Hispanic texts, and Medieval Spanish literature. Linguistics sessions included second language acquisition, pragmatics, sociolinguistics and phonology, and syntax.
In addition to student presentations, we were honored to welcome three amazing keynote speakers: Victoria Saramago (Portuguese), Ryan Szpiech (Literature), and John M. Lipski (Linguistics). Each keynote speaker gave a workshop in addition to their talk, which gave graduate students opportunities to discuss the keynote speakers' work in a more intimate way and to explore the implications of the keynotes' research for their own work. Saramago's talk was titled "The fictional environments of João Guimarães Rosa and Clarice Lispector," and her workshop considered Amerindian perspectivism and narratives. Szpiech's talk was titled "In the name of the father: Translation and anxiety in Medieval Castile," and his workshop discussed the use of his documentary film "The Birth of Spanish" in language classrooms. To finish the conference, Lipski delivered his keynote talk titled "Portuguese and Spanish unchained: Border experiences and experiments." His workshop was titled "Taking experimental psycholinguistic techniques to the field."
One of the most exciting and rewarding parts of the conference was that graduate students had various opportunities to get to know the keynote speakers. Some graduate students volunteered to pick up our speakers at the airport and drive them to Bloomington, while others escorted the speakers from their hotel to the conference. Several students had the opportunity to share meals with the speakers and get to know them more intimately while also receiving great suggestions for their own research projects. Thank you to everyone who made this conference such a success!