In the Openness of Others: Sensual Practices, Cultural Specificity, and a Movement Towards Tolerance

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Helena-ViramontesAs part of the Faces of Courage series, Dr. Helena Maria Viramontes, a professor of creative writing at Cornell, will address the topic of diversity as Wake Forest celebrates fifty years of integration. Dr. Viramontes will consider the value of diversity–why does it matter?  How do we renew our commitment to diversity?  If it was a moral imperative to integrate fifty years ago, what arguments do we make for the future?  And how are stories and story-telling involved in the project to diversify universities?  Viramontes will address these and other questions in a talk she has titled, “In the Openness of Others.”

The lecture will take place February 12th at the Kulynych Auditorium in the Byrum Welcome Center. There will be a reception at 5 PM and the lecture will start at 5:30 PM. For more information, contact the WFU Humanities Institute.

Dr. Helena Maria Viramontes:

A teacher and mentor to countless young writers, Helena María Viramontes  is currently Professor of Creative Writing in the Department of English at Cornell University. Her most recent novel, Their Dogs Came with Them, (2007), focuses on the dispossessed, the working poor, the homeless, and the undocumented of East Los Angeles, where Viramontes was born and raised.  Her work strives to recreate the visceral sense of a world virtually unknown to mainstream letters and to transform readers through relentlessly compassionate storytelling.

Viramontes became co-coordinator of the Los Angeles Latino Writers Association and literary editor of XhistmeArte Magazine and  helped found Southern California Latino Writers and Filmmakers. She was named a USA Ford Fellow in Literature for 2007 by United States Artists, she has also received the John Dos Passos Prize for Literature, a Sundance Institute Fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship and the Luis Leal Award.

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