Crescent City Connections: 200 Years of the Spanish-Language Press in the United States

Friday, December 5, 2008 - 4:30pm to 6:00pm
The Latin American Library Gallery
The Latin American Library 7001 Freret Street, 4th floor, Howard-Tilton Memorial Library

Please join us to commemorate the bicentennial of New Orleans' El Misisipí,
the first Spanish-language newspaper in the United States

Invited Speakers

Kirsten Silva Gruesz
Professor of Literature at the University of California, Santa Cruz
New Orleans, a Historic Center of the Spanish-Language Print World

Nicolás Kanellos
Professor of Literature, University of Houston
An Overview of Hispanic Journalism in the United States

Screening of short documentary pilot:
Voices for Justice: The Enduring Role of the Latino Press in the United States

This event is made possible by an endowment by the Zemurray Foundation in memory of Doris Zemurray Stone; and Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage Project, University of Houston.

Kirsten Silva Gruesz is Professor of Literature at the University of California , Santa Cruz.  She has written extensively on the way literary culture travelled through the Americas in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Her book Ambassadors of Culture: The Transamerican Origins of Latino Writing (Princeton UP, 2002) located New Orleans as a central point in those travels, linking such canonical US authors as Walt Whitman to the thriving antebellum Spanish-language press in the city. A new book in progress on the transnational Gulf of Mexico expands this inquiry to 20th-century writers from Central America and the Mexican Caribbean who lived and worked in New Orleans. Her research on Spanish-language publications in the Crescent City has uncovered what is arguably the first US Latino novel, written in 1849.

Nicolás Kanellos is the Brown Foundation Professor of Hispanic Literature at the University of Houston and founding publisher of Arte Público Press, the nation's oldest Hispanic publishing house. He is the author of various award-winning books on Hispanic cultural history, including A History of Hispanic Theatre in the United States : Origins to 1940 (1990), and Hispanic Literature of the United States: A Comprehensive Reference (2005) . He currently directs Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage of the United States, a major research program to identify, preserve, study and make accessible tens of thousands of literary documents of those regions that have become the United States from the colonial period to 1960. In 1994, President Bill Clinton appointed Kanellos to the National Council on the Humanities.


Crescent City Connections