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CMAS hosts roundtable discussion over ‘American Dirt’ controversy

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  • WHEN: ‘American Dirt’ vs. Dignidad Literaria: Roundtable Discussion
  • TIME: 12 to 1:30 p.m.; Friday, Jan. 31
  • WHERE: UTRGV Center for Mexican American Studies, 1201 W. University Drive, Education Complex (EEDUC) 2.216B, Edinburg 
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Edinburg, Texas –  In response to the controversy surrounding the recently released book “American Dirt” by Jeanine Cummins, the UTRGV Center for Mexican American Studies (CMAS) will host a roundtable discussion “American Dirt versus Dignidad Literaria” starting at noon on Friday, Jan. 31, at the Center for Mexican American Studies and the Center for Bilingual Studies, Education Complex (EEDUC) 2.216, in Edinburg. 

Due to a recent public statement given by the director of the McAllen Public Library, Kate Horan, declining the use of the book in a promotion endeavor from Oprah’s Book Club, this discussion will center around the concerns held within the local Latinx community about the book. This is an open discussion and the public is invited. 

The discussion will be led by CMAS faculty affiliate and award-winning writer David Bowles, UTRGV assistant professor of Literature, who has had opinion pieces about the book in the New York Times and an interview with NPR. “It’s important to be able to get feedback from the community and directly incorporate that feedback into the kinds of actions to be taken, all while promoting our literary dignities here in Valley,” Bowles said.

“These types of roundtable discussions are valuable and institutions of higher learning like UTRGV are places where foremost thinkers can come together and grapple with these tough questions.” Priscilla Celina Suarez, former McAllen Poet Laureate and co-founder of the Gloria Anzaldúa Legacy Project, will also take part in the discussion, along with Sara Montoya, a representative from the McAllen Public Library, José Antonio Rodríguez, UTRGV assistant professor of Creative Writing, and Edward Vidaurre, publisher of FlowerSong Books and former McAllen Poet Laureate. 

The event is part of the CMAS Trae Tu Lonchera series. For more information, email event organizers Emmy Pérez emmy.perez@utrgv.edu or Josue Puente at josue.puente01@utrgv.edu or contact the Center at (956) 665-3212.

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