Myrna García-Calderón Wins Puerto Rican PEN Club Award
A professor in The College of Arts and Sciences was among the winners at the Puerto Rican PEN Club awards ceremony, recently held at the University of the Sacred Heart in San Juan.
Myrna García-Calderón, associate professor of Spanish in the Department of Languages, Literatures and Linguistics (LLL), won on the strength of her essay, “Espacios de la memoria en el Caribe Hispánico insular y sus diasporas” (“Spaces of Memory in the Hispanic Caribbean Islands and Its Disaporas”) (Ediciones Callejón, 2012). She was one of four winners in the essay category of the ceremony, which annually recognizes the best in Puerto Rican literature. Her category was “Best Research Essay in the Humanities–Literary Criticism.”
PEN International is a global association of writers that sponsors civil society programs, literary events and initiatives designed to promote literature and defend freedom of expression.
“We are extremely proud of Professor Garcia-Calderón, whose accomplishment bears witness to the excellence of our faculty,” says Gail Bulman, associate professor of Spanish and chair of LLL. “As a teacher, scholar and author, she brings international distinction to our department, while inspiring students in new and imaginative ways.”
“Espacios de la memoria” draws on Garcia-Calderón’s interest in Hispanic-Caribbean and Spanish-American literatures and cultures. Contemporary in scope, the essay is divided into five sections that explore memory at the intersection of urban studies and cultural geography.
Special attention is paid to the writings of Dominican author Angela Hernández; Puerto Rican novelist and essayist Edgardo Rodríguez Juliá; and Cuban novelist and playwright Abilio Estévez, among others. Writers from the Spanish Caribbean diaspora are prominently included, as well.
“I’ve tried to create a theoretical framework, in which to study memory in urban and rural space,” Garcia-Calderón says. “By looking at memory in a variety of interdisciplinary contexts, I argue that it may be used as a rhetorical, ideological and political instrument and as a tool of domination.”
In addition to SU, Garcia-Calderón has taught at Cornell University; Stanford University; the University of California, Berkeley; and the University of Wisconsin-Madison; and at institutions in Puerto Rico and Cuba. She has written dozens of scholarly articles and essays, as well as the book “Writing Cultural Imagery in Contemporary Puerto Rico“ (Editores Latinoamericana, 1998). Garcia-Calderón earned a Ph.D. in contemporary Hispanic literatures from UC-Berkeley.