Colorado State University Hosts International Colloquium of Spanish Teachers April 17-22

For the first time on American soil, an international colloquium will bring together teachers of Spanish for a week of talks, round table and film discussions, area tours and literature readings April 17-22.

The International Colloquium of the Asociación Europea de Profesores de Español, or AEPE, this year is hosted by Colorado State University and will focus on "Challenges for a New Millennium: Language, Culture and Society." AEPE was founded in Spain in 1967 to create professional and human relationships among Spanish teachers to further the dissemination of the Spanish language and Hispanic cultures.

"We’re honored to host esteemed guests from Spain, France, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland Sweden, Peru and the United States this year," said Sara Saz, chairwoman of the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures and event organizer. "We’re looking forward to discussing important ideas and issues that will impact Spanish language and culture throughout the world."

The inaugural lecture, "Experiences of a Dramatist," will be presented by Alfonso Sastre, one of the most significant dramatists of this era, during the opening ceremony from 2-4 p.m. April 17 in the Lory Student Center North Ballroom. Also speaking during the ceremony, which is free and open to the public, will be Sr. D. Herminio Morales, Consul General of Spain in Los Angeles; Colorado State Provost Loren Crabtree; Fort Collins Mayor Ray Martinez; Helga Hediger, president of AEPE; and Saz.

In addition, Camila Alire, dean of University Libraries and the only Latina dean of a major research library, will talk about her career and her life in Colorado and as a role model for Latina women. Alire will present "Un Poquito de S.A.L.S.A. – A Successful Academic Latina Shares Her Accomplishments" at 7 p.m. April 18 in Room 203 Morgan Library. The talk, free and open to the public, will be presented in English.

Alire, who was raised in a small town in the San Luis Valley by parents who believed strongly in setting goals and pursuing them without regard to ethnic background, began her career at Colorado State eight days before the devastating flood of July 1997 and led the library in remarkable recovery efforts.

"I realize I’m a groundbreaker as far as being an administrator, a woman and a member of a minority population, but I don’t dwell on that," Alire said. "At the same time, I know I have a tremendous responsibility as a role model. I think it’s a professional and moral obligation to ensure others have the chance to be successful in their chosen careers."

A film, "Mi gente," and a session on Hispanic issues in Fort Collins will be presented from 2-4 p.m. April 21 in the Virginia Dale Room of the Lory Student Center. Participants will include Rich Salas, assistant director of Colorado State’s El Centro, and Isabel Rodriguez Thacker from the Larimer County Mental Health Department. Saz, Amanda Castro and other faculty from the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures also will lead discussions. The remaining sessions of the colloquium will be in Spanish, the only language common to all participants. Sessions will include culture and communication; a round table on "Spanish in the World;" Latin American theater; discussions on "Facing the Future through Memory;" poetry of the New World; cinema, music and culture; contemporary gay literature; a multimedia laboratory on "Technology and the Teaching of Spanish;" and a presentation on "The Teachers of the New Millennium."

Excursions to Rocky Mountain National Park, a Colorado winery and a tour of the Anheuser-Busch Brewery in Fort Collins also are scheduled.

In conjunction with the colloquium, Morgan Library will present "Colorado’s Hispanic Heritage," a display of books, memorabilia, and panels highlighting the life and contributions of Hispanics to Colorado’s history with an emphasis on Hispanic cultural life in Fort Collins. The display is open to the public during library hours from April 16-May 20 in the Bonfils-Stanton Gallery on the second floor.

Members of AEPE are from 29 countries in Europe, North and South America and Asia. AEPE is open to all teachers of Spanish at all educational levels. Past colloquia have taken place in Hungary, Morocco, England and other countries. Individual members may propose and organize colloquia to address specific topics in any country.

Sponsors of this year’s International Colloquium of the Asociación Europea de Profesores de Español include Colorado State’s Office of the Provost, Vice President for Research and Information Technology, dean of the College of Liberal Arts, Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, the Program for Cultural Cooperation between Spain’s Ministry of Education and Culture and United States’ Universities and Fort Collins’ Fort Fund.

More information on the colloquium is available from Saz at (970) 491-6141 and on the Web at

Information also is available on AEPE at