Loyola University Maryland

Latin American and Latino Studies

The II International Colloquium on Manuel González Prada

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The II International Colloquium on Manuel González Prada organized by the Latin American and Latino Studies at Loyola University and the Programs in Latin American Studies at Johns Hopkins continued conversations on the historical and literary legacy of the Peruvian writer initiated at the I International Colloquium hosted by the Université Michel Montaigne, Bordeaux, France 2005. 

The 2008 Colloquium examined the Peruvian poet and essayist Manuel González Prada’s thorny relationship to the diverse strands of political, cultural and economic thought that made up Peruvian and Latin American liberalism.  As one of the leading Latin American writers of his time, Manuel González Prada  was an influential force shaping how subsequent generations of Latin Americans would engage the challenge of crafting democratic social and economic agendas that could speak to the multicultural and multiethnic realities of the societies in which they lived  Far from presenting a comforting picture of how such challenges might be met, González Prada was not afraid to address the historical legacies of discrimination, violence and class privilege that threatened to undermine his country’s political stability.  In addressing these issues, his work touched on themes as vital and timely to the Latin America of our days, as those of political party systems, the political participation of youth, free public education, and the limits of economic or “free market” liberalism. 

The II International Colloquium brought together twenty world-class González Prada scholars from France, Peru, Spain and the United States. Three of Loyola University’s own scholars offered interesting perspectives on González Prada’s thought. Thomas Ward examined González Prada relationship with the classical liberalism of Adam Smith and derived an interesting theory on how Smith’s liberalism could take the form of libertarianism in his unruly Peruvian disciple’s doctrines.  Ramón Espejo Saavedra arrived at some very interesting conclusions regarding González Prada’s concept of the worker in relationship to views on the same topic by the Spanish intellectual Leopoldo Alas. Ana Gómez Pérez shed new light on why the difficult transatlantic epistolary relationship between González Prada and the Spanish philosopher Miguel de Unamuno. The research and discussion that was initiated during the II International Colloquium on Manuel González Prada, “González Prada and Liberalism” has continued after the conference as additional scholars have joined the debate. The result of this three-year period of investigation will be a new book on González Prada due out this year in Lima, Peru. We will have more on this ground-breaking book as its publication date nears.

The person behind the scenes who made the colloquium work was the Latin American and Latino Studies administrative assistant Maria Pía Negro. Her diligence and dedication during long ours of planning helped the event come off flawlessly. Besides the Loyola and Johns Hopkins Latin American studies programs the event was sponsored by the following departments and centers at Loyola, Center for the Humanities, the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures, the Sellinger School of Business and Management, the Dean of First-Year Students and Academic Services, the Office of International Programs, and Education for Life.

There is a newspaper article available on the II International Colloquium on Manuel González Prada published in the Peruvian Press.

"El porvenir nos debe una victoria" Cover 

Out of the colloquium comes a new book including essays by three members of the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures, Thomas Ward, Ramón Espajo Saavedra and Ana Gómez Perez. The book, "El porvenir nos debe una  victoria": la insólita modernidad de Manuel González Prada was published in Lima, Peru, by the Red para el Desarrollo para las Ciencias Sociales en el Perú.

II International Colloquium's Pictures

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Deborah Poole, Pierre-Luc Abramson, Thomas Ward, and Isabelle Tauzin Castellanos

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María Pía Negro, Joseph Kolar, Lisa Huston, Martín Carrión, and Raquel Chang Rodríguez

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Marcel Velázquez Castro, Ricardo Silva-Santiesteban, Adriana Zolezzi , Raquel Chang-Rodríguez, Eugenio Chang-Rodríguez, Rocío Ferrera, Carmen McEvoy, Ursula Sayers-Ward, Thomas Ward, Cesar Germaná, and Gonzalo Portocarrero


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Ramón Espejo Saavedra, Ana Gómez Pérez, Cesar Germaná, and Gonzalo Portocarrero

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Guido Podestá, Elisabeth Acha, and David Sobrevilla

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María Pía Negro, Isabel Tauzin, Angelica Serna, Thomas Ward, and Joseph Kolar