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New Spanish lecture series begins with Almodóvar insights

8 July 2019

The School of Modern Languages hosted the first in a series of lectures to celebrate Spanish culture this May.

The inaugural, Katherine of Aragon lecture (named after the ambassador of the Aragonese Crown to England in 1507, the first female ambassador in European history) took place on 9 May and welcomed Professor Maria Delgado, of the University of London, to Cardiff.

Professor Delgado, who is Director of Research at The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, gave a wonderfully insightful lecture, All About Almodóvar: Interviews, Observation and Analysis on the cinema of Pedro Almodóvar, one of the most high-profile directors not only in Spain but also in Europe.

Professor Delgado shared insights drawn from privileged access to the set of Pedro Almodóvar’s newest film, Dolor y Gloria (Pain and Glory), which has already opened in Spain, and has its premiere in the UK this August. The talk was attended by students and members of the public and was followed by a lively Q+A discussion, which touched on questions of feminism and LGBT visibility.  

Professor Delgado is the author and editor of numerous books on the performing arts and cinema in Spain and Latin America and has extensive experience as a programme adviser on Spanish and Spanish-American cinema for the London Film Festival, as well as of curatorial and programming work for the Institute of Contemporary Arts and the British Film Institute.

Professor Delgado’s lecture was generously supported by the Spanish Embassy. Spanish Ambassador, Carlos Bastarreche, visited the School in 2018 and witnessed the thriving centre for undergraduate and postgraduate modern languages studies at first hand. Mr Bastarreche also took the opportunity to visit the Spanish Education Office, which has a satellite base at the School, and sponsors one of our teaching spaces. Following Mr Bastarreche’s visit, it was decided that the Katherine of Aragon lecture would take place each year, supported by the Spanish Embassy.

Speaking after the event, Dr Ryan Prout, Senior Lecturer in Hispanic Studies, who introduced Professor Delgado’s lecture said, “We are incredibly proud to launch our Katherine of Aragon lecture series. The climate for modern languages is a challenging one currently, and, in spite of this, Spanish continues to grow at Cardiff University. We are grateful for the Embassy’s support of our work, which sees around 70 students per year graduate with a single or joint honours degree in Spanish, and also for their moral and practical support.”

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