Mar 092005
Authors: Lindsay Reiter

Dr. Vanessa Knights from the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne gave a presentation completely in Spanish titled "Cantos en el aire: El bolero borincano" on Wednesday night.

Knights was introduced by Fernando Valerio, a professor of foreign language and literature, before she gave her speech about the history of the bolero, a popular type of Latin American music.

"I came to CSU because of a joint grant project with Professor Valerio to write a book on boleros and literature in Latin America," Knights said.

Knights will not be giving this speech at any other universities, but she has given talks at the University of Puerto Rico at San Juan, the Festival of Boleros at Havana and a variety of other universities in Britain and Latin America.

There were about 30 people in the audience, many of whom were students who came to fulfill a class requirement.

"It was part of a class assignment to come watch the lecture and write a paper," said Jasmin Singh, a junior political science major. "I am very interested when she touches on history, and I'm interested in the politics as well."

Knights discussed the history and development of boleros in the Puerto Rican neighborhoods of New York City.� She also played four songs and explained the main themes of each.

"I liked that when she played the songs she put the lyrics up.� Being able to see where they came from and hearing her explain them was interesting," said Stephanie Felix, a junior international studies and Spanish major.� Felix attended the presentation for class, but also because of her interest in the Caribbean culture.

"I hope that people walk away from my presentation with an enjoyment for music that's been around for more than 100 years," Knights said.

Knights will be giving a different presentation tonigh in English at 5 p.m. called "Songs of Creole: Identity in the Hispanic Caribbean."� A reception will be held from 6:15-7:30 p.m. in the Longs Peak Room of the Lory Student Center following the presentation.

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