Gala Events to Mark Department of Languages and Literatures 50th Anniversary

UPDATE: As a result of flight and public transportation cancellations in New York City due to Hurricane Nancy, the performance of "En el tiempo de las mariposas"  has been canceled. The cost of tickets will be refunded electronically if purchased online; the cost of printed tickets will be refunded through person from whom the ticket was purchased.  Questions may be directed to the Department of Languages and Literatures at (585) 245 5247.  

Repertorio Español's performance of "En el tiempo de las mariposas" Nov. 1 is one of numerous events planned for the celebration of the Department of Languages and Literatures 50th anniversary.

GENESEO, N.Y. - A series of special events Oct. 31 - Nov. 3 will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of SUNY Geneseo's Department of Languages and Literatures as an independent academic program.

The celebration will include a stage performance of "En el tiempo de las mariposas" by the critically acclaimed New York City theater company Repertorio Español. The production tells the story of the courageous Mirabal sisters Patria, Minerva and Maria Teresa (known as "the butterflies"), who were brutally murdered in 1960 for inspiring a revolutionary movement in the Dominican Republic against the dictatorial regime of Gen. Rafael Leonidas Trujillo.

Based on Julia Alvarez's popular novel, the production is scheduled Nov. 1 at 7:30 p.m. in SUNY Geneseo's Wadsworth Auditorium. Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for students ($5 for SUNY Geneseo students) and available online or at the auditorium's ticket office one hour before the performance. Members of the Spanish Club will decorate the auditorium's foyer with an altar for Day of the Dead, a Mexican tradition observed the first two days of November.

"We are delighted to welcome this well-established New York theater company to Geneseo to help us celebrate our anniversary and look forward to what promises to be a powerful production," said Rose McEwen, associate professor and chair of Geneseo's Department of Languages and Literatures. "We look forward to all of the events saluting the students, faculty and administrators who for the past half century have made our department what it is today. We look forward to a bright future in a world where language study is increasingly important."

Also scheduled for the anniversary is an Oktoberfest Celebration Oct. 31 in Welles Hall 210, organized by the German and Slavic Clubs, and activities by the Asian and Arabic Studies Clubs. The French Club is hosting a cultural evening Nov. 2 at 7 p.m. in Welles 111, focusing on Europe, Quebec and Africa. These events are free and open to the public. The Geneseo Chinese Culture Club has scheduled its "China Night" dinner and show Nov. 10 in the MacVittie Union Ballroom at 6:30 p.m. The dinner is open to all and tickets will be sold at the door.

See a complete schedule of 50th anniversary events.

Also attending the celebration will be the ambassador for The Ohio State University's Foreign Language Center's Collaborative Articulation Assessment Project, Romain Paumard, and Yishai Neuman, SUNY Geneseo's Hebrew Studies visiting scholar. Both will meet with students and faculty.

The Geneseo events celebrating the department's anniversary are also part of the Western New York Hispanic Heritage Festival, which is now underway with events scheduled through Nov. 4 at multiple venues in Livingston and Wyoming Counties. Repertorio Español will be performing "En el tiempo de las mariposas" in Warsaw. Performance and ticket information is available online. The festival events coincide with the college's annual Cultural Harmony Week Oct. 24 - Nov. 3, which provides programming to address a wide variety of community and diversity issues.

The college's Department of Languages and Literatures, founded in 1962 as the Department of Foreign Languages, today has about 300 majors and 28 full- and part-time faculty members. The department offers courses in nine languages.

Media Contact:
David Irwin
Media Relations Manager
(585) 245-5516