For Immediate Release — Tuesday, October 4, 2005


Mary E. McCrank

Media Relations Officer

(585) 245-5516

SUNY Geneseo Celebrates 400th Anniversary of Don Quixote

GENESEO, N.Y. — The State University of New York at Geneseo will celebrate the 400th anniversary of the publication of the world's first modern novel, "Don Quijote de la Mancha," with a series of events in October.

The Spanish faculty of the foreign languages and literatures department have organized this program to celebrate the anniversary of the first edition of the publication of the first part of "Don Quijote." The first edition was printed in Madrid on Dec. 20, 1604, and reached the public on Jan. 6, 1605. The novel quickly became very popular around the world. Today, the book is the second-most published and translated book in the world; only the Bible is more published and translated.

"The impact of Don Quixote was immediate, wide-ranging and enduring. Not only literature, but all other forms of artistic expression, such as the visual arts, music, the theater, and most recently, film, have adapted or adopted the themes and the art of Cervantes Saavedra's picaresque and satirical model," said Rose McEwen, associate professor of Spanish, coordinator of the Latin American Studies Program and faculty fellow for international programs.

"Don Quixote's imaginative subject and Saavedra's masterful writing may account for the text's popularity back in the 17th century. However, its sustained relevance—throughout the times and across cultures and languages—bestows upon it, in my opinion, one of Don Quixote's most imposing strengths. Who knows? Perhaps its significance may be eternal. After all, Cervantes seems to have embodied in the contrasting characters of Don Quixote and his sidekick, Sancho Panza, the quintessential struggle that epitomizes the human spirit: idealism versus realism."

All of the SUNY Geneseo events are free and open to the public. Reservations to guarantee seating are highly recommended and may be made by e-mailing Here is a list of events:

Program opening, symposium and art exhibit, 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 18, Harding Lounge, Welles Hall 111.

6:40 p.m., Welles Hall 121

Keynote address: "The Sexual Economy of 'Don Quijote,' Part I: Dorotea and the Gallery of Slaves" by Robert Ter Horst, University of Rochester professor emeritus of Spanish.

7:10 p.m., Welles Hall 121

"Marcela y Maritornes:  Dos visiones del 'yo' femenino" by Joaqu’n G—mez, assistant professor of Spanish, who also is coordinating the symposium.

7:30-7:45 p.m., Harding Lounge, Welles Hall 111

Intermission and refreshments.

7:45 p.m., Welles Hall 123

Student Panel: Students whose papers were selected by a panel of Spanish faculty will read their work. Maria Lima, associate professor of English, will moderate the panel. Presenting are: Laura Mazurkiewicz, a sophomore speech and hearing handicapped major from Cheektowaga, N.Y., and author of "Telling Images or Telling Facts?"; Amanda Serianni, a sophomore musical theatre major from New Hartford, N.Y., and author of "Have a Feminist Sandwich"; and Catherine Ward, a sophomore from Richfield Springs, N.Y., and author of "A Feminist Don Quixote?"

Krissy Wolcott, a senior art studio major from Oakfield, N.Y., will be recognized for her winning entry in a design competition coordinated by Sandra Mulryan, assistant professor of Spanish. Doug Anderson, associate professor of art, and Dan Dezarn, assistant professor of art, collaborated with program organizers by encouraging students to submit original art design to promote the college's celebration. Wolcott will be awarded a gift certificate to Sundance Books. All entries will be exhibited in the Harding Lounge (Welles 111) during the symposium. The artwork will then be displayed until the end of the semester in the language laboratory and the department's lobby.

The Readings of Don Quixote-Don Quijote, 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 19, Wadsworth Auditorium (Wadsworth 21). Advanced-level Spanish language students will read noteworthy excerpts of "Don Quijote" in Spanish and in English. Coordinated by Cristina Rowley, assistant professor of Spanish.

"Don Quijote de la Mancha" (Don Quixote of La Mancha), 7 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 20, Bailey Auditorium (Bailey Hall 135)

A superb transformation to the screen of the great literary classic by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, this 180-minute film was produced in Spain. Starring the irreplaceable Fernando Rey, the journeys and adventures of Don Quixote and his squire, Sancho Panza, are exquisitely filmed in this acclaimed 1991 production by Televisi—n Espa–ola. This is part of the foreign languages and literatures department's celebration commemorating the Alan Lutkus International Film Series fall program. In Spanish, with English subtitles.

Felisa Brea, a lecturer of Spanish, will serve as the film's discussant. A discussion, question-and-answer period will follow the screening.

"Representation: El Viejo celoso," 7 p.m., Friday, Oct. 21, Sturges Auditorium (Sturges Hall 219). Department students enrolled in a directed study course led by Rose McEwen will stage the comic entremŽs, "El viejo celoso," a short play by Cervantes Saavedera.

Art Exhibit at Milne Library

In addition, Milne Library will display an art exhibit about Don Quixote throughout October. Albert and Shirleen Askenazi of El Paso, Texas, have generously loaned 20 pieces of their collection of El Quixote iconography and artwork to Milne Library. The couple began collecting artworks 35 years ago and have more than 130 items inspired by Cervantes and other themes from his book. Cristina Rowley is coordinating the display.