Students Collaborate in Circulo de Lectores

January 11, 2012

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – This semester, Professor of Hispanic Studies Carmela Ferradans and Byron S. Tucci Professor of Hispanic Studies Carolyn Nadeau will join to create a reading circle, or circulo de lectores, for students enrolled in two 300-level Spanish courses, Grammar and Composition and Introduction to Literature, as well as those in the Illinois Wesleyan Barcelona program. The goal of the activity is to have students collaborate outside of class, reading and discussing in Spanish the selected novel, Los mares del sur by Manuel Vazquez Montalban.

First published in 1979, the detective novel is set in Barcelona during the tumultuous years of the Spanish transition to democracy in the late ’70s. “The protagonist is also, and foremost, a gourmet, so the plot is intertwined with culinary commentaries and some of the best Catalan recipes I know,” said Ferradans. In relation to the novel’s culinary thread, the circulo de lectores will close with a literary dinner on Thursday, March 29 at World Gourmet in Bloomington, where students will sample rice recipes from the book, including paella, a traditional Spanish dish. Alumna Rachel Slough, class of 2007, will be the keynote speaker for the event. Slough, who received a bachelor of arts degree in Hispanic Studies and English Literature, wrote a research honors thesis on the novel.

Ferradans hopes to continue with the project each spring semester with a different book from another part of the Hispanic world and a new closing activity based on the chosen novel.

For more information, contact Ferradans at (309) 556-3155 or Nadeau at (309) 556-3332.         

Contact: Kristin Fields, ’12, (309) 556-3181,