miércoles, 19 de junio de 2013

The Kentucky Fried Chronicles part 1

 The Study of the United States Institute –SUSI for short – on Contemporary American Literature is hosted by the University of Louisville, Kentucky, which happens to be hometown of KFC and of one of the most amazing athletes of all time: Muhamad Ali.

I was lucky to have been chosen to be part of the group of sixteen scholars from all over the world who will be based in Louisville for the following six weeks. Upon arrival, I learned that Peru was one of the three countries that were participating in the institute for the first time, Namibia and Burma are also first timers. The other countries represented here are Boznia-Herzegovina, Cameroon, Indonesia, India, Iraq, Jordan, Pakistan, China, Romania, Russia, Syria, Tunisia and Zambia.


On Friday, we were gathered for the first time at the international Center; but things did not take off so quickly, it might have been the KFC we were served (for the first and only time, we were told) or it may have been the long trip. The thing is, right now we all feel as if we had known each other for ages: the jokes go in and out but, most importantly, the respect for each other as individuals and for our cultures is always the first consideration and the bond that has made us a solid group.


Tom Bryers, the director of the institute and famous in Spain as the Tomate Vengador, has been so far giving us introductory sessions on the concepts we need to be able to deal with to begin to try interpretations of the literary works we have to read and to connect those works to the culture of the United States expressed in its way of life, architecture, society, etc.

One of the most surprising things that has happened so far is the proclamation of the sixteen scholars in the SUSI Scholarship as Honorary Citizens of Louisville. We had the opening dinner on Monday night and during the speeches that are typically given on these occasions, Tom Bryers announced that the representative of the Mayor of the City had come to present us with a diploma. We were called, one by one, and got it from the Mayor´s representative. A complete surprise and an honor we all expect to be up to.


The days go by as we get on track with the works of poetry and narrative we will study, “deconstruct” some may say, in a city that is a nice place to be, hot at times, rainy at others, but with a quiet air that makes it a perfect place to study and develop a view of the American society through its literature.


1 comentario:

Prof. Giovanni Gonzales, Lima, Peru dijo...

Hello Cesar:
What an opportunity, good for you

Kind Regards

Giovanni Gonzales