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Arte Público Conference Celebrates Hispanic Literary Heritage

Scholars, archivists, librarians, linguists, critics, theorists and community members explored the recovery and preservation of texts and literature celebrating Hispanic culture during the Arte Público XV Recovery Conference Feb. 20-22. The event was hosted by the University of Houston-Downtown's Center for Latino Studies.

The theme for this year’s conference was “Histories and Cultures of Latinas: Suffrage, Activism and Women’s Rights” and featured cultural events, Arte Público press readings, a recovery workshop and presentation sessions.

Arte Público Press—founded in 1979 at the University of Houston—is the oldest and largest Hispanic publisher in the United States to further the endeavor of providing a national forum for Hispanic literature for general and educational audiences.

One of the regular attendees at the conference is UHD assistant professor of English Daniel Peña, whose novel “Bang” was published by Arte Público Press in 2017. He said this year’s conference truly emphasized the importance of the country’s Hispanic literary heritage.

“So many of these works have been forgotten over time,” Peña said. “The Recovery Conference was able to provide an opportunity to rediscover the treasures of Mexican-American literature and take us back to their roots.”

Several UHD faculty members were in attendance, sharing their expertise during panel discussions. In addition, UHD’s Mariachi Los Caimanes performed for conference guests.

This conference is part of the Recovering (Recovery) The U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage Project, which is a comprehensive University of Houston program to reconstitute the literary and historical legacy of Hispanics in the United States from colonial times to 1960. More details on this initiative are available on the Arte Público website.

About the University of Houston-Downtown

The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) – the second-largest university in Houston – has served the educational needs of the nation’s fourth-largest city since 1974.

As one of four distinct public universities in the University of Houston System, UHD is a comprehensive four-year university led by President Loren J. Blanchard. Annually, UHD educates more than 15,000 students; boasts more than 61,000 alumni and offers 45 bachelor’s, nine master’s degree programs and 16 fully online programs within five colleges (Marilyn Davies College of Business; Humanities & Social Sciences; Public Service; Sciences & Technology; and University College).

For the fourth consecutive year, U.S. News & World Report ranks UHD among universities across the nation for Best Online Criminal Justice Programs (No. 27 and No. 15 for Veterans) and Best Online Bachelor’s Programs.

UHD has the most affordable tuition among four-year universities in Houston and one of the lowest in Texas. U.S. News ranked the University among Top Performers on Social Mobility and awarded UHD a No. 1 ranking as the most diverse institution of higher education in the southern region of the U.S. The University is noted nationally as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, Minority-Serving Institution and Military Friendly School. For more on the University of Houston-Downtown, visit www.uhd.edu.