Institute for Arts and Humanities to honor Latin American novelist

March 25, 2008

Penn State's Institute for the Arts and Humanities (IAH) will present its third annual Institute for the Arts and Humanities Medal for Distinguished Contributions to the Public Advancement of the Arts and Humanities to one of Latin America's leading novelists and essayists, Mario Vargas Llosa, a Spanish-Peruvian writer, journalist, and political activist.

He will give a public lecture at 8 p.m. on Thursday, April 10, in Schwab Auditorium. Earlier that day he will be the featured guest of a WPSU “Common Ground Lobby Talk.” The live interview will be conducted by Patty Satalia at 3:30 p.m. in the Outreach Building at Innovation Park. Both events are free and open to the public. No tickets are required.

This medal is awarded annually to individuals who have made significant public contributions to the advancement of the arts and the humanities in our times. Previous recipients were author Salman Rushdie (2006) and architect Daniel Libeskind (2007).

Vargas Llosa is prominent for his novels, many of which have received distinguished international awards: "La ciudad y los perros" (The Time of the Hero, 1963), "La casa verde" (The Green House, 1966), the monumental "Conversacion en la catedral" (Conversation in the Cathedral, 1969); "La guerra del fin del mundo" (The War of the End of the World, 1981) and "La Fiesta del Chivo" (The Feast of the Goat, 2000).

His novels span many literary genres, including comedy, murder mystery, the historical novel, and the political thriller. Several, such as "Pantaleon y las visitadoras" and "La tia Julia y el escribidor," have been adapted as feature films (the latter as "Tune in Tomorrow").

One of the leading authors of his generation, Vargas Llosa is considered to have a greater international impact and worldwide audience than any other writer of the Latin American Boom.

The mission of the IAH is to support, promote and advance both research and creative work in the arts and humanities. For more information about these events, contact the Institute for the Arts and Humanities at (814) 865-0495 or The IAH' s Web site is at

Mario Vargas Llosa's visit is funded by AT&T. Additional support is provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities and by the Penn State Department of English and the Department of Spanish, Italian and Portuguese.

  • Mario Vargas Llosa

    IMAGE: Penn State

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Last Updated July 28, 2017