Research in Hispanic studies: StFX hosts Maritime symposium Nov. 17-18 

AHPA 2023
L-r, Development Studies professor Dr. Jonathan Langdon, StFX students Ro Paradela Guerrero and Isabelle Vautour, who will present their research at the AHPA symposium, and Modern Languages faculty Dr. María Soledad Paz-MacKay and Dr. Wojciech Tokarz.

Academics from across the Maritimes working in Hispanic studies will converge on StFX this weekend as the Department of Modern Languages hosts the 2023 Annual Symposium of the Maritime Association of Hispanists (AHPA-Asociación de los Hispanistas de las Provincias del Atlántico) on November 17-18. AHPA is a regional organization composed of professors teaching Spanish and Latin American Studies. Its objective is to promote and advance research in Hispanic studies. 

The event is supported by the StFX Office of the Dean of Arts, Dr. Erin Morton; the StFX Office of the AVP Research, Dr. Richard Isnor; and the Embassy of Peru in Canada.
“This year’s symposium is the first in-person event of the association since COVID and we are happy to report the participation of colleagues from University of Prince Edward Island, University of New Brunswick, Acadia University, Mount Alison University, Université de Moncton, St Mary’s University, St. Thomas University and, of course, our own institution,” says Dr. Wojciech Tokarz, Chair of the StFX Department of Modern Languages. 

Most presentations will be delivered in Spanish in the Physical Science Centre 3046 on November 18th from 9.15 a.m. to 4.15 p.m. and all interested are invited to attend, he says.  The program is available below:


“It is worth noting that two of our undergraduate students will also be presenting their research at the event. Isabelle Vautour will share her research on Juan Carlos Valdivia’s use of affective landscapes in film, a work based on her contributions as a research assistant to Dr. María Soledad Paz-MacKay, Modern Languages, with whom she collaborates on a SSHRC IDG grant titled Rediscovering Rural Landscape and Visualizing Emerging Identities in 21st Century Argentinian and Mexican Cinema,” he says. 

“Ro Paradela Guerrero will present a paper on the role of Spanish in an autoethnographic project that stemmed from their collaboration as a research assistant on a SSHRC PEG titled Deepening Translocal Leadership through Social Movement Learning and Knowledge Exchange in which they collaborate with Dr. Jonathan Langdon, Development Studies, and Dr. Tokarz. The autoethnographic part of Ro Paradela Guerrero’s research was made possible by the Undergraduate Research Award under the Irving Oil Research Program that supported their project titled Translocal Transgender Translation: The Autoethnography of an International Undergraduate Student supervised also by Drs. Langdon and Tokarz.”
Isabelle Vautour says as a student, she appreciates being able to present the research she’s been doing with Dr. Paz-MacKay. “I am grateful for the opportunity to showcase what we’ve been working on, and I’m excited to listen to the other presentations and see what kind of research is being done in the field. I feel like this will be a good opportunity for me to step out of my comfort zone and do something I never thought I’d do. I also believe this will be a good opportunity for me to grow and learn, both academically and on a more personal level.”
Ro Paradela Guerrero says this will be their first academic conference. “I am very excited to be starting this part of my academic career as early as my undergrad. This is a personal and professional milestone for me. I’m proud of myself and thankful to my supervisors and mentors for granting me the opportunity to do it. I am all the more happy to be presenting some reflections on a research project that I designed and directed myself,” they say.

“I will be presenting on the importance of gender inclusive Spanish, personally and politically important to me as a genderqueer Mexican person. Hispanic linguists have been known to be common enemies of people like me, so I am nervous, excited, and grateful to be given the chance to give them a lesson on the power of non-binary resistance. Additionally, with the recent assassination of Magistrate Jesús Ociel Baena Saucedo, an important member of the non-binary community in Mexico and whose loss has shaken us Latin American trans folks so deeply, there seems to be no better time for me to be doing this presentation. I’m looking forward to contributing to a conversation that is personally and politically significant at this time.”


During the symposium, organizers will show Hatún Phaqcha. Tierra sana (2022) (Hatún Phaqcha Healthy Earth) a documentary film with English subtitles about Peruvian 'superfoods' directed by Delia Ackerman. The screening will take place in Schwartz 110 on November 17 at 6.30 p.m. All are welcome. 

This movie will open the Peruvian Cinema Series at StFX that will involve the screening of The Best Families (2022) a comedy directed by Javier Fuentes León and Ainbo, Spirit of the Amazon (2021), an animated movie directed by Richard Claus and José Zelada. All the movies have been made available to the StFX community by the Embassy of Peru in Canada.