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1995 › Nicolás Kanellos
17th Farfel Recipient

Department of Modern and Classical Languages
Brown Foundation Inc., Chair in Spanish, Director of Arte Publico Press
College of Humanities, Fine Arts, and Communication

In the 1970s, Nicolás Kanellos’s involvement with the Latino civil rights movement exposed him to many Hispanic artists and writers with little or no access to the publishing world. So in 1972, Professor Kanellos, whose Ph.D. is in Hispanic literature and theatre, founded The Americas Review (then called Revista Chicano-Riqueño) at Indiana University Northwest. In 1979 he launched Arte Público Press to provide a wider forum for Hispanic literary voices. Professor Kanellos brought his growing press to the University of Houston in 1980 to position it at the heart of the growing US Hispanic population. Today Arte Público showcases Hispanic literature, arts, and culture by publishing about 35 books a year.

Professor Kanellos also manages the Recovering the US Hispanic Literary Heritage Project. In this project UH doctoral candidates locate and publish long ignored Hispanic historical documents “as part of an effort to broaden what is currently considered American heritage.” Professor Kanellos notes that the University of Houston is now “the leading institution in preparing a place for Hispanic culture in US cultural studies.”

President Clinton has appointed Professor Kanellos to the National Council for the Humanities, while his work has been recognized by the Ford Foundation, the Coordinating Council of Literary Magazines, and the American Association of Higher Education, among others. Professor Kanellos shares the Farfels’ vision of promoting the ideal of the “well-rounded professor” in the university. Receiving the award has helped him “cut through some of the boundaries that exist between administering and research and teaching,” while providing a passport to advance his work within the university.

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