A Conversation with Professor Arturo Arias

Professor Charles Royal will conduct a joint discussion with Professor Arturo Arias and other artists and writers on the theme “Truth and Narrative". In the academic environment there is increasing pressure to deny the truth-value of storytelling and to privilege quantitative or measurable truth over narrative ways of knowing. The focus here will be on the transformative potential of Indigenous creativity that reveals truth through various forms.

Professor Arias is a mestizo creative writer and specialist in critical theory whose contributions to Maya culture are recognised by their claiming him as one of their own. Professor of Latin American Literature, he co-wrote the screenplay for the film El Norte (1984), and edited The Rigoberta Menchú Controversy (2000). Having published six novels in Spanish, with two Casa de las Americas Awards, he was also winner of the Ana Seghers Award for fiction in Germany, and the Miguel Angel Asturias National Award (2008) for Lifetime Achievement in Literature in Guatemala. His most recent book is Taking their Word: Literature and the Signs of Central America (2007).