Adorno Named to National Council on the Humanities

Rolena Adorno, the Reuben Post Halleck Professor of Spanish and chair of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, has been appointed to the National Council on the Humanities, part of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).

Adorno was nominated by President Barack Obama in July and confirmed by the U.S. Senate on Nov. 5. She was sworn in on Nov. 12, along with another new council member, Marvin Krislov, president and a professor of politics at Oberlin College.

“We are delighted to welcome two such learned scholars and leaders in the field of humanities to our council,” said Jim Leach, chair of the NEH. “We look forward to the special expertise they bring in the important areas of Hispanic literature and culture and of college governance and modern jurisprudence.”

The National Council on the Humanities meets four times a year to review grant applications and to advise the NEH chair.

Adorno’s focus of study and teaching includes Colonial Spanish-American literature and history, manuscript culture and textual transmission in Colonial Spanish America, and the 19th-century origins of Hispanism in the United States.

Her most recently published books are “The Polemics of Possession in Spanish American Narrative” (Yale University Press, 2007), for which she won the Modern Language Association of America’s Katherine Singer Kovacs Prize, and “De Guancane a Macondo: estudios de literatura hispanoamericana” (Sevilla: Renacimiento, 2008). In 2008, she published, with Ivan Boserup, studies of the making and censorship of the 17th-century manuscripts of Fray Martín de Murúa at the Getty Institute, Los Angeles.

Her earlier books include “Guaman Poma: Writing and Resistance in Colonial Peru” (1986, 2000); “Cronista y príncipe: La obra de don Felipe Guaman Poma de Ayala” (1989); and a three-volume study titled “Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca: His Account, His Life and the Expedition of Pánfilo de Narváez,” which she co-authored with Patrick C. Pautz. This study received the J. Franklin Jameson Award from the American Historical Association, the Dwight L. Smith Book Award from the Western Historical Association, and the Best Book Award from the New England Council of Latin American Studies.

Adorno is the editor of “From Oral to Written Expression: Native Andean Chronicles of the Early Colonial Period” (1982) and co-editor, with Kenneth J. Andrien, of “Transatlantic Encounters: Europeans and Andeans in the 16th Century” (1991). She has co-edited print editions of Felipe Guaman Poma’s “Nueva coronica y buen gobierno” (1980, 1987), and since 2001 she has been the academic adviser to the digitized edition of the work on the Guaman Poma website at the Royal Library of Denmark, Copenhagen.

Adorno has received various awards for her work in the humanities including the Graduate Mentor Award of the Yale Graduate School, as well as a Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award from her alma mater, the University of Iowa. Prior to teaching at Yale, Adorno taught at Syracuse University, Ohio State University, the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor and Princeton University. She received her Ph.D. from Cornell University.

She has held fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. She is an honorary associate of the Hispanic Society of America and holds an honorary professorship at La Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú. Adorno is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

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