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Professor attends humanities summit

MICHELLE EGGERS | Friday, August 29, 2003

Jose Rico, a Saint Mary’s College assistant professor of modern languages, recently participated in a five-week summer study program sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Rico applied to the program after receiving encouragement from fellow associate professor of modern languages Gerald Gingras. Gingras had participated in past NEH programs and knew Rico was passionate and familiar with this year’s program topic.

After earning his Ph.D. in Spanish literature at Emory University in 2001, Rico said the seminar, entitled “The Poetics of the OELibro de Buen Amor‚ in Cultural Context,” was like returning “to an old friend”.

The seminar on the medieval Spanish classic gathered 15 educators from a national application pool at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville where they attended classes pertaining to the book. Rico said that even the five weeks were not adequate time to thoroughly analyze all aspects of the complex and challenging work.

“I was surprised at how much there was to be known about one book,” he said.

The program generated feedback on how to further integrate medieval Spanish classics into the curriculum. Participants at the seminar developed future plans of writing a book on how to teach the classics, but plans have been postponed, Rico said.

Rico said he had “a great time” during his five weeks in Virginia and would recommend future NEH programs to his colleagues.