Amherst College Professor Ilán Stavans Publishes New Book
December 5, 2007
Contact: Emanuel Costache '09
Media Relations Intern
Caroline Jenkins Hanna
Director of Media Relations
AMHERST, Mass.—Ilán Stavans, Lewis-Sebring Professor of Latin American and Latino culture at Amherst College and Five College Fortieth Anniversary Professor, and collaborator Verónica Albin have published Love and Language ($25, 261 pp., Yale University Press, 2007), a series of Socratic dialogues on the nature and expression of love.
According to Stavans and Albin, the concept of love today is not the same as Plato’s concept of it in the fourth century B.C.E. Nor is it the same as the courtly love of the Renaissance or love as defined by Stendhal or Proust or Freud. In their book, Stavans engages Albin in a lively dialogue about love and its various manifestations. “Love’s boundaries,” he writes “are deliberately unspecified. Ask a dozen people what love is, and you’re likely to get a dozen different definitions.”
Albin observes that Stavans is “at once an incisive thinker and a powerful storyteller.” He readily quotes from Coleridge, Borges, Shakespeare and de Sade but ponders with equal care telenovelas and Walt Disney cartoons.
In addition to serving on the faculty at Amherst, Stavans is editor-in-chief of the four-volume Encyclopedia Latina: History, Culture and Society in the United States (2005) and author of Spanglish: The Making of a New American Language (2003) and The Hispanic Condition (1995), among many other publications.