Contact: Helen Dalrymple (202) 707-1940

October 10, 1996

Symposium on History and Tradition of Washington and Mexico City To Be Held at Library of Congress

An international group of scholars will gather in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 23-24 for a two day symposium about the history, tradition and identity of Washington and Mexico City at the turn of the century. "Imaging the City of the Americas: Washington and Mexico City" will be held at the Library of Congress and the Mexican Cultural Institute in Washington. The symposium focuses on a period when these two cities emerged as major capitals.

The symposium is jointly organized by the Hispanic Division of the Library of Congress, the Getty Research Institute for the History of Art and the Humanities, the Mexican Cultural Institute, and the Latin American Studies Center at the University of Maryland at College Park.

Georgette Dorn, chief of the Library's Hispanic Division, noted that "scholars discussing the rich visual resources of the Library of Congress relating to Washington and Mexico City will undoubtedly shed new light on urban history at the turn of the century, an exciting period in the growth of both cities."

Ministro Alvaro Rodriguez Tirado, Director of the Mexican Cultural Institute, added that he welcomed the opportunity to "bring together specialists from both the U.S. and Mexico to compare scholarly resources." And Thomas Reese, Deputy Director of the Getty Institute, observed that at the turn of the century dreams of "metropolitan greatness" inspired the imagination, and "citizens responded by inventing images that both reflected and defined how city dwellers through the Americas viewed their cities."

The symposium is part of the Getty Research Institute's larger, continuing project entitled "Imaging the City in the Americas: The Formation and Display of Urban Identities Around 1910," a multi-national research effort that explores the creative functions of images in the formation of urban and national identities.

The first session of the symposium will be held in the Mary Pickford Theater of the Library of Congress from 2 to 5:45 p.m. on Oct. 23 and will feature film clips, photographs, maps, and architectural drawings of both Washington and Mexico City, drawn from the Library's rich collection of more than 110 million items. That evening Mexican author Carlos Monsivis will deliver a keynote address at the Mexican Cultural Institute, which is located at 2829 16th Street, NW, in a stately historic mansion built in 1910. He will be introduced by Mexican Ambassador Jess Silva Herzog.

On Oct. 24 three panels will be held at the Mexican Cultural Institute, with presentations by scholars such as Alejandra Moreno Toscano from the Fundacin Carmen Toscano; Richard Longstreth, George Washington University; Mauricio Tenorio, University of Texas at Austin; Jorge Aguilar Mora, University of Maryland; Howard Gillette, George Washington University; and William Tobin from St. Patrick University at Dublin, among others.

The symposium is free and open to the public, but advance reservation is required. To request a printed program or to reserve a seat for the symposium, call Ana Kurland in the Library's Hispanic Division at (202) 707 5400. Information about the symposium is also available on the Library's Web Site at

# # #

PR 96-135
ISSN 0731-3527

Back to top