Argentine National Day ‘el 25 de mayo’ – commemorates the removal of the Spanish viceroy in 1810 and the formation of the first government in Buenos Aires, marking the first step in Argentina’s independence from Colonial Spain.
Dr Cara Levey, Lecturer in Latin American Studies, of the Department of Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies, UCC, visited Argentina in August 2013 with a view to promoting and establishing links between UCC and a number of Argentine universities and organizations. Dr Levey was particularly interested in building on the historical relationship between the two countries, and promoting the important work being undertaken in UCC on Latin America in general, and Argentina specifically. Moreover, the close and complex relations between the two countries over the last two centuries have fostered a real interest in Irish culture in Argentina.
During her visit, Dr Levey met with the International Office at the Universidad Catolica de Argentina (the Catholic University of Argentina). The UCA, as it is known, located in the heart of Buenos Aires close to the remodeled port area Puerto Madero, is one of the country’s most prestigious third level institutions. The university offers courses in a wide range of social sciences and humanities and hosts a range of students from all over the world. Currently UCC and UCA are in the process of finalizing a staff and student mobility agreement which would allow students from UCC to study in Argentina for a year as part of their degree programme, and through which we at UCC would welcome Argentine students to Cork.
Whilst in Argentina, Dr Levey also visited researchers and teaching staff at a variety of institutions in order to discuss future collaboration and academic projects. These attempts at creating linkages have already yielded success and in February 2014 we welcomed Professor Alvaro Fernández-Bravo to Cork, thanks to funding provided by the Embassy of Argentina in Dublin. A renowned expert in Argentine and Brazilian cinema, Professor Fernández-Bravo gave the opening keynote lecture to the first UCC Argentine film festival, organized in February by Cara Levey and supported by the Department of Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies and the Embassy. The film festival showcased an excellent selection of recent releases from Argentina and attracted a wide range of people from both the College and Cork City.