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UC’s Dr. Ela Molina-Morelock Speaks at International Conference


Williamsburg, Ky., - University of the Cumberlands’ (UC) Dr. Ela Molina-Morelock was recently invited to speak at an international conference in Canada. The Graduate Students’ Association of Modern Languages and Literatures of the University of Ottawa (UO), in collaboration with the Department of Spanish at UO and the Embassy of Mexico in Canada, organized an international conference entitled “Octavio Paz: Laberintos del Poeta” that was hosted by the University of Ottawa. Molina-Morelock gladly accepted the invitation to share her work and represent University of the Cumberlands.

Conference Coordinator from UO, Maria Norma Jimenez Kaiser, requested Dr. Molina-Morelock to speak and present her work entitled, “De lo singular a lo universal: las mujeres mexicanas en la obra de Octavio Paz” during the session of the conference. This multidisciplinary event included participants who are specialists in Mexican literature in the areas of essay, poetry and narrative. The conference was to commemorate the 100th Birthday/Anniversary of the Mexican writer Octavio Paz. He was a 1990 Nobel Prize Winner in literature and was an important intellectual figure in Mexico as well as in the Hispanic world during the 20th century.

“I am very much inspired by Octavio Paz and his work,” said Molina- Morelock. “I am interested in his work but I didn’t feel this way about him when I was younger. But now, yes, I respect him and how brave he was to tell what he believes to be the truth. His honesty made him famous. He was able to stand behind his work and brush off the people who got mad over his words. He said that he didn’t write to a mass of people, he wrote to the thinkers. I admire him and I love the fact that he said what he wanted to say.”

Molina-Morelock’s presentation about the representation of women by Paz explains how he speaks about woman differently depending on where the writings came from. Paz, like most people, would write differently about woman in poetry than he would in his personal letters. His tone and attitude might be conveyed differently in his journals than in his literary works, which is to be expected. Molina-Morelock depicted his works and combined all the views he discussed about women to draw a conclusion on his feminist ideas. Paz’s most famous work was the 1950 essay, “The Labyrinth of Solitude,” which is a book-length essay containing the most influential reflection and analysis about Mexicans and the role of the Humanities and the intellectuals in the development of Mexico, in particular, and the world in general.

A book and journal comprised of selected articles will be published in mid to late 2014 in which Molina-Morelock’s work will be included. She will also be traveling to speak at the University of Kentucky (UK) at the Kentucky Foreign Language Conference (KFLC). She will be presenting “La nacion como palimpsesto en La utopia de Maria de Marcela del Rio.”

Dr. Ela Molina-Morelock is an Associate Professor at UC. She holds a PhD in Hispanic Studies from the University of Kentucky, a MA in Spanish from Miami University, and a Bachelor’s in Sociology of Latin America from the National Autonomous University of Mexico. Molina-Morelock’s interests are teaching and researching the Spanish language, literature and culture. Molina-Morelock has participated in multiple conferences at national and international levels, and she has published two books and various articles.

“I feel honored to represent University of the Cumberlands and both of my countries in which I obtain citizenship,” said Molina-Morelock. “As a Mexican-American, I enjoyed getting to talk about a good, important character of the Mexican culture and discussing topics of women, which I consider a personal topic of interest. It was such an honor to be invited to this conference and I plan on attending many more in the future.”

Located in Williamsburg, Ky., University of the Cumberlands is an institution of regional distinction, which currently offers four undergraduate degrees in more than 40 major fields of study; 10 pre-professional programs; ten graduate degrees distributed over eight areas, including two doctorates and seven master’s degrees; certifications in education; and online programs. For more information visit