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Human Rights leader to speak at UNG on March 4


Marjorie Agosín, a Latin American studies professor at Wellesley College, will visit the University of North Georgia (UNG) on March 4 to speak about women in Chile during authoritarian regimes, the identity issues they faced, and how this time has influenced her writing. The presentation is part of the university's 18th annual Hoag Lecture Series.

Agosín's family left Chile when she was a teenager to escape the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet, according to her biography. She writes about her homeland and its people in poetry, fiction and nonfiction works and is especially passionate about telling the stories of Latin American women.

Her writings include stories about Chilean arpilleristas, women who wove tapestries to document and mourn male relatives who "disappeared" during the Pinochet regime; the many hundreds of women murdered in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico; and her mother, who grew up as a Jewish immigrant in a German Chilean community. Agosín has won numerous honors for her work as a human rights activist, including the United Nations Leadership Award for Human Rights, the Jeanette Rankin Award in Human Rights, and the Pura Belpre award from the American Library Association. She also won the Gabriela Mistral Medal for Lifetime Achievement, bestowed upon her by the Chilean government years after she left.

"My creative work is inspired by the theme of social justice as well as the pursuit of remembrance and the memorialization of traumatic historical events both in the Americas and in Europe," Agosín said. "All of my works have a unified theme of the pursuit of social justice and human rights."

The presentation will be held Wednesday, March 4, from 6 to 9 p.m. in the Hoag Student Center auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.

The Hoag Lecture Series is named for former university President Merritt Eldred Hoag, who led then-North Georgia College from 1949 to 1970, and supported by funds from the Hoag family. The series aims to reflect Hoag's education philosophy that higher education should educate students beyond the traditional classroom environment, and enable them to develop intellectual fullness by encouraging learning in a variety of disciplines.

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