The chair was created in 2004 by Mrs. Eugene McDermott to support the scholarly, educational and research activities of an internationally recognized scholar in the area of art and humanities. Prieto was appointed to the chair in 2011.
Having studied and lived in five countries for extended periods, Prieto is knowledgeable about the culture of the Americas, Europe, and Asia, evident in his publications and the many trips he has led for the Dallas Museum of Art, the Meadows Museum and universities in the area.
Whether we like it or not, we live at a time when borders and frontiers become more tenuous by the minute. I am excited about teaching at UT Dallas because we consider science and technology from the perspective of the humanities, and vice versa. In a global society, it is essential to learn how to look over one’s shoulder. This is why I seek to give my students the tools to navigate beyond the ‘Pillars of Hercules.’
Dr. Rene Prieto is a specialist in 19th and 20th century literature and humanities. He is fluent in five languages: English, Spanish, Italian, French and Chinese.
Before coming to UT Dallas in 2012, he was a professor of literature at both Vanderbilt University and Southern Methodist University, a visiting professor at Kwansei Gakuin University in Japan and The University of Virginia, and an assistant professor at Middlebury College.
Prieto received all of his undergraduate training in Italy and France, and did the major part of his graduate work at Stanford University. His interests include 19th and 20th century European and Latin American narrative (including body, gender and sexuality), literary theory, and Indigenismo. His current research deals with the ethical and political dimensions of love in 20th century Latin American literature.
Prieto hopes to work closely with museums in the Dallas-Fort Worth area as well as with the Dallas Opera, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and TITAS to showcase the bond between literature and the arts. He intends to show how this bond stretches well beyond the confines of the classroom and is, in fact, the very backbone of today’s global culture.
He has published more than 40 articles and reviews, and was co-editor of The Handbook of the Library of Congress (Central American literature section) for eight years, as well as on the editorial board of the Latin American Literature Journal. He has received three grants and fellowships from the National Endownment for the Humanities, and one from the Guggenheim Foundation.
Prieto has published three books, and is completing work on a fourth, Blood Ties, an analysis of the father’s role in 19th and 20th century foundational fictions of Latin America.