UPDATED, Aug. 29, 2013, to correct number of books, articles and book reviews Gies has written, and to add a new final paragraph.
David T. Gies, Commonwealth Professor of Spanish at the University of Virginia, was elected president of the International Association of Hispanists, the world’s largest professional association of Spanish professors.
Founded at Oxford University in 1962, the association has held triennial meetings since then, with the 18th triennial meeting – marking the association’s 50th anniversary – held last month in Buenos Aires.
Gies was chosen to become the association’s president at that weeklong meeting, which also featured several plenary speakers and sessions on research in related fields of Hispanic studies.
Members, who number approximately 2,400 from five continents, teach and research in fields such as Spanish and Latin American literature, Spanish and Latin American culture and history, and history of the language. The association and its meetings promote the exchange of ideas, methods and approaches to Hispanic studies practiced in different countries.
Gies, who joined U.Va.’s Department of Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese in the College of Arts & Sciences in 1979, has served as the International Association of Hispanists’ treasurer and vice president, and gave one of the plenary talks in 2001.
As president, he will serve for the 2013-16 term and preside at the next meeting, scheduled to take place in Münster, Germany, in July 2016.
The association’s activities are supported, in part, by the foundation of Her Royal Highness Margarita de Borbón, the Dutchess of Soria (she is the sister of King Juan Carlos de Borbón).
An expert on the literature of Enlightenment and Romantic Spain, and contemporary Spanish film, Gies has published 15 books and critical editions of Spanish literature, including last year’s “A History of Theater in Spain.” He has written more than 100 articles and 135 book reviews, and has lectured around the world. He edits Dieciocho, a journal dedicated to the study of the Spanish Enlightenment, and has been awarded grants over his career from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Philosophical Society and the Spanish Ministry of Culture.
In October 2007, he received one of Spain's highest honors, bestowed by His Majesty Juan Carlos, king of Spain. The award, which is the equivalent of knighthood, comes with the title of "Encomienda de Número de la Orden de Isabel la Católica." It celebrates Gies' academic achievements and devotion to promoting Spanish culture.