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Historian Camilla Townsend Historian Camilla Townsend, whose book Fifth Sun examines accounts of the conquest written by the Mexica, appears with history writer Gerard Helferich in a talk hosted by the San Miguel Literary Sala.

In online talk, historians to look at the conquest from a Mexica perspective

Authors Camilla Townsend and Gerard Helferich will discuss long-ignored indigenous accounts

The San Miguel Literary Sala continues its monthly online offerings in September with workshops and an online discussion on September 19 featuring two historians who have written extensively about Mexican and Latin American history.

Camilla Townsend, a history professor at Rutgers University and the author of the 2019 award-winning book Fifth Sun, a new look at the history of the Spanish conquest of Mexico based on long-ignored indigenous accounts written at the time, will appear in a live streamed talk entitled “A New History of the Aztecs” with nonfiction history writer Gerard Helferich, author of Humboldt’s Cosmos: Alexander von Humboldt and the Latin American Journey That Changed the Way We See the World and Stone of Kings: In Search of the Lost Jade of the Maya.

Townsend won the McGill University Cundill History Prize for Fifth Sun in 2020. She is also the author of Malintzin’s Choices: An Indian Woman in the Conquest of Mexico.

The authors’ discussion on the conquest, part of the Literary Sala’s Distinguished Speakers Series, can be seen live via videoconferencing software on September 19 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. CDT. Viewers will have an opportunity to ask questions of the speakers afterward. Tickets must be purchased in advance.

The Literary Sala will also be hosting four online workshops for writers this month. All the classes are live and interactive for participants via videoconferencing software.

Author Terry Persun
Author Terry Persun will lead the online workshop “Breaking the Rules of Fiction” on September 20 and 22 for the San Miguel Literary Sala.

Listings below are all given in Central Daylight Time:

  • September 20 and 22, 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. — Dinty W. Moore: “Memoir in Small Doses: The Brilliance of Writing Briefly.” The author and essayist will teach participants about flash prose and how writing in 1,000-word chunks teaches the “cooking” skills for a longer book-length banquet. With in-class writing prompts and reviews of brilliant examples of flash prose, you will learn how to focus and complete your larger project. Moore’s nonfiction books include Between Panic and Desire and To Hell With It.
  • September 20 and 22, 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Terry Persun: “Breaking the Rules of Fiction.” Persun will show workshop participants how to be storytelling rebels, breaking the standard writing edicts while still writing stories with memorable characters, conflicts and settings. Persun’s long list of fiction in several genres includes Backyard Aliens and The NSA Files.
  • September 21 and 23, 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. — Michael Bazzett:Tell Me a Story: Evoking Narrative in Poetry & Vignette.” Bazett will help you explore how story is evoked in modes other than a straight narrative. Students will participate in playful exercises and explore how honoring the narrative impulse creates leaner, more engaging writing. Bazzett’s poems have appeared in Ploughshares and The American Poetry Review.
  • September 21 and 23, 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. — Joe Gillard: “What’s Your Author Brand?” In this introductory how-to class, learn what an author brand is, how it’s used in the industry and why authors need a brand or to further develop the one they have, whether they’re a poet, a memoirist, a science writer or a romance novelist. Gillard has experience in digital marketing, social media, public relations and reputation management.

For more information and to buy tickets for these events, contact the San Miguel Literary Sala via its website.

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