Professor Publishes New Edition of Classic Play

Patricio Lerzundi
Dr. Patricio Lerzundi
Dr. Patricio Lerzundi, chair of the Journalism, Communication, and Theatre Department, recently published the first annotated edition of the classic play by Gaspar de Avila, El gobernador prudente (Edwin Mellen Press, 2009). It is the fourth in Dr. Lerzundi's series of books on colonial plays written during the Spanish Golden Age.

Originally published in 1663, El gobernador prudente recounts the deeds of Don García Hurtado de Mendoza, governor of Chile from 1557 to 1561, and examines Spain's justification for owning its American territories—an issue that led to the creation of international law.

For thirty years, Dr. Lerzundi has studied and analyzed the importance of literary works of this period as they relate to the war of Arauco, Chile. By using the prism of literature, his new book is expected to further increase understanding of the relationship between Spain and Latin America. The annotated edition, published in Spanish, includes biographical data on the author, historical background, religious context, and an in-depth plot summary and versification analysis.

Prior to joining Lehman, Dr. Lerzundi was features editor of United Press International and editor-in-chief of a daily Spanish-language newspaper in New York. He is the author of the first style and reference manual for Latino journalists in the U.S.

At Lehman, he has also chaired the Department of Languages and Literatures and was instrumental in establishing the multilingual journalism program, which prepares students to work for foreign-language media. This spring, the CUNY-TV series Nueva York, co-hosted by Dr. Lerzundi, won an Emmy Award.