Kanellos, Nicolás 1945–

views updated

Kanellos, Nicolás 1945–

PERSONAL: Born January 31, 1945, in New York, NY; son of Constantinos and Ines Kanellos; married Cristelia Perez, 1983; children: Miguel Jose. Ethnicity: "Hispanic." Education: Fairleigh Dickinson University, B.A., 1966; University of Texas at Austin, M.A., 1968, Ph.D., 1974; attended the Universidad Autonoma de Mexico and the Universidad de Lisboa, Portugal.

ADDRESSES: Office—c/o Arte Público Press, University of Houston, Cullen Auditorium 256, Houston, TX 77204-2090; Department of Modern and Classical Languages, University of Houston, 413 Agnes Arnold Hall, Houston, TX 77204-3006. E-mail[email protected]

CAREER: Writer, editor, consultant, and educator. Indiana University Northwest, Gary, IN, assistant professor, 1973–79; Arte Público Press, University of Houston, founder and publisher, 1979–; University of Houston, Houston, TX, Brown Foundation Professor of Hispanic Literature, 1996–. Visiting scholar, Center for the Humanities and Arts, University of Georgia.

MEMBER: American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese, National Association of Chicano Studies, Modern Language Association, American Antiquarian Society, National Council for the Humanities.

AWARDS, HONORS: Calouste Gulbenkian fellowship for study and research in Portugal, 1969–70; Eli Lilly Fellowship, 1976; Outstanding Editor Award from Coordinating Council of Literary Magazines, 1979; National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship, 1979; induction into the Texas Institute of Letters, 1984; Ford Foundation/National research council fellowship, 1986–87; White House Hispanic Heritage Award for Literature, 1988; American Book Award, 1989; Texas Association of Chicanos in Higher Education Award, 1989; Commendation from Governor of Texas for high standards of academic excellence, 1989; 100 Most Influential Hispanics in the U.S. distinction, Hispanic Business magazine, 1990, 1993, 1997 and 1998; San Antonio Conservation Society Book Award for Contribution to Texas History, 1990, Texas Institute of Letters Award for the Book Making the Most Significant Contribution to Knowledge, 1991, and Southwest Conference on Latin American Studies Book Award, 1991, all for A History of Hispanic Theatre in the United States: Origins to 1940; Best Reference Work Award, American Library Association (Reference and Adult Section), 1994, for The Hispanic Almanac: A Reference Work on Hispanics in the United States; National Council on the Humanities appointment, 1994, 2000; Esther Farfel Award, University of Houston, 1995, for research, teaching, and service; PREMIO Award, Hispanic Public Relations Association, 1995, for outstanding contributions in the publishing industry; Denali Press Award for Best Reference Work, American Library Association, 1996, for Handbook of Hispanic Cultures in the United States; First Annual Hispanic Publication Award, Hispanic Caucus of the American Association of Higher Education, 1996; award for best article published in MELUS, 1999; Estrella Award, Association of Hispanic School Administrators, 2001, for contributions to education; award for Excellence in Research and Scholarship, University of Houston, 2001; elected Honorary Associate of the Hispanic Society of America, 2003; elected to the Wall of Tolerance, National Campaign for Tolerance, 2003, 2005; Houston Literary Achievement Award, Barnes & Noble and Bookstop, 2003; certificate of recognition, Texas Institute of Letters, 2003, for "outstanding contributions to a literary Texas"; Outstanding Academic Book citation, Choice, 2004, for Hispanic Literature of the United States: A Comprehensive Reference; Golden Book Award, Texas Council for Reading and the Bilingual Child, 2005; Texas Association for Bilingual Education Award for contributions to higher education, 2006. Recipient of honorary degree from the University of Arizona.


(Editor) Los Tejanos: A Texas-Mexican Anthology, Arte Público Press (Houston, TX), 1980.

(Editor) A Decade of Hispanic Literature: An Anniversary Anthology, Arte Público Press (Houston, TX), 1982.

(Editor) Mexican American Theater: Then and Now, Arte Público Press (Houston, TX), 1983, revised edition, 1989.

(Editor) Hispanic Theatre in the United States, Arte Público Press (Houston, TX), 1984.

Two Centuries of Hispanic Theatre in the Southwest, Arte Público Press (Houston, TX), 1985.

Mexican American Theater: Legacy and Reality, Latin American Literary Review Press, 1987.

(Editor) Biographical Dictionary of Hispanic Literature in the United States: The Literature of Puerto Ricans, Puerto Rican Americans, Cuban Americans, and Other Hispanic Writers, Greenwood Press (New York, NY), 1989.

(Editor, with Jorge A. Huerta) Nuevos Pasos: Chicano and Puerto Rican Drama, Arte Público Press (Houston, TX), 1989.

A History of Hispanic Theatre in the United States: Origins to 1940, University of Texas Press (Austin, TX), 1990.

(Editor) The Hispanic American Almanac: A Reference Work on Hispanics in the United States, Gale (Detroit, MI), 1993, 2nd edition, 1997.

Reference Library of Hispanic America, Gale (Detroit, MI), 1993.

(Editor) Short Fiction by Hispanic Writers of the United States, Arte Público Press (Houston, TX), 1993.

(Editor, with Claudio Esteva-Fabregat) Handbook of Hispanic Cultures in the United States, Arte Público Press (Houston, TX), 1993.

The Hispanic Almanac: From Columbus to Corporate America, foreword by Luis Valdez, Invisible Ink (Detroit, MI), 1994.

(With Christelia Perez) Chronology of Hispanic-American History: From Pre-Columbian Times to the Present, Gale (Detroit, MI), 1995.

Hispanic American Literature: A Brief Intoduction and Anthology, HarperCollins College Publishers (New York, NY), 1995.

(Editor, with Bryan Ryan) Hispanic American Almanac, U X L (Detroit, MI), 1995.

(Editor, with Bryan Ryan) Hispanic American Chronology, U X L (Detroit, MI), 1996.

(Editor) Hispanic Literary Companion, Visible Ink (Detroit, MI), 1996.

Hispanic Firsts: 500 Years of Extraordinary Achievement, Gale (Detroit, MI), 1997.

Thirty Million Strong: Reclaiming the Hispanic Image in American Culture, Fulcrum (Golden, CO), 1998.

(With Helvetia Martell) Hispanic Periodicals in the United States, Origins to 1960: A Brief History and Comprehensive Bibliography, Arte Público Press (Houston, TX), 2000.

(Editor) Noche Buena: Hispanic American Christmas Stories, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 2000.

(Editor, with Kenya Dworkin y Mendez) Herencia: The Anthology of Hispanic Literature of the United States, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 2002.

En Otra Voz: Antologia de la literature hispana de los Estados Unidos, Arte Público Press (Houston, TX), 2002.

(Editor, with Sonia G. Benson and Bryan Ryan) U X L Hispanic American Almanac, U X L (Detroit, MI), 2002, 2nd edition, 2003.

(Editor, with Sonia G. Benson and Bryan Ryan) U X L Hispanic American Chronology, U X L (Detroit, MI), 2002.

Hispanic Literature of the United States: A Comprehensive Reference, Greenwood Press (West-port, CT), 2003.

(Consultant) Great Hispanic-Americans, Publications International (Lincolnwood, IL), 2005.

Member of editorial board, Latin American Theatre Review, 1982–, Critica, 1983–, Confluencia, 1984–, Southwest Review, 1990–, Latino Studies Journal, 1990–, and MELUS, 1999–.

Contributor to books, including A Decade of Chicano Literature (1970–1979): Critical Essays and Bibliography, Editorial La Causa (Santa Barbara, CA), 1982; Mission in Conflict: U.S.-Mexican Relations and Chicano Culture, University of Mainz (Mainz, West Germany), 1986; Redefining American Literary History, edited by LaVonne Brown Ruoff, MLA (New York, NY), 1991; The Before Columbus Anthology, Norton (New York, NY), 1991; From the Ground Up: Grassroots Theater in Historical and Contemporary Perspective, edited by Janet Salmons Rue, Cornell University Press (Ithaca, NY), 1993; Texas' Mexican Heritage, edited by Robert O'Conner, Texas A&M Press (College Station, TX), 1995; and Invisible Giants: Fifty Americans Who Shaped the Nation But Missed the History Books, Felix Francisco Varela y Morales, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 2002.

Contributor to periodicals and journals, including Hispania, Theater, Journal of Popular Culture, Latin American Theatre Review, Bulletin of the Comediantes, American Book Review, Insula, Ethnic Studies Review, MELUS, Indiana Journal of Hispanic Literatures, Texas Humanist, and Vista.

Revista Chicano-Riquena (now Americas Review), founder, 1972, publisher, 1979–.

SIDELIGHTS: Nicolás Kanellos is a prolific writer, frequent lecturer, and tireless advocate for the preservation and perpetuation of Hispanic literature in all its forms. A professor of Hispanic literature at the University of Houston, Kanellos is also a longtime publisher and editor. He founded the magazine Revista Chicano-Riquena (now Americas Review) and the Arte Público Press to promote works of Hispanic American writers and draw them into the mainstream of American fiction. He is director of a major national research program called "Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage," which "aims to identify, preserve, and publish literary works written by Hispanics," noted an interviewer in Latino Leader. Kanellos's scope encompasses not only novels but plays, poetry, essays, and other works. In association with Kanellos's publishing house, Arte Público Press, he and his editors scour the country's libraries, archives, and personal collections for manuscripts, new and old, that "uncover the musings of Hispanic and Latino writers who explored, settled and lived in the United States since the 1500s," commented a biographer in Ascribe Higher Education News Service. The project also seeks to reclaim Hispanic periodicals and other ephemera, compile extensive bibliographic data on Hispanic writers and their works, and create educational curricula that accurately represents Hispanic literary works and tradition.

Kanellos applies his personal passion and scholarly interest in Hispanic literature and culture in books such as Hispanic Firsts: 500 Years of Extraordinary Achievement, where he chronicles a wealth of positive achievement by Hispanics in areas such as science, sports, literature, film, and government. Library Journal reviewer James E. Ross called it an "important new reference work." Kanellos served as consultant for Great Hispanic-Americans, a collection of biographical essays and notes on fifty-five notable Hispanic Americans in a variety of professional and academic fields. Subjects include Nobel Prize-winner Luis Alvarez, singer and songwriter Joan Baez, astronaut Ellen Ochoa, and labor leader Cesar Chavez. A reviewer in Reference & Research Book News called it an "accessibly written volume," while Jamie Jennings, writing in School Library Journal, named it a "great resource."

The majority of Kanellos's work focuses on the literary works of Hispanic writers over the course of almost five hundred years. In A History of Hispanic Theatre in the United States: Origins to 1940, Kanellos provides a comprehensive history of Hispanic theatre and drama as it developed in America in the years prior to 1940. "Overall, however, Kanellos's writing is engaging, and his information provides a historical and personal (yet scholarly) perspective on an understudied aspect of U.S. theatrical history," observed Deb Cohen in the Latin American Research Review.

Herencia: The Anthology of Hispanic Literature of the United States collects an assortment of Hispanic writing covering the sixteenth century to the present day. Kanellos makes the salient observation that American letters did not originate within the English colonies; rather, Spanish had been the predominant language since the 1500s, and much literature in that language existed well before the colonies were founded. The book "comprehensively collects an underacknowledged literature," commented reviewer Adriana Lopez in the Library Journal, who called the work "absolutely indispensable" to readers, scholars, and libraries. En Otra Voz: Antologia de la literature hispana de los Estados Unidos presents a collection of Hispanic works that appeared in the United States from colonial times to the present day. Derived from more than 130 separate texts, the book contains works by Maria Ruiz de Burton, Julio Arce, Eusebio Chacon, and Luisa Valenzuela. Reviewer Edmundo Paz, writing in the School Library Journal, concluded that "this first-time record of Hispanic literature in this country is essential for public, school, and academic libraries and bookstores."

Kanellos told CA: "As a publisher of Hispanic literature in the United States, I feel like a missionary who has to convert people to their own religion and identity. Hispanic culture has always been a part of the United States and its identity. People do not realize this, because the publishing and intellectual establishment have kept it a secret while selling us on an old-world identity, purely white Anglo-Saxon simulacrum. Arte Público Press intends to give back to the United States its many varied peoples."



American Bookseller, August, 1989, "Arte Público Press."

Ascribe Higher Education News Service, April 2, 2002, "Restoration of U.S. Hispanic Literature Nears Milestone at University of Houston."

Booklist, April 15, 1995, review of Hispanic American Almanac, p. 1524; October 1, 1997, review of Hispanic Firsts: 500 Years of Extraordinary Achievement, p. 353; October 15, 2001, Breandan Dowling, review of Herencia: The Anthology of Hispanic Literature in the United States, p. 372; June 1, 2004, review of Hispanic Literature of the United States: A Comprehensive Reference, p. 1790.

Chronicle of Higher Education, May 17, 1989, Katherine S. Morgan, "Little-Known Press Promotes Works By Hispanics," p. A3.

Latin American Research Review, spring, 1996, Deb Cohen, review of A History of Hispanic Theatre in the United States, p. 263.

Latino Leaders, February-March, 2002, "Nicolás Kanellos: Houston, Texas," profile of Nicolás Kanellos, p. 21.

Lector, December, 1982, "Nicolás Kanellos: Portrait of a Publisher," p. 6.

Library Journal, September 1, 1997, James E. Ross, review of Hispanic Firsts, p. 172; October 1, 2001, Adriana Lopez, review of Herencia, p. 98.

Publishers Weekly, November 28, 1986, "Arte Público: Publishing Latino Authors for a National Audience"; June 9, 1989, "Arte Público: Keeping Hispanic Literature Alive."

Reference & Research Book News, May, 2006, review of Great Hispanic-Americans.

School Library Journal, August, 2002, Edmundo Paz Soldan, review of En otra voz: Anthologia de literaturea hispana de los Estados Unidos, p. S47; January, 2006, Jamie Jennings, review of Great Hispanic Americans, p. 163.

Texas Journal, spring/summer, 1989, "The Social Value of Good Literature: Focus on Arte Público Press."


Nicolás Kanellos Home Page, http://www.nicolaskanellos.cgpublisher.com (October 7, 2006).