Armando Chávez-Rivera, associate professor of Spanish at the University of Houston-Victoria, was recently elected to join the Spanish language academy that serves the United States and will also become a corresponding member of the oldest official language institution. Spanish from Spain.
Chávez-Rivera was nominated and elected to join the Academia Norteamericana de la Lengua Española, or North American Academy of the Spanish Language, late last year. The academy is one of 23 Spanish language academies on four continents that serve 580 million Spanish speakers worldwide, according to the academy’s website. The academy, also known as ANLE, was founded in 1973 and contributes to the work of the Association of Academies of the Spanish Language and the Royal Spanish Academy, the royal and official institution of Spain which regulates the Spanish language. The mission of the academy is to study, prepare and implement the normative rules of Spanish in the United States
To be considered a candidate for the ANLE, an individual must demonstrate outstanding achievement in the Spanish language in the arts or sciences or have made substantial linguistic or literary contributions to the development and care of the Spanish language, according to the academy. . Chávez-Rivera will join more than 30 other academic members – called numéraires.
“We are delighted to hear that Dr. Chávez-Rivera’s dedication to research and service in his field is recognized by this national academy,” said Chance Glenn, UHV provost and vice president of academic affairs. “We are proud of the work he has demonstrated in his pursuit of academic and teaching excellence and look forward to the impact his research will continue to have in his field and in the classroom.
Chávez-Rivera has been a corresponding member of the academy since 2017. He will be formally and officially inducted into the academy in June. During the ceremony, there will be a presentation of Chávez-Rivera and his achievements, and Chávez-Rivera will also deliver a speech. He will receive an ANLE medal and certificate, and he will be a life member of the academy.
“It is the highest recommendation and an honor to be in the company of world-renowned Spanish language teachers and writers,” said Chávez-Rivera. “It is such an honor to become a life member of the academy. Each national Spanish language academy has few members.
Chávez-Rivera has been a faculty member at UHV since 2011 and is the director of the UHV Spanish program. He obtained a bachelor’s degree in journalism in 1993 from the University of Havana in Cuba and in 2004 a master’s degree in Latin American integration from the University of La Plata in Argentina. He also holds two additional master’s degrees, including a master’s degree in Hispanic American Literature from New Mexico State University and a master’s degree in Hispanic Lexicography from the Spanish Royal Academy’s School of Hispanic Lexicography. He holds a Ph.D. in Hispanic Literature from the University of Arizona.
Chávez-Rivera’s research focuses on the origins of lexicography in different regions where Spanish is spoken, including the United States, the Caribbean, and Spain. In 2021 he published a book of his research on lexicography in Latin America titled “Diccionario de provincialismos de la Isla de Cuba”, translated into English as “Dictionary of Provincialisms of the Island of Cuba”. He has published four other books – “Cuba per se. Cartas de la diaspora”, “El poeta en la ciudad”, “Memorías de papel” and “Rescate del tiempo”. Chávez-Rivera has also published two dozen articles and chapters in academic journals and presented his research at local, state, national, and international conferences and universities. Chávez-Rivera previously worked full-time as a journalist for 15 years before entering academia and continues to contribute to journals and publications as an editorial board member and columnist. He also worked as an editor and reviser of manuscripts.
“This is an exciting achievement for Dr. Chávez-Rivera, and we are proud to have him on our faculty,” said Kyoko Amano, Dean of the UHV College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences. “This membership is a recognition of all the work he has done, and we are happy to support him in his academic endeavours.”
As a numbered member of ANLE, Chávez-Rivera will also become a corresponding member of the Royal Spanish Academy, he said. He looks forward to further research into lexicography and the connections between Spanish language, culture and society, and to presenting his research to his new colleagues at the academy. One of his main goals is to have his current research published in his upcoming new book.
“I am ready to fully commit to more ANLE responsibilities and more field projects for my research in the United States and Spanish America,” Chávez-Rivera said. “As a member and researcher, this will provide more opportunities to present my books at other institutions, which gives more visibility to our faculty here at UHV. We are working very seriously here at UHV in the classroom and in our fields, and I am happy to share this with more scholars and members of the 23 National Academies around the world.