Edinburgh Global

Celebrating the Cervantes Institute partnership

The University has created a world first by introducing a Cátedra Cervantes/Cervantes Chair in Edinburgh

May 2023 marked the beginning of a unique partnership involving the hosting of an extension of the Cervantes Institute at the University of Edinburgh. As a global first, we have created a Catedrático Cervantes/Cervantes Chair, held by Alexis Grohmann, Professor of Contemporary Spanish Literature at the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures.  

This new international collaboration means that for the first time, the Cervantes Institute, which has 92 centres across four continents and in 47 countries, will organise events and activities open to the public in Scotland. The Cervantes Institute has four other locations in the UK and Ireland. The programme will include teacher training and certification, poetry, literature, music, photography, dance, and exploring cultural links between Spanish-speaking countries and Scotland. 

This collaboration is not just for the University, it's not just for the city, it's for Scotland. 

Professor Alexis GrohmannCatedrático Cervantes/Cervantes Chair
Alexis Grohmann speaking at launch event
Photo by Neil Hanna

Launch events 

Three days of activities and events took place across Edinburgh to mark the occasion in May. 

Starting on 23 May with a poetry recital and roundtable at the Scottish Poetry Library. Hosted by the Catedrático Cervantes/Cervantes Chair Alexis Grohmann, alongside Luis García Montero, Director of the Instituto Cervantes and Spanish poet, the event explored Luis's extensive career and most outstanding poems in both Spanish and English. The roundtable panel also included poet and translator Anna Crowe and diplomat and poet Ignacio Cartagena.   

On 24 May, University and Cervantes Institute delegates gathered to tour Spanish language books and artefacts at a Library special exhibit viewing. The evening was followed a Flamenco concert by the award-winning Daniel Martinez Flamenco Company musicians performing a section of their celebrated Andalucía production at St Cecilia's Hall. 

The School of Physics and Astronomy and the Institute for Astronomy hosted a final visit at the Royal Observatory. Delegates were given a tour by Professors Ken Rice and Sadegh Khochfar, Head of the Institute for Astronomy and Chair of Theoretical Astrophysics respectively, also highlighting the astrology connections between Scotland and Spanish-speaking countries. Current collaboration include research at the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, contributing to various instruments on telescopes at La Palma, as well as other research bases in Madrid, Barcelona and Seville.  

Cervantes poetry reading

Cervantes Institute 

The Cervantes Institute is the official Spanish Language and Cultural Centre. It is a non-profit organisation founded by the Spanish Government in 1991. Its mission is to promote and support the teaching, study and use of Spanish abroad and promote Spanish and Hispanic cultures more generally.     

The Cervantes Institute has four other locations in the UK and Ireland and 92 centres across four continents and in 47 countries. This collaboration will be the first centre in Scotland.    

We are delighted to have been selected as the partner for the Cervantes Institute in Scotland and proud to host the world’s first ever Cervantes Chair here at the University. It means more opportunities for communities across Scotland to engage with and connect with Spanish language, literature and culture and deepen our existing connections and partnerships between Scotland and Spain.

Alan MackayDeputy Vice-Principal International and Director of Edinburgh Global 

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