Officially inaugurated in December, 2001, the Andrés Bello Chair in Latin American Cultures and Civilizations was established at NYU’s King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center, thanks to an extraordinary gift from the CITGO Petroleum Corporation, the American subsidiary of Petróleos de Venezuela. The endowed Chair honors one of the greatest political and intellectual figures of the American hemisphere, the Venezuelan-born humanist, poet, scholar, diplomat, and public intellectual Andrés Bello (1781-1865). Essayist, historian, and linguistic and legal scholar, Bello wrote poetry, history, legal works, and was a remarkable scholar of the Spanish language. As a philologist, he compiled one of the most important Spanish modern grammars for the Americas. Andrés Bello is also remembered as the founder of the University of Chile and a great promulgator Chile’s Civil Code.
The Chair allows the King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center to bring to NYU leading scholars of Latin American culture as visiting professors and researchers, and to support conferences and public lectures centered on the Andrés Bello Professorship.
In addition to being a major educational and scholarly resource, the Andrés Bello Chair is a sign of New York University’s longstanding commitment to promoting interdisciplinary research and teaching on contemporary Latin America cultures and civilizations.