Ignacio Polanco, president of the Fundación Santillana, and Mario Vargas Llosa, president of the Fundación Biblioteca Virtual Miguel de Cervantes and Nobel Prize in Literature 2010, at the signing of the accord by which their respective institutions joined forces to create Essay and Science, a website designed to introduce the English-speaking academic world to contemporary thought in the Spanish language. © Gorka Lejarcegi. El País.
The presence of the Spanish language is the United States is growing every day.
The Hispanic community is growing constantly, as are their educational and cultural needs.
However, the importance of the Spanish language in the United States won’t be the result of demographics or mass-consumption of leisure and entertainment products.
The influence of the Spanish language in the United States depends on the prestige it takes on as a language of knowledge.
In order to contribute to this, the Santillana Foundation and the Miguel de Cervantes Virtual Library Foundation have started up an extensive translation program and now present a global view of the most influential work and disciplines from Spain and Latin America.
The authors that are invited to collaborate with the Essay and Science website will see their work translated in a constantly updated anthology.
Essay and Science contains the academic and intellectual biography of each of the authors, a documented bibliography and the most recent articles published in the press and specialized journals.
Essay and Science is a library, a bookshop and an advanced seminar on what thinkers do and write in Spanish.
Essay and Science will help consolidate the presence of our essayists and thinkers in English-speaking university and intellectual arenas, highlighting and fostering the importance of their work.
Created in 1979 by Prisa, Spain's leading global media group, the Fundación Santillana undertakes innovative educational and cultural ventures, seeks to foster ties of cooperation between Spain and the Americas, creates forums for intellectual exchange, and, in keeping with its professional roots, lends support to initiatives in the fields of publishing, education and the media.
The Prisa Group's strong media and publishing presence in Spain, Portugal, Brazil and the Spanish-speaking countries of the Americas enables the Fundación Santillana to reach a widely diverse linguistic, geographic and societal constituency. Since its creation, Santillana has striven for excellence and outstanding quality in all its work, so as to encourage debate and fresh thinking on the issues of our time, identify the most authoritative cultural voices, and ensure that they are heard by a wider audience.
The Fundación Santillana actively commits to civic values underlying the open and unconstrained creation of cultural wealth in a way that makes it accessible to all. The free circulation of ideas, and freedom to engage in research and creative endeavor, reinforce social and economic progress, nurture the intellectual growth of a well-informed and responsible public, and lay the groundwork of a successfully cohesive civil society.
The Fundación Santillana's distinctive contribution to its host communities is to support the process of lifelong learning, and so fulfill its pledge to the ongoing cultural growth of the wider community, from the school classroom through to the university campus and beyond.
The Miguel de Cervantes Virtual Library was launched in 1999 as a digital collection of literary classics in the Spanish language. Analogous to an offline library in its systems of classification and search, it is open to all Internet users across the world.
The idea of a monumental Spanish-language "library without frontiers" won the support of Banco Santander and the Fundación Botín, who decided to implement the entire project at the University of Alicante.
Following the launch of the library venture on July 27, 1999, the Fundación Biblioteca Virtual Miguel de Cervantes was founded in 2001, and has since endeavored to make this major digital collection the Internet's leading website for Hispanic literature.
The Board of Trustees of the Miguel de Cervantes Virtual Library is chaired by Mario Vargas Llosa, the 2010 Nobel Laureate for Literature; the Vice President is the rector of the University of Alicante, and Mario Benedetti was made an Honorary Trustee in June 2009. The quality of the Virtual Library's contents is overseen by an academic board of prominent scholars, headed by Darío Villanueva, Professor of Spanish literature at the University of Santiago de Compostela and secretary of the Royal Spanish Academy.