WSU alumnus Raymond L. Williams presents Honors College Distinguished Lecture Tuesday, March 24 on Peruvian Nobel Laureate Mario Vargas Llosa

PULLMAN, Wash.—University of California-Riverside Distinguished Professor of Spanish Raymond L. Williams will present “A Nobel Laureate’s Journey: Stockholm via Pullman” on the life and works of Peruvian author Mario Vargas Llosa at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 24, in the Honors Hall Lounge at Washington State University.

The public is welcome to attend this Honors College Distinguished Lecture at no cost.

Williams graduated from WSU in 1972 with a degree in Liberal Arts and a certificate from the Honors Program. Four years earlier, Williams had listened in class as Vargas Llosa, then a 32-year-old rising star of Latin American literature, delivered his first lecture in English on the campus in Pullman. Forty-two years later, Williams attended ceremonies in Stockholm as Vargas Llosa received the Nobel Prize for literature. Himself an author, Williams published a book in 2014 on Vargas Llosa.

In addition to his Honors lecture Tuesday, Williams—who has 15 books to his credit—will be among those featured at Crimson Reads, a WSU Showcase celebration of authors. The event will be at 3:30 p.m. that day in the Terrell Library Atrium. Williams will do a reading.

“The Honors College is pleased that Dr. Williams will deliver a distinguished lecture in our series, which began in 2013 to provide students and the community with opportunities to hear about the outstanding accomplishments of WSU faculty and alumni,” said M. Grant Norton, dean of the Honors College. “The Honors curriculum requires foreign language competency and Dr. Williams has devoted his career to the Spanish language and culture so his talk on one of the top Latin American authors is on the mark for our students.”

Williams has received several Fulbright Fellowships to Colombia, and was awarded the highest honor the Columbian government can bestow upon foreign citizens—the Order of San Carlos.

He is a specialist in modern Latin American literature with a focus on fiction published since 1944. His books are on the Colombian novel, postmodern fiction in Latin America, the writing of the Boom, and the latest generation of writers association with the McOndo and Crack generations born in the 1960s who began publishing in the 1990s. His recent publications related to literary and cultural studies have been eco-critical approaches to modern Latin American fiction.

A native of Oregon City, Oreg., Williams earned his MA and Ph.D. in Spanish at the University of Kansas. At WSU, he joined the Gamma Chapter of the national honorary Phi Beta Kappa.

Williams joined the UC-Riverside faculty in 1997; he was also a professor previously at the University of Colorado, Washington University (St. Louis, Mo.), and the University of Chicago.

MEDIA: M. Grant Norton, Dean, WSU Honors College, 509-335-4505,

Peggy Perkins, Administrative Manager, WSU Honors College, 509-335-4505,