Gardner-Webb University to Host Marathon Reading of Spanish Literature Classic “Don Quixote”

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Activity Among April 19 Events to Spotlight GWU Department of World Literatures, Languages and Cultures

By Brooke Kelly, GWU Communications Intern

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C.—Gardner-Webb will host a marathon reading of the Spanish literature classic “Don Quixote de la Mancha” on April 19 as one of several activities that will spotlight the University’s Department of World Languages, Literatures and Cultures. The department will share information about its programs with high school students through campus tours and sessions about study-abroad experiences and other educational opportunities.

“I am excited to celebrate world literature,” offers Dr. Ben Coates, GWU Assistant Professor of Spanish and the Spanish Program Coordinator. “In a day and age when sports, reality TV stars, and politics dominate the headlines and a lot of our focus, I think it is good to have an event that changes our focus, even it is just for a short time.”

Students, faculty members and other Gardner-Webb community members will take turns reading 10-minute passages of Miguel de Cervantes’ “Don Quixote,” one of the most famous works of Spanish literature, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Stewart Hall of the Tucker Student Center. The reading is open to all members of the Gardner-Webb and greater communities.

This year marks the 400th anniversary of Cervantes’ death. During the week of April 18-22, colleges and universities across North Carolina will participate in public readings of his work, including “Don Quixote.” The novel, which tells the story of a man whose adventures as a knight exist only in his mind, continues to be relevant today, Coates shares. “It forces us to think,” Coates assesses. “What are the obstacles, the distractions, the windmills in our lives that people think we are crazy for trying to defeat?”

For more information about the World Languages, Literatures and Cultures event, contact Coates at For more details about the department, visit

The Gardner-Webb University Department of World Languages, Literatures and Cultures offers an array of ways to learn about and connect with diverse people groups. Alongside dynamic curriculums that offer study of subjects such as American Sign Language (ASL), English as a Second Language, French, Spanish and German, the department provides numerous opportunities to apply skills in the real world.