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KNOXVILLE — A University of Tennessee professor has been honored for his significant work in the study of Ecuadorian culture and language.

Michael Handelsman, director of Latin American studies and professor of modern foreign languages and literatures at UT, was awarded a medal of honor by the metropolitan district of Quito in recognition of his research and professional contributions. A certificate signed by the city-s mayor accompanied the medal and described Handelsman as the -foreign scholar who has contributed most to the study of Ecuadorian letters and culture.-

He also was appointed an honorary professor of the Universidad Andina Simon Bolivar.

Handelsman has studied Ecuadorian culture for 35 years. He was in Quito for the release of his most recent book, -Leyendo la globalización desde la mitad del mundo: identidad y resistencias en el Ecuador,- (Reading Globalization from the Center of the World: Identity and Resistance in Ecuador) which subsequently was selected as the best book published in Ecuador in 2005 in the social sciences.

A specialist in Spanish-American literature and Latin studies, Handelsman has published extensively on women writers, literary journals, concepts of national identity and Afro-Hispanic culture.

Beth Gladden (865-974-9008,