Cuba in the World: This Thursday and Friday in the Marvin Center

Please join us for a two-day event on Cuba and its diaspora sponsored by the English Department with the assistance of American Studies and Africana Studies, under the auspices of the Wang Visiting Professor of Contemporary English.

Cuba in the World: Literature, Politics, Performance
A Public Reading and Symposium

October 8 and 9, 2009
Marvin Center
George Washington University

The GW programs in English, American Studies and Africana Studies have gathered some of the most influential and innovative scholars and cultural workers in the fields of Cuban and Cuban Diasporic Studies to consider new ways of thinking about Cuba and its cultures, its people and its politics. Far too often, Cuba has been characterized as a nation of endless transitions: the beginning and the end of empire, pre- and post-slavery, before and after La Revolución, from exile to beyond. Our question—“What is Cuba now?”—asks scholars and artists to offer a response that acknowledges this vexing, anticipatory discourse, one in which Cuba and Cuban history are imagined as forever “on the verge.”

Reading and Discussion with novelist Mayra Montero: Thursday, October 8, 8 p.m., Marvin Center, 3rd-Floor Amphitheater, 21st Street N.W. between H and Eye Streets

Mayra Montero is an award-winning novelist and renowned journalist. She is the author of Dancing to “Almendra,” The Last Night I Spent with You, and many other works. Born in Cuba and living in Puerto Rico, Montero has become an active voice in the Puerto Rico independence movement.

Moderator: H.G. Carillo, Assistant Professor, English, George Washington University, author of Loosing My Espanish: A Novel

Symposium: Friday, October 9, Marvin Center, Room 405, 21st Street N.W. between H and Eye Streets

10:30 a.m. to noon: Political Presents


José Buscaglia-Salgado, Associate Professor, American Studies, Director, Program in Caribbean Studies, SUNY-Buffalo, and author of Undoing Empire: Race and Nation in the Mulatto Caribbean

Peter Kornbluh, Director of Cuba and Chile Documentation Projects, National Security Archive, George Washington University, and author of Bay of Pigs Declassified: The Secret CIA Report on the Invasion of Cuba, The Pinochet File: A Declassified Dossier on Atrocity and Accountability, and other works

Yesenia Selier, Writer and Performer, with work on race, music, and Cuban society appearing in such publications as Encuentro en la red and Islas; a former member of the Juan Marinello Center for Research on Cuban Culture, Havana

Moderator: Antonio López, Assistant Professor, English, George Washington University, author of essays on Cuban-American culture and racial identity in Latino Studies and The Afro-Latin@ Reader

1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m: Cultural Conditions


Ariel Fernández, Writer, DJ, and Producer, founder and editorial director, Moviemiento, journal on hip-hop and Afro-Cuban issues, former producer and host, Microfonazo, national Cuban hip-hop radio show. His writing has appeared in El Caimán Barbudo and Diario/La Prensa

Jill Lane, Associate Professor, Spanish and Portuguese, New York University, and Deputy Director, Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics, author of Blackface Cuba, 1840-1895

Ricardo Ortiz, Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies, English, Georgetown University, author of Cultural Erotics of Cuban America

Moderator: José Esteban Muñoz, Chair, Performance Studies, New York University, and Wang Visiting Professor in Contemporary English Literature, George Washington University; author of Disidentifications: Queers of Color and the Performance of Politics

7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., Marvin Center 309: Ela Troyano’s Documentary La Lupe (Filmmaker Present for Discussion)

La Lupe traces the life and art of La Lupe, “The Queen of Latin Soul,” one of the few women to reach iconic status in the world of salsa. Ela Troyano is a Cuban-American filmmaker and documentary artist living in New York. Troyano will be available for question and answer following the viewing.

We look forward to seeing you at our “Cuba in the World” events and welcome your participation in the discussions that will follow.


Antonio López:
H.G. Carrillo:
Jennifer James:

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