February 17, 2011 - 4:00 pm
Alejandro de la Fuente, University of Pittsburgh
Tomás Fernández Robaina, Biblioteca Nacional de Cuba “José Martí”
Odette Casamayor Cisneros, University of Connecticut
This panel discussion will explore issues of race and art in contemporary Cuba. Alejandro de la Fuente, curator of the exhibit Queloides, and Odette Casamayor Cisneros will be discussing race and racism in contemporary Cuban art, focusing on historical perspectives as well as the process of racial identification in plastic arts. Tomás Fernández Robaina will join in the discussion with an overview of La Cofradía de la Negritud.
About the speakers:
Alejandro de la Fuente is UCIS Research Professor of History and Latin American Studies at the University of Pittsburgh. He is the author of A Nation of All: Race, Inequality and Politics in Twentieth-Century Cuba (2009). He is also, along with Elio Rodriguez, the curator of Queloides, an art exhibit that seeks to contribute to current debates about race and the persistence of racism in contemporary Cuba and elsewhere in the world.
Tomás Fernández Robaina is a leading Cuban scholar whose research focuses on Afro-Cuban culture and history. His publications include El Negro en Cuba: Apuntes para la lucha contra la discriminación racial en Cuba 1902-1958 (1990), Hablen paleros y santeros (1994), Historias de mujeres públicas (1998), Cuba: personalidades en el debate racial (2007), Identidad afrocubana: cultura y nacionalidad (2009), and most recently, Misa para un ángel (2010), a novel based on the life of Reinaldo Arenas.
Odette Casamayor Cisneros is Assistant Professor of Spanish and Puerto Rican/Latino Studies at the University of Connecticut/Storrs. She is currently writing a book on Cuban Post-Soviet Literature, and is also working on a second book project that focuses on new representations of blackness in contemporary Caribbean cultures. She recently published the articles “Confrontation and Occurrence: Ethical-Esthetic Expressions of Blackness in Post-Soviet Cuba.” and “Between Orishas and Revolution: The Expression of Racial Inequalities in Post-Soviet Cuba.” Her article, “Negros de papel. Algunas apariciones del negro en la narrativa cubana después de 1959” received the Prize Juan Rulfo in Paris in 2003.