Havana 1930: Federico García Lorca and Afro-Cuba

October 10, 2007 - 5:00 pm

Anke Birkenmaier, Columbia University

This lecture analyzes Federico García Lorca’s three-month stay in Havana as the scene of a dialogue between contemporary Cuban theories of race (Fernando Ortiz, Lydia Cabrera, Juan Marinello) and Lorca’s writings and poetry on marginal cultures in Spain and in the Americas. Afro-Cubanism is read not as a stage for nationalism nor an avant-garde fad, as has been argued elsewhere, but as an “anthropological place” (Marc Augé) in which Europeans and Americans, poets and anthropologists participated.

Anke Birkenmaier is Assistant Professor of Latin American Literature at Columbia University. She is the author of the book Alejo Carpentier y la cultura del surrealismo en América Latina and has written numerous scholarly articles on Carpentier as well as Cuban and Latin American literature. Her lecture is drawn from a larger project on the internationalization of Latin American letters and anthropology in the 1930s.