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Twenty top Caribbean writers and scholars will visit SU campus on Wednesdays in April for readings, discussions
Twenty top Caribbean writers and scholars will visit SU campus on Wednesdays in April for readings, discussionsApril 01, 2001Cynthia J. Moritzcjmoritz@syr.edu
Twenty of the most prominent living writers and intellectuals from the Caribbean will visit the Syracuse University campus as part of The College of Arts and Sciences’ Spring 2001 Ray Smith Symposium. “Caribbean Writers Imagine the Millennium: Positions on the Postcolonial Visions of the Future” will be the topic of the symposium, which will take place on the four Wednesdays in April. “This will bring to the campus and Central New York a diversity of talent from the Caribbean region that is truly unprecedented,” says Silvio Torres-Saillant, director of SU’s Latino-Latin American Studies Program. “We hope that this program will enlarge the visibility of Caribbean and hemispheric culture in this area.” All programs will be held in the 1916 Room of Bird Library and are free and open to the public. Each program will feature brief presentations by the guests and discussion from 9:30 a.m. to noon and readings from 2:30 to 5 p.m. The symposium’s April 4 session will feature major literary, scholarly and artistic figures from the Spanish-speaking Caribbean (Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic). Among the speakers: ? Cuban fiction writer and essayist Antonio Benitez Rojo is the Thomas B. Walton Jr. Memorial Professor of Romance Languages at Amherst College. He won the 1967 Casa de las Americas Award in Cuba for his collection of short stories titled “Tute de Reyes.” Among his books that have been translated into English are the novel “Sea of Lentils” (1990), the essay “The Repeating Island: The Caribbean and the Postmodern Perspective” (1992, 1996) and the short story collection “A View from the Mangrove” (1998). ? Puerto Rican literary scholar and cultural critic Arcadio Diaz Quinones holds the Emory L. Ford Chair of Spanish at Princeton University, where he formerly headed the Latin American Studies Program. His work has concerned the poets of, the historiography of, and the role of the intellectual in 19th- and 20th-century Hispanic Caribbean society. ? Puerto Rican literary scholar, translator, editor and cultural historian Roberto Marquez, is the William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of Latin American and Caribbean Studies at Mount Holyoke College. He edited the bilingual anthology “Latin American Revolutionary Poetry”(1974) and is the co-founder of “Caliban: A Journal of New World Thought and Writing.”
? Dominican artist, teacher and cultural activist Charo Oquet has received awards from many museums, community organizations and state arts councils. She is a co-founder of the Miami Arts Collaborative and currently serves as executive director of the Dominican Youth Arts Festival in Miami. ? Cuban storyteller, educator and art critic Sonia Rivera-Valdes won Cuba’s Casa de las Americas Extraordinary Award in 1997 with her short fiction collection “Las historias prohibidas de Marta Veneranda.” ? Puerto Rican fiction writer, playwright and cultural critic Luis Rafael Sanchez is author of the novel “Macho Camacho’s Beat” (1980). His latest novel is “La Importancia de llamarse Daniel Santos.” ? Puerto Rican feminist short fiction writer Mayra Santos-Febres is recipient of the University of Miami’s Letras de Oro Prize and the French Sarandi Juan Rulfo Prize. A collection of her stories appeared in English under the title “Urban Oracles.” The program on April 11 will bring together four French-speaking Caribbean writers and scholars: J. Michael Dash, Dany Laferriere, Yanick Lahens and Gisele Pineau. On April 18, the program will feature English-speaking writers and specialists on West Indian writing, including Kamau Brathwaite, J. Edward Chamberlin, Lorna Goodison, NourbeSe Phillip and Timothy J. Reiss. The closing program on April 25 will feature five Dutch-speaking writers and scholars: Frank Martinus Arion, Diana Lebacs, Cynthia McLeod, Hilda Van Neck-Yoder and Ineke Phaf. The Ray Smith Symposium was established to support symposia on topics in the humanities. Topics of recent Smith symposia include “Landscapes of American Religion,” “Vision and Textuality” and “The Humanities Reconsidered: Gender in a Transitional World.” This year’s symposium is sponsored by the Latino-Latin American Studies Program in collaboration with the Department of Languages, Literatures and Linguistics, the English Department, the African American Studies Department, the Women’s Studies Program, the Humanities Council and the Caribbean Students Association. Support has also come from the City University of New York’s Dominican Studies Institute at City College.