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WLP Scholar Series–Katerina Gonzalez Seligmann

February 21 @ 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm

"Caliban Why? C.L.R. James in Cuba, 1968"

In January 1968, Cuba hosted an international Cultural Congress with the aim of establishing the relationship between culture and third world liberation. C.L.R. James visited Cuba for the first time for the occasion and delivered a highly provocative presentation in which he called for the abolition of the intellectual. After the Congress, Aimé Césaire, who also visited Cuba for the Congress, would release Une Tempête, his theatrical re-write of Shakespeare's The Tempest in French. Two years later, Roberto Fernández Retamar would follow suit with his essay, Caliban: notas sobre la cultura en nuestra América. In this presentation, I argue for contextualizing the 1968 Cultural Congress and James's presentation there in particular, as catalysts for these Caribbean Tempest rewrites and their reformulation of the Caliban figure.

Katerina Gonzalez Seligmann is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Writing, Literature, & Publishing at Emerson College. She is currently completing the book, Constructing the Caribbean, which excavates what choosing to write the Caribbean archipelago—or not—meant to the ferment of literary evolution incubated by literary magazines during the decade of the 1940s. Her recent articles include "Productions of Cultural Combat in Tropiques," South Atlantic Quarterly (2016), and "Governing Readability or How to Read Césaire's Cabrera" Inti: revista de literatura hispánica (2012). Her recent literary translations include works by Rita Dove, Legna Rodríguez Iglesias, Victor Fowler Calzada, and José Ramón Sánchez. She also co-edited a Special Issue on Nicolás Guillén of the C.L.R. James Journal (2015).

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February 21
5:00 pm - 6:30 pm


120 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02116
120 Boylston St United States


Department of Writing, Literature & Publishing