EVENTS

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FRIDAY, MAY 26, 2017

TRANSATLANTIC NEW YORK CONFERENCE

There will be two scholarly panels on the literary works of Giannina Braschi at the Transatlantic New York Conference hosted by CUNY, Cervantes Institute, and Brown University on Friday, May 26th, 2017.  The host venue is City College of New York, Division of Interdisciplinary Studies at CWE 25 Broadway, 7th Floor, New York, NY 10004.  

PANEL #1

“GIANNINA BRASCHI: TRANSATLANTIC SPANISH FROM THE GOLDEN AGE TO THE INFORMATION AGE” 

Emilie Bergmann, Professor of Spanish and Portuguese, University of California-Berkeley

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Emilie Bergmann’s research and teaching at UC-Berkeley focus on questions of gender and sexuality and on visual culture in early modern Spanish and Colonial Latin American literature.  She is author of Art Inscribed: Essays on Ekphrasis in Spanish Golden Age Poetry (Harvard, 1979). She is co-editor of ¿Entiendes? Queer Readings, Hispanic Writings (Duke UP, 1995), Approaches to Teaching the Works of Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz (MLA, 2007), and Routledge Research Guide to Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz (Routledge, 2017).   Her work in gender studies includes twentieth-century women writers in Castilian and Catalan. Poetic sonorities in Don Quixote and in the poetry of Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, and representations of motherhood have been the focus of her most recent work.  She received her Ph. D. at Johns Hopkins University.

“Giannina Braschi’s Pastoral: Riffing on Cervantes”

Among writers’ responses to Cervantine self-reflexivity and irony toward his literary models, Giannina Braschi’s El imperio de los sueños exemplifies a boldly transformative, collaborative reading, whose closing segment affirms: “Mi lectura se ha convertido ahora en mi escritura.” Where imitation was an authorizing practice for early modern poets, Braschi propels their writings into an imaginative space without boundaries, powered by their paradoxes and ambiguities. Imperio telescopes the baroque crisis of language into the challenge of creating a late twentieth-century voice that reflects both the fragmentation of displacement and the play of signifiers in the spaces between languages and cultures. Imperio is unusual among modern and postmodern adaptations and spin-offs on Don Quixote in re-visioning Cervantes’s affinity for, and ambivalence toward, the pastoral, by bringing decidedly masculine shepherds and their sheep among the skyscrapers of New York, and setting them loose. This paper examines Braschi’s intimate engagement with the Spanish Golden Age, in resonances beyond canonical texts, while centering on “La pastoral, o La inquisición de los recuerdos,” as an active reading of Quijote’s “discurso de la Edad de Oro” in Part 1, Chapter 11” in the postmodern urban space of New York.

Francisco Moreno-Fernandez, Professor of Hispanic Linguistics & Executive Director, Cervantes Institute at Harvard University

Unknown-5.jpegFrancisco Moreno-Fernández is Professor of Hispanic Linguistics and Executive Director of the Instituto Cervantes at Harvard, Observatory of the Spanish Language and Hispanic Cultures in the United States.  He pursues research in sociolinguistics, dialectology, and applied linguistics.  In addition to coordinating the first Cervantes Institute Yearbook: Spanish in the World,  he has been a columnist in several American journals in Spanish, co-editor of Spanish in Context, editor of Lengua y migración / Language & Migration, and a member of the editorial boards of many journals, including Intenational Journal of the Sociology of Language, Journal of Linguistic Geography, Journal of World Languages, Revista Internacional de Lingüística Iberoamericana, and Lingüística Española Actual.

Yo-Yo Boing!, or Literature as a Translingual Practice

In Jean Franco’s commentary on Yo-Yo Boing!, she talks about Giannina Braschi’s dizzying ability to switch between English and Spanish. Likewise, in the prologue of the work, Doris Sommer and Alexandra Vega-Merino distinguish between the use of English, Spanish and Spanglish. But what if it were not alternates or switching?  In this paper, “Yo-Yo Boing!, or Literature as a Translingual Practice”, a different perspective is adopted, whereby the spaces of contact lead to translingual practices and where languages constitute a continuous reality in which bilingualism is transformed into translanguaging.

Manuel Broncano, Chair of Spanish and English Programs, Texas A&M International

Unknown-6.jpegManuel Broncano is a professor of American Literature at Texas A&M International University where he served as Regents Professor and Chair of the Department of Languages and Literature.  Originally from Spain, he holds a doctorate from the University of Salamanca.  He has translated numerous books into Spanish including: “The Professor’s House” by Willa Cather (Editorial Cátedra, 2000), the works of Jose Robles Pazos (Livius, 1992), and Giannina Braschi’s “United States of Banana” (AmazonCrossing, 2016). Broncano is the author of “Religion in Cormac McCarthy’s Fiction: Apocryphal Borderlands by Manuel Broncano” (Routledge, 2014).

 “Translating with Giannina Braschi: The Poetics and Politics of United States of Banana”

What are the politics of collaboration when one translates a living poet’s work into her native language? Working closely with Giannina Braschi on the translation of “United States of Banana” into Spanish had surprising advantages and harrowing challenges alike. Much of the book is about living “in exile from the mother tongue—in exile from the foreign tongue—in exile from all the tongues that wag with the familiarity of knowing—with the credibility and the certainty—and without any kind of doubt that this is their town and country”.  The book presents a manifesto on “Foreign Speaking English,” a chapter which is as conceptually beautiful as it is awkwardly untranslatable. Translation itself is a subject of Braschi’s oeuvre. As Maria M. Carrión observed, Braschi’s earlier poetry written in Spanish explored the very history of the Spanish language across time and geographies (Carrion: “Geography, (M)Other Tongues and the Role of Translation in Giannina Braschi’s ‘El imperio de los sueños’”, Studies in 20th Century Literature, 1996).  Braschi’s Spanishes traversed the Medieval Age, Golden Age, Modernism, and Postmodernism – and crossed the Atlantic – poeticizing phraseologies from Spain, Puerto Rico, and New York.  Her work written in English pivots between the historical and the fantastical. “United States of Banana” parodies English from the Elizabethan Age, the Romantics, and the Moderns, while coining its own words and expressions in order to imagine the future. My paper, in addressing the transatlantic tug of war (tug of words) between author and translator, will also expound upon the collaborative process that is the art of contemporary translation.

PANEL #2

“RADICAL THINKING & THE BODY POLITICS OF GIANNINA BRASCHI”

Moderator: Arnaldo Cruz-Malavé (Fordham University)

Ronald Mendoza-de Jesús, Provost’s Postdoctoral Scholar in the Humanities, University of Southern California

Unknown-7.jpegRonald Mendoza de Jesus received his Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Emory University, where his work on non-historicist approach to literary historiography through an engagement with Spanish-Caribbean modernist literature and poststructuralist theories of historicity was supported by a Woodruff Fellowship and the Ford Foundation. At USC, Mendoza-de Jesús is working on a book, provisionally titled, ¨Unworldly Islands: Caribbean Literary Modernity and the Politics of Dispossession.¨ Contesting the recent trend towards a ¨cosmopolitan¨ politics of ¨worlding¨ within minoritarian literary studies, this book examines the modernist strategies of Caribbean authors such as Julia de Burgos, Manuel Ramos Otero, Rosario Ferré, Jamaica Kincaid, Giannina Braschi, and Mara Negrón.

“Free-dom: United States of Banana and the Limits of Sovereignty”

Conceived in the wake of 9-11 and published in the midst of a decade that is now commonly known in Puerto Rico as ¨la década perdida¨ (2006-2016), Giannina Braschi’s United States of Banana resists aesthetic and political definition. Composed of a series of fragments written in a prose poetry that demands to be read out loud as an eponymous ¨performance novel¨ that would be almost impossible to stage, Braschi’s most recent publication continues the poetics of experimentation that already earned her a prominent place in the avant-garde of Latin@ literature with the publication of Yo-Yo Boing!, regarded by many as the first novel written in Spanglish. Perhaps even more radical than the formal or aesthetic aspects of United States of Banana is what happens to the concept of freedom in Braschi’s text.

My presentation will focus on this aspect of Braschi’s novel, paying attention to the recurrent appearance in the lips of many of the novel’s characters of the phrase: “Free from freedom. Free.” Reading this phrase alongside Derrida’s almost imperceptible, and yet persistent engagement with the concept of freedom throughout his corpus, I will show that Braschi’s text exceeds the limits of its own mise en scène as a political allegorization of the becoming independent Puerto Rico by inviting us to rethink a freedom that would be free from freedom and, above all, from then very ¨-dom¨ of ¨free-dom,¨ the political domain in which the free are congealed, domesticated, dominated. I will ask what kind of in-dependence (political? ethical?), Braschi’s novel imagines or even desires for the insular body politic of her natal Puerto Rico, caught up now more than ever between abject dependency and the dreams of proper sovereignty.

Laura Loustau, Associate Professor of Spanish, Chapman University, Department of World Languages and Cultures

Unknown-4.jpegLaura R. Loustau received her Ph.D. in Hispanic Languages and Literatures from the University of California, Berkeley and currently serves as an Associate Professor of Spanish. She is originally from Argentina. Her academic interests include Latin American literatures written in the United States as well as U.S. Latino/a literatures.  Her book titled, Cuerpos errantes: Literatura latina y latinoamericana en Estados Unidos (Buenos Aires, Argentina, Beatriz Viterbo Editora, 2002) explores notions of border, de(re)territorialization, nomadism and transculturation.

“El imperio de los sueños y Yo-Yo Boing!: el diálogo sobre los traslados urbanos y lingüísticos

Giannina Braschi, escritora puertorriqueña residente en Nueva York, se enfrenta a la literatura desde un ángulo experimental. Caracteriza su obra el juego con el lenguaje, el desafío a las estructuras sociales, políticas y lingüísticas así como el interés por las categorías genéricas y el acto mismo de la escritura. En 1988 Braschi publica El imperio de los sueños y diez años después, Yo-Yo Boing! No es hasta el 2011 que se publica United States of Banana, novela que se centra en el estatus político de Puerto Rico y la relación política y comercial entre América Latina y Estados Unidos. Los tres libros, ha revelado la autora, “son etapas de su vida, como las Pinturas Negras de Goya o el periodo azul de Picasso, y que en ellos se retrata (e inserta) como también lo hiciera Rembrandt en sus obras”. Me interesa analizar de qué manera su obra se retroalimenta en el diálogo sobre los traslados urbanos y lingüísticos. Los lectores y voces poéticas llegan a sentirse desorientados y ubicados, burlados y respetados en espacios oníricos que por momentos incursionan en el campo de la divagación y del desvarío. Si en El imperio Braschi traslada voz poética y lector por espacios geo-literarios, cruzando fronteras reales e imaginarias para (re)construir el imperio onírico que presenta en el poemario, en Yo-Yo Boing!, Braschi  embarca a lectores y personajes en una suerte de code-switching braschiano. El marco teórico que ilumina mi análisis es la exploración geo-crítica de espacio, lugar y tiempo (Deleuze y Guattari-(des)territorialización-, Edward Soja-tercer espacio-, Rosi Braidotti-nomadismo-) así como el concepto de extranjeridad, articulado por Julia Kristeva en Strangers to Ourselves. Parto del concepto de la filósofa búlgara que explica que “el extranjero empieza cuando surge la conciencia de mi diferencia y termina cuando todos nos reconocemos extranjeros, rebeldes ante los lazos y las comunidades”.

John Riofrio, Associate Professor of Latinx, Hispanic and Latin American Studies

Unknown-3.jpegJohn Riofrio (“Rio”) holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and teaches at College of William and Mary, where he received the Thomas Jefferson Teaching Award. He is the author of “Continental Shifts: Migration, Representation, and the Search for Justice in Latin(o) America” (University of Texas Press, 2015).  His work examines the post-NAFTA shift in US discourse surrounding Latinos, which has created dehumanizing representations that equate Latinos with animals and criminals, and of the ways in which Latino cultural producers contest these persistent misrepresentations.

Putting the Fear Back in “Freedom”: The Moral Failings of U.S. Ameritocracy

Attempts, in popular culture, to critique the culture of greed and corruption of high finance have failed and, in fact, have had the opposite effect.  Films like Wall Street and The Wolf of Wall Street have been both commercial and critical successes precisely because their “critiques” end up glamorizing greed and the lives of luxury and excess as well as the rampant individualism that produces figures like Gordon Gecko and Jordan Belfour.  These critiques have also tended to focus narrowly on the individual moral failures of the protagonists while leaving untouched the systems that have created the voracious appetite for individually defined success.  These films, and the general cult of stardom attributed to the highly successful, thus have the intended (or sometimes unintended) consequence of bolstering the notion that the financial system itself is fine.  These films and our popular understanding of our economic system operate under the assumption that the social system of American capitalism is working as it should and is not responsible for the moral failings of people like Gordon Gecko, Bernie Madoff, Jordan Belfour or Goldman Sachs and their “shitty” mortgage deals for investors.  What’s more, we are consistently told that we, not they, are the problem.  Enter Giannina Braschi’s United States of Banana.  My paper will argue that Braschi’s brilliant, sometimes shocking novel offers a timely critique of the shifts that have transformed simple, excessive, consumerist corporate capitalism into the very foundation of a stilted and withered “American” identity.   Furthermore, I argue that Braschi’s novel articulates with terrifying acumen the connective tissue between the terrorist-fueled fear mongering of governments with the construction of a state of permanent financial fear.  Braschi’s work is an essential corrective to a continued reliance on a false meritocracy that works in subtle ways to bolster a status quo that is anything but fair, anything but equal.

 

Transatlantic New York Conference Organizers

  • Juan Carlos Mercado (CCNY- CUNY)
  • Ignacio Olmos (Instituto Cervantes)
  • Ana Vázquez Barrado (Instituto Cervantes)
  • Carlos Aguasaco (CCNY- CUNY)
  • Julio Ortega (Brown University)

www.nytransatlantico.com.

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The Stockholm International Comics Festival, May 19-21, 2017

Featuring a comic book signing and discussion between the artist Joakim Lindengren & the poet Giannina Braschi on their collaboration, United States of Banana.

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The Stockholm International Comics Festival will be organized for the nineteenth year in a row on May 19th–21st by Serieteket and friends.  Comics market, stage program, exhibitions, movie screenings and much more. Guest creators from three continents. “The Young Comics Festival” segment for the kids.

LIST OF GUESTS (under construction):

Derf Backderf [USA] [guest of honour]
Erika Moen [USA]
Ben Stenbeck [NEW ZEALAND]
Joakim Lindengren [SWE] & Giannina Braschi [USA]
… more names to be disclosed soon.

For more information, please contact Ola Hellsten.
Press and media, please contact Stefan Zachrisson.

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PEN World Voices Festival: May 6, 2017

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ART, GENDER, AND SOCIAL JUSTICE

Panel Discussion: Saturday, May 6th, 2017
6:00 pm-7:30 pm
THE COOPER UNION,The Frederick P. Rose Auditorium, 41 Cooper Square (Third Avenue between 6th and 7th Streets), New York, NY 10003

Artists provoke and enlighten by giving voice to perspectives in our world that might otherwise remain unseen. Artistic investigations of contemporary attitudes and norms have been embedded in the forefront of movements for social justice, civil rights, and equity for marginalized voices throughout history. What roles do art and gender play in creating social justice locally and globally? What can we do to bring more marginalized women’s voices to the forefront where they can speak for themselves?

With Jessica Greer Morris, Hafizah Geter, and Giannina Braschi. Moderated by Ana Oliveira.

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Co-presented with New York Women’s Foundation & hosted by the Cooper Union Office of Continuing Education and Public Programs.

 

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A New Play

Director Juan Pablo Felix brings to the stage for the first time “United States of Banana,” by Giannina Braschi on the post-911 American psyche around the politics of empire and independence.  The New York City debut takes place June 17th thru June 20th at The Schapiro Theatre at Columbia University.

Hamlet and Zarathustra join Giannina on a quest to liberate the Puerto Rican prisoner Segismundo from the dungeon of the Statue of Liberty, where he has been imprisoned by his father, the King of the United States of Banana, for more than 100 years for the crime of being born. The work tackles inter-American politics of empire and independence, the post-9/11 psyche, and the immigrant’s experience of marginality and liberation. The play depicts New York City as “the Darwinist capital of the Capitalist word” and U.S. imperialism as doomed as “a chicken with its head cut”. All Latin Americans are granted American passports, Puerto Rico is declared the 51st state, and then comes a revolution…

Adapted for the stage by Juan Pablo Felix and Giannina Braschi, author of United States of Banana, the Spanglish classic Yo-Yo Boing! and the postmodern epic Empire of Dreams.

JUAN PABLO FÉLIX is a theater director, filmmaker, and acting coach from Bogotá, Colombia. He was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship and enrolled in the MFA Theater Directing Program at Columbia University School of the Arts. He has staged “Uncle Vanya”, “Two Sisters” and his own musical fairy tale “The Amazing Story of El Hombre Caimán!” He served as casting director for the Oscar-nominated film “Maria Full of Grace” and directs theater workshops at Estudio Babel in Colombia and EICTV in Cuba.

  • Wednesday June 17th, 2015 7:30 pm
  • Thursday June 18th, 2015 7:30 pm
  • Friday June 19th, 2015 7:30 pm
  • Saturday June 20th, 2015 7:30 pm

For more information contact: gracedenoncourt@gmail.com

Schapiro Theater, 605 West 115th Street, NY, NY 10027

tel: (212) 854-3408

http://columbiastages.org/index.html

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International Conference: Organized by ERIAC (Equipe de Recherche Interdisciplinaire sur les Aires Culturelles at the University of Rouen, Normandy, France.

“History, fiction, representations: the voices that build the Americas”
November 13-15th, 2014

KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Giannina Braschi, author of the postmodern poetry trilogy “Empire of Dreams”, the Spanglish classic “Yo-Yo Boing!” and the controversial dramatic novel “United States of Banana”.

This multidisciplinary conference aims at examining the present state of the interrogations on Americanness from the 1970s to the present day, the concept being understood in the local, national and transcontinental senses of the term. The American continent was and still is a magnet for populations or individuals in search of a better world, people that it has either accepted or rejected all along its history. How does Americanness, whether real or mythical, welcoming or exclusive, serve as a criterion for an identity quest within the constant redefinition and the evolution of the cultural visions of North America and Latin America?

 

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Giannina Braschi
September 26, 2013, 5:15pm
American Voces Authors Series
Department of German and Romance Languages and Literatures
The Johns Hopkins University
3400 N. Charles St.
Baltimore, MD 21218

For more details contact: americanvoces.jhu@gmail.com

http://hub.jhu.edu/2013/04/05/junot-diaz-american-voces

 

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 uprlogoGiannina Braschi

The School of Humanities of The University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras presents Giannina Braschi as the keynote speaker of the GRADUATE STUDENTS HUMANITIES SYMPOSIUM, April 18-20, 2013.

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Graduate students in the Humanities (or undergraduates with previous research and conference presentation experience) are invited to submit abstracts of 300 words or less in English, Spanish, French, Italian or Portuguese to dagifh.rrp@upr.edu.  The deadline for abstracts is February 25, 2013.  The topic of the main argument should be included in the text of the email with mailing address, email address, and title of proposed paper on the humanities.

Organizer: Professor María M. Carrión
Assistant Dean of Graduate Studies
School of Humanities
The University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras
(787) 764-0000 [x-3423]

 

More about the Key Note Speaker:

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With a Ph.D. in the Spanish Golden Age from the State University of New York-Stony Brook, Giannina Braschi taught Hispanic Literatures and Creative Writing at Rutgers University, City University of New York, and Colgate University where she served as Chair of Creative Writing and Distinguished Writer-in-Residence. On the scholarly front, she published a book on the Spanish Romantic poet Bécquer and essays on classics by Cervantes, Garcilaso, Lorca, Machado, and Vallejo. Braschi has won awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, New York Foundation for the Arts, El Diario/La Prensa, PEN American Center, Ford Foundation, Danforth Scholarship, InterAmericas, Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña, and Reed Foundation. Her works have appeared in English, Spanish, Italian, Chinese, and Swedish translations.

“The dynamic potential of a cross-cultural dialogue and encounters in the context of globalization is a key theme in the starling performance novel of Puerto Rico’s premier poet and novelist Giannina Braschi,” wrote Madelena Gonzales and Helene Laplace-Claverie in their new book “Minority Theatre on the Global Stage: Challenging Paradigms from the Margins”. “UNITED STATES OF BANANA brings together Hamlet, Zarathustra, and Giannina herself who embark on a quest to free Segismundo, the hero of Calderón de la Barca’s 17th century play, from the dungeon of the Statue of Liberty where he is being held prisoner. Staged in a surreal post 911 New York and written in a defamiliarized Spanglish, it quickly becomes clear that the journey is a politically-charged metaphor for the fall of the US Empire and the collapse of the World Trade Centre as well as a plea for the subject minorities to free themselves from the yoke of domination by the majority, whether it be economic, linguistic or ideological. Stuttering and stammering in a hybrid tongue that contrasts with that of the well-spoken majority, Braschi uses language to travel along new and always unexpected pathways, making her work an intercultural explosion capable of breaking the bonds that constrain the minority. By creating her own foreign language, she illustrates Deleuze’s theory of continuous variation and the process of being “a nomad and an immigrant and a gypsy in relation to one’s language”.

More about the Conference Organizer:

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María M. Carrión was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and raised in Madrid, Spain, where she lived for twelve years. She studied Classics at the Universidad Complutense and graduated with a B. A. in Art History and Criticism from the University of Puerto Rico. She completed an M.S. in Art Education and an M.A. in Spanish from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, before completing her Ph.D. in Spanish at Yale University. She specializes in the cultural and literary production of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Spain, with a particular focus on dramatic theory and performance, legal writings and practices, and architectural theory and history. Her work also concentrates on the literature and culture of the Hispanic Caribbean, with a special interest in Puerto Rican and Cuban narratives and poetry.  She is the Assistant Dean of Graduate Studies at the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras.

REBLOGGED FROM U PENN CONFERENCE LISTINGS

Links:

http://www.linksenglish.columbia.edu/contemporary-transnationalliterature

http://www.facebook.com/…/TransnationalLiterature/103269989727358

http://www.gender.ceu.hu/…/call-for-papers-for-literary-conference-transnational

http://www.acla.org/acla2013/the-location-of-transnationalliterature

http://www.transnationalfeminist.wordpress.com/2010/10/12/beyond-borders

http://www.bloggingfeminism.blogspot.com/

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/…/islamophobia-in-transnationalfeminist-di…

http://www.jamaicandiaspora.blogspot.com/

http://www.blog.diasporafoundation.org/

www.blogs.worldbank.org/peoplemove/category/tags/diaspora

www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Postnationalism

http://transnationalstudies.buffalo.edu/

http://transnationalturn.wordpress.com/about/

http://www.ourglocal.com/event/?eventid=21547

https://www.facebook.com/EngDeptHumaUPRRP/notes

http://ngonewsbd.com/modern-language-association-convention-2013/

https://www.scholarworks.iu.edu/dspace/handle/202http://www.revistacruce.com/letras/el-yo-yo-en-los-estados-unidos-de-banana.htmlhttp://www.conferencealerts.com/show-event?id=113682

www.spanish.emory.edu/home/people/faculty/carrion.html

http://www.michaelsomoroff.com/?ac=unitedstatesofbanana

http://www.audiobooks.com/book/153666

http://www.ourglocal.com/event/?eventid=21547

http://www.worldliteraturetoday.com/author/giannina-braschition-convention-2013/

http://repeatingislands.com/2013/01/15/the-12-most-influential-puerto-ricans/

https://gianninabraschi.wordpress.com/https://gianninabraschi.wordpress.com/2012/07/12/entrevista-giannina-braschi/http://paolonegrini.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/network-map-of-knowledge-and-art.pdf

 

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MLA

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The Modern Language Association Convention Proudly Presents… a Two Part Special Program on Giannina Braschi’s “United States of Banana” on Saturday, January 5, 2013 in Boston.

Part One: MLA Scholarly Panel # 503. “Giannina Braschi’s United States of Banana: Revolutionary in Subject and Form.” A special session featuring distinguished scholars Arnaldo Cruz-Malavé (Fordham University), Maritza Stanchich (University of Puerto Rico), Cristina Garrigós (Universidad de León).  12:00 noon–1:15 p.m., Back Bay C, Sheraton, Boston

Part Two: MLA SPECIAL EVENT # 658. “Giannina Braschi: United States of Banana, a Dramatic Reading” by the author and her editor Tess O’Dwyer, 7:00–8:15 p.m., 206, Hynes Center, Boston.

“The dynamic potential of a cross-cultural dialogue and encounters in the context of globalization is a key theme in the starling performance novel of Puerto Rico’s premier poet and novelist Giannina Braschi,” wrote Madelena Gonzales and Helene Laplace-Claverie in their new book “Minority Theatre on the Global Stage: Challenging Paradigms from the Margins”.”UNITED STATES OF BANANA brings together Hamlet, Zarathustra, and Giannina herself who embark on a quest to free Segismundo, the hero of Calderón de la Barca’s 17th century play, from the dungeon of the Statue of Liberty where he is being held prisoner. Staged in a surreal post 911 New York and written in a defamiliarized Spanglish, it quickly becomes clear that the journey is a politically-charged metaphor for the fall of the US Empire and the collapse of the World Trade Centre as well as a plea for the subject minorities to free themselves from the yoke of domination by the majority, whether it be economic, linguistic or ideological. Stuttering and stammering in a hybrid tongue that contrasts with that of the well-spoken majority, Braschi uses language to travel along new and always unexpected pathways, making her work an intercultural explosion capable of breaking the bonds that constrain the minority. By creating her own foreign language, she illustrates Deleuze’s theory of continuous variation and the process of being “a nomad and an immigrant and a gypsy in relation to one’s language” which, for him, epitomizes the concept of the minority and eliminates the elements of the power and authority that are sources of oppression in the hands of the majority.”

Of interest to scholars and students of:  Postmodern literature, Latin American Studies, Transnational literature, American Studies, Puerto Rican Studies, Contemporary American Fiction, Contemporary Theater

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Celebrating the new Swedish translation by Helena Erikkson and Hanna Nordenhök of Giannina Braschi’s collected works entitled Drömmarnas imperiumthe cutting-edge publisher TRANAN will host Giannina Braschi’s 2012 Swedish Book Tour from September 27-Oct 9th.

Gothenburg Book Fair 2012: Giannina Braschi

Thursday, September 27 at 2pm: @ “rum för poesi”

Friday, September 27 at 12pm: @ “aftonbladets monter”

Friday, September 27 at 5:20pm @ “internationella torget”

Saturday, September 27 at 4pm:@ “aftonbladets monter”

   

Monday, October 1 Gothenburg University

Monday, October 8, Stockholm Public Library

Tuesday, October 9, Copa Cabana, Stockholm  

 

 

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Puerto Rican Studies Association Conference 2012

October 24–28, 2012, University at Albany – State University of New York. Dramatic reading by Giannina Braschi, author of Empire of Dreams, Yo-Yo Boing!, and United States of Banana.

BORICUAS AND OTHER BORDER CROSSERS: OF DIASPORAS AND LATINIDADES

The Puerto Rican Studies Association’s conference meeting of October, 2012, will mark the 20th anniversary of PRSA’s sustained and continuing scholarly examination and study of the national and distinctively transnational experience of Puerto Rican people. Unexpectedly emerging as pioneers of the earliest, most enduring and continuous of the great pre- and post-World War II migrations to the United States from the Caribbean and Latin America is a decisively defining element of that experience.

Beyond its vital daily unfolding and dramatic, continuing growth, the population of the diaspora now actually exceeds even that most recently and officially recorded for Puerto Rico itself. Significantly adding to the numbers of Mexicans and their Chicano descendents for whom North America had already long been ancestral home, Puerto Ricans, in the decades immediately before and after PRSA’s founding, would themselves be joined by the rapidly developing new national diasporic peoples from the wider Caribbean (including the Anglophone, Francophone, Dutch-speaking and their corresponding Creoles), Central and South America. Latinos/as in the United States, who in 2010 reached 50.5 million, representing 16% of the total U.S. population, in consequence, now stand as at once the most richly various, diverse and singular, geographically dispersed and unified, strategically situated, and increasingly unignorable and effectively paradigm-shifting segment of the U.S. national landscape and within their own national polities, both at “home” and “abroad.”

TWENTIETH ANNIVERSARY CONFERENCE THEME

Taking as a point of departure the experience of Puerto Ricans as bordercrossers, this Conference wishes also to locate them in relation to a complexly shared Latino experience of multiple and overlapping diasporas—and (given the historical context of the iconic sites and patterns of Puerto Rican settlement in the United States) in particular other Afro-descended communities—, their shifting definitions and perceptions of “nation,” “nationality” and “cultural citizenship” and what may be these definitions’ promise, impasses, dilemmas, portents, and potentialities. We aim to explore the ways in which Latinos/as, other peoples of diaspora, and Puerto Ricans centrally among them, have and continue to defy, creatively to challenge and unprecedentedly to reimagine—on the island no less than in the diaspora—existing social, cultural, and political boundaries, arrangements, and directing assumptions.

 

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AMERICAN STUDIES ASSOCIATION 2012 CONFERENCE. Dimensions of Empire and Resistance: Past, Present, and Future. November 15-18, 2012, San Juan, Puerto Rico @ The Caribe Hilton.  

Since the publication of Donald Pease and Amy Kaplan’s Cultures of United States Imperialism in 1994, empire has come to hold a central place in American Studies scholarship, resulting in a rich and varied literature devoted to the topic in direct, unblinking, and sophisticated ways. Consider the vast spectrum of political and cultural practices running from colonial administration and military occupation; to tourism; to the history of sugar or rum or baseball; to the power dynamics either fostered or legitimated by educational practices and institutions — in places like Puerto Rico, for instance — or by “knowledge” and the disciplines themselves; to the quotidian imperialist slanders carried in US popular culture — and equally, the constant articulations of dissent; to metaphorical usages, like “media empire,” which are nonetheless embedded in histories of empire proper; to the transnational logic of a canonical “national treasure” like Moby-Dick; to the thick traces of the imperial past and the anti-imperialist present in a text like Empire of Dreams, by Puerto Rican poet Giannina Braschi. 

 A special event of the 2012 ASA conference will be a dramatic bilingual performance by Giannina Braschi and her translator Tess O’Dwyer who will read excerpts from Empire of Dreams, Yo-Yo Boing!, and United States of Banana.

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Library of Congress National Book Festival 2012

September 22-23, 2012, National Mall, Washington DC

 With the President and Mrs. Obama serving as Co-Chairs, the 2012 Library of Congress National Book Festival will convene headlining poets and writers such as Philip Roth, Mario Vargas Llosa, Giannina Braschi, Jeffrey Eugenides, Philip Levine, and Nikky Finney.

The National Book Festival will take place on Saturday, September 22nd and Sunday, September 23, 2012, between 9th and 14th streets on the National Mall. The event, free and open to the public, will run from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Saturday and from noon to 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, rain or shine. Festival-goers can meet and hear firsthand from the poets and writers, have books signed, and take their photos with PBS storybook characters. An estimated 200,000 people will attend.

Philip Roth won the Pulitzer Prize in 1997 for “American Pastoral.” In 1998 he received the National Medal of Arts at the White House, and in 2002 received the highest award of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Gold Medal in Fiction. He has twice won the National Book Award, the PEN/Faulkner Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award. “The Plot Against America” won the Society of American Historians’ prize for outstanding historical novel on an American theme.

Mario Vargas Llosa, winner of the 2010 Nobel Prize for Literature, has used his writing to oppose authoritarianism and to condemn societies that fetter personal freedom. His works include “The Time of the Hero” (1963), “The Green House” (1966), “Conversation in the Cathedral” (1969), “The War of the End of the World” (1987), “The Storyteller” (1987) and “The Dream of the Celt” (2010). In the early 1970s Vargas Llosa began to advocate democracy and the free market. In the late 1980s he ran unsuccessfully for the presidency of Peru, recorded in his memoir “A Fish in the Water” (1993).

Giannina Braschi, called “one of the most revolutionary voices in Latin America today” by the PEN American World Voices Festival, wrote the postmodern poetry classic “Empire of Dreams” and the Spanglish tour de force novel “Yo-Yo Boing!” The Associated Press praised Braschi’s explosive new book “United States of Banana” (AmazonCrossing 2011) as a work of unlimited imagination and fearless language. She writes in a blend of poetry, prose, and drama, also mixing Spanish, Spanglish, and English. She writes in these three languages to express the enculturation process of millions of Hispanic immigrants to the USA and to explore the three politic options of her native Puerto Rico–Nation, Colony or State. She has won grant/awards from National Endowment for the Arts, New York Foundation for the Arts, Ford, Danforth, and Reed Foundations, Puerto Rican Institute of Culture, and PEN American Center.

Jeffrey Eugenides, a native of Detroit, published his first novel, “The Virgin Suicides,” to acclaim in 1993. His novel “Middlesex” won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for fiction. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, The Yale Review, Best American Short Stories, The Gettysburg Review and Granta’s “Best of Young American Novelists.”

Nikky Finney was born in South Carolina, a child of activists. She came of age during the civil rights and Black Arts Movements. Finney has authored four books of poetry: Head Off & Split (2011); The World Is Round (2003); Rice (1995); and On Wings Made of Gauze (1985). Professor of English and creative writing at the University of Kentucky, Finney also authored Heartwood (1997) edited The Ringing Ear: Black Poets Lean South (2007), and co- founded the Affrilachian Poets. Finney’s fourth book of poetry, Head Off & Split was awarded the 2011 National Book Award for poetry.

The Library of Congress Pavilion will showcase treasures in the Library’s vast online collections and offer information about Library programs. Sponsor Target will reprise its “Family Storytelling Stage” featuring authors and musical acts popular with young children. The 2012 National Book Festival is made possible through the generous support of National Book Festival Board Co-Chair David M. Rubenstein; Charter Sponsors Target, The Washington Post and Wells Fargo; Patrons the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the National Endowment for the Arts and PBS KIDS; Contributors Barnes & Noble; Digital Bookmobile powered by OverDrive and Scholastic Inc.; and—in the Friends category–the Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction, The Hay Adams and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Thanks also to C-SPAN2’s Book TV, The Junior League of Washington and The Links. The Library of Congress, the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution, is the world’s preeminent reservoir of knowledge, providing unparalleled collections and integrated resources to Congress and the American people. Many of the Library’s rich resources and treasures may be accessed through the Library’s website, www.loc.gov.

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Monday, November 21, 2011, 7:00pm @ Biblioteca Nacional de Puerto Rico [Avenida Ponce de Leon #500, San Juan, Puerto Rico].  Welcoming remarks by Professor Maria M. Carrion of Emory University.  Dramatic reading and book signing by Giannina Braschi. Cocktail reception and viewing of an archival exhibition on the life and works of Giannina Braschi.

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Thursday, December 1, 2011, 6:30pm  @ Instituto Cervantes [211 East 49th Street, off 2nd Avenue, New York, New York].  Welcoming remarks by Professor Cristina Garrigos of Texas A&M. Short film by Michael Somoroff on United States of Banana, followed by a reading and book signing by Giannina Braschi.  Cocktail reception.

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Friday, December 2, 7:00 pm @ Poets House

[10 River Terrace, Battery Park City, downtown New York].  Remarks by poet D. Nurske, author of The Fall.  Reading and book signing by Giannina Braschi.  Cocktail reception.

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Thursday, February 16, 2012, 6pm.  Giannina Braschi‘s United States of Banana.   XXVIII Biennial Louisiana Conference on Hispanic Languages &Literatures:    Independence in Latin America, 1812-2012.  Lousiana State University, Baton Rouge.  For info, contact LSUHispanic@lsu.edu

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Wednesday, February 29, 2012; GREAT MINDS VISIT RUTGERS: Giannina Braschi, Groundbreaking Author.  From across the Hudson River, around the nation, and the world beyond our shores, exceptional thinkers come to Rutgers to enlighten, engage, and entertain. The Great Minds lecture series covers the gamut of human inquiry.  Meet -the-author reception begins at 6pm at The Latino Arts Center @ 122 College Avenue, New Brunswick. Dramatic reading by Giannina Braschi from UNITED STATES OF BANANA takes place @ 7pm at The Graduate Students Lounge of Rutgers College Student Center located @ 126 College Avenue, New Brunswick. The event is sponsored by the Office of Undergraduate Education, College Avenue Campus deans, Department of Spanish and Portuguese, Department of Latino and Hispanic Caribbean Studies, Program in Comparative Literature, the Institute for Research on Women, and Center for Latino Arts and Culture. Link for university map: http://rumaps.rutgers.edu/

 

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Highlight: Thursday, May 3, 2012 at Baruch Performing Arts Center, Engelman Recital Hall, 55 Lexington Ave., New York City. 2:30–4 p.m. FREE EVENT.  “Resonances: Contemporary Writers on the Classics”.  Enjoy this free panel discussion with PEN World Voices Festival writers Gabriel Adamesteanu, Giannina Braschi, Ib Michael, and Laurie Sheck; moderated by John Brenkman.  In his famous essay “Why Read the Classics?” Italo Calvino writes: “The classics are books that exert a peculiar influence, both when they refuse to be eradicated from the mind and when they conceal themselves in the folds of memory, camouflaging themselves as the collective or individual unconscious.” How does this “peculiar influence” resonate for the writer? For the fifth consecutive year, Baruch College’s Great Works Program invites international authors to select a classic from the school’s curriculum and discuss its influence within their life and work. Free and open to the public.

PEN World Voices Festival Highlight:Thursday, May 3, 2012, 6pm to 7:30pm.  The New Censorship: A Free public event produced by the PEN World Voices Festival at the Bowery Poetry Club, 308 Bowery Street, NYC.   Moderated by the co-editor of Book Forum Albert Mobilio, this free, lively panel tackles Corporate Censorship as part of the 2012 PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature.  The panelists are poet and novelist Giannina Braschi (Puerto Rico/USA), scriptwriter Jaume Cabré (Catalan), novelist Mahmoud Dowlatabadi (Iran), novelist Karl O. Knausgaard (Norway), and Adam Mansbach (USA). These diverse writers from around the globe will debate whether the aim of anti-piracy legislation is tantamount to censorship. As corporations move to the forefront in the quest for control over information and its flow, the battle over censorship has changed, and its newest champions are found not in the statehouse, but in the boardroom. After a public outcry against industry-backed copyright and anti-piracy bills in both the House and Senate, PEN invites this panel of distinguished minds to discuss their perspective as published poets, novelists, and scriptwriters. The event is sponsored by Bookforum, Institut Ramon Llull, and Royal Norwegian Consulate General.  http://www.pen.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/6453/prmID/2206

PEN World Voices Festival Highlight:  Friday, May 4, 2012, 7:00pm – 9:00pm.  A Literary Safari at Westbeth Center for the Arts, 155 Bank Street,  Manhattan, NY 10014. Price: $15/$10 PEN Members and students. Phone: (212) 334-1660, ext. 120. Come wander the hallways of Westbeth Center for the Arts, a converted industrial space, map in hand, to find an entire evening’s worth of literary events. Audience members will enjoy intimate readings by PEN World Voices Festival authors inside the homes of famous Westbeth residents and end the night at a cocktail reception with featured authors at the event’s closing party at Westbeth’s legendary art gallery.  http://www.pen.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/6456/prmID/2206

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AMERICAN LITERATURE ASSOCIATION, 23nd Annual Conference, May 24-27, 2012.  Hyatt Regency, San Francisco, CA. Conference Director: abendixen@tamu.edu

AMERICAN LITERATURE ASSOCIATION is proud to present readings by the beloved author of “Woman Warrior” Maxine Hong Kingston and the radical author of “United States of Banana” Giannina Braschi, one of the most revolutionary writers in Latin America today. The Associated Press praised Braschi’s new book UNITED STATES OF BANANA as a work of unlimited imagination and fearlessness as it explores the cultural experience of tens of millions of US immigrants. Lorna Dee Cervantes will also speak.

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Related links:

http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/05/07/rushdie-brings-pen-festival-to-close/  (The New York Times Review of the 2012 PEN World Voices Festival)

http://www.wapa.tv/noticias/especiales/orgullo-boricua–giannina-braschi_20111205213641.html (Orgullo Boricua Interview with Giannina Braschi, WAPATV, Channel 4 News)

Amazon publishing announces 32 new books in both print and ebook format (teleread.com)

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