Cuba after Castro

Wednesday, October 18, 2017 (5:30 PM – 7:30 PM)
Great Hall, Elizabeth Perkins Prothro Hall (map)


Join us for a wine and cheese reception followed by a discussion of Cuba after the communist revolution and the reign of Fidel Castro with revolutionary writer Victor Fowler Calzada, Cuban film director Jorge Luis Sánchez and Professor of Comparative Literature José Quiroga.

Victor Fowler Calzada
Victor Fowler is one of the most important writers of his generation. Born in 1960 to an Afro-Cuban family, he belongs to the first generation of writers born in Revolutionary Cuba. This was the generation that was supposed to provide the nation with what Che Guevara called the “new man.” In reality, this expectation was not fulfilled—few adopted the morals of Revolutionary life out of disinterested altruism. In fact, most of the writers of Fowler’s generation have gone into exile. In contrast, Fowler has remained on the island, and has published 10 volumes of poetry and five of essays, in addition to a number of edited volumes and important collaborations. He has broken new ground in Cuban letters with extensive essays on the body, race and sexuality. His poetry, rich and allusive, gives us a window onto the complex realities of life in revolutionary Cuba.

Jorge Luis Sánchez, born 1960 in Havana, is a Cuban film director and a founder of the Federación Nacional de Cine Clubes de Cuba, or the National Federation of Cine Clubs of Cuba. He began his career with the iconic ICAIC, or Cuban Institute of Cinematographic Art and Industry, in 1981, where he has worked in several capacities.
In addition to multiple documentaries, Sánchez has directed three feature films. His first feature El Benny (Benny), was based on the life of the famous Cuban musician, Benny Moré. It was presented at film festivals around the world, and won multiple awards. His next film, Irremediablemente juntos (Hopelessly Together, 2012), was a musical that tells the story of a forbidden love. Most recently, Sánchez directed Cuba Libre (Free Cuba, 2015), which revisits the 1898 Spanish-American War from the perspective of two children living in Cuba. It was screened at the 2016 Havana Film Festival in New York. Sánchez also teaches film in the ICAIC and the International School of Cinema in San Antonio De los Baños, Cuba. He has published numerous articles on film aesthetics and film history.

José Quiroga is Professor of Comparative Literature and Spanish and Portuguese at Emory University. After receiving his B.A. in English and Latin American Literature from Boston University and his Ph.D. in Spanish from Yale University, he taught at The George Washington University before joining Emory in 2002. He is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, and his areas of specialization include the Hispanic the Caribbean and Latin/o American Gender, Sexuality and Queer Studies; Modern Poetry and Poetics in the Americas, and Cultural Studies (Film, Music, Performance).Quiroga is the author of Cuban Palimpsests (2005), which “explores the sites, both physical and imaginative, where memory bears upon Cuba’s collective history. Other notable publications include Tropics of Desire: Interventions from Queer Latino America (NYU Press, 2000), Understanding Octavio Paz (1999), Sexualidades en disputa (with Daniel Balderston) (Buenos Aires, 2005), Law of Desire:  A Queer Film Classic (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2009), and Mapa Callejero, Cronicas sobre lo gay desde América Latina (Buenos Aires, Eterna Cadencia, 2010).  His current book project, “The Book of Flight” investigates the political relationship between dissidence and escape in Cold War and Contemporary Latino America. He is completing a co-authored book with SMU Professor of Spanish Francisco Morán, The Havana Reader (Duke UP).


The event is free and open to the public, but reservations are required.

RegisterIf you are interested in joining the Tower Center Forum, please contact Bora Laci at blaci@smu.edu.


In collaboration with Dedman College of Humanities and Science and the World Language Department