Panel Discussion | The Repeating Island: Thirtieth Anniversary

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Venue:Green Library, Room 220

Image: the-repeating-island.jpg

In 1992, Duke University Press released the English translation of La isla que se repite: El Caribe y la perspectiva posmoderna (originally published in 1989) as The Repeating Island: The Caribbean and the Postmodern Perspective. In this book, the Cuban exile novelist, short-story writer, and essayist Antonio Benítez Rojo (1931–2005) redefined the Caribbean by drawing on history, economics, sociology, cultural anthropology, psychoanalysis, literary theory, and nonlinear mathematics. The metaphor of "the repeating island" has been amply cited and discussed to identify the historical regularities—especially arising from the plantation "machine"—that characterize the Caribbean region despite the apparent disarray. The book is widely regarded as the most influential essay in the interdisciplinary fields of literary and cultural criticism on the Caribbean of the author's generation.

Organized by FIU's Department of Modern Languages, this panel discussion will examine Benítez-Rojo's legacy in Latin American and Caribbean studies. Specifically, it will address the ways in which Benítez-Rojo's work deeply investigates and illuminates Caribbean literatures and cultures, and paves the way for postcolonial and archipelagic approaches. The panelists include Drs. Erik Camayd-Freixas (FIU Department of Modern Languages), Jorge Duany (Cuban Research Institute), Yolanda Martínez-San Miguel (University of Miami), and Enrico Mario Santí (Claremont Graduate University).

The event will be accompanied by the screening of three films by Eliecer Jiménez, a Ph.D. student in the Department of Modern Languages: Entropy (2013–19), Island (2022), and The Repeating Island (2022), which stands as a tribute to the Cuban writer. The program will conclude with a photographic exhibition of the Jiménez trilogy.