Forthcoming Edited Volume on Cuba and Puerto Rico

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The University of Florida Press has approved the book project, Two Wings of the Same Bird: Transdisciplinary Approaches to Puerto Rican and Cuban-American History, Literature, and Culture, for an advance contract. The volume will be edited by Drs. Carmen Haydée Rivera Vega, Professor of English at the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras, and Jorge Duany, Director of FIU's Cuban Research Institute.

This project is a collection of critical essays that focuses on the historical, literary, and cultural relations between Cuba and Puerto Rico. The collection considers studies of authors and texts that combine representations of the two islands, whether through literary allusions or specific events in the authors' lives within the realms of both islands and in diaspora. The project proposes a transdisciplinary approach to the study of Cuba and Puerto Rico and their intricate relation on multiple levels of discourse.

The title of the project stems from Lola Rodríguez de Tió's famous 1893 poem “A Cuba.” The essays branch out to further develop and, at times, contest the metaphor that has historically conceptualized the ties between both islands. Rodríguez de Tió's poem juxtaposes a symbiotic relation between Cuba and Puerto Rico during crucial moments of historical and political unrest. Her view of the interconnectedness between Cuba and Puerto Rico through shared historical, political, cultural, and linguistic traits, and her staunch advocacy for sovereignty for both islands, prompted a patriotic poetic rendition that has been praised as an emblem of an era of revolutionary zeal and political activism.

Yet, historical events that sharply contrasted with Rodríguez de Tió's views were to play a defining role in the future development of these two islands and the contrasting realities they face today. This development is, in many ways, affected by both islands’ historical and sociopolitical relation to the United States for over a century and the geopolitical and transmigratory processes that have ensued therein. The authors in the collection seek to address the ways in which history, literature, and culture have informed the multiple interpretations of the islands' significance in the larger hemispheric positioning of archipelagic studies. In this sense, the project is an important contribution to the study of Cuba and Puerto Rico and the formation of diasporic communities and continuities in the United States.

Below is the table of contents of the edited volume:

Carmen Haydée Rivera Vega, University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras
Jorge Duany, Florida International University

Part I. Cuba and Puerto Rico: Historical Perspectives

Passive Puerto Rico and Revolutionary Cuba? Myths, Realities, and the Optics of History
Lillian Guerra, University of Florida

Nuclear Wings: The Binary Roads of Cuba and Puerto Rico during the Cuban Revolution (1959–1963)
Silvia Alvarez Curbelo, Fundación Luis Muñoz Marín, San Juan, PR

The Repeating Island: Cuban and Puerto Rican Counterpoints between the Cold War and the Reencounter
Francisco Scarano, University of Wisconsin, Madison

Local Eyes into Caribbean Rural Life: Anthropological Informants in Cuba and Puerto Rico in the Post-World War II Era
Jorge L. Giovannetti-Torres, University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras

History and Difference at Guantánamo Bay: Insights from Refugees, Guards, and Prisoners
Don E. Walicek, University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras

The Harlem of the Club Dos Antillas: Race, Space, and Politics in Early Antillean New York
Jesse Hoffnung-Garskof, University of Michigan

Part II. Puerto Rican and Cuban-American Literary Expression

Exploding the Limits of the Body and the Island: The Literary Works of Yolanda Arroyo Pizarro and Legna Rodríguez Iglesias
Mónica Simal, Providence College

Puerto Rico in Areíto: Translation and Other Collaborations in the Cuban-Puerto Rican Diasporas in New York
Laura Lomas, Rutgers University, Newark

Dramatic and Psychic Spaces in Los soles truncos, by René Marqués, and La noche de los asesinos, by José Triana
Maida Watson, Florida International University

Listening to Our New Possessions: Music and Imperial Writings on Puerto Rico and Cuba, 1898–1930
Hugo Viera-Vargas, New College of Florida

The Literature of Caribbean Diasporas: A Study of Translocal Ethnoscapes in the Works of Puerto Rican and Cuban-American Writers in the United States
Carmen Haydée Rivera Vega, University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras

Hechos and Desecho in Cuban-Puerto Rican Literature
Mary Ann Gosser Esquilín, Florida Atlantic University

Part III. Manifestations of Cuban and Puerto Rican Literature

At the Nexus of Spirit and Politics: Spiritualism in the Emancipatory Sexual Politics of Luisa Capetillo and Ofelia Rodríguez Acosta
Stephanie Rivera-Berruz, Marquette University

María Zambrano between Cuba and Puerto Rico: Antillean Sororities
Madeline Cámara, University of South Florida

An Initial Exploration into the Narratives and Life Projects of Cubans from "el Oriente cubano" Living in Puerto Rico for the Past Twenty Years
Blanca Ortiz-Torres, University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras

The Musical Impact of the Mariel Boatlift on the Latin Music Scene of New York City and Interethnic Collaboration among Puerto Ricans and Cubans
Benjamin Lapidus, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY

Allora and Calzadilla: Noise and the Politics of “Productive Confusion”
Alan West-Durán, Northeastern University

Between Cuba-Rican and Cuban American: A Testimonial Essay
Jorge Duany, Florida International University