Forthcoming Edited Volume on Cuba and Puerto Rico

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The University of Florida Press has approved the book project, Cuba and Puerto Rico: Transdisciplinary Approaches to History, Literature, and Culture. The volume will be edited by Drs. Carmen Haydée Rivera, Professor of English at the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras, and Jorge Duany, Director of FIU's Cuban Research Institute.

This book 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 volume stems from Lola Rodríguez de Tió's famous 1893 poem "A Cuba/To Cuba," which claims that "Cuba and Puerto Rico are / like two wings of a bird." 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:

Introduction: "Two Wings of a Bird"
Carmen Haydée Rivera, 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

Nuclearized Wings: The Binary Roads of Cuba and Puerto Rico at the Takeoff of the Cuban Revolution (1959–63)
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

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

Part II. Puerto Rican and Cuban 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 en Areíto: Translation, Ethnic and Cultural Studies, and Other Collaborations among Cuban and Puerto Rican Migrant Intellectuals
Laura Lomas, Rutgers University, Newark

Psychological and Physical Space in Puerto Rican and Cuban Twentieth-Century Theater
Maida Watson, Florida International University

Listening to Our New Possessions: Music and Imperial Writings on Puerto Rico and Cuba, 1898–1920s
Hugo R. Viera-Vargas, New College of Florida

Hechos and Desechos: Environmental Degradation and Violence in Mayra Montero's Tú, la oscuridad
Mary Ann Gosser Esquilín, Florida Atlantic University

Part III. Manifestations of Cuban and Puerto Rican Culture

Caribbean Dialogues by María Zambrano
Madeline Cámara, University of South Florida

"The Two Ephemeral Wings of the Angel of Love": Archipelagic Fantasies in the Narrative of Lourdes Casal and Manuel Ramos Otero
Yolanda Martínez-San Miguel, University of Miami

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 Sonic Decoloniality
Alan West-Durán, Northeastern University

The Narratives and Life Projects of Orientales from Cuba in Puerto Rico and Florida: An Initial Comparative Study
Blanca Ortiz-Torres and Mario A. Rodríguez-Cancel, University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras

Becoming Cuba-Rican: A Personal Testimony
Jorge Duany, Florida International University