25th Jan 2012 5:30pm-7:30pm

Grand Parade


Centre for Research in Memory, Narrative and Histories seminar series 2011-12

Dr Fabienne Viala , King’s College London

“The Post-Columbus Syndrome in the Hispanic Caribbean: Cultural commemorations of the 1992 anniversary”

Considering the processes of mutation of the collective imagination in the contemporary Hispanic Caribbean, I will examine in this paper how the cultural and poetic commemorative productions(fiction and non fiction), that appeared around the 500th anniversary of Columbus’s arrival in the region in 1992, mirror contemporary issues of subjectivity, citizenship and national belonging,different in Cuba, in the Dominican Republic and in Puerto Rico. I will also consider the impact of another highly symbolic and ambivalent anniversary that influenced by anticipation the 1992 events on each island: the year 1998 marked the first centennial of the 1898 Spanish American war, which meant not only Spain’s loss of its colonies, but was also a symbolical marker for the arrival of theUS as the new master of the Region. According to the symbolic value of ‘1898-1998’ on each island, a different use of ‘1492-1992’ was to be made by the national and official discourse.

Dr Viala is Lecturer in Spanish, Latin American Studies and Comparative Literature at King’sCollege London. She received her PhD in Comparative Literatures from the Université Paris3 Sorbonne Nouvelle (2004), and was a Mellon Fellow in Postcolonial, Latin American andCaribbean Literatures at the University of Cambridge (2009 –11). Her publications have focused on the relationship between memory, history and fiction, in the contemporary Cuban detective genre, in post-dictatorship Spain and in Francophone narratives in the 20th century. She is currently writing a book, The Post-Columbus Syndrome: National Boundaries and Transcultural Mutations of Identity in the Caribbean Since 1992.

Wednesday 25th January 2012

5.30 get together and drinks for 6.00 start until c. 7.30

G4, Grand Parade, University of Brighton (ground floor, corridor to left of reception area)