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Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages and Linguistics


Cambridge Hispanic and Lusophone Research Seminar Series 2020-21

 Lent Term

Please note that all seminars this term shall take place online.

Professor Lúcia Sá

Date: 27 January

Time: 5pm UK time


Title: Cannibalising Cannibalism: The Radical Anti-coloniality of Brazilian contemporary Indigenous art.

This paper will focus on the work of indigenous artists Denilson Baniwa and Jaider Esbell. In a number of works and performances, the indigenous artists Denilson Baniwa and Jaider Esbell have engaged with Brazil’s most iconic and enduring artistic movement, 1920s ‘Antropofagia’ (Cannibalism). It is not the first time that artists have revisited Antropofagia: the 1960s Tropicália movement, for example, which involved visual arts, music and cinema, paid a strong tribute to Antropofagia; and the 1998 international São Paulo Bienal was entirely dedicated to the topic. What is new about this recent development is that for the first time indigenous artists are producing their own art in response to Antropofagia’s appropriative interpretation of native cannibalism. Using Antropofagia’s own methods, Baniwa and Esbell have provided us with the most thorough critique of the movement to date - a powerful decolonial or even anti-colonial exposure of Antropofagia's colonialist vocation.

Professor Rachel Price

Date: 17 February

Time: 5pm

Venue: Zoom

Title: TBC

Dr Rory O’Bryen

Date: 17 March

Time: 5pm

Venue: Zoom

Title:  ‘Guaca-Hayo: Colombia’s Magdalena River as Landscape of Terror’.

*Book Launch: Ingleses no Brasil. Relatos de Viagem, 1526-1608 (Rio de Janeiro: Chão Editora)

Presenters: Dr Vivien Kogut Lessa de Sá and Dr Sheila Hue (UERJ – State University of Rio de Janeiro)

Discussants: Dr Luciana Martins (Birkbeck College, University of London) and Professor K. David Jackson (Yale University)

Date: 10 March

Time: 5pm

Venue: Zoom

Professor Peter Hulme

Date: 12 May 2021

Time: 5pm

Venue: Zoom; link to register:

Title: ‘The Spanish-American Number: Travel, Translation, and the Literary  History of Modernism’

Abstract: How can Spanish-American modernismo best be related to Anglo-American modernism?  This paper approaches that question by looking closely at one moment when their paths crossed—a 1916 special number of one of the leading US modernist journals that offered to introduce modernismo to an English-speaking readership.  Which poets got translated?  Who chose them?  Who translated them?  Why have a Spanish-American number in the first place?  These are the kinds of question the paper will address.

About the Speakers:

Professor Lúcia Sá is the author of Rainforest Literatures: Amazonian Texts and Latin American Culture  (Minnesota 2004 - translated as Literaturas da Floresta, Eduerj: 2012) and Life in the Megalopolis: Mexico City and São Paulo (Routledge, 2007). Currently professor of Brazilian studies at the University of Manchester, she was previously professor of Brazilian culture at Stanford University and has held visiting positions at the University of São Paulo, the University of Lisbon, New College, San Francisco and Oberlin College. She is currently involved in projects on ‘Racism and Anti-racism in Brazil,’ focusing on the case of indigenous peoples (with Felipe Milanez Pereira, UFBA, and ‘Cultures of Anti-Racism in Latin America’ (with Peter wade and Ignacio Aguiló, Manchester).

Dr Rachel Price works on Latin American, circum-Atlantic and particularly Cuban literature and culture. Her essays have discussed a range of topics, including digital media, slavery, poetics, environmental humanities, and visual art. The Object of the Atlantic: Concrete Aesthetics in Cuba, Brazil and Spain 1868-1968 was published in 2014 by Northwestern University Press. Planet/Cuba: Art, Culture, and the Future of the Island, was published by Verso Books in 2015. She is currently working on several projects, including intersections between aesthetics and energy, and a book-length study rethinking communication technologies and literature in the nineteenth-century slaveholding Iberian Atlantic. She is currently associate professor at Princeton and has previously taught at Brown University and Stonybrook University, after working at the Social Science Research Council’s Program on Latin America and Working Group on Cuba, and at the Consejo Regional Indígena del Cauca in Colombia.

Dr Rory O’Bryen teaches and researches on modern Latin American culture at the University of Cambridge, and has particular research interests in nineteenth- and twentieth-century Colombian culture and history. He is the author of Literature, Testimony and Cinema in Contemporary Colombian Culture: Spectres of "La Violencia" (Woodridge: Boydell and Brewer, 2008),  and has co-edited and contributed to Latin American Popular Culture: Politics, Media, Affect (New York: Boydell and Brewer, 2013), Latin American Cultural Studies: A Reader (Routledge, 2017). His current research explores the representation of the Magdalena River in Colombian culture between 1850 and the present day. It engages with a range of works, including mid-nineteenth-century regional romances, late nineteenth-century Afro-Colombian poetry, representations of leprosy in early twentieth-century literature, music and silent film, the ‘novela de la Violencia’ of the 1950s, and late twentieth-century engagements with narcotráfico. In doing so it uses the river as a conduit into the fragile interplay between nation-formation and global political and economic processes.