Conveners: Anabelle Contreras Castro, Maruja García Padilla, Lillian Manzor, Vivian Martínez Tabares, Antonio Prieto Stambaugh, Gina Athena Ulysse

Co-conveners: Petrona de la Cruz Cruz, Doris Difarnecio, Teresa Hernández, Leda Martins, Ramón Rivera-Servera

Description:

The Caribbean is a zone of problematic geographical delimitation. Scholars say that it begins in Veracruz or Cuba, that it is continental and an archipelago, that it ends in the Guyanas or in Brazil because its characteristics can be felt in an enclave as distant as Bahia, that it burns in Paris, New York and Barcelona, and that it is danced in Japan. It shares common historical traits and has a wide, diverse and various forms of cultural expression tied to voluntary and forced migratory movements and dissimilar crossings. This group was born out of the urgent necessity to fully integrate the complexity of the Caribbean with its performative traditions, and its theoretical and research methodologies to the various activities organized within the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics.

Working themes
Indigenous Caribbean
Linguistic performance in the multilingual Greater Caribbean
Greater Caribbean body/ies, insularity and transterritoriality
Racialized Sexualities in the Greater Caribbean
Digital Caribbean
Racism in the Greater Caribbean
Manifestations, incorporations, rituals in the Greater Caribbean

Objectives
We want to be a group that brings together institutions, intellectuals, and artists from the Caribbean or that have the Caribbean as a central or related research focus in order to generate debate, propose future work themes, and show creative and research processes that help us understand the complexity inherent to any study of the Caribbean region. We also want to organize small encuentros in different enclaves of the Greater Caribbean that will allow for knowledge-production, exchange, and work in collaboration with thinkers and performance artivists from the region.

Meetings and activities
This group already had its first meeting at the HemiEncuentro in Sao Paulo 2013. We have continued discussions through e-emails. The next in person meeting is planned for the second semester of 2013 in Puerto Rico. The main objectives of that meeting will be to discuss theoretical framework of the group, activities to be carried out during Hemi-Encuentro 2014 in Montreal, and institutions and artists we would like to invite as participants.

Format:

Each participant will contribute an essay, video, photos, or performance that develops some of the themes of the group. Participants will be able to “read” contributions before the Montreal Encuentro. The objective is to create a conversation among different work proposals and sites in order to foster future collaborative projects and to propose a multimodal publication on Greater Caribbean Performativities.

Applications:

Please submit a 3-page Curriculum Vitae and a 500-word summary, 5 min video, 20 photographs or equivalent of your contribution. Materials should be uploaded via the online application form before October 9th, 2013.

The group will accept a maximum of 10 external participants.

Biographies:

 Antonio Prieto Stambaugh is a Mexican researcher and professor, focused on issues of performance, contemporary theatre, gender and queer studies. He is currently a full time professor at the Theatre Department of the Veracruzana University and has previously been visiting lecturer at Stanford University, researcher at El Colegio de Michoacán and director of the Center of Performing Arts Research of Yucatán. He is a member of Mexico’s National System of Researchers (SNI) and of the Hemispheric Institute’s Executive Board. He has published many essays on Chicano and Mexican performance art, as well as on issues of gender and border studies, in diverse anthologies and journals such as Cuadernos Americanos, debate feminista, Gestos, Theatre Journal, Frontera norte, and Conjunto. He is co-author with Yolanda Muñoz González of the book El teatro como vehículo de comunicación, (1992). His most recent book is Jerzy Grotowski: miradas desde Latinoamérica, an anthology published in 2011.

Anabelle Contreras Castro has a Master's Degree in Latin American Studies and Cultural Anthropology and a Doctorate in Latin American Studies from the Freie Universitaet Berlin. She is a professor and researcher, and director of the Interdisciplinary Doctoral Program in Central American Arts and Letters at the National University of Costa Rica. She is also a dramaturg with the Abya Yala Theater Group.

Lillian Manzor is Associate Professor of Modern Languages and Literatures at the University of Miami and founding director of the Cuban Theater Digital Archive. She is widely published in the field of Latin American and Latino/a cultural studies and theater and performance studies. Some of her critical anthologies are Latinas on Stage and Teatro cubano actual: dramaturgia escrita en los Estados Unidos. She is curator of Cuban Culture on the Edge and other activities intended to create a cultural bridge between Cuban artists living in the diaspora and those living in Cuba.

Leda Martins is a poet, playwright, and professor of Literature at the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Her research focuses on the relationship between performance and memory, particularly in Afro-Brazilian traditions. A major theorist of Afro-Brazilian religious performance, she has done extensive work on 'congados' and other forms of diasporic worship that participate in the transmission of Afro-Brazilian memory and identity. Her books include: O moderno teatro de Qorpo-Santo, Editorial UFMG, 1991; A Cena em Sombras, Editorial Perspectiva, 1995; Afrografias da Memória, Editorial Perspectiva, 1997; and Os Dias Anônimos, Editorial Sette Letras 1999.


Doris Difarnecio
has been creating and directing theatrical pieces with FOMMA (Fortaleza de la Mujer Maya) since 1999. She currently directs Centro Hemisférico, the satellite headquarters of New York’s Hemispheric Institute in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Mexico. Drawing on her theatrical and interdisciplinary background, Doris has developed Centro’s public programming and academic and artistic research so as to reflect the historical context of the city in which her organization is housed. Focusing on art, politics, and performance through interdisciplinary collaborations, Doris has situated Centro Hemisférico as a vital space in San Cristóbal that links distinct cultures and modes of expression.  She is completing her Master’s degree at the Center for Research for México and Central America (CESMECA) in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, México.

Petrona de la Cruz Cruz is one the founders of FOMMA (Strength of the Mayan Woman), a non-profit women’s organization in San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, México. She was born in Zinacantán in a Tzotzil comunity in the state of Chiapas. For many years she worked as a maid in the city and managed to conclude her primary and secondary education. In 1989, Petrona, joined a group of actors and writers, Sna Jzt’ibajom, where she was trained in puppet theatre by Amy Trompetter, Francisco Álvarez and Ralph Lee, and in bilingual education by the anthropologist Robert Laughlin. In 1992, she received the prestigious Rosario Castellanos literary award for her play ¨A Desperate Woman,¨ which has been published in Holy Terrors: Latin American Women Perform (Duke University Press, 2003). Her plays have been produced in México, Latin America, Australia, United States, and Canada.

Vivian Martínez Tabares is a critic, theatre researcher, editor and Professor. She holds an undergraduate degree in Theatre and a doctorate in Art Sciences from the Instituto Superior de Arte. She is the editor of the journal Conjunto and director at the Casa de las Américas and Mayo Teatral. Her most recent book is Escena y tensión social.

Gina Athena Ulysse is Associate Professor of Anthropology at Wesleyan University. She is the author of Downtown Ladies: Informal Commercial Importers, A Haitian Anthropologist and Self-Making in Jamaica (U Chicago 2008) and Why Haiti Needs New Narratives (UCSB & UDH 2013). She is currently developing VooDooDoll, What If Haiti Were a Woman, a performance-installation project and MY EVSM (Epistemic Violence Sensibility Meter): Historicizing an Invention.

Maruja García Padilla is head of the Women and Gender Studies Program at the University of Puerto Rico Rio Piedras Campus. Her recent research deals with the representation of the ephemeral and the resignification of the female body in the work of women artists. She is currently working on a book on problematic representations and another on the non-autobiographical reading of self-representation in Frida Kahlo.

Teresa Hernández is a theater artist with 25 years of research and practice at the borders of dance, theater, and performance. She searches for other ways of making, narrating, and being on the stage, based on a comprehensive study of the body, space, and its own text. Her work encompasses identities as shifting terrain; art and its established canon; violence and power with its multiple faces and branches.

Ramón Rivera-Servera researches contemporary performance in the United States with special emphasis on the ways categories of race, gender and sexuality are negotiated in the process of migration. His work documents U.S. Latina/o, Mexican, and Caribbean performance practices ranging from theatre and concert dance to social dance, fashion and speech. He is author of Performing Queer Latinidad: Dance, Sexuality, Politics (2012).

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