Faculty Books

Cuba and the Fall

The literature of Cuba, argues Eduardo González in Cuba and the Fall: Christian Text and Queer Narrative in the Fiction of José Lezama Lima and Reinaldo Arenas, takes on quite different features depending on whether one is looking at it from “the inside” or from “the outside,” a view that in turn is shaped by official political culture and the authors it sanctions or by those authors and artists who exist outside state policies and cultural politics. González approaches this issue by way of two 20th-century writers who are central to the canon of gay homoerotic expression and sensibility in Cuban culture: José Lezama Lima (1910–1976) and Reinaldo Arenas (1943–1990). Drawing on the plots and characters in their works, González develops both a story line and a moral tale, revolving around the Christian belief in the fall from grace and the possibility of redemption, that bring the writers into a unique and revealing interaction with one another.

The work of Lezama Lima and Arenas is compared with that of fellow Cuban author Virgilio Piñera (1912–1979) and, in a wider context, with the non-Cuban writers John Milton, Nathaniel Hawthorne, William Faulkner, John Ruskin, and James Joyce to show how their themes get replicated in González’s selected Cuban fiction. Also woven into this interaction are two contemporary films—The Devil’s Backbone (2004) and Pan’s Labyrinth (2007)—whose moral and political themes enhance the ethical values and conflicts of the literary texts. Referring to this eclectic gathering of texts, González charts a cultural course in which Cuba moves beyond the Caribbean and into a latitude uncharted by common words, beyond the tyranny of place.


Secret Science: Spanish Cosmography and the New World

The discovery of the New World raised many questions for early modern scientists: What did these lands contain? Where did they lie in relation to Europe? Who lived there, and what were their inhabitants like? Imperial expansion necessitated changes in the way scientific knowledge was gathered, and Spanish cosmographers in particular were charged with turning their observations of the New World into a body of knowledge that could be used for governing the largest empire the world had ever known.


A Companion to Latin American Anthropology

Comprised of 24 newly commissioned chapters, this defining reference volume on Latin America introduces English-language readers to the debates, traditions, and sensibilities that have shaped the study of this diverse region.* Contributors include some of the most prominent figures in Latin American and Latin Americanist anthropology* Offers previously unpublished work from Latin America scholars that has been translated into English explicitly for this volume* Includes overviews of national anthropologies in Mexico, Cuba, Peru, Argentina, Ecuador, Bolivia, Colombia, and Brazil, and is also topically focused on new research* Draws on original ethnographic and archival research* Highlights national and regional debates* Provides a vivid sense of how anthropologists often combine intellectual and political work to address the pressing social and cultural issues of Latin America.


Greening Brazil: Environmental Activism in State and Society

Greening Brazil challenges the claim that environmentalism came to Brazil from abroad. Two political scientists, Kathryn Hochstetler and Margaret E. Keck, retell the story of environmentalism in Brazil from the inside out, analyzing the extensive efforts within the country to save its natural environment, and the interplay of those efforts with transnational environmentalism. The authors trace Brazil’s complex environmental politics as they have unfolded over time, from their mid-twentieth-century conservationist beginnings to the contemporary development of a distinctive socio-environmentalism meant to address ecological destruction and social injustice simultaneously. Hochstetler and Keck argue that explanations of Brazilian environmentalism—and environmentalism in the global South generally—must take into account the way that domestic political processes shape environmental reform efforts.


Cuba and the Tempest: Literature and Cinema in the Time of Diaspora

In an analysis of Cuban literature inside and outside the country’s borders, Eduardo Gonzalez looks closely at the work of three of the most important contemporary Cuban authors to write in the post-1959 diaspora: Guillermo Cabrera Infante (1929-2005), who left Cuba for good in 1965 and established himself in London; Antonio Benitez-Rojo (1931-2005), who settled in the United States; and Leonardo Padura Fuentes (b. 1955), who still lives and writes in Cuba. Gonzalez places the three Cuban writers in conversation with artists and thinkers from British and American literature, anthropology, philosophy, psychoanalysis, and cinema, highlighting the positive experiences of exile and wandering that appear in their work.


Vision, Race, and Modernity: A Visual Economy of the Andean World

Through an intensive examination of photographs and engravings from European, Peruvian, and U.S. archives, Deborah Poole explores the role visual images and technologies have played in shaping modern understandings of race. Vision, Race, and Modernity traces the subtle shifts that occurred in European and South American depictions of Andean Indians from the late eighteenth to the early twentieth centuries, and explains how these shifts led to the modern concept of “racial difference” While Andean peoples were always thought of as different by their European describers, it was not until the early nineteenth century that European artists and scientists became interested in developing a unique visual and typological language for describing their physical features. Poole suggests that this “scientific” or “biological” discourse of race cannot be understood outside a modern visual economy. Although the book specifically documents the depictions of Andean peoples, Poole’s findings apply to the entire colonized world of the nineteenth century. Poole presents a wide range of images from operas, scientific expeditions, nationalist projects, and picturesque artists that both effectively elucidate her argument and contribute to an impressive history of photography. Vision, Race, and Modernity is a fascinating attempt to study the changing terrain of racial theory as part of a broader reorganization of vision in European society and culture.