Future Island: Cuba
Alejandro de la Fuente, Harvard University
Magdalena Campos-Pons, SMFA
Doris Sommer, Harvard University
Timothy Hyde, MIT
ACT present the second public lecture of the 2016 Lecture Series, Curation: Agencies + Urgencies.
Alejandro de la Fuente is the Robert Woods Bliss Professor of Latin American History and Economics and Professor of African and African American Studies at Harvard University. He is the Director of the Afro-Latin American Research Institute and the co-chair of the Cuban Studies Program at Harvard. He is the author of Havana and the Atlantic in the Sixteenth Century (University of North Carolina Press, 2008), and of A Nation for All: Race, Inequality, and Politics in Twentieth-Century Cuba (University of North Carolina Press, 2001). He is also the curator of two art exhibits dealing with issues of race: Queloides: Race and Racism in Cuban Contemporary Art (2010-12) and Grupo Antillano: The Art of Afro-Cuba (ongoing, currently at the Museum of African American History in Philadelphia).
Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons‘ work of the last 20 years covers an extended range of visual language investigations. Campos-Pons’ work emerges from the early 1980s focus on painting and the discussion of sexuality in the crossroads of Cuban mixed cultural heritage to incisive questioning, critique and insertion of the black body in the contemporary narratives of the present. Campos-Pons has been exhibited internationally since 1984 when she won the Honorable Mention at the XVIII Cagnes-sur-Mer Painting Competition in France, and the Bunting Fellowship in Visual Arts at Harvard 1993; solo shows followed at MoMA, the Venice Biennale 2001, Johannesburg Biennial, the First Liverpool Biennial, the Dak’ART Biennial in Senegal; most recently the Guangzhou Triennial in China hosted her work.
Doris Sommer, Director of the Cultural Agents Initiative at Harvard University, is Ira and Jewell Williams Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures and of African and African American Studies. Her academic and outreach work promotes development through arts and humanities, specifically through “Pre-Texts” in Boston Public Schools, throughout Latin America and beyond. Among her books are Foundational Fictions: The National Romances of Latin America (1991) about novels that helped to consolidate new republics; Proceed with Caution when Engaged by Minority Literature (1999) on a rhetoric of particularism; Bilingual Aesthetics: A New Sentimental Education (2004); and The Work of Art in the World: Civic Agency and Public Humanities (2014). Sommer has enjoyed and is dedicated to developing good public school education.
Timothy Hyde is an architectural historian whose research focuses on intersections of architecture and politics. His writings, ranging from a genealogy of mat-building, to a précis of the work of John Johansen, to an explication of Reyner Banham’s concept of the gizmo, have appeared in a number of journals including Log, Praxis, and Thresholds. Hyde is currently pursuing an extended study of entanglements between architecture and law, research that includes his book, Constitutional Modernism: Architecture and Civil Society in Cuba, 1933-1959; his essay, ‘Some Evidence of Libel, Criticism, and Publicity in the Architectural Career of Sir John Soane,’ published in Perspecta; and a new project on the aesthetic debates about ugliness in Great Britain in the 19th and 20th centuries. He is a founding member of the Aggregate Architectural History Collaborative and is one of the editors of the first Aggregate book, Governing by Design.
Panel Respondent: Paloma Duong, Assistant Professor Latin American Studies at MIT.
ACT’s Monday night lecture series is conceived by Gediminas Urbonas, ACT director, and coordinated by Catherine Aquila, ACT Communications & Public Programs Coordinator and Lucas Freeman, ACT Writer in Residence, in conversation with ACT graduate students.
Funded in part by the Council for the Arts at MIT