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The Caribbean Through a Science Fiction Lens

Emily A. Maguire, Northwestern University

October 26, 2022 · 12:00 pm1:20 pm · 216 Aaron Burr Hall

Program in Latin American Studies
Photo still from video “El buey cansao”, by musician Harold López-Nussa.

This talk explores the use of science fiction elements in recent Hispanic Caribbean cultural production, in particular the ways in which the estranging nature of science fiction intervenes in reading and viewing patterns in the Caribbean context. While some science fiction narratives introduce new worlds or envision radically different future environments, many recent science fiction texts from the Caribbean, whether literary, cinematic, visual, or sonic, engage with or extrapolate from the particularities of contemporary experience. Emily Maguire argues that Caribbean texts deploy science fictional elements as a means of forcing the reader to step back, reframe their gaze, and read both the known and the unknown differently. Science fiction becomes a special “lens,” one that troubles established understandings of national histories and events, plays with current ideas of the nation, and reframes the reader’s perception of literary, cinematic, and cultural canons.

Emily A. Maguire is an Associate Professor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at Northwestern University, where she specializes in literature of the Hispanic Caribbean and its diasporas. She is the author of Racial Experiments in Cuban Literature and Ethnography (University Press of Florida, 2011; 2nd edition, 2018), and her articles have appeared in Revista de Estudios Hispánicos, Small Axe, A Contracorriente, ASAP/Journal, and Revista Iberoamericana, among other places. She is currently finishing on a second book project on the temporality of Caribbean science fiction.

DISCUSSANT: Lilianne Lugo Herrera, PLAS Postdoctoral Research Associate and Lecturer, Princeton University

Open to students, faculty, visiting scholars and specially invited guests. A boxed lunch will be provided while supplies last.




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