Biographies

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Jacqueline Loss

Jacqueline Loss is professor of Latin American Literary and Cultural Studies at the University of Connecticut. She co-edited with Vicky Unruh The Cambridge History of Cuban Literature (forthcoming). The author of Dreaming in Russian. The Cuban Soviet Imaginary (2013) and Cosmopolitanisms and Latin America: Against the Destiny of Place (2005) and co-editor of Caviar with Rum: Cuba-USSR and the Post-Soviet Experience (with José Manuel Prieto, 2012) and New Short Fiction from Cuba (with Esther Whitfield, 2007), Loss’s articles and translations have appeared in Journal of Latin American Cultural Studies, Nepantla, Chasqui, Latino and Latina Writers, New Centennial Review, Bomb, La Gaceta, Kamchatka, Aula, Transnational Screens, The Global South, Brooklyn Rail, among other publications. She has translated authors such as Jorge Ferrer, Jorge Mañach, Ernesto René Rodríguez, Armando Suárez Cobián, Jorge Miralles, Anna Lidia Vega Serova, Victor Fowler Calzada, and Gertrudis Rivalta. She curated an exhibition of Rivalta’s work entitled Selected Pages (Thomas Nickles Project, NYC) in 2022, and is currently co-directing a documentary entitled Finotype with Juan Carlos Alom.

Odette Casamayor-Cisneros

Havana-born writer and scholar Odette Casamayor-Cisneros is Associate Professor of Latin American & Caribbean Cultural Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. Centered on the Afro-Latin American and Afro-Latinx experiences, Professor Casamayor’s current work examines self-identification processes and the production of counter-hegemonic knowledge in the global African Diaspora. Previous publications include the 2013 book Utopía, distopía e ingravidez: reconfiguraciones cosmológicas en la narrativa postsoviética cubana and the collection of stories Una casa en los Catskills in 2016. Her numerous award-winning academic, journalistic, and literary works are featured in renowned publications throughout the world. She is also the author of a bi-weekly column "Con tinta negra," published in OnCuba between 2020 and 2023. Casamayor-Cisneros earned a Ph.D. in Arts and Literature at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS), in Paris, and holds a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Havana. Her research has been supported by fellowships and grants from Harvard University, the Rockefeller Foundation, and UNESCO, among others.

Rosa Marquetti Torres

Rosa Marquetti Torres, born in Alquízar, La Habana, Cuba, received a degree in philology from the University of Havana. Her professional connection with Cuban music began in 1993 as an executive at the Pablo Milanés Foundation, the first private Afro-descendant institutional initiative in Cuban culture. Since then, it has grown with projects in broad arenas, such as the record industry, intellectual property, archival, production, consulting and musical supervision in films and documentaries, curatorship, and historiographic and musicological research. Marquetti is the author of Chano Pozo: Una vida (1915-1948); El Niño con su tres. Andrés Echevarría Callava, Niño Rivera; Desmemoriados. Historias de la música cubana (also the title of the blog she founded in 2014), Celia in Cuba (1925-1960), and Triunfar era la opción: 20 mujeres afrocubanas en la música del siglo XX. During 2023, she was a Mellon Fellow in Residence at NYU's Hemispheric Institute. Marquetti has worked at Magic Music Records, the General Society of Authors and Editors of Spain, and the Gladys Palmera Collection. Her texts and research have appeared in publications in Cuba, Colombia, Spain, France, and the United States. She has taught and lectured at numerous universities, including New York University, Stony Brook University, Florida International University, and Middlebury College.

Inileidys Hernandez

Inileidys Hernández Delgado is a Ph.D. student at the Department of Literatures, Cultures, and Languages at the University of Connecticut (UConn), specializing in Literary and Cultural Studies of Latin America and the Caribbean. She holds a Master’s degree from UConn and an undergraduate degree from the Universidad Central Marta Abreu de Villa Clara, Cuba, her native country. Her research focuses on Black feminist theory and social movements, Black feminist literature, Cuban literature written in Cuba or outside the island by the Cuban diaspora, subversive feminisms in contemporary Cuban cultural production (with a gender and decolonial approach), dissident bodies and sexualities in Cuban and Latin American literature and theater, and critical discourses in contemporary Cuban visual arts. Her writing has appeared in Candela Review. She created two playlists for the Candela Review blog: “TransCanciones y cuerpos disidentes” (playlist #1) and “Tamboreras” (playlist #2).

Dantaé Garee Elliott

Dantaé Garee Elliott is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at New York University. She is interested in contemporary Caribbean Art and its relation to migration in the Caribbean diaspora and region. Her work examines the ‘barrel children’ phenomenon in order to highlight mobile remittance and the relationship between a material object and what she terms ‘barrel poetics.’ She holds a B.A. in Spanish Language and Literature with a concentration in Latin American and Caribbean Studies and TESL from Roanoke College and an M.A. in Spanish Language and Literature from the University of Delaware. She is an Editorial Assistant for Small Axe, A Caribbean Journal of Criticism. Elliot was the program assistant for the Caribbean Initiative workshop series at CLACS at NYU. In the summer of 2022, she served as Co-Director for the CCCADI (Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute) Summer Seminar for their Curatorial Fellowship class 2022. She is a featured artist in Volume 04 of Forgotten Lands, released in June 2022. She was a spring 2023 Mellon Graduate Fellow at the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics at NYU and co-curator of the first solo exhibition of Vincentian artist and photographer Nadia Huggins, Coral & Ash, which was on view at the KJCC, NYU from April through December 2023.

Suset Sánchez Sánchez

Suset Sánchez Sánchez (Havana, 1977) is an art critic and curator who lives in Madrid since 2004. She works as a researcher on Latin American art in the Collection Areas of the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía. She writes on art, film, and visual culture, focusing on the relationship between narratives of postcolonial nations and representations of race and gender. She is interested in Latin American and Caribbean art, audiovisual language, institutional criticism, and cultural productions of the African diaspora. She has a Master 's degree in Contemporary Art History and Visual Culture (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, 2013) and a Bachelor’s degree in Art History (Universidad de La Habana, 2000). She was a curator for Intermediæ Matadero Madrid between 2006 and 2011. From 2003 to 2004, she was the manager of the Estudio Tania Bruguera and the Cátedra Arte de Conducta, which were founded by the artist Tania Bruguera in Havana.

Gwen A. Unger

Gwen A. Unger is a Ph.D. Candidate in Art History and Archaeology at Columbia University in the City of New York, specializing in modern and contemporary Latin American and Caribbean Art. Her dissertation, “Other Selves: Critical Self-Portaiture in Cuba during the ‘Special Period in Time of Peace’ 1990-1999,” considers how three Black Cuban artists—Elio Rodriguez, Belkis Ayón, and Rene Peña—negotiate questions of race, subjectivity and belonging through the portrayal of alter-egos. Gwen’s research draws from art history of the African Diaspora, Afro-Cuban studies, Caribbean theory, Black Queer studies, among other fields. While at Columbia, Gwen has served as coordinator of the Columbia Graduate Colloquium and co-organizer of the Fifth Annual Symposium of Latin American Art. She also helped to co-found the lecture series “Unusual Scenes: A Series of Unorthodox Conversations in Art History." In 2022, Gwen co-curated the exhibition “Sin Autorización: Contemporary Cuban Art” at the Wallach Art Gallery, and taught a concurrent course to undergraduates around the exhibition through the Teaching Scholars Fellowship program at Columbia. 

Lázara Menéndez

Lázara Menéndez (Havana, 1946) is an art historian, writer, professor, and researcher. She holds an undergraduate degree in art history and a Ph.D. in Art Sciences. She is a full professor at University of Havana’s School of Arts and Letters, where she is “Profesora de Mérito.” She is also a member of UNEAC and a senior member of the Cuban Academy of Sciences. Her work draws from Afro-Caribbean studies, specializing in Afro-descendant religions and arts in Cuba. Menéndez’s essays have appeared in various journals across the world. She has lectured and given various conferences in Spain, Switzerland, Colombia, Mexico, and the United States. Her publications include Rodar el coco. Procesos de cambio en la santería, Estudios afrocubanos (a five-volume compilation), and Para amanecer mañana hay que dormir esta noche. Universos religiosos cubanos de antecedente africano: procesos, situaciones problémicas, expresiones artísticas.

María A. Cabrera Arús

María A. Cabrera Arús (Ph.D., New School for Social Research) is a sociologist who studies the effects of fashion and domestic material culture on regime stability and legitimation, focusing on state socialist regimes and the Caribbean region during the Cold War. Her research has been published in journals such as Theory and SocietyVisual Studies, and Cuban Studies, among others, and in books such as The Oxford Handbook in Communist Visual Cultures (Oxford University Press), The Revolution from Within (Duke University Press), Picturing Cuba: Art, Culture, and Identity on the Island and in the Diaspora (University Press of Florida), and International Perspectives on Publishing Platforms: Image, Object, Text (Routledge). She has also published in cultural magazines such as Letras LibresRialta, and El Estornudo, and the academic blogs Age of Revolutions and Behind the Sugar Curtain (Brown University). Cabrera Arús is the author of the multi-awarded project of digital scholarship Archive of Cuban Socialism (ArchCuS), a digital archive of Cuban material culture from the Cold War era, and its associated blog Cuba Material, which she maintains since 2012. She is also a collector of Cuban material culture and a curator of the exhibitions Cuban Revolutionary Fashion (Brown University, 2019), Pioneros: Building Cuba’s Socialist Childhood (Parsons School of Design, 2015), and Cuban Finotype and Its Materiality (Cabinet magazine, 2015). Cabrera Arús has lectured on material culture, fashion, archives and collections, civil society, and state socialist regimes at several universities in the United States and Europe. She is an adjunct professor at the Gallatin School of Individualized Study atNew York University.

Mailyn Machado

Mailyn Machado received her BA in Art History from the University of Havana, and her MA in Art Criticism from the University of Girona, Spain, in 2006, which led to her work as a curator and critic of contemporary art and audiovisual media. She is the author of Fuera de revoluciones (2016), and the trilogy Open Studio (2018), completed with the exhibit El circuito del arte cubano (El Apartamento, 2019). She was a professor of Art Theory at the University of Havana (2001-2008). In 2009, she received the "Guy Pérez Cisneros" Art Critics Award, and the National Curatorial Award for the exhibition Tanda corrida. She has curated exhibitions for the Cuban National Museum of Fine Arts, the Havana Biennial, the Cultural Centers of Spain in the Americasand the Jewish Museum in New York as part of the project Sights and Sounds: Global Film and Video (2013-2016).