23/03 Avatares de la naturaleza: Pájaros de la playa (1993) de Sarduy

Sarduy’s animal trilogy—”Colibrí”, “Cocuyo”, “Pájaros de la playa”- takes to new heights the thrust of his experimental fiction to break down the binary categories undergirding Western thought. A semi-autobiographical novel depicting Sarduy’s physical demise, this lecture reads “Pájaros de la playa” from an ecocritical perspective. Ecocritical categories, including a sense of place, transcorporeality, and apocalipsis, frame the novel as post-Edenic fiction. Lecture in Spanish.

Adriana Méndez Rodenas is Professor of Caribbean and Latin American Literatures in the Department of Romance Languages & Literatures at the University of Missouri and Director of the Afro-Romance Institute. Her book, “Gender and Nationalism in Colonial Cuba: The Travels of Santa Cruz y Montalvo, Condesa de Merlin” (1998), recuperates a pivotal figure in Cuban letters. Travel writing frames “Transatlantic Travels to Nineteenth Century Latin America: European Women Pilgrims” (2014) as well as her edited issue of Review- Literature and the Arts of the Americas, no. 84 (2012).

She is currently engaged in a study of Caribbean ecologies, which has resulted in two articles: ‘Picturing Cuba: Romantic Ecology in Gertrudis Gómez de Avellaneda’s Sab (1841),’ “Hispanic Issues Online” (2017) and ‘Picturing Eden: Contesting Fredrika Bremer’s Tropics,’ in “Contesting Environmental Imaginaries- Nature and Counternature in a Time of Global Change” (2017). Supported by fellowships at the Huntington Library and the Newberry Library, the project continues with the CUNY presentation on Severo Sarduy.

Free and open to the public
Reception will follow

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