Congratulations to Katerina Gonzalez Seligmann on her 2023-24 academic year Humanities Institute fellowship!
Katerina, an Associate Professor of Spanish Studies, will bring a project entitled “Aimé Césaire and His Cuban Comrades in Art.” Katerina writes that the project “examines the relationships of solidarity and translation between Martinican poet, dramatist, essayist, and politician Aimé Césaire and a set of Black and white translators and artists in Cuba who shaped Césaire’s Spanish-language legacy. Césaire’s collaborative legacy notably includes the contemporary Spanish-language adoption of his 1935 neologism, “negritude,” so that this radical intervention in French to name blackness in defiance of anti-Black racism has become part of Spanish-language Black consciousness discourse. This book examines the practices of solidarity and translation that gave rise to Césaire’s impact on the circulation of the Spanish-language race-proud discourse of “negritud” and contributes to understanding how practices of solidarity and translation create social and aesthetic meaning and impact beyond the framework of fidelity.”
In general Katerina works with Caribbean literature and intellectual history more broadly, with a special focus on the routes of circulation and translation of anticolonial, Black consciousness, and anti-racist poetics and discourse in addition to the dynamics of gender and sexuality in these routes of circulation and translation. She initiated the project she’ll bring to UCHI with her 2012 Comparative Literature MA thesis, “Cabrera’s Césaire: Notes on an Afro-Caribbean Crossing,” which went on to become my 2019 article for MLN, “Cabrera’s Césaire: The Making of a Trans-Caribbean Zone.” As she studied archives for my first book, Writing the Caribbean in Magazine Time (Rutgers UP, 2021), she found most of the primary source materials that I work with for this project. Katerina has also recently published another essay from this project, available open access at Continents manuscrits, “Colombes et Menfenil in Text and Image: Taking Flight from Conquest in Aimé Césaire and Wifredo Lam’s Collaborative Aesthetics.”