Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools

Navigation

Cultural Erotics in Cuban America

2006
Author:

Ricardo L. Ortíz

Cultural Erotics in Cuban America

A pioneering look at the influence of Cuban-American culture—beyond Miami

Looking beyond South Florida, Ricardo L. Ortíz addresses the question of Cuban-American diaspora and cultural identity by exploring the practices of smaller communities in such U.S. cities as Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York. Highlighting various forms of cultural expression, Cultural Erotics in Cuban America traces underrepresented communities's responses to the threat of cultural disappearance in a hegemonic U.S. culture.

Refusing impulses toward the restitution of 'the way things were' in Cuba, Ortíz, through elegant readings of both Cuban and Cuban American texts, provides a template for times to come that does not depend on forms of Cuban American nationalist violence.

Lica Fiol-Matta, The City University of New York

Miami is widely considered the center of Cuban-American culture. However vital to the diasporic communities’s identity, Miami is not the only—or necessarily the most profound—site of cultural production. Looking beyond South Florida, Ricardo L. Ortíz addresses the question of Cuban-American diaspora and cultural identity by exploring the histories and self-sustaining practices of smaller communities in such U.S. cities as Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York.

In this wide-ranging work Ortíz argues for the authentically diasporic quality of post-revolutionary, off-island Cuban experience. Highlighting various forms of cultural expression, Cultural Erotics in Cuban America traces underrepresented communities’s responses to the threat of cultural disappearance in an overwhelming and hegemonic U.S. culture. Ortíz shows how the work of Cuban-American writers and artists challenges the heteronormativity of both home and host culture. Focusing on artists who have had an ambivalent, indirect, or nonexistent connection to Miami, he presents close readings of such novelists as Reinaldo Arenas, Roberto G. Fernández, Achy Obejas, and Cristina García, the playwright Eduardo Machado, the poet Rafael Campo, and musical performers Albita Rodríguez and Celia Cruz.

Ortíz charts the legacies of sexism and homophobia in patriarchal Cuban culture, as well as their influence on Cuban-revolutionary and Cuban-exile ideologies. Moving beyond the outdated cultural terms of the Cold War, he looks forward to envision queer futures for Cuban-American culture free from the ties to restrictive—indeed, oppressive—constructions of nation, place, language, and desire.

Cultural Erotics in Cuban America

Ricardo L. Ortíz is associate professor of English at Georgetown University.

Cultural Erotics in Cuban America

Refusing impulses toward the restitution of 'the way things were' in Cuba, Ortíz, through elegant readings of both Cuban and Cuban American texts, provides a template for times to come that does not depend on forms of Cuban American nationalist violence.

Lica Fiol-Matta, The City University of New York

Cultural Erotics in Cuban America is simply the most critically sophisticated study of Cuban American and Cuban diasporic cultural production to date. By providing a template from which to imagine Cuba outside the strictures of state-sanctioned modes of citizenship and heteronormative desire, Cultural Erotics takes its places as one of the founding theoretical texts of Cuban American and Cuban diasporic aesthetic expression.

Hispanic Review

Cultural Erotic in Cuban America is unquestionably a major scholarly accomplishment. This is certainly an original undertaking.

Cuban Studies

Cultural Erotics in Cuban America

Contents

Preface: Cuban America in Cuban English

Introduction: Diaspora and Disappearance

Part I. Bodies of, Bodies in Evidence

1. Pleasure’s Exile: Reinaldo Arenas’s Last Writing
2. Docile Bodies,Volatile Texts: Cuban-Exile Prison Writing
3. Revolution’s Other Histories:Legacies of Roberto Fernández Retamar’s “Caliban”

Part II. From Exile to Diaspora

4. Hemispheric Vertigo: Cuba, Québec,and Our (New) America
5. Café, Culpa,and Capital: Nostalgic Addictions of Cuban Exile
6. Beyond All Cuban Counterpoints: Eduardo Machado’s Floating Island Plays

Part III. Some Cuban/American Futures

7. Careers of Surplus Value in the Novels of Cristina García
8. Sounding the Body Politic: Sono-Grammatics in Rafael Campo’s Sonnet Corpus

Conclusion: On Our American Ground

Notes
Bibliography

Index