In the context of revolutionary Cuba, discourses of identity are veiled behind discussions and performances of nation and nationality. Consideration of the paradoxical relation of blackness and the Cuban Revolution must consider the historical relation of blackness to the Cuban nation, from its inception, to independence, through the Republic and immediately prior to the Revolution. In addition, a discussion of this relation must consider the discreet comments on race made via official policies, speeches, and discourses on the subject. Using Nancy Morejón’s critical analysis in her seminal 1982 work Nación y mestizaje en Nicolas Guillén as a springboard, the objective of this work is two-fold—to explore how the Cuban nation is reimagined in the poetry of Nicolás Guillén and to dissect the use of metaphors such as mestizaje as performances of nation that in turn highlight racial discourse.
Nation, Race, and Performance in the Poetics of Nicolás Guillén and Nancy Morejón
Aisha Z. Cort is a lecturer of Spanish at Howard University. She earned her BA in Spanish from Yale University and her MA and PhD in Spanish literature from Emory University. Her research interrogates Afro-Latinx and Latinx film, literature, and cultural production. She is the author of Representing Race in Revolutionary Cuba: Afrocubanía, Negrometraje, and Cultural Production, 1961–1996 (forthcoming).
Aisha Z. Cort; Nation, Race, and Performance in the Poetics of Nicolás Guillén and Nancy Morejón. Small Axe 1 July 2021; 25 (2 (65)): 125–141. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/07990537-9384314
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