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MEDIA ADVISORY: MU Hosts Conference of Cuban Authors

Story Contact(s):
Nathan Hurst,, 573-882-6217

WHAT: The University of Missouri will host a conference focusing on Ediciones Vigía, a group of book artists from Matanzas, Cuba, that publishes handcrafted art-object books in a number of genres that bring together multiple aesthetics including entrepreneurship, poetry, art, literature, history, archeaology, and anthropology. The conference will feature keynote speaker Ruth Behar, who is a MacArthur Fellow, a Cuban American author published by Ediciones Vigía and the Victor Haim Perera Collegiate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Michigan, as well as many other Cuban speakers. In addition to the conference, the event will also feature a Cuban-themed dinner and concert during the three-day event.

“This conference represents an extraordinary constellation of scholars, documentary film, and Cuban artwork, artists, poets, handmade one-of-a-kind books and entrepreneurship, all of which is embodied in the trans-disciplinary goals of the Mizzou Advantage,” said Berkley Hudson, associate professor at the MU School of Journalism. “The art books themselves, including more than 100 which are housed at the MU Museum of Art and Archaeology, are part of the Cuban economy. They’re a business. They’re an art. They’re environmentally friendly, made from recycled materials. They’re literary. They’re historical. They’re a story within themselves.”

The conference is sponsored by the Media for the Future area of Mizzou Advantage.  Mizzou Advantage is a program that focuses on four areas of MU strength: food for the future, media of the future, one health, one medicine, and sustainable energy. The goals of Mizzou Advantage are to strengthen existing faculty networks, create new networks and propel Mizzou’s research, instruction and other activities to the next level. Juanamaria Cordones-Cook, professor of Spanish in the department of Romance Languages and Literatures in the College of Arts and Science, is overseeing the conference.

WHO: Keynote Speaker:

Ruth Behar, MacArthur Fellow and Cuban-American author published by Ediciones Vigía and the Victor Haim Perera Collegiate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Michigan

Other speakers include:

Rolando Estévez Jordán, principal designer and artist of Ediciones Vigía and winner of Cuba’s National Prize of Book Design

Nancy Morejón, prolific Afro-Cuban poet published frequently by Ediciones Vigía and winner of Cuba’s National Prize for Literature

Ivo Zander, professor of entrepreneurship at the department of business studies, Uppsala University, Sweden


WHERE: Saturday, Nov. 10 – Tuesday, Nov. 13

MU campus

NOTE: For a full schedule of events and locations visit: All events are free and open to the public, other than the Cuban concert and dinner, which are $24 and $25 respectively. To register for the event visit: