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UPDATED CALENDAR ITEM: MU to Host Afro-Cuban Artists: A Renaissance Conference

April 30th, 2016

Story Contact: Jeff Sossamon, 573-882-3346,

By Molly Peterson

WHAT: “The Afro-Cuban Artists: A Renaissance” is an international, interdisciplinary conference hosted by the MU Afro-Romance Institute and the MU Department of Romance Languages and Literatures on April 27-30. The conference will focus on socio-cultural and political expressions, context, and impact of Afro-Cuban artists who became influential after 1959.

The conference will be held at the Hampton Inn and Suites, adjacent to the MU campus. Keynote speakers include:

  • Nancy Morejón, president of the Cuban Academy of Language, Cuban poet and author. Morejón will present, “The Expression of Afrocuban Art Today.” 9 a.m., Thursday, April 28.
  • William Luis, the Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Professor of Spanish at Vanderbilt University and 2012-2013 Guggenheim fellow. He has published 13 books regarding the Latin American culture. Luis will present, “Afro-Cuban Intellectuals and Artistic Creation.” 3 p.m., Thursday, April 28.
  • Flora González Mandri, professor emerita of Latin-American and Caribbean Literatures at Emerson College. González Mandri will present, “Speaking from Historical Silences: Gloria Rolando’s 1912: Voces para un silencio/Breaking the Silence.” 9 a.m., Friday, April 29.
  • James Counts Early, former director of cultural heritage policy at the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. Early will present, “Afro-Cuban Heritage Tradition Bearers: Reflections on Community and Country Identities and Cuban Policy.”                        9 a.m., Saturday, April 30.

WHO: MU faculty, staff, students and the general public

WHERE: Hampton Inn and Suites Columbia, 1225 Fellows Pl, Columbia, MO 65201

WHEN: Wednesday, April 27 – Saturday, April 30

NOTE: The conference is free for MU faculty, students, staff and local community members. Meal tickets are available for purchase. The registration deadline is April 20.

Registration can be found here:

Conference and event schedule can be found here:

Speaker information can be found here: