My paper proposes a re-evaluation of the magnum opus of Colombian writer Manuel Zapata Olivella’s, Changó el gran putas, a work that attempts a wholistic engagement with the problematic of black freedom and unfreedom in the so-called New World. It gestures toward a re-focusing of the critical lens as regards this novel, so that we might foreground the materiality of present struggles and, while not dismissing the relevance of myth, re-center attention on those goals of greatest immediate importance to the black and otherwise subalternized collective.
Jerome Branche is Professor of Latin American Literature and Cultural Studies in the Department of Hispanic Languages and Literatures, University of Pittsburgh. His teaching and his research focus on racialized modernity and the way creative writers across the Atlantic imagine and articulate slavery, freedom, the nation, being, and gender. Branche’s books to date include Colonialism and Race in Luso-Hispanic Literature (Missouri 2006), and The Poetics and Politics of Diaspora: Transatlantic Musings (Routledge 2014). He has also edited, most recently, Black Writing, Culture and the State in Latin America (Vanderbilt 2015).
Sponsored by: The Spanish and Portuguese Department, Jay C. & Ruth Halls Visiting Scholar Fund and Anonymous Fund of the College of Letters & Science.