MemberFrancis F. K. Agbemade

Francis (Fred) Agbemade was born in Abor, a small Ewe-speaking community in Ghana, West Africa. He obtained his Bachelor’s degree in French and Spanish from the University of Ghana. He also studied Spanish at the University of Cienfuegos, Cuba. He participated in an internship program with University of Seville’s Translation Bureau. He also pursued Translation Studies at the University of Seville. He later obtained his Master’s degree in Spanish from Ohio University. Fred Agbemade is currently a Spanish PhD candidate in the School of International Letters and, Arizona State University. His research interests include Afro-Caribbean & Latin American literature and culture, Cuban & Cuban-American Cinema, Chicano & Afro-American literature and Cultural Productions.

MemberAngela Castro

…“Haitian and Dominican Resistance in The Farming of Bones by Edwidge Danticat.” Racialized Visions: Haiti and the Spanish Caribbean Imaginary. Ed. Vanessa Valdez. SUNY Press. Print (2020).  SUNY Press
“Power-In-Passivity: A Study of The Body and the Hegelian Consciousness in Jamaica Kincaid’s Lucy.” The Journal of Commonwealth and Postcolonial Studies, 5.2 (2017): 19-29….

I examine dominant representations of the twentieth-century Afro-Caribbean body through comparative analysis of texts from Colombia, Haiti, Puerto Rico, and Cuba. I propose the concept of the palimpsest as a means of reconfiguring the Afro-Caribbean female body as a site of empowerment born within the struggles of postcolonial and neocolonial history.

MemberDara Goldman

Dara E. Goldman is an Associate Professor of Spanish, specializing in contemporary Caribbean and Latin American literatures and cultures, gender and sexualities studies and cultural studies. She is the author of Out of Bounds: Islands and the Demarcation of Identity in the Hispanic Caribbean (Bucknell Univ. Press, 2008) and has also published numerous articles on how Caribbean identities are represented in contemporary literature and film. Professor Goldman has served as Director of the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies/Lemann Institute for Brazilian Studies and also holds appointments as Affiliate Faculty in several camps units, including the Program in Comparative and World Literatures, Center for Global Studies, Gender and Women’s Studies, the Program in Jewish Culture and Society, Latina/Latino Studies, the Unit for Criticism and Interpretative Theory, and Women & Gender in a Global Perspective.

MemberCharlotte Rogers

Charlotte Rogers holds the Lisa Smith Discovery Chair at the University of Virginia. She specializes in twentieth- and twenty-first-century Latin America and the Caribbean, with a comparative focus on representations of the tropics in literature and culture. Rogers is the author of Jungle Fever: Exploring Madness and Medicine in Twentieth-Century Tropical Narratives (Vanderbilt University Press, 2012) and Mourning El Dorado: Literature and Extractivism in the American Tropics (University of Virginia Press, 2019). Her articles appear in journals including PMLA, Revista de Estudios Hispánicos, Bulletin of Hispanic Studies, Hispania, MLN and the Revista Canadiense de Estudios Hispánicos. She serves on the Peer Advisory Board for PMLA (2020-2023) and on the Editorial Board of the Revista de Estudios Hispánicos. Her new research project takes an ecocritical approach in examining the twenty-first-century Caribbean literature and art. At UVa, Professor Rogers is a core faculty member in the Environmental Humanities, a founding member of the Interdisciplinary Doctoral Fellowship in Caribbean Literatures, Arts, and Cultures, and Director of Graduate Admissions for the Ph.D. program in Spanish.

MemberNadesha Gonzalez

Expert Spanish literature and language university professor with a Doctor of Philosophy and Letters degree in Puerto Rican and Caribbean Literature. More than 15 years of experience teaching at the college level, some of which have been holding administrative academic positions. Distinguished communications professional with over 20 years of experience as a journalist for radio, TV, and print media in both Puerto Rico and the United States focusing on political and judicial issues, as well as human interest stories and weather reports. Past director of several lifestyle publications.

MemberAntonio Sotomayor

I am an Associate Professor, Historian, and Librarian of Latin American and Caribbean Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. I also hold faculty appointments in the Departments of Spanish and Portuguese, and Recreation, Sport, and Tourism, and I am an affiliated faculty at the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies at Illinois. My research revolves around issues of idenity/cultural politics, nationalism, international relations, religion, hegemony, and U.S.-Latin American relations through the window of sport. My book, The Sovereign Colony: Olympic Sport, National Identity, and International Politics in Puerto Rico, studies the role that the Olympic movement played in Puerto Rican construction of national identity, in the development of an autonomist political culture, and in Puerto Rican agency in international politics. It was the recipient of the 2017 José Toribio Medina Award, from the Seminar on the Acquisition of Latin American Library Materials (SALALM), the premier international association for Latin American librarians. My work appears in journals such as Journal of Sport HistoryCaribbean Studies, The Latin Americanist, The Americas, and The International Journal of the History of Sport. Currently, I am co-editor of Olimpismo The Olympic Movement in the Making of Latin America and the Caribbean (Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press, 2020). I am working on a book project on religion, imperialism, and sport through the YMCA in Puerto Rico and Cuba (1898-1950s). As a librarian, I direct the Latin American and Caribbean Studies collection at the University of Illinois. With close to one million volumes and numerous specialized databases, the collection is considered among the best in the nation. I oversee all aspects related to Latin America and the Caribbean at the University Library including collection development, reference, instruction, serial management, and offer specialized research consultations. My main interests at the library include in depth research consultations, collection development, and liaison work with the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies and the Lemann Institute for Brazilian Studies. I am the director of the Digital Library of Latin American and Caribbean Sport (DLLACS), and on the Conde de Montemar Letters, a portal that provides open access to a set of some 300 unique letters belonging to the family of the Count of Montemar between Lima and Madrid during the years of 1761 and 1799.

MemberVanessa Valdés

I am the director of the Black Studies Program at The City College of New York and a professor of Spanish and Portuguese. I am the author of Diasoric Blackness: The Life and Times of Arturo Schomburg (2017) and Oshun’s Daughters: The Search for Womanhood of the Americas (2014). I am the editor of The Future Is Now: A New Look at African Diaspora Studies (2012) and Let Spirit Speak! Cultural Journeys of the African Diaspora (2012). My latest book is the edited collection, Racialized Visions: Haiti and the Hispanic Caribbean (2020), which was just released by SUNY Press as part of its Afro-Latinx Futures series.