The Graduate Symposium, University of Puerto Rico

The School of Humanities of The University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras presents Transnational author Giannina Braschi as the keynote speaker at the second annual GRADUATE STUDENT SYMPOSIUM

April 18-20, 2013

Giannina Brachi RTZ

Giannina Braschi


@ The University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras



60 international graduate students will convene at the University of Puerto Rico’s Rio Piedras campus to present a wide variety of original research in the Humanities in 2o different academic panels. The sessions will take place in English, Spanish, French, Italian or Portuguese.  The conference is open to the public. The centerpiece event will be a dramatic performance by Puerto Rico’s most internationally celebrated writer Giannina Braschi who will appear on Friday, April 19th from 4pm to 6pm at the Sala Jorge Enjuto.  Professors Maritza Stanchich and Carmen Haydee Rivera will present and interview the author.

For more information contact:

More about the Key Note Speaker:


With a Ph.D. in the Spanish Golden Age from the State University of New York-Stony Brook, Giannina Braschi taught Hispanic Literatures and Creative Writing at Rutgers University, City University of New York, and Colgate University where she served as Chair of Creative Writing and Distinguished Writer-in-Residence. On the scholarly front, she published a book on the Spanish Romantic poet Bécquer and essays on classics by Cervantes, Garcilaso, Lorca, Machado, and Vallejo. Braschi has won awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, New York Foundation for the Arts, El Diario/La Prensa, PEN American Center, Ford Foundation, Danforth Scholarship, InterAmericas, Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña, and Reed Foundation. Her works have appeared in English, Spanish, Italian, Chinese, and Swedish translations.

“The dynamic potential of a cross-cultural dialogue and encounters in the context of globalization is a key theme in the starling performance novel of Puerto Rico’s premier poet and novelist Giannina Braschi,” wrote Madelena Gonzales and Helene Laplace-Claverie in their new book “Minority Theatre on the Global Stage: Challenging Paradigms from the Margins”. “UNITED STATES OF BANANA brings together Hamlet, Zarathustra, and Giannina herself who embark on a quest to free Segismundo, the hero of Calderón de la Barca’s 17th century play, from the dungeon of the Statue of Liberty where he is being held prisoner. Staged in a surreal post 911 New York and written in a defamiliarized Spanglish, it quickly becomes clear that the journey is a politically-charged metaphor for the fall of the US Empire and the collapse of the World Trade Centre as well as a plea for the subject minorities to free themselves from the yoke of domination by the majority, whether it be economic, linguistic or ideological. Stuttering and stammering in a hybrid tongue that contrasts with that of the well-spoken majority, Braschi uses language to travel along new and always unexpected pathways, making her work an intercultural explosion capable of breaking the bonds that constrain the minority. By creating her own foreign language, she illustrates Deleuze’s theory of continuous variation and the process of being “a nomad and an immigrant and a gypsy in relation to one’s language”.

More about the Conference Organizer:

María M. Carrión was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and raised in Madrid, Spain, where she lived for twelve years. She studied Classics at the Universidad Complutense and graduated with a B. A. in Art History and Criticism from the University of Puerto Rico. She completed an M.S. in Art Education and an M.A. in Spanish from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, before completing her Ph.D. in Spanish at Yale University. She specializes in the cultural and literary production of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Spain, with a particular focus on dramatic theory and performance, legal writings and practices, and architectural theory and history. Her work also concentrates on the literature and culture of the Hispanic Caribbean, with a special interest in Puerto Rican and Cuban narratives and poetry.  At Emory, besides the service she has rendered for the Department of Spanish and Portuguese as Honors Coordinator, Director of Undergraduate Studies and, more recently, Director of Graduate Studies, she has served as member of the Executive Council of the Graduate School, the Executive Committee of the Center for Humanistic Inquiry, the Piedmont Project, the Graduate and Undergraduate Committees in Women’s Studies, the President’s Commission on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Concerns, and the College Research Council, among others. For the past three years she has served as lead scholar for the Gustafson faculty seminar. She is the Assistant Dean of Graduate Studies at the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras.

Maritza Stanchich, PhD, is an Academic Senator and Associate Professor of English for the College of Humanities atUniversity of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras, where she teaches Caribbean, U.S., and U.S. Latina/o Literatures. She recently presented the paper “Whose English is it Anyway? Giannina Braschi Levels the Bilingual Playing Field” at the Modern Language Association annual convention in 2013. Her scholarship on literature of the Puerto Rican diaspora and William Faulkner has appeared in Sargasso and Mississippi Quarterly,respectively. She has also published in Prospero’s Isles: The Presence of the Caribbean in the American Imaginary (2004),Writing Of(f) the Hyphen: New Critical Perspectives on the Literature of the Puerto Rican Diaspora (2008), and HispanicCaribbean Literature of Migration: Narratives of Displacement (2010). She previously worked as an award-winning journalist in New York, Washington DC, and San Juan. Her recent columns for The Huffington Post and The New York Times have helped bring international attention to the crisis in Puerto Rico. She has also worked for academic unionization at University of California and with the Puerto Rican Association of University Professors (APPU).

Carmen Haydée Rivera was born in Puerto Rico and raised in Boston, Massachusetts by parents who insisted on keeping Puerto Rican family traditions and customs alive within the US context.  She received her B.A. and M.A. in British and American Literature from the University of Puerto Rico in 1988 and 1991, respectively. She later returned to Boston and earned a Ph.D. in Multiethnic Literatures of the U.S. from Northeastern University in 2001. She has taught courses in American Literature, Puerto Rican Writers in the US, and Contemporary US Latino/a Literature. She was also Interim Chair for the Department of English, College of Humanities, and served a two-year term as ESL Coordinator. At present, she serves as the Graduate Program Coordinator. Her publications include a co-edited collection of essays titled Writing Off the Hyphen: New Perspectives on the Literature of the Puerto Rican Diaspora(University of Washington Press, 2008) and a critical biography on Chicana writer Sandra Cisneros titled Border Crossings and Beyond: The Life and Works of Sandra Cisneros (Praeger Press, 2009). Additional critical articles appear in journals such as The Ethnic Studies ReviewCentro Journal, and Sargasso. She is currently working on a collection of interviews titled Diasporic Journeys: Conversations with Contemporary Puerto Rican Writers in the US. She presented Giannina Braschi at the American Studies Association Conference and the University of Puerto Rico; her interview entitled “El poder de la palabra y la experiencia transnacional: una entrevista con Giannina Braschi” will soon appear in Op-Cit: Revista del Centro de Investigaciones Históricas.



Organizer: Professor María M. Carrión
Assistant Dean of Graduate Studies
School of Humanities
The University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras
(787) 764-0000 [x-3423]




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