Cuban Writer and Poet Speaks at Denison
Date of Event: October 30, 2006
Posted: October 23, 2006
Amid the fall breezes will be one bearing a hint of Caribbean spirit and culture and it's headed toward Denison University. Poet, writer and filmmaker Ruth Behar from Havana, Cuba, is visiting Denison to speak on "In Search of the Jews of Cuba: Stories and Images" at 4:30 p.m. on Monday (Oct. 30) in Burton Morgan lecture hall. The lecture is free and open to the public.
Behar is the recipient of a MacArthur "genius" Award, a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, and the Distinguished Alumna Award from Wesleyan University. She earned her bachelor of arts in letters from Wesleyan University in 1977 and her master's degree (1980) and doctorate (1983) in cultural anthropology from Princeton University.
Behar has written four books: "The Presence of the Past in a Spanish Village: Santa Maria del Monte" (1986), "Translated Woman: Crossing the Border with Esperanza's Story" (1993), "The Vulnerable Observer: Anthropology That Breaks Your Heart" (1996), and her most recent, "Women on the Verge of Home" (2005). She has also co-edited "Women Writing Culture" (1995) and edited "Bridges to Cuba/Puentes a Cuba" (1995), an anthology that paved the way for more interchanges and became a highly praised forum for the voices and visions of Cubans on the island and in the diaspora. In addition to her writing, she has worked on the film documentary "Adio Kerida/Goodbye Dear Love: A Cuban Sephardic Journey," a feature-length film about the search for identity and memory among Sephardic Cuban Jews living in Cuba, Miami, and New York that premiered in 2002.
Behar is also known for her essays and poems which have been published in a number of well-known anthologies and periodicals. Joyce Carol Oates chose her short story, "La Cortada," for inclusion in her anthology, "Telling Stories: An Anthology for Writers" (1997) and Marjorie Agosin chose Behar's short story "In the Absence of Love" for her anthology "The House of Memory: Stories by Jewish Women Writers of Latin America" (1999).
In the last 10 years, Behar has traveled to Cuba frequently, seeking personal, spiritual, and intellectual connections with the country of her birth. Her return visits to the island have inspired an outpouring of artistic work.
At present Behar resides in Ann Arbor and is a member of the anthropology department at the University of Michigan.
The Laura C. Harris Endowed Fund provides for a Distinguished Visiting Professorship, scholarships for women in science, English, and music, and for lectures at Denison. The late Laura C. Harris, who earned a bachelor's degree from Denison in 1916, was the first woman to receive a medical degree from Syracuse University and was a pioneer medical educator among women.
CALENDAR LISTING: Denison University, Granville -- The Laura C. Harris "Gendered Borders" program presents Ruth Behar, Cuban poet, writer and filmmaker, to speak on "In Search of the Jews of Cuba: Stories and Images"; 4.30 p.m., Monday (Oct. 30), Burton Morgan Lecture Hall. Free and open to the public. Call 740-587-6297 to confirm information.
Denison University, founded in 1831, is an independent, residential liberal arts institution located in Granville, Ohio. A highly selective college enrolling 2,100 full-time undergraduate students from all 50 states and dozens of foreign countries, Denison is a place where innovative faculty and motivated students collaborate in rigorous scholarship, civic engagement and the cultivation of independent thinking.
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