session 3 – literature, history, technology

Roxanna Curto, Juan Carlos Rodriguez, and Marlene Daut

Presenters Roxana Curto and Juan Carlos Rodriguez offer reflections on the intersection of literature, history, and technology in the Caribbean geo-cultural space. Curto considers the perils and potential of “cyberspace” as engaged by Martinican writer-intellectuals Edouard Glissant and Patrick Chamoiseau. Rodriguez takes up media responses to hurricane Maria while looking at the role of corporate and user generated media in its aftermath. Moderated by Marlene Daut, this conversation thinks the Caribbean digital through an engagement with works by the region’s most prominent cultural actors.


Roxanna Curto is Associate Professor of French and Spanish at the University of Iowa. She holds a Ph.D. in French from Yale and an A.B. in Romance Studies from Harvard. In her research, Professor Curto explores the representation of cultural elements such as technology and sports in literature from the French- and Spanish-speaking worlds. She is the author of Inter-tech(s): Colonialism and the Question of Technology in Francophone Literature (University of Virginia Press 2016), which examines modern technologies in the works of Francophone writers from Africa and the Caribbean. She has also published a series of articles exploring connections between Aimé Césaire and Latin American literature, as well as several essays considering the role of technology in the work of 20th-Century French poets, including Guillaume Apollinaire, Blaise Cendrars, and Denis Roche.

Juan Carlos Rodríguez is Associate Professor of Spanish at Georgia Tech and co-editor of the collection of essays New Documentaries in Latin America (Palgrave, 2014). He is also co-editing a book series, Reframing Media, Technology, and Culture in Latin/o America, for the University Press of Florida. His current book project, Cinematic Ruinologies: Cuba, Documentary and the Ambiguous Rhetoric of Decay, explores representations of space and place in documentaries made in Cuba.

Marlene L. Daut specializes in early Caribbean, 19th-century African American, and early modern French colonial literary and historical studies. Her first book, Tropics of Haiti: Race and the Literary History of the Haitian Revolution in the Atlantic World, 1789-1865, was published in 2015 by Liverpool University Press’ Series in the Study of International Slavery. Her second book, Baron de Vastey and the Origins of Black Atlantic Humanism, is forthcoming in fall 2017 from Palgrave Macmillan’s series in the New Urban Atlantic. She is  also working on a collaborative project entitled, An Anthology of Haitian Revolutionary Fictions (Age of Slavery). Daut is the co-creator and co-editor of H-Net Commons’ digital platform, H-Haiti, and she has developed an online bibliography of fictions of the Haitian Revolution from 1787 to 1900 at the website