¿Teatro negro uruguayo?
Del palenque a la escena
Ph.D., University of Kansas, 1990
Contemporary Spanish American Literature and Critical Theory
University of California, Berkeley, Minor in Historical Linguistics
University of Wisconsin, Madison, MA, Spanish Literature
University of Wisconsin, Madison, BA. French, Spanish, and Education
Professor Cordones-Cook has published extensively articles on contemporary Spanish American literature and culture with special interest on Afro-Hispanic writers in major national and international journals in the United States, Canada, Europe, and Latin America. Her articles have appeared in Revista Iberoamericana, Théatre, Chasqui, World Literature Today, Revista del Vigía, Hispamérica, Revista de Estudios Canadienses, Hispanófila, Plural, La Palabra y el Hombre, Revista Unión, Conjunto, Casa de las Américas, Anales del Caribe, among others.
She works on projects related to postcolonial theories and issues of identity, race, and gender as they relate to the Afro-Latin American Diaspora. Professor Cordones-Cook also explores the way in which writers incorporate the cultural and political processes of their regions into their works. She has collaborated on numerous projects with authors and artists such as Luisa Valenzuela, Nancy Morejón, Manuel Mendive, Rogelio Martínez Furé, Eugenio Hernández Espinosa, Georgina Herrera, Alberto Lescay, Eduardo Rivero Walker, Maité Vera, Víctor Fowler, Inés María Martiatu, Soleida Ríos, Rolando Estévez Jordán, Roberto Diago, Eduardo “Choco” Roca Salazar, Gloria Rolando, Pedro Pérez Sarduy, Rosa María Crespo de Britton, Cristina Escofet, Ruth Behar, and Adriana Genta, among others.
Her books include Poética de transgresión en la novelística de Luisa Valenzuela (Peter Lang, New York, 1991); ¿Teatro negro uruguayo? Texto y contexto del teatro afro-uruguayo de Andrés Castillo (Grafitti, Montevideo, 1996); Looking within: Selected Poems / Mirar adentro: Poemas escogidos, 1954 / 2000 (Wayne State University Press, Detroit, 2003), a bilingual critical anthology of Nancy Morejón's poetry (press bestseller); Soltando amarras y memorias (Cuarto Propio, Santiago de Chile, 2010), a revised edition was published in Cuba (SurEditores, Unión de Escritores y Artistas de Cuba, Havana, 2014); La Habana expuesta / Havana on display, designed by Rolando Estévez (Ediciones Vigía, Matanzas, 2012), a bilingual anthology of poetry on the city by Nancy Morejón. She has also published a bilingual anthology of poetry of the Diaspora, by Nancy Morejón and Ruth Behar, NM-RB: Dos mujeres, una isla. / Two Women, One Island, with designs by Estévez (El Fortin, Matanzas, Cuba, 2014); Georgina Herrera, Cimarroneando / Always Rebellious, a bilingual anthology of poetry that is accompanied by a DVD of the documentary, Cimarroneando con GH, produced and directed by Cordones-Cook (Chico: Cubanabooks, 2014). Her latest book is La silla dorada. Antología poética, by Nancy Morejón, accompanied by La silla dorada, audiovisual anthology directed and produced by J. Cordones-Cook. (La Habana: Letras Cubanas (2015). She has as well published with Maria Mercedes Jaramillo three critical anthologies of theater, Mujeres en las tablas: Antología crítica de teatro biográfico hispanoamericano (Nueva Generación, Buenos Aires, 2005), First Place for the “Theater of the World Award” from the Universidad de Buenos Aires; Más allá del héroe: Antología crítica de teatro biográfico hispanoamericano (Universidad de Antioquia Press, Medellín, 2008), and more recently Del palenque a las tablas: Antología crítica de teatro afro-latinoamericano (Universidad Nacional de Colombia Press, Bogotá, August 2012, reprinted three times in 14 months). There will be another edition of this book in Cuba. A second edition of Mujeres en las tablas: Antología crítica de teatro biográfico hispanoamericano was also published by the Biblioteca Digital de Estudios Feministas y de Género Ofelia Uribe de Acosta, at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia (Bogotá 2014).
She is presently working on a book-length study of a generation of Afro-Cuban writers and artists who came of age with the Cuban Revolution, Havana’s Black Renaissance, as well as on a collection of essays on Ediciones Vigía and the art of book-making.
Professor Cordones-Cook has been guest-editor for the leading professional journals in their fields: Letras Femeninas (2001), Callaloo (2005), and Revista Iberoamericana (2011).
In 2006, Professor Cordones-Cook founded and has continued to develop the “Nancy Morejón Special Collection of Afro-Romance Literature and Culture,” which is housed at the University of Missouri’s Museum of Anthropology. This collection makes available to scholars an invaluable array of published and unpublished material, books, manuscripts, journals, including rare editions and films from the Afro-Romance cultures and traditions. Professor Cordones-Cook has as well founded and developed a special collection of Cuban Ediciones Vigía art-object books and a collection of one-of-a-kind books by Rolando Estévez at the University of Missouri Museum of Art and Archaeology.
Building upon her research, Professor Cordones-Cook has become an award winning filmmaker, including the 2014 Emmy nomination for directing and producing a documentary-historical entry from the National Academy of Televisión Arts and Sciences Mid-America Chapter. She has filmed over 100 hours of events in Cuba, the USA, and Canada on topics related to the Afro-Romance Diaspora culture and literature, such as conferences, interviews, ritual dances, and theatrical performances. She has also filmed a series of living histories of Afro-Hispanic intellectuals -33 already- and is as well directing and producing documentaries in Cuba and the United States. She has completed La silla dorada: antología audiovisual (Havana 2010); Cimarroneando con G.H. (Havana 2011); a series of five documentaries on Ediciones Vigía, Un libro único de Estévez / A One-of-a-Kind Book by Estévez; Poéticas visuales / Visual Poetics; La Habana expuesta, un diseño de Estévez / Havana on Display, a Design by Estévez; Entre la palabra y la imagen / Between the Word and the Image (Matanzas and Havana, 2012). Other documentaries include Nancy Morejón: Paisajes célebres / Famous Landscapes (Havana, Toronto, Columbia, Missouri, 2012), Diago: Un artista apalencado / A Maroon Artist (Havana 2013), Abriendo Archivos / Opening Archives (Matanzas, 2013), a 7 hour and 30 minutes archival documentary on 27 years (1985-2011) of Ediciones Vigía book production. Professor Cordones-Cook has as well produced and directed in collaboration with Julie Middleton, Michael Hicks, and Barbara Williamson, Battle, Change from Within (Columbia, Missouri, 2012). She has completed Georgina Herrera Reads her Poetry (2013), Rogelio Martínez Furé, un griot cubano / A Cuban Griot (2014), Choco (2014), El mundo mágico de Mendive (2015), and Olazábal: Un hacedor de objetos / A Maker of Objects. She is as well making progress on other documentaries on Afro-Cuban writers and artists, such as Alberto Lescay Merencio, Zuleica Romay, and Roberto Zurbano, among others. Her films are shown around the world in international museums and in prestigious academic and cultural institutions, and in national and international films festivals. Furthermore there have been festivals around her own documentaries.
In addition to this broad spectrum of research, Professor Cordones-Cook has a well-recognized national and international professional reputation. She has carried out over eighty professional interviews overseas with Spanish American writers and artists and has organized numerous national and international conferences. She has been covered by the press and has also participated in interviews on several radio and television programs in Uruguay, Argentina, Cuba, and the United States. Additionally, she is frequently invited as a featured speaker or to screen her documentaries at major events at highly respected academic / cultural institutions in the United States and around the world, including Washington University, Barnard College, Smith College, New York University, the Museum of the African Diaspora of San Francisco, as well as overseas the "Fundación Internacional Jorge Luis Borges" (Argentina), M.A.L.B.A. Museum of Buenos Aires (Argentina), U.N.E.S.C.O. / Casa de las Américas in Havana
(Cuba), U.N.E.A.C. (Cuba), Fundación Caguayo, in Santiago de Cuba, “Feria Internacional del Libro” (Cuba); “Ediciones Vigía” in Matanzas (Cuba); the University of Birmingham (England), "Cabildo de Montevideo" (Uruguay), Humboldt University and the Instituto Cervantes, in Berlin (Germany), and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. In May 2014, three of her documentaries inaugurated the international conference Diversidad Cultural en el Caribe, at Casa de las Américas, in Havana.
Selected articles by Professor Cordones-Cook on Spanish American literature and theory
"Novela negra con argentinos: The Desire to Know." World Literature Today, (Autumn 1995): 745 -750.
"Hibridez cultural/africanía religiosa en Uruguay." Revista Iberoamericana. 188-189 (1999), 649-70.
"Cola de lagartija: La hibridez cultural como contradiscurso y resistencia." Letras Femeninas. XXVII- Núm. 1 (Primavera 2001): 83-106.
"Genealogía matrilineal en la obra de Nancy Morejón." Revista de Estudios Hispánicos. 38 (2003): 509-32.
“Umbrales de exilio.“ La Revista del Vigía. 27 (2004). 139-49.
“El mimetismo del colonizado … La tragedia del rey Christophe.“ Anales del Caribe. (2004): 247-64.
“Emelina Cundeamor: entre la máscara y la autenticidad.” Caribe 8, no. 1 (summer 2005): 7- 18.
“Historia de vida y algo más.” Revista Iberoamericana. Vol. LXXVII, Núm. 235, Abril-Junio 2011.
“Rolando Estévez Jordán, muchos artistas”. Afro-Hispanic Review, Volume 31, Number 2 (Fall 2012): 15-28.
“Retórica de una mirada sobre La Habana”. Afro-Hispanic Review, Volume 31, Number 2 (Fall 2012): 163-174.
Books by Professor Cordones-Cook
Poética de transgresión en la novelística de Luisa Valenzuela.
- Steven Hart: Cordones-Cook, Poética de la transgresión en la novelística de Luisa Valenzuela, in BHS, LXXII (1995), 145-46.
¿Teatro negro uruguayo? Texto y contexto del teatro afro-uruguayo de Andrés Castillo.
- Professor Juan Carlos Legido at “Feria Nacional del Libro y el Grabado de Montevideo,” Montevideo, December 23, 1996 (video);
- Myriam Caprile, La Mañana [Montevideo], January 11, 1997;
- Eduardo Paz, “Amo las voces marginadas,” El Observador [Montevideo], Tuesday, January 14, 1997;
- Carlos Reyes, “Así en el teatro como en el carnaval,” Búsqueda [Montevideo], February 6 to 12, 1997;
- Daniel Briquet, “Cuando los negros hacían teatro,” Paula, [Montevideo] February 14, 1997;
- Angela Cáceres, S.O.D.R.E., Radio Oficial del Uruguay, March, 1997 (tape);
- Alberto Britos Serrat, Mundo Afro [Montevideo], April, 1997;
- Jorge Piñataro Calero, “Teatro,” Relaciones: Revista al Tema del Hombre [Montevideo], March,1997,
- Nora Glickman, Latin American Theatre Review, Fall 1997.
Nancy Morejón. Looking Within: Selected Poems / Mirar adentro: Poemas escogidos, 1954 / 2000.
- Mary Berg, Hispania, 87 (March 2004): 88-89;
- Barbara Mujica. Americas. 63;
- Carol Meir, African American Review. Volume 39, Numbers 1-2 (2005): 252-245.
- González Mandri, Flora. The Black Scholar Press: Journal of Black Studies and Research. Black International Issues: 2006. 36, 23. 2-3 65-66.
Mujeres en las tablas: Antología crítica de teatro biográfico hispanoamericano. (co-edition)
A second edition was published by the Biblioteca Digital de Estudios Feministas y de Género Ofelia Uribe de Acosta, at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia. (2014)
- María Fernanda Pinta. Telefondo, Revista de Teoría y Crítica Teatral. 21 de Diciembre de 2005. www.telondefondo.org
- Rocío Galicia. Latin American Theater Review (Spring 2007): 182-84.
Más allá del héroe: Antología crítica de teatro biográfico hispanoamericano. (co-edition)
- Glickman, Nora. “Desafíos a la historiografía oficial. ” Telondefondo, Revista de teoría y crítica teatral. Año V. Diciembre 2009. 10.
Soltando amarras y memorias: Mundo y poesía de Nancy Morejón. Cuarto Propio, Santiago de Chile, 2010.
- Celia Medina: “Convergencias para escuchar el silencio.” La Jiribilla: Revista de Cultura cubana. Año VIII. La Habana del 11 al 21 de febrero de 2010. http://www.lajiribilla.cu/2010/n458_02/458_134.html
- Georgina Herrera: “Las amarras de la memoria.” AfroCubaWeb. 20/2/10 http://www.afrocubaweb.com/herrera.htm
- Ineke Haf-Rheiberger. “Juanamaría Cordones-Cook: Soltando amarras y memorias: mundo y poesía de Nancy Morejón.” Iberoamericana. América Latina-España-Portugal, Ensayos sobre letras, historia y sociedad. Notas. Reseñas iberoamericanas. Año X, 40 (Diciembre 2010). 259-261.
- Claudette Williams. Afro-Hispanic Review. Vol. 30. Number 2. (Fall 2011) 221-223.
- Flora González Mandrí. Revista de Estudios Hispánicos. XLV, 2 (2011) 495-497.
A revised second edition of Soltando amarras y memorias: Mundo y poesía de Nancy Morejón, was published by SurEditores, Unión de Escritores y Artistas de Cuba, Havana, 2013.
- Ana Luz Calzada, in Guantánamo (May 2014)
- Fernando Rodríguez Sosa, by Cuban radio CMBF (June 29, 2014)
- Margarita Mateo, at Sábado del lIbro, in Havana (August9, 2014)
La Habana expuesta / Havana on display, poetry on the city of Havana by Nancy Morejón. Selection, edition, introduction and notes by J. Cordones-Cook. Designed by Rolando Estévez. Ediciones Vigía, Matanzas, 2012.
Del palenque a las tablas: Antología de teatro afro-latinoamericano. Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogotá, 2012. (co-edition) A 780 page anthology of Afro-Latin American theater has had 3 editions in one year. In September 2013, it was selected by the Minister of Culture of Colombia to be distributed in all the schools, public libraries, and municipalities in the nation. A fourth edition will published in Cuba.
- Azucena Ester Joffe, María de los Ángeles Sanz
http://lunateatral.blogspot.com/2013/02/resena-del-palenque-la-escena-antologia_20.html, miércoles, febrero 20, 2013
- KARPA: TEATRALIDADES DISIDENTES, ARTES VISUALES Y CULTURA. 6 Summer Issue 2013. http://www.calstatela.edu/misc/karpa/Karpa6.2/Site%20Folder/mamercedes.html
- CONJUNTO: Revista de Teatro Latinoamericano. (Casa de las Américas)
167 (abril-junio 2013): 107.
NM-RB: Dos mujeres, una isla / NM-RB: Two Women, One Island, Selection, edition, introduction and notes by J. Cordones-Cook. Designed by Rolando Estévez. Ediciones El Fortín Matanzas, 2014.
Georgina Herrera, Cimarroneando / Always Rebellious, a bilingual anthology of poetry. Selection, edition, introduction and notes by J. Cordones-Cook. Book is accompanied by a DVD of documentary, Cimarroneando con GH, produced and directed by J.Cordones-Cook. CubanaBooks, Chico, California, 2014.
La silla dorada. Antología poética, by Nancy Morejón. Selection, edition, introduction and notes by J. Cordones-Cook. La Habana: Letras Cubanas (2015). Book is accompanied by La silla dorada, audiovisual anthology directed and produced by J. Cordones-Cook with Imágenes del Caribe crew.
Documentaries, directed and produced by Professor Cordones-Cook
La silla dorada (antología audiovisual) (2010), ca. 90 minutes long. Audiovisual anthology of poetry by Nancy Morejón filmed in Cuba. The Poet reads 52 of her most celebrated poems.
Cimarroneando con G.H (2011) , ca. 30 minutes long with English subtitles. A documentary of a candid interview of Georgina Herrera with Juanamaría Cordones-Cook where poet discusses memories, gender issues, racial relations, and racism in socialist Cuba. Film includes images of the poet in different moments of her life, with art work and African masks from the University of Missouri, Museum of Art and Archaeology and Museum of Anthropology. The music was composed and played for this documentary by Professor Anthony Glise.
Battle: Change from within, ca. 50 minutes long. (filmed in Columbia with MU Extension Cooperative Video Group2009-2010) This documentary explores in depth the life of Eliot Battle, a Columbia educator who played a pivotal role in desegregating schools, housing, and the community. As he facilitated changes with quiet resolve, he faced resistance from both the black and white communities. His calm demeanor and dedicated work within existing institutions and systems allowed him to bridge the gap between the two races and change Columbia for the better. (February 2012)
Ediciones Vigía: Poéticas visuales / Visual Poetics (2012), 51 minutes long with English subtitles. Comment: the development and evolution of the press, the production of Vigía books as well as interviews with Vigía craftsmen and women, and numerous other prominent Cuban intellectuals who have been involved with this press from its inception, such as poet laureate Nancy Morejón, composer Marta Valdés, art historian Adelaida de Juan, anthropologist Ruth Behar, among others.
La Habana expuesta, un diseño de Estévez / Havana on Display, a Design by Estévez(2012), on anthology of poetry by Nancy Morejón, edited by Juanamaría Cordones-Cook, 21 minutes long with English subtitles. Comment: a documentary on the design of a book to be reproduced 200 times by the craftsmen and women of Ediciones Vigía as presented by Rolando Estévez Jordán, founder and principal designer of the press.
Un libro único de Estévez / A One-of-a-Kind Book by Estevéz (2012), 14 minutes long with English subtitles. Comment: the conception and creation of a one-of-a-kind art-object book on the poem “I Love My Master” by Nancy Morejón, as presented by its creator, Rolando Estévez Jordán.
Vigía: Entre la palabra y la imagen / Between the Word and the Image(2012), ca. 1 hour and 38 minutes long with English subtitles. A brief panoramic view of the evolution –one book a year- of the collective Ediciones Vigía by its principal designer, Rolando Estévez Jordán.
Nancy Morejón: Paisajes célebres / Nancy Morejón: Famous Landscapes(2013), ca. 54 minutes long with English subtitles. This documentary offers a unique perspective on contemporary Cuban culture and intellectual life through the world and artistic achievements of one of its most celebrated poets, Nancy Morejón (Havana 1944), as well as through the voices and images of outstanding Afro-Cuban intellectuals who came of age with the 1959 Cuban revolution. The music was performed by icons of Cuban popular culture, Richard Egües, Marta Valdés, and Elena Burke.
Ediciones Vigía (1985-2011): Abriendo archivos / Opening Archives (2013), ca. 7 hours and 30 minutes long with English subtitles. Comment: Vigía’s main designer and artist Rolando Estévez Jordán chronologically discusses the entire collection of books, while highlighting technological changes, as well as innovations in aesthetic languages. This documentary is an audiovisual archive of 27 years of Ediciones Vigía book production. Not a complete record of 100% of the works, but close to it.
Diago: Artista apalencado / A Maroon Artist (2013), ca. 27 minutes long with English subtitles. Comment: presentation of a prominent multimedia artist, Juan Roberto Diago (1972), who employs discarded materials he finds in his neighborhood. Diago understands the creative possibilities of recycling and bricolage, and also enriches his images by juxtaposing graffiti with racially contesting intent. His artwork results in “cultural resistance”. He has labeled himself a “maroon artist”. In this documentary, Diago openly discusses issues of race and poverty in contemporary Cuba, as well as their representation in his paintings and installations.
Rogelio Martínez Furé, un Griot Cubano / a Cuban Griot (2014), ca. 30 minutes with English subtitles. Direction and production by Juanamaría Cordones-Cook. Comment: portrait of a writer, Africanist, scholar of folklore, and religion, and founder of the National Folkloric Ballet of Cuba. Through conversations with Furé and other prominent Afro-Cuban intellectuals, as well as images of religious rituals and dances of the National Folkloric Ballet and the Olorum Group, film discloses layers of Cuba’s rich cultural heritage and African legacy. Film portrays Furé as a contemporary griot, a repository of oral tradition who recovers and guards Afro-Cuban and Caribbean silenced memories and true identity.
Choco (2014), ca. 29 minutes long with English subtitles. Comment: presentation of Eduardo “Choco” Roca Salazar, an artist who embodies the cultural success of the Cuban Revolution in its promotion of the arts. Born in a working class family in a small town in the Oriente province, Choco graduated from Cuba’s National School of Art and became a world famous print-maker. Documentary shows Choco at work in his Old Havana workshop, as well as visiting his former art school and a vast collection of his art work from the start of his career. Film is enriched by readings by Nancy Morejón and Pablo Milanés, as well as music by Miguelito Núñez.
El mundo mágico de Mendive / The Magical World of Mendive (Cuba 2015), ca. 40 minutes with English subtitles. Direction and production: Juanamaría Cordones-Cook.Comment: Film offers a unique perspective into the personal and artistic world of Manuel Mendive, the leading contemporary Cuban artist. Creating in various genres, drawing, painting, body painting, soft and hard sculpture, installations, and performances, Mendive is also a Santería priest, whose spirituality permeates all of his creations. This documentary shows a broad spectrum of his work including his latest performance in Havana, Las Cabezas (May 2012). Mendive appears painting in his studio as well as in the midst of his tropical forest offering some unprecedented remarks on his early life, on African elements in his art while he discusses his aesthetics and his profound fascination with the creative process. This film is enriched with comments by major Cuban intellectuals, Pablo Armando Fernández, Nancy Morejón, Yolanda Wood, and Adelaida de Juan, as well as with music by Ulises Hernández and Argeliers León.
Olazábal: Un hacedor de objetos / A Maker of Objects (Cuba 2015), ca. 34 minutes with subtitles in English. Direction and production by Juanamaría Cordones-Cook. Comment: Nurtured by spiritual traditions of the Yoruba culture, multimedia artist Santiago Rodríguez Olazábal (Havana 1955) establishes an intense and constant aesthetic dialogue with the divinities of the Ifá Orisha religion. Through unique symbols, rituals, and mysteries, his work expresses the profound grief of his African ancestors. In this documentary, Rodríguez Olazábal shares his thoughts about his personal and artistic development, visits his childhood neighborhood and meets with old friends. He also draws in charcoal human figures that he effectively complements with vibrant primary colors. The film displays a wide range of his bidimensional and tridimensional oeuvres including his recent exhibit at Galería Habana, “Palabras” (2014-2015). The documentary is enriched by remarks of outstanding personalities of the Cuban art scene, curator Gretchen Lima Molina, gallerist Luis Miret and art critics Hilda María Rodríguez and Yolanda Wood.
Some articles on Professor Cordones-Cook research
A way with words: Art is a lifestyle for Juanamaria Cordones-Cook. http://www.voxmagazine.com/stories/2009/11/26/way-words/
A love of literature: MU professor Juanamaria Cordones-Cook has an eye for the unusual. http://www.voxmagazine.com/stories/2009/11/26/love-literature/
“Afro-Hispanic Creativity Fuels the Fire,” by Laura Lindsay. p. 16-18. e-Mosaics, College of Arts and Science, April 2010, Vol. 1, No. 4
Cuba libros: Spanish professor collects series of handcrafted Cuban books. http://mizzoumag.missouri.edu/2011-Summer/features/cuba-libros/index.php
Professor Cordones-Cook lectures at UNEAC: Rebeldía cimarrona. http://www.cubaliteraria.com/articulo.php?idarticulo=12840&idseccion=30
Juanamaria Cordones-Cook displaying her private collection of art–object Cuban Books. (Vox Magazine, July 2011)
MU conference highlights the resourceful and resonant works of Cuban artists, poets, by Amy Wilder. The Columbia Daily Tribune. Sunday, November 4, 2012. http://www.columbiatribune.com/news/2012/nov/04/art-of-making-do/
On Global Journalist: http://globaljournalist.org/radio/2012/11/22/
David Lyle Show. http://www.kfru.com/pages/pages.php?page=11
Ediciones Vigía, by Caitlin Carter. Inside Columbia. November 2012. 115-117, 158-161.
Margarita Matteo Palmer, Afro-Hispanic Review, Volume 31, Number 2 (Fall 2012),175-180.