José Martí Weekend on Governors Island will be October 14 and 15. This weekend’s program aims to further widespread interest in José Martí, one of the greatest writers in the Spanish language and someone whose legacy to the City of New York cannot be underestimated.
All events take place in English, in the Empire State Center for the Book pop-up house on Governors Island, Quarters 4B, Nolan Park (right next to the Admiral’s House, whose gardens General Winfield Scott Hancock once tended).
“Cuidaba en silencio, en la linda isla del Gobernador, a la entrada de Nueva York, de los jardines y canteros que allí embellecen la morada del mayor-general del ejército del Este…”
“On lovely Governors Island, at the entrance to New York City, [Winfield Scott Hancock] silently tended to the gardens and flowerbeds that grace the home of the Major General of the Army of the Atlantic…”
—José Martí, “El General Hancock,” written in New York City, February 12, 1886; published in La Nación (Buenos Aires), March 26, 1886
The weekend is presented by:
* The Department of Modern Languages and Comparative Literature, Baruch College, CUNY
* The Ph.D. Program in Hispanic and Luso-Brazilian Literatures and Languages, CUNY Graduate Center
* Centro Cultural Cubano de Nueva York
* The Empire State Center for the Book
The event is free and open to the public. We will be collecting funds for the Hispanic Federation on behalf of hurricane victims in the Caribbean, and ask that you consider donating whatever you can.
Schedule of events:
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 14
Emma Otheguy introduces and reads from her new bilingual book for children Martí’s Song for Freedom / Martí y sus versos por la libertad. Martí scholar Anne Fountain joins her for a conversation about “Guantanamera.”
Cuban painter/photographer Geandy Pavón shares the haunting vision of a hidden and wrinkled Martí that recurs in his work.
Baruch professor Esther Allen, reveals the strange history of the equestrian statue of Martí that stands in the heart of Manhattan, and CUNY grad student Wilfredo Burgos Matos reads his translation of the crónica about Governors Island
Scientist and Baruch Dean Aldemaro Romero Jr. dissects Martí’s connections with the celebrated 19th-century Cuban zoologist Felipe Poey.
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 15
Baruch College professor Rick Rodriguez analyzes Martí’s views on the U.S. South and the American Civil War.
Raquel Vinat of Cuba’s Instituto de Historia introduces three remarkable women, all abolitionists and exiles, whose lives intersected Martí’s in New York City.
Historian Jorge Dominguez offers irrefutable evidence of where Martí spent his last months in Manhattan in 1894-1895, before departing on his fateful journey back to Cuba, to lead the island’s armed struggle for independence from Spain.
New York University historian Ada Ferrer addresses the issue of race, and Martí’s handling of it, in Cuba’s struggle for independence.