Pettway to Speak on Cuban Literature in the Age of Black Insurrection
Posted on February 22, 2022
Dr. Matthew Pettway, assistant professor of Spanish at the University of South Alabama in the department of modern and classical languages and literature, in the College of Arts and Sciences, will discuss his research and present details in his latest book “Cuban Literature in the Age of Black Insurrection: Manzano, Plácido and Afro-Latino Religion,” 6 p.m.-7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 23, at the Pensacola Museum of Art. The event is free, in person, and open to the public.
Pettway spent eight years of research, traveling and writing to complete his book. He's looking forward to sharing his analysis on the African roots of Cuban carnival in this upcoming talk.
“My Lecture analyzes Plácido’s portrayal of carnival in the poem, El diablito (The Little Devil) as a subversion of Catholic symbolism and a political staging ground for antislavery revolution,” Pettway explained. “I argue that Plácido’s diablito was not the maleficent entity known as the Devil within Judeo-Christian worldview but rather a West African masquerader from the Abakuá male initiation society who had come as an agent of retributive justice.”
Pettway will also discuss his research on the portrayal of African spirituality in the poetry of Plácido, a nineteenth-century Black Cuban author.
In addition to speaking nationwide and globally, Pettway has published articles in PALARA, (Publication of the Afro-Latin American Association,) the “Zora Neale Hurston Forum,” “American Studies Journal” and “Del Caribe” in addition to entries in “The Dictionary of Caribbean” and “Afro-Latin American Biography.” Pettway has also contributed the inaugural essay to the volume “Black Writing,” “Culture,” and “the State in Latin America.”
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