Esther K. WhitfieldAssociate Professor of Comparative Literature, Associate Professor of Hispanic Studies
Esther Whitfield received a B.A. in Modern Languages from Oxford University in 1994 and a Ph. D. in Romance Languages & Literatures from Harvard University in 2001. She taught for a year as a lecturer in Harvard's Program in History and Literature before joining the faculty of Brown's Department of Comparative Literature in 2002. She teaches courses on Latin American, Caribbean and European literature.
Esther Whitfield's current research focuses on war metaphors in Latin American political speech, literature and the arts. She has also worked extensively on Cuban culture of the post-Soviet period and on Welsh writing in the Americas.
Esther Whitfield's first book, _Cuban Currency: The Dollar and 'Special Period' Fiction_ (University of Minnesota Press, 2008), explores how the emergence of export markets for Cuban culture is inscribed in contemporary fiction. Based on extensive interviews and archival research in Havana, it takes an integrated approach to the cultural, economic and social changes that have taken place there since the disintegration of the Soviet bloc, from which Cuba derived most of its economic support. It argues that, over the past decade, writers have both challenged and profited from new transnational markets for their work, in a move whose literary and ideological implications are far-reaching.
Whitfield is also co-editor, with Anke Birkenmaier, of _Havana Beyond the Ruins_ (Duke University Press, 2011), a collection of essays on post-1989 Havana; and, with Jacqueline Loss, of an anthology of Cuban short fiction in translation, _New Short Fiction from Cuba_ (Northwestern University Press, 2007). She wrote a critical introduction to Antonio José Ponte's _Un arte de hacer ruinas_ (Fondo de Cultura Económica, 2005) and has published a number of journal articles and book chapters on contemporary Latin American fiction and Welsh diasporic literature.
Her current work analyzes uses of war in Latin American political speech, literature and the arts since the mid-twentieth century, with specific reference to Guantánamo, the "War on Terror" and Cuba's wars on imperialism; the "Dirty War" in Argentina; and Mexico's ongoing drug wars.
Henry Merritt Wriston Fellowship, 2006-07
Cogut Fellowship in the Humanities, Fall 2009
Latin American Studies Association
Modern Language Association
American Comparative Literature Association
Comparative Literature 51: Caribbean Re-writes.
Comparative Literature 51: Che Guevara, the Man and the Myths.
Comparative Literature 81 (with Prof. Stephanie Merrim): The Colonial and Postcolonial Marvelous.
Comparative Literature 81: Confession, Autobiography, Testimony.
Comparative Literature 142: Tales of Two Cities: Havana-Miami, San-Juan-New York.
Comparative Literature 181: Reading Revolution: Representations of Cuba.
Comparative Literature 181: Latin American Literature in Dialogue with France.
Comparative Literature 181: War, Anti-War, Postwar: Culture and Contestation in the Americas.
Comparative Literature 282: Latin America and Theory.
Comparative Literature 282 (with Prof. Adrián López-Denis): Culture and Politics in Contemporary Cuba.
Humanities 1970: Literature and the Arts in Today's Cuba.
COLT 0810E - Confession, Autobiography, Testimony. Spring 2015.
COLT 1710C - Literary Translation. Fall 2015.
COLT 1812V - War, Anti-War, Postwar: Culture and Contestation in the Americas. Spring 2014, Fall 2015.
COLT 2720D - Translation: Theory and Practice. Spring 2016.
COLT 2821E - Metaphor. Fall 2014.
HISP 1370Y - Literature and Film of the Cuban Revolution. Spring 2015.