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Cruising for Impermanence
November 29, 2010 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Dana-Allen Dissertation Fellow (2010-2011)
Spanish and Portuguese, UW-Madison
This talk will explore how the gay and transvestite characters in the play Chamaco (2006), by Abel González Melo, travel through and manipulate the central city spaces of Havana, most notably the Parque Central, transforming official, celebratory spaces of the nation into concealed meeting places that reveal the true, queer nature of the city. This talk shows that this play, while exposing hidden identities, is more concerned with the ethereal, ghostly qualities of what is exposed, rather than with feelings or concepts of permanence. The city space at day is dystopic, but here it is suggested that the transformative possibilities of queer sex—that in this play occur in the peripheries of the city center—can lead to queer sexual citizenship that extends beyond the city center’s nighttime fringe.
Bretton White is a dissertator in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese and a Dana-Allen Dissertation Fellow at the IRH. Her research interests include Caribbean theatre and performance, queer theory, and how affective, spatial and bodily relationships can be rearticulated. She has published an article about Cuban theatre in the Latin American Theatre Review on how the possibilities of limitless intimacies push audience members to reconsider how their own bodies work with and against the state’s agenda. She is currently working on an article about how Cuban performance artist Tania Bruguera manipulates dignity (and its loss). Additionally, she is organizing an after-school theatre workshop in a local bilingual school.