University of Missouri

Afro-Romance Institute Afro-Romance Institute for Languages and Literatures of the African Diaspora
Department of Romance Languages and Literatures
318 Arts & Science Bldg.
Columbia, MO 65211-7080
voice: 573-882-5048
fax: 573-884-8171

The Department of Romance Languages and Literatures of the University of Missouri-Columbia has the country's only focus area in the field of Afro-Romance Studies. In order to facilitate research collaboration between our faculty members working in this field and scholars outside our institution, we have established the Institute for Languages and Literatures of the African Diaspora. The Institute serves first and foremost to expose black writers, artists, and filmmakers of Spanish, French, Portuguese, and Italian expression to a wider audience.

The Institute's primary focus is the literature, language, and film of selected areas of Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America and the United States, and the interrelations between these three poles of the African dispersion. It coordinates a number of both internal and external programs designed to bring the literature of black writers of French, Portuguese, and Spanish expression into the academic mainstream:

  • Curricular reform
    new courses at both the graduate and undergraduate level

  • Conferences and symposia
    featuring some of the most respected Afro-Romance writers and researchers in the field

The primary methodology for research sponsored and promoted by the Institute is post-colonial cultural and linguistic theory. The goal of the Institute is not to deny traditional critical methodologies their rightful place in the history of ideas, but rather to offer a complementary way of looking at culture and literature. Because canon formation is linked to the social class and cultural context of majority cultures, we believe that an understanding of post-colonial (and post-modern) theory is essential for understanding and ultimately remedying the academic marginalization of Afro-Romance writers.

"The Struggle of Afro-Cubans for Equality. 19th-20th Centuries"
By Aline Helg, Professor of Latin American History at the University of Geneva, Switzerland
Friday, October 23, 2015
Leadership Auditorium, Room 2501 Student Center
View event flyer PDF

"Cities, Affect, and Citizenship: The Case of Igiaba Scego"
By Graziella Parati, Paul D. Pagnucci Professor of Italian Language and Literature at Dartmouth College
Wednesday, April 22, 2015
Mark Twain room, N206 Memorial Union
View event flyer PDF

MU in Rwanda: Lessons Learned
Friday, April 3, 2015 from 2:00 to 7:00
Student Center, room 2206 A-B
View event flyer PDF

"Racial Democracy in Latin America: Lessons from the Cuban Revolution"
by Alejandro de la Fuente, Robert Woods Bliss Professor of Latin American History and Economics, Professor of African and African American Studies and of History, and Director of the Afro-Latin American Research Institute at the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University.
Friday, February 6, 2015, at 5:30 in the Leadership Auditorium, Room 2501, Student Center
View event flyer PDF

"Literary Discourses in the Spanish- and French-Speaking Caribbean: From Negritude to 'Negrismo' to the Creole,"
by Professor Landry-Wilfrid Miampika from the University of Alcalá, Spain 
Friday, November 14, 2014, at 4:00 in the Arts and Science Building, room 113
View event flyer PDF

"The Missouri premiere of: Nancy Morejón, Famous Landscapes"
A film produced and directed in Cuba by Dr. Juanamaría Cordones-Cook, Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures, University of Missouri-Columbia

and distinguished guest speakers:

  • Dr. Efrain Barradas, University of Florida-Gainesville:
    Peñalver, 52: The House, The Sea"
  • Dr. Patricia González, Smith College:
    Nancy Morejón: Weaving Water Worlds"

Friday, April 25, 2014, 6:00 pm, Leadership Auditorium,  2501 MU Student Center
View event flyer PDF
View Morejón brief English CV PDF

"Healing:  Rwanda, 20 Years Later"
by Step UP! American Association for Rwandan Women, and Emmanuel Habimana, Rwandan genocide survivor
Friday, April 11, 2014 at 5:00 in Memorial Union North 214-215

View event flyer PDF

"Right, Where Really is the Western Sahara? Saharawi Writer's Strategies of Representation in the Digital Age,"  by Professor Dorothy Odartey-Wellington from the University of Guelph, Canada
Friday, March 7, 2014, at 4:00 in the Arts and Science Building, room 114

View event flyer PDF

Two-day Event with Afro-Italian Filmmaker Fred Kuwornu

  • "African-Americans and the Double Victory: Inside Buffalo (2010)", movie screening and discussion with Afro-Italian Filmmaker Fred Kuwornu
    Tuesday, February 25, 2014, at 5:00 in Strickland Hall 105
  • "Ethnicity, National Identity, and Multiculturalism in Contemporary Italy: 18 Ius Soli (2012)", movie screening and discussion with Afro-Italian Filmmaker Fred Kuwornu
    Wednesday, February 26, 2014, at 3:30 in Tate Hall 215
View event flyer PDF
View additional information PDF

"The International Context of Cuban Abolition: Masters and Slaves in Felix Tanco's Anti-Slavery Narrative," by Professor Adriana Mendez from the University of Iowa
Friday, October 11, 2013, at 4:00 in the Arts and Science Building, room 113.

View event flyer PDF

"Ethnic Differences in African Literatures," by Professor Justo Bolekia from the University of Salamanca, Spain
Wednesday, April 17, 2013, at 4:00 in the Arts and Science Building, room 113
View event flyer PDF
Wikipeida entry for Justo Bolekia

Professor Robaina’s Visit
University of Missouri-Columbia
February 13, 2013

"Are We Moving Forward with the Fight Against Racism in Cuba," by Professor Tomás Fernández Robaina from the National Library of Havana, Cuba
Wednesday, February 13, 2013, at 4:00 in Arts Science 113

View event flyer PDF

Conference: Cultural Bricolage: Artist Books of Cuba’s Ediciones Vigía, to be held on November 11-13, 2012.

Post-Conference Event: Poetry Reading by Nancy Morejón and Salgado Maranhao, Wednesday, November 14, 2012, 105 Strickland at 4:00 PM
Nancy Morejón, Cuban Poet Laureate
Salgado Maranhao, Brazilian Poet Laureate
For more information and to see the full program, go to the conference website:
View event flyer PDF

"The Slave Trade in the Southern Atlantic:  Shifting Paradigms" by MU Professor of History Daniel Domingues
Friday, October 26, 2012, at 4:00 in Memorial Union S203

View event flyer PDF

Symposium: Genocide in Rwanda, Thursday, April 26-Saturday, April 28, 2012.
Keynote addresses:
Carl Wilkens: “Why I Chose to Stay in Rwanda,” Friday, April 27, 7:00 P.M., Ellis Auditorium (Ellis Library Building)
Canadian Senator Roméo Dallaire: “Are All Humans Human?”, Saturday, April 28, 3:30, Bush Auditorium, Cornell Hall, room 201
View event full program
View event flyer
View Photo Gallery

Non Profits in the Favela: Rio’s NGOs in Contemporary Brazilian Film: Professor Paul Sneed
Wednesday, March 14, 2012, at 3:30 in Memorial Union S207
(flyer in pdf)

Symposium on Slave Narrative and Racial Issues in Cuba
Monday, September 19, 3:30-5:30, Memorial Union N103A
Speakers: Dr. Marlène Marty and Dr. Victorien Lavou from France
Flyer (pdf)
Photo gallery

Mark Schuller: Poto Mitan: Haitian Women Pillars of the Global Economy
Friday, September 16, 2011
Flyer (pdf)
Photo gallery

Georgina Herrera: A Twentieth-Century Maroon Symposium
Friday, April 29, 2011
Morning sessions in the Legends room of Myzou Rec Center
Afternoon sessions at the Black Culture Center
flyer (pdf)
program (pdf)
photo gallery

Donato Ndongo-Bidyogo: Equatorial Guinea: Culture and Politics
Monday, April 18, 2011 in Arts and Science, 113
flyer (pdf)
photo gallery

Jan Hoffman French: Legalizing Identities: Becoming Black or Indian in Brazil's Northeast
Friday, March 11, 2011 at 3:30, Black Culture Center
flyer (pdf)
photo gallery

Jean-Germain Gros: Anatomy of a Natural Disaster: When the Fury of Nature Meets the Debility of the State
Thursday, March 3, 2011 at 3:30, Black Culture Center
flyer (pdf)

Reyneld Sanon: Housing Rights, Evictions, and the Displaced
Thursday, March 3, 2011 at 3:30, Black Culture Center
flyer (pdf)

Marilène Phipps-Kettlewell: The Company of Heaven
Thursday, February 24, 2011 at 3:30, Black Culture Center
flyer (pdf)
photo gallery

Gina Ulysse : I am a Storm
Thursday, February 24, 2011 at 3:30, Black Culture Center
flyer (pdf)
photo gallery

William Luis: Blacks, Slaves, and Antislavery Narrative: The Emergence of Cuba's National Literature
Tuesday, November 9, 2010 at 3:30 p.m.
flyer (pdf)
photo gallery

Nancy Morejón: Bilingual poetry reading
Thursday, October 14, 2010 at 4:30
Museum of Anthropology
flyer (pdf)
photo gallery

Gloria Rolando Lecture: 1912 Breaking the Silence
Friday, April 9, 2010, 4:00 - 6:00pm
114 Arts & Science building
flyer (pdf)
photo gallery

Lecture sponsored by the MU Afro-Romance Institute, the Ragtag Cinema, and the Sonya Haynes Stone Center at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

Doris Lorraine Garraway Lecture: Print, Publics, and the Universal in King Henry Christophe's Haiti
Friday, April 16, 2010 3:30pm
Memorial Union North 201-202 (Mark Twain Room)
photo gallery

Juan Manuel Davies Lecture: Equatorial Guinea Before and After Independence
November 12, 2009

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Haitian Vodou, History, and Culture seminar
October 16, 2009

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Film Screening and Dialogue with Filmmaker:
Eat for This Is My Body (Mange, ceci est mon corps)
October 14 and 15, 2009

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