Gabriel Riocabo, guest lecturer

Between Commitment and Cosmopolitics: A Scandinavian Approach to the Cuban 1960s?

Culture and languages

The research area Literary studies welcomes guest lecturer Gabriel Arce Riocabo. All interested are welcome!

1 Mar 2023
15:00 - 17:00
Room J440, Humanisten, Renströmsgatan 6

Good to know
Seminar language: English
Department of Languages and Literatures

The Cuban Revolution was a "transnational phenomenon" (Rojas 24) defined by its resonance in other "cultural capitals" (Franco 7) and the "gigantic web" of print culture it engendered (Gilman 22). To opine about, visit, and even reside in Cuba, were inescapable rites of passage of the intellectual class across the so-called "Global Sixties" (Zolov 350). This lecture explores the case of Danish documentarian Theodor Christen and his documentary Ella(s) (1964) and Swedish critic and translator Artur Lundkvist and his travel book Så lever Kuba (1965). How did each embody a "Scandinavian" logic towards Cuba? To what degree was the logic peripheral to Cold War polarity and the idea of the "committed" intellectual? By examining Bruce Robbins' concepts "situated cosmopolitanism" and "mutual translatability," can we change the stories we tell about politicized intellectual labor? Can the frame of "cosmopolitics" move us beyond the heroism-complicity debate when it comes to Western engagement in Revolutionary 3rd World contexts?


Franco, Jean. The Decline and Fall of the Lettered City: Latin America in the Cold War (2002). 

Gilman, Claudia. Entre La Pluma Y El Fusil: Debates Y Dilemas Del Escritor Revolucionario En América Latina (2012).    

Rojas, Rafael. Fighting over Fidel: New York Intellectuals and the Cuban Revolution (2016).      

Zolov, Eric. “Latin American in the Global Sixties (Introducción).” The Americas, vol. 70 no. 3 (2014): 349–362.  


Gabriel Arce Riocabo is a Ph.D. from CUNY-Graduate Center who researches documentary film and Latin American intellectual history in a global context. His most recent essay “Cosmopolítica: Otros Compromisos y viajes del cine en Cuba" [Cosmopolitics: Other Commitments, Other Journeys of Cinema in Cuba] was collected in Isla diseminada. Ensayos sobre Cuba (Editorial Hypermedia, 2022).