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Dr. Lowe's talk, “Southern Ajiaco: Cuban American Writers and Miami," will examine Florida’s precarious relationship to the U.S. South. Florida was the first Southern state to be settled; it joined the Confederacy, and its modern and postmodern culture was originally shaped by settlers from other southern states. Curiously, however, Florida is usually left out of configurations of southern culture. Even when it is factored in, the vibrant literature that has been created by the state's Cuban American population has gone missing, as scholars of southern literature have passed the ball to our colleagues in foreign language departments. Lowe argues that it is high time we included this group of artists in the new transnational South, which they clearly have helped create over many decades.
Dr. Lowe is the recipient of the MELUS Lifetime Achievement Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Field of Ethnic American Literatures, was Robert Penn Warren Distinguished Professor of English and Comparative Literature and Founding Director of the Program in Louisiana and Caribbean Studies at Louisiana State University. He has authored and edited numerous books in Ethnic American and Southern literature, published dozens of essays, and presented over 80 papers in North America, Europe, and Asia, including invited lectures at the Sorbonne, the University of Paris VI, Venice, Kiel, Munich, Dresden, Budapest, and Hyderabad. His current book project, Calypso Magnolia: The Caribbean Side Of The South explores the intersections of place in hemispheric southern studies. Notably, he earned his M.A. from GSU's Department of English.