Jessica Gordon-Burroughs
Jessica Gordon-Burroughs

Jessica Gordon-Burroughs, visiting assistant professor of Hispanic studies, presented a paper on Jan. 9 at the Modern Language Association (MLA) Conference in Austin, Texas. “Straight Pins, Gauze, and Linotypes: The Cuban Artists’ Book of the 1990s” was presented as part of a panel on “Money, Markets, and Cultural Production in Twentieth- and Twenty-First-Century Latin America.”

The paper explored how Cuban artists’ books reflected the shortages of the 1990s Cuban Special Period through the machines that produced them – mimeographs, linotypes, and jobbing presses, along with antique cast metal sorts – and through the “things” – domestic materials from straight pins to roofing felt, and historic Cuban commodities such as tobacco – that the artists incorporated into their books’ material forms.

Gordon-Burroughs also showed how artists’ books signaled “Cuban culture’s consolidation in the realm of the collectors’ and the archival market, ever more relevant as not only diplomatic, but economic and cultural exchange, is becoming ‘normalized.’”

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