I am a professor of Spanish and Spanish American literature and culture. I did my undergraduate studies at Scarritt College, Peabody College and Vanderbilt University. My graduate studies were done at Michigan State University where I received my Ph.D. I have contributed a number of essential works to the field of Black literature research, including: An Essential Anthology of Afroamerican Poetry, Madrid: Ediciones Alcalá, 1976; Critical Approaches to Afro-Cuban Literature: Interpretive Essays, Miami: Ediciones Universal, 1994; Black Presence: Cuban Theater of the Diaspora, Madrid: Betania, 1999; Feminine Voices in Contemporary Afro-Cuban Poetry, Philadelphia: La Gota de Agua, 2006. This last book examines the artistic expression of six female Afro-Cuban poets who built their artistic expression on the rich and multifaceted racial and cultural base that characterizes the island of Cuba, an integral part of that Caribbean scenery that the author and critic Antonio Benítez Rojo would define in terms of rhythm and polyrhythm, the mixing of races, cultures and people. I have assembled in this book the work of female authors currently residing in Cuba together with others in exile in order to underline the unifying force of negritude as carried out by these women authors, within the rich mosaic that is Cuban culture.
In addition to my teaching duties, I have served as chair of the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures (1900-1996), director of the Madrid Study Center (1970-1972; 1975-1977), Administrative Director of the Madrid Study Center (1973-1994; 1982-1944) and the Mexico Summer Study Program at the University of Veracruz (1992-2008). I am also co-editor of the literary and cultural journal Caribe that publishes scholarly articles, essays, notes, interviews, and book reviews in Spanish and English about the Spanish speaking countries in the Caribbean area: Colombia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, México, Venezuela, as well as Central America. Essays on U.S. Latino/Latina literature are also published. The journal is a cooperative endeavor between Marquette University and the University of North Florida.