Improvised Continent: Pan-Americanism and Cultural Exchange
In Improvised Continent (Penn, 2017), Professor Emeritus of History Richard Cándida Smith illuminates the forgotten story of how, over the course of the 20th century, cultural exchange programs run by the government, philanthropies, cultural institutions brought many of the most important artists and writers of Latin America to live and work in the United States.
In a narrative that includes Diego Rivera's murals, the movies of Alejandro G. Iñárritu, the poetry of Gabriela Mistral, the photography of Genevieve Naylor, and the novels of Carlos Fuentes, Cándida Smith explores how these works challenged U.S. citizens to rethink their place in the world and the kind of global relations that were possible. Improvised Continent provides a compassionate portrayal of Latin American intellectuals and artists who believed their practices might create a more humane society.
Cándida Smith is joined by Michael Dear (City & Regional Planning). After a brief discussion of Cándida Smith's work, they open the floor for discussion.