“Pablo de la Torriente Brau: internationalism, interrupted.” A conversation with Holly Jackson

Holly Jackson

October 5, 2021

Event Description

The talk “Pablo de la Torriente Brau: internationalism, interrupted,” is about the little known and unfinished novel Aventuras del soldado desconocido cubano, by the Cuban writer Pablo de la Torriente Brau. In 1936, Torriente Brau interrupted work on the novel, which he was writing in exile in New York City, in order to go fight as a volunteer combatant in the Spanish Civil War. He died in combat there several months later. Professor Holly Jackson’s talk will consider the author’s symbolic status in multiple imaginaries of the Left, and will offer a reading of the novel’s themes of nationalism and internationalism in light of ideas about cosmopolitanism and identity documentation. Contextualizing the work and author in a broader trend of Latin American involvement, both militant and artistic, in the Spanish Civil War, Professor Jackson will explore the implications of this involvement in a time of internationalism. Following this analysis of Aventuras del soldado desconocido cubano, there will be an open discussion on the novel’s significance as a document of an itinerant revolutionary and Cuban exile.


Holly Jackson is an assistant professor of Spanish at Northern Arizona University. She received her PhD in Hispanic Languages and Literatures from UC Berkeley. She researches and teaches modern Spanish literature and culture, with emphases on nationalisms, transnational diasporic networks, migration and race. She has published her work on these topics in Symposium and the Journal of Lusophone Studies. Her latest article, about the representation by a contemporary Palestinian-Catalan writer of Catalan nationalism during the Transition to Democracy, is forthcoming in Hispanic Review.


Organized by the Spanish and Portuguese Department and cosponsored by the Center for Latin American Studies.