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Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures

Our People

Jorge Camacho

Title: Professor of Spanish, Comparative Literature, and Latin American Studies
Department: Languages, Literatures and Cultures
College of Arts and Sciences
Office: J. Welsh Humanities Bldg, 704
Resources: Curriculum Vitae [pdf]
Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures

Jorge Camacho (Ph.D. University of Toronto, 2000) is a Professor of Spanish and Comparative Literature at USC. He has published more than 100 refereed articles, notes, book chapters and review essays in top refereed journals and scholarly collections such as Iberoamericana, Hispanófila and the Oxford Literary Cultures of Latin America. His articles cover a wide variety of topics from Colonial literature to the Cuban revolution and Spanish American Modernismo. In 2013, the University of North Carolina Press published Prof. Camacho’s second book, Etnografía, política y poder: José Martí y la cuestión indígena, [Ethnography, politics and power at the end of the 19th century: José Martí and the Indian question] which has been hailed as “a book driven by the need to question established consensus in the field of Martian studies”, “a fundamental book, that should be mandatory for anyone that takes seriously the discussion on José Marti’s ideas” and a “landmark study about José Martí” that “will change forever not only our interpretation of Martí's famous essay but even Martí's relation to "Nuestra América."

In his book “Camacho has demonstrated that practically everything that is standard received knowledge on this subject was not only wrong, but wrong in the worst possible way, that is, the truth was the opposite of the popular belief supported by popular scholarship" Linden Lane Magazine)

In 2015 he published Miedo negro, poder blanco en la Cuba colonial [Black fear, white power in colonial Cuba] (Iberoamericana-Verveut) a study on the fears of black slaves and their descendants in the island during colonial times: fears of a slave revolt, language corruption, racial miscegenation, music and religion, among others. It has been described as “encyclopedic” and “a pioneering study in the field” (South Atlantic Review).

Furthermore, he recently uncovered a previously unknown translation made by José Martí for the Argentinian government in 1893, Argument for the Argentine Republic Upon the Question with Brazil, two chronicles written by Alejo Carpentier for a surrealist journal in France, and more than fifty (50) previously unknown articles written by José Martí for two journals that he edited in the United States, El Economista Americano and La América of New York. The original issues where these articles appeared are lost, but Prof. Camacho found them in journals in México, Panamá, and Argentina that reprinted them at the time. These books are “Las toman donde las hallan!” Once textos inéditos de José Martí (Miami: Alexandria Library, 2015), El Economista Americano en México. Crónicas desconocidas de José Martí (Miami: Alexandria Library, 2016) and El Poeta en el Mercado de Nueva York. Nuevas crónicas de José Martí en el Economista Americano (Editorial Caligrama, 2016).

 “These three books are a gold mine for scholars and students alike. The discovery of “lost” works by one of Latin America’s greatest writers is like striking gold. It draws immediate attention from around the world and adds a rush of interests to the new finds. What Jorge Camacho has done, through painstaking work and meticulous scholarship, is to make available previously unknown texts by José Martí” (The Latin Americanist)

“Since Gonzalo de Quezada y Aróstegui first published Martí’s complete works, no one perhaps has made known so many texts written by José Martí” (La Gaceta Newspaper, Tampa)

In 2018 Prof. Camacho published Amos, siervos y revolucionarios: la literatura cubana y española sobre la Guerras de Cuba. Una perspectiva transatlántica. [Masters, Slaves and Revolutionaries: Cuban and Spanish literatures on Cuba’s Wars (1868-1898)], a transatlantic perspective.

In 2019, he published La angustia de Eros: sexualidad y violencia en la literatura cubana [Eros’ anguish. Sexuality and Violence in Cuban literature], Almenara Press.

His current research project looks at black representations in Cuba from 16th century to the present. It is a project that develops in the intersection of nationalism, human rights, racialization and demonization of African religious beliefs: Representaciones del mal: brujos y ñáñigos en Cuba. [Representations of Evil: Witch men and Ñáñigos in Cuba] Romance Monographs, University of Mississippi, pp. 320 (forthcoming in 2020)

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.