Professor Elisa Rizo, Associate Professor of Spanish at WLC, devotes her research to the literatures of Hispanophone Africa and the African Diaspora. In 2014, Prof. Rizo published two major research projects and she tells us about them below.
Guinea Ecuatorial como pregunta abierta [Equatorial Guinea As An Open Question]. Ed. & Intro Dolores Aponte and Elisa Rizo. Revista Iberoamericana (Vol. LXXX, Núm. 248-9). This is a co-edited, double volume published by a flagship academic journal in Hispanic studies based at the University of Pittsburgh. The volume features an introductory chapter written by Professors Rizo and Aponte and twenty-four articles written by internationally recognized academics and major Equatorial Guinean intellectuals. This special issue also includes three interviews that Professor Rizo conducted with playwrights and writers from Equatorial Guinea. The volume was published in December 2014.
Crónicas de lágrimas anuladas [Chronicles of Obliterated Tears]. Ed. & Intro. Elisa Rizo. Madrid: Verbum, 2014. This is a literary anthology of poetry and drama by Equatorial Guinean writer Recaredo Silebo Boturu who is emerging as a major figure in Equatorial Guinean Literature. The anthology includes a scholarly introduction by Prof. Rizo who also selected and organized the volume’s works in closed consultation with the author.
Recaredo Silebo Boturu (Bareso, 1979) began his writing career in the island of Bioko, Equatorial Guinea. In 2005 he became director of the theatre company Bocamandja. He is recognized as a major cultural figure in his country and has traveled far and wide to participate in prestigious theater and literary festivals. In addition to poetry and drama, Boturu has written many stories and essays, which have been included in literary anthologies in several countries of Europe, Latin America, and Africa.
Dr. Rizo’s anthology of Boturu’s work is an important contribution to Hispanic studies because it is part of a larger effort to open the doors to new literary voices from Africa. Prof. Rizo believes that “reading Boturu’s literature is an excellent avenue for understanding a younger generation of African writers who have experienced the increasing influence of the world’s economy through investments by foreign companies in their land.” Dr. Rizo also states that “Boturu’s literature is inspired by the experiences of ordinary people in Equatorial Guinea and seeks to promote a sense of community as it casts light on issues such as the transformation of traditional values in the era of globalization. These texts reveal a cosmopolitan vein that seeks a dialogue across ethnic, linguistic and national borders.”