Spanish: Poetry through the Ages, Spanish and Latin American Literary and Cultural Criticism, Relationship among the Arts, The Creative Process.
Born and raised in the Dominican Republic, Rei Berroa spent his formative years in his home country, went to Puerto Rico for his undergraduate studies, and taught Algebra, Geometry, and Trigonometry in the Dominican Republic. In 1973, he spent a year studying at Universidad Francisco Marroquín in Guatemala. At the end of that year, he returned to his original country to teach History and Geography at Instituto San Juan Bautista in Santo Domingo. That summer he went to Spain and in the fall returned to Puerto Rico to teach at Colegio San Antonio Abad in Humacao.
In summer 1976 he went to Middlebury College in Vermont and moved to Spain. Besides studying at the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas and Middlebury College in Madrid, he spent three years in Spain writing poetry, researching all aspects of Spanish poetry, life, and culture and traveling from town to town with Eulalia, his guitar. In 1979, he went to Pittsburgh, PA, to complete his doctoral studies. Originally interested in the cultural myths of the Native Americans, he completed a dissertation on ideology and rhetoric in the writings of Spanish poet Miguel Hernández. Before arriving at George Mason University in the summer of 1984, he taught at Humboldt State University in California (1982-83) and at Blackburn College in Carlinville, Illinois (1983-84).
His teaching and scholarly interests are mainly in the areas of contemporary Spanish and Latin American literature, culture, and literary theory (especially poetics). He has published more than 50 books of poetry, literary criticism, anthologies and translations in Argentina, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, India, Italy, Mexico, Romania, Spain, the United States, and Venezuela. His poetry has been partially translated into more than 40 languages, including Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Romanian, Tamil, and Turkish.
Having finished and co-edited a volume on motherhood and poetics (published by Universidad de Nuevo León in Monterrey, México), Professor Berroa's research is now focused toward another new topic that has interested him for many years: the "poetics of heresy" ("poéticas heréticas" in Spanish), a research that combines literary and political theory with the historiography of dissent. That on top of his constant research on poetic expressions of all kind. At this moment there are three branches of research for his creative endeavors: the lullaby, what he calls the "bifid" expression of the dual language in which we live as bilingual individuals, and the world of aphorisms.
El cuerpo hendido: Poéticas de la m/p/aternidad. Co-edited with María Ángeles Pérez López, from the University of Salamanca (Essays, published November 2020 at the Autonomous University of Nuevo León, Monterrey, Mexico). https://tiendacasadellibro.uanl.mx/producto/el-cuerpo-hendido/
De quites y querencias: antojología de poemas y poéticas (1974-2014). Santo Domingo, D.R.: Publicaciones del Ministerio de Cultura, 2014. (A 557-page anthology of his poetry and his thoughts about the creative process and preactice.)
Eufemistica per vivere tranquilli [poetry anthology]. Translated into Italian by Gaetano Longo and Daria Potok. Trieste, Italy: Franco Puzzo Editore, 2011. Premio Internazionale Trieste Poesia 2011.
Aproximaciones a la literatura dominicana. Two Volumes. Santo Domingo, RD: Ediciones del Banco Central, 2008 (Volume I) & 2009 (Volume II).
Selection of poems at Revista Altazor [http://www.revistaaltazor.cl/rei-berroa-2/]. Fundación Vicente Huidobro (Chile), 2019.
Son palomas pensajeras. Quetzaltenango, Guatemala: Metáfora Editores, 2016.
Fortunario insólito para convivir con la lengua y unas cuantas cicatrices. Monterrey, Mexico: Ediciones Caletita, 2014.
Libro de los dones y los bienes. Mexico, DF: Ediciones Fósforo and Universidad Nacional de Nuevo León, 2013. Also published in 2007 in Caracas, Venezuela at El Perro y la Rana. This edition sold out the same day it was launched.
Vocea interioară. Poetry Anthology translated into Romanian by Diana M. Nicolăescu. Cluj-Napoca, Romania: Grinta, 2012. Prix International Mihai Eminescu, Romania.
Otridades: Lámpara de los encuentros. Zamora, Spain: El Sinsonte en el Patio Vecino, 2010. Declared "recommended reading" by the Association of Poetry Publishers of Spain (January 2011).
De adinamia de mente de umnesia. Dramatic monologue on the loss of memory through Alzheimer’s disease (poetry). Prologue by María Angeles Pérez López; presentations by Héctor Carreto and Sofía Díaz Miranda (neurologist). Villahermosa, Tabasco: Editorial Maúcho, 2010.
Jerarquías. CD recording. Villahermosa, Tabasco: Editorial Maúcho, 2009.
EDITED POETRY ANTHOLOGIES
Viva es la voz de la verdad. Selection, Introduction, and Notes. Santo Domingo: Libros de la Luna, 2018.
Ganarse la vida para siempre. Selection, Introduction and Notes. Santo Domingo: Libros de la Luna, 2017.
Puesto ya el pie en el estribo. Selection, Introduction and Notes. Santo Domingo: Libros de la Luna, 2016.
Lengua del alma la pluma. Selection, Introduction, Epilogue, and Notes. Santo Domingo: Libros de la Luna, 2015.
Cuerpo de ahora. Selection, Introduction and Notes. Santo Domingo: Libros de la Luna, 2014.
Cuadernos del retorno a la escritura en libertad. Selection, Introduction and Notes. Santo Domingo: Libros de la Luna, 2013.
Veinte veces Luna es Poesía. Selection, Introduction and Notes. Santo Domingo: Libros de la Luna 2012.
Palabra cargada de futuro. Selection, Introduction and Notes. Santo Domingo: Libros de la Luna 2011.
Que no cesen rumores. Selection, Introduction and Notes. Santo Domingo: República Dominicana: Libros de la Luna, 2010
El incierto mañana generoso. Selection, Introduction and Notes. Santo Domingo, República Dominicana: Libros de la Luna, 2009
¿Cuándo has visto salir medio sol? Selection, Introduction and Notes. Santo Domingo, República Dominicana: Libros de la Luna, 2008.
Cauteloso engaño del sentido. Selection, Introduction and Notes. Santo Domingo, República Dominicana: Libros de la Luna, 2007.
Voces y memorias de la Luna. Selection, Introduction and Notes. Santo Domingo, República Dominicana: Libros de la Luna, 2006.
Poetas en la Casa de la Luna. Selection, Introduction and Notes. With Margarito Cuéllar. Mexico: Verdehalago, 2005.
“Miguel Hernández: Convergencias simbólicas de una cosmovisión que actúa incesante sobre el mundo.” Studia Iberica et Americana, 2, 2 (December 2015): 112-145.
“Palabras-Texto: Ideologemas en la prosa de guerra de Miguel Hernández.” In: Sánchez García, Remedios and Ramón Martínez López, editors, Literatura y compromiso: Federico Garcia Lorca y Miguel Hernández. Madrid: Visor Libros, 2011. 373-393.
“De Perito en lunas a Los hijos de la piedra: intuición de una expresividad político-profética.” Larrabide, Aitor and Elvia Ardalani, editors, Miguel Hernández desde América. Prologue by Juan Cano Ballesta. Edinburg, TX: Fundación Cultural Miguel Hernández and University of Texas-Pan American Press, 2011. 55-64.
“Desideologización y lenguaje poético en la obra de José Mármol.” In Aproximaciones a la literatura dominicana (1980-2008). Santo Domingo: Publicaciones del Banco Central de la República Dominicana, 2008. 79-94.
“Eros/Thánatos y otras parejas conceptuales en la poesía de Martha Rivera.” In Aproximaciones a la literatura dominicana (1980-2008). Santo Domingo: Publicaciones del Banco Central de la República Dominicana, 2008. 95-111.
“Recordar para vivir: Historia, alegoría y dialéctica en la crónica de Pedro Mir.” In Aproximaciones a la literatura dominicana (1930-1980). Santo Domingo: Publicaciones del Banco Central de la República Dominicana, 2008. 39-67.
“Whitman en tinta y tiempo o la medida profética de su propio canto.” In Biblioteca de México, 89 (September/October 2005): 29-37.
“La memoria contra el olvido: El conocimiento por los sentidos en la poesía de Martha Rivera.” Ruiz Barrionuevo, Carmen, editor, et al. La literatura iberoamericana en el 2000: Balances, perspectivas y prospectivas. Salamanca: Publicaciones de la Universidad, 2003: 2126-34[CD-R].
“Al tercer día el poeta subió a los cielos: García Lorca cumple 100 años.” Jointly published in Hispanic Culture Review of George Mason University (Fall 1997-Spring 1998: 7-19) and Umbral [Dominican Republic] (January-May 1998: 12-22).
“Formación y transformación del héroe hernandiano.” In Miguel Hernández, cincuenta años después. Actas del I Congreso Internacional Miguel Hernández. Alicante, Elche, Orihuela: Comisión del Homenaje, 1993. 411-424.
“Poetry and Painting: García Lorca's Dual Manifestation of Symbol and Metaphor.” In Manuel Durán and Francesca Colecchia, Lorca's Legacy. New York: Peter Lang, 1991. 30-50. (Appendix to the article, 215-238).
“La palabra y los demonios poéticos de Fernando Arbeláez.” Texto Crítico, 42 (Jan-June 1990): 33-44
“Poesía y pintura: La manifestación dual de símbolo y metáfora en la imaginación lorquiana.” Mundaiz [Universidad de Deusto, Spain], 35 (Jan-June 1989): 27-59.
“La crítica de Fuentes como lectura conflictiva: De Fuentes, a España, a Cervantes.” In Texto Crítico, 36 37 (Jan Dec 1988): 44-53.
Ideología y retórica: las prosas de guerra de Miguel Hernández. Mexico: Editorial Libros de Mexico, 1988.
Guest Editor of La literatura dominicana en el siglo XX, special issue devoted to the literature of the Dominican Republic. Revista Iberoamericana [Pittsburgh], 142 (Jan-March, 1988).
Co-founder , co-editor [to 1990], member of the Board [to 1999] of the bi-monthly Mundo: Problemas y Confrontaciones [Mexico City], a journal of cross disciplinary studies in Philosophy, Culture, Literature, and Politics. [Since 1990 Mundo: Culturas y gente].
“Recordar para vivir: Historia, alegoría y dialéctica en la crónica de Pedro Mir.” In Revista Iberoamericana, 142 (Jan March 1988): 27-51.
“Iconos y representación en el Bestiario de Cortázar.” In Plural [México], 187 (March 1987): 6-13. [First honorary mention in the 1986 Journal Plural International Essay Prize.]
Literature of the Americas. 2 Vols. With M. Hamilton, J. Livingston, D.E. Parris, and J. Plotz. Dubuque, Iowa: Kendall & Hunt for the International University Consortium, 1986.
“Discurso poético y exilio interior: La poesía española en los inicios del franquismo.” In Cuadernos Americanos, 44 (Jan-Feb 1985): 170-185.
“Sobre “Muerte constante más allá del amor” de García Márquez.” In Discurso Literario [Oklahoma], 1 (Fall 1983): 5-15.
“Presencia y sentido de la fauna en Aleixandre.” In Cuadernos Hispanoamericanos [Madrid], 352-354 (Oct-Dec, 1979): 434-450.
With the support of our Korean colleagues in the Department, Professor Berroa was able to secure a grant from the Korea Foundation to fund 70% of a Korean professorship at GMU for the first five years of the position.
With the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Spain, Professor Berroa secured the presence in the department of an annual lecturer that would spend her/his time teaching in the department. The first lecturer, Ana Ruiz Alonso-Bartol, completed her tenure (August 2017-2020) and a new lecturer is on campus for the 2021-22 academic year, Dr. Carlos Javier Avilés López.
With Professor Lisa Gring-Pemble, at that time at New Century College, who directed the program in the summer 2011, Prof. Berroa directed the State Department Study of the United States Institute for Student Leaders [SUSI], Winter 2012. The program, titled: “E pluribus Unum—Out of Many, One: Contemporary United States’ Society in Context”, offered 21 students from underrepresented segments of the Bolivian, Paraguayan, and Peruvian societies the unforgettable opportunity to learn and experience the history, politics, life, and culture of the United States from January 6 to February 11, 2012.
SPAN 390, 001 / CRN 76615
INTRODUCTION TO THE ANALYSIS OF LITERARY & CULTURAL TEXT
Professor Rei Berroa
Meets Tuesday & Thursday 16:30 to 17:45 -5008 Horizon Hall
BRIEF COURSE DESCRIPTION
Spanish 390 is an introductory course that explores how the reading or performance of literary and cultural texts (poetry, short stories, one-act plays, cartoons, film clips) function when they reach our senses (mainly ears and eyes) and help us organize our ideals and beliefs, the world we live in and the world we want to shape with the social, political, and aesthetical realities of the community to which we belong. The course helps students to be better human beings by using as tools of transformation these acts of imagination that language has given us. Taught in Spanish, this class is an excellent opportunity to enrich your critical, analytical, and expressive skills in Spanish and to take them to levels you didn’t even think you were capable of reaching.
SPAN 510: Methods of Literary and Cultural Studies / SPAN 685: Seminar in Literature and Ideas Wednesday, 4:30-7:10 pm (in-person)
Aquia Building 346
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE COURSE
This course is a graduate-level introduction to the theory of literary and cultural studies in Spanish. Although our main textbook and many of the other texts we will be reading are in English, the course is conducted in Spanish and is open to graduate students and advanced undergraduates with the permission of the instructor. Students will be led to study the historical developments of key trends in literary and cultural studies, from classical poetics to formalism, structuralism/post-structuralism, postmodernity, and colonial, racial, gender and identity studies, among others. But, following our textbook, instead of reviewing these schools of theory and criticism, we will try to figure out what readers can do with theoretical concepts as tools for living, not just for writing research papers.
Rei Berroa completed his undergraduate work in Philosophy at the Catholic University of Puerto Rico (Ponce, 1970) and began his graduate work at Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas in Spain (Málaga,1974; Madrid, 1976). He completed MAs in Spanish Literature at Middlebury College (1977) and the University of Pittsburgh (1979), and his Ph.D. at the University of Pittsburgh (1983).
"The Earth Belongs to Each and All of Us." Lecture delivered on February 2, 2022 at the annual Convocation of the Eastern Mennonite University.
“Performativity: New Waves to Experience Literary and Cultural Discourse.” Friday, March 22, 2019 University of Bergamo, Italy.
“Walt Whitman at 200: Poetry for the Common Man” delivered for faculty and all doctoral students at the University of Bergamo, Italy, on March 15, 2019.
Rei Berroa was invited to conduct research and lecture at the Università degli Studi di Bergamo March 11-25. Friday, March 15, his lecture
"Risa, vuelo y cebolla: tres versiones sin llanto de la ternura." IV Congreso Internacional Miguel Hernández. Alicante, Orihuela, Elche (España).15-18 de noviembre, 2017.
"Miguel Hernández and Elvio Romero." VIII Symposium on the Humanities, Universidad del Norte, Asunción, Paraguay. August 7-11, 2017.
On March 21, 2022, with poet Fernando Cabrera of the Dominican Republic and a technical team from Mason, Teatro de la Luna, the Catholic University of Santiago, Dominican Republic, and Festival Arte Vivo, also from Santiago, I organized a global poetic feast unlike any other: 24 hours of uninterrupted poetry readings to celebrate World Poetry Day. More than 400 voices and 1000 poems read from March 21, 00:00 hours to March 22, 00:00 hours. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DRPh-NL5c9U&t=371s or our Modern and Classical Languages channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9HwrBeyfI9c
Lecture given at Eastern Mennonite University's annual Convocation. 2/2/2022. https://www.facebook.com/EasternMennonite/videos/497621111724326/
Presentation of the book El cuerpo hendido: poéticas de la m/p/aternidad. At Casa de la Cultura El Salvador. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FybUIs5_I1Q
Bilingual poetry reading at Eastern Mennonite University [2/1/2022], part of their annual "Writers Read" Series. https://www.facebook.com/EasternMennonite/videos/1938999186308659/
Interview at the GMU Institute for Immigration Research: iir.gmu.edu/immigrant-stories/dominican-republic/dominican-republic-summary-of-interview-with-dr-rei-berroa
Brief interview for GMU's Fourth Estate by Nayomi Santos: http://gmufourthestate.com/2019/09/16/faces-of-mason-36/
Reading his poem "Monte serrado" ["Mount Serrated" = Montserrat, in Catalunya], not "cerrado" as published in YouTube, in Granada, Nicaragua: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=chf22yq00wA
The VIII International Dominican Book Fair of New York was dedicated to his work. Here is his brief speech accepting this honor. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TEJt_0e_yoU
A 1987 recording of his poetry requested by the Library of Congress was finally digitized in 2016 and made available for Internet users. https://www.loc.gov/item/93842275/
Performing "After the War" his translation of the poem "Después de la guerra" by Colombian poet Jotamario Arbeláez: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rit7pNmo0TA
Lecturing on Odysseas Elytis's centennary celebration at the Library of Congress with Mexican poet Pedro Serrano, the Head of the Hispanic Division Georgette Dorn, the Greek Ambassador to the United States Vassilis Kaskarelis, and the Head of the European Division Harold Leich. His talk goes from 0:33 to 1:26. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mKb8yx3ZGEc
Reading his poem "Con respecto a cierta actividad de las palomas" in Mexico City, 2008. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0qDa5tnYABo
Reading his poem "Los atuendos" at the closing of the XX International Poetry Festival of Medellín in Colombia. July 2010. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3-LbYH5UgOY