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Arts & Culture

Dionysus in Havana: Refashioning Ancient Greek Theatre in the Hispanic Caribbean

dionysus main

This project offers a ground-breaking study of the political and cultural afterlife of ancient Greek drama in the Hispanic Caribbean. Across the twentieth century, playwrights in Cuba, Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico appropriated Greek drama to comment upon their politically volatile contexts: the Cuban Revolution, Rafael Leónidas Trujillo’s dictatorship, and struggles for independence in Puerto Rico. Though the three countries are united by language and geography, the adaptations produced in each nation reveal contrasting aims and priorities. Analysing the afterlives of ancient drama in the distinctive climate of the Hispanic Caribbean enables the development of a new framework for the reception of classical literature, by engaging with theoretical accounts of insularity and repetition that are distinctive to Caribbean Studies. The project, which encompasses the writing of a monograph and targeted public engagement activities involving performance, enhances our understanding of the complexities both of classical reception, and of postcolonial Caribbean cultures.

Project status: Ongoing

Principal Investigator


Funding Body: British Academy

Amount: £118,643.31

Period: September 2023 - June 2024