Carmen Cosme

Scholarly Retreats
Type of work

Carmen Luz Cosme Puntiel, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor of Spanish and Afro-Latin American and Caribbean Studies in the Department of Languages at Xavier University. Her research looks into the subjectivity, intellectual creativity, and political imagination of enslaved and free men and women of African descent who lived in colonial Cuba during the nineteenth century. She analyzes how these historical actors envisioned, aspired, and negotiated their rights, autonomy, freedom(s) papers, social and political membership, and dignity. 

Her work highlights the black intellect and unveils their contribution and active participation in Latin American and Caribbean literary canon. Furthermore, the research traces how enslaved and free Black men and women’s political actions contributed to the freedom of Black consciousness and the end of slavery. While her work is anchored in the nineteenth century, she traces how the sequelae of implicit, insidious, and discursive forms of violence from that past still linger and perpetuate devaluation and racialization in our present days.

She is a Dominican woman of African ancestry and shaped by larger worlds. She studied and lived in Spain, Colombia, and Brazil, thanks to a never-ending desire to learn. Her early passion for teaching did lead to her earning a Bachelor’s degree at Queens College City University of New York in Spanish and Secondary Education. Her journey to embrace her African roots and begin to question silenced African contributions to the hemisphere and the world. She had lived for many years in the Northeast of the United States. In Amherst, Massachusetts, she graduated from the University of Massachusetts Amherst with a Ph.D. in Hispanic Literature and Linguistics with two concentrations in Afro-Latin American Studies and Afro-Diasporic Studies.

She also obtained a Master’s degree in Latin American And Caribbean Studies. Project Summary: The volume of short stories Mis ancestral todavía cuentan historias (My Ancestors Still Tell Stories) is a compilation of short stories written in Spanish. The collection of 25 short stories are based on the life experiences of young people of African ancestry in the Americas and the Caribbean, oral traditions, and West African mythology. This transatlantic scholarship is the outcome of years of research about the impact of the African oral traditions in the Western Hemisphere during and after Colonization.