Anke Birkenmaier is an Associate Professor of Spanish and the director of the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies. She is an expert in modern Caribbean and Latin American literature and culture, looking at the ways in which ideas about cultural difference and blending have evolved over time. She also is a scholar of sound studies and of international avant-garde movements. Her first award-winning book, Alejo Carpentier y la cultura del surrealismo en América Latina (Vervuert-Iberoamericana, 2006) explored Cuban writer Alejo Carpentier’s decade long collaboration with French dissident surrealists and radio pioneers as precedents for his “American cycle” of novels. Her most recent book, The Specters of Race. Latin American Anthropology and Literature between the Wars (University of Virginia Press, 2016) is a study of the interconnected scientific and literary networks that helped establish Latin American anthropology as a key discipline for defining common notions of culture and race in the time between the two world wars, leading to the rise of Latin American area studies after 1945. Birkenmaier has also co-edited a book on Havana beyond the Ruins: Cultural Mappings after 1989 (Duke University Press, 2011). At Indiana University, Birkenmaier has co-organized a bi-annual Latino Film Festival and Conference (2012 and 2014) with renowned film makers, actors, and scholars from the U.S. and Latin America, and an international conference on “A Hundred Years of Caribbean Migration” (1917-2017).