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Desiderio Navarro Pérez (May 13, 1948, Camagüey, Cuba). Literary and cultural scholar, translator and editor. Since the 70’s his articles on literature, visual arts, aesthetics and cultural studies have been published in major academic journals and anthologies, both in Cuba and in North and Latin America, and Europe, in Spanish and ten other languages. Author of the books Culture and marxism: Problems and polemics (1986), Exercises of critical judgement (1989), The causes of things (2007) and Thinking in spite of everything (2008) on theory and criticism of literature and arts, he has lectured at universities, academies and other cultural institutions in over twenty countries of North and Latin America, Europe and Middle East. He has edited 22 anthologies of outstanding foreign theorists (S. Morawski, H. Markiewicz, P. Pavis, I. Lotman, B. Groys, W. Welsch et al.). In 1972 he founded the arts and culture theory journal Criterios, in 1994 the book series Criterios, in 2003 the Center for Cultural Theory Criterios (Havana) and in 2011 the e-zine Denken Pensée Thought Mysl. Information Service on European Cultural Thought (with a version on paper), all of them supported by grants from the Prince Claus Fund, the Hivos Foundation and the Dutch and French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Goethe-Institut and the Polish Book Institute. His translations from twenty Romance, Germanic, Slavic and Finno-Ugric languages of over 500 theoretical texts on literature, arts, culture and society –among them, 82 by Polish authors– have been published in Cuba, Spain and Mexico –cf. www.criterios.es . (He has translated also Polish poetry and drama.) The journal Criterios is one of the world cultural publications chosen and exhibited by documenta 12 magazines (Kassel, 2007). Polish authors, as M. Gołaszewska, I. Sławińska, A. Żmijewski, W.Godzić, L. Kołankiewicz and A. Pitrus, have lectured at the Center Criterios. In the 80-90’s he was president of the Cuban Center of the International Association of Literary Critics (AICL); in the 90’s, vicepresident of the Writers Association of the Union of Cuban Writers and Artists (UNEAC) –since 1993 an elected member of its National Council.
He has been confered the Polish Order of Cultural Merit (Zaslużony dla Kultury Polskiej, Ministry of Culture and Art of Poland, 1989), the Distinction Polonicum (Center for Polish Culture and Language, Warsaw University, 2008), the Guggenheim Fellowship for Scientific Research (John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, USA, 1996), the Prince Claus Award (Prince Claus Fund, Netherlands, 2009), theTranslation Prize of the Union of Cuban Writers and Artists (for lifetime work, 1991), the National Edition Prize of the Cuban Book Institute (for lifetime work, 2006), the Critics National Prize and the Distinction Merit for National Culture (Ministry of Culture, 1987, 1988) and other national awards for Criticism of Visual Arts, Literary Criticism, and Translation.