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Gregory G Helmick

Associate Professor

Languages, Literatures and Cultures | College of Arts & Sciences

Areas of Expertise

  • Cuban and Puerto Rican narrative fiction 
  • Post-exile theory
  • Ideas of nationhood, ethnicity, and cultural contact in the Hispanic Caribbean
  • Linkages between Hispanic Caribbean and African American cultural histories (in northeast Florida and the Atlantic Northeast) 


Ph.D. Hispanic Literatures

The University of Texas at Austin 

December 2009


M.A. Spanish

Florida State University

May 1998


B.A. Spanish

Florida State University

December 1996


Gregory Helmick works on configurations of nationhood, ethnicity, and cultural contact, between Cuban, Puerto Rican, and the U.S. communities—particularly African American and non-Spanish-speaking Caribbean communities—in textual production in Spanish and English. In Cuban and Puerto Rican literature, such contact is developed thematically in historical fiction and essays that complicate archival configurations of nationhood and exile with the "noise" of documentary flows between Caribbean communities and U.S. sites of multistoried colonization. Such sites include Jacksonville, St. Augustine, Fernandina, and Tallahassee, Florida. 

When beginning to examine such topics in his first monograph, Archival Dissonance in the Cuban Post-Exile Novel (2016), Dr. Helmick was one of the first scholars to work on developing a theoretical framework of post-exile. During the past few years, international scholars have applied this framework to approach such topics as Mexico in literary (post)exile; post-exilic memory in the poetics of Keorapetse Kgositsile; concepts of exterritoriality and postexile in Siegfried Kracauer; post-war German literature and post-exile; Gao Xingjian’s post-exilic plays; and post-exile, queer theory, and speculative fiction, to cite some of the topics of recent research identified by the Jarbuch Exilforschung editors Bettina Banasch and Katya Sarkowsky.    

Helmick earned his doctorate from The University of Texas at Austin. He has enjoyed the privilege and good fortune of teaching Spanish, Hispanic literatures, U.S. Hispanic cultures, and Caribbean studies, at UNF since 2010.

His current book project focuses on documenting shared literary and historical production between Cuba and northeast Florida during the first half of the twentieth century, in the face of erasures incurred during Plattist, Jim Crow, Fordist and Batista-era social regimes.     


American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese

Modern Language Association

National Association of Hispanic and Latino Studies

National Association of African American Studies

Southeastern Council of Latin American Studies

Publications & Presentations

  • "Specular Continuity of Mujer en traje de batalla by Antonio Benítez Rojo, in the Post-Exile of El príncipe y la bella cubana: los amores de Don Alfonso de Borbón y Battenberg y Doña Edelmira Sampedro y Robato, by Roberto G. Fernández." Forthcoming in Jarbuch Exilforshnung (De Gruyter, 2020)
  • "The 'Fifth Floor' (Austerity, Depopulation, and Privatization) in Recent Puerto Rican Fiction" at the 27th Joint Conference of the National Association of African American Studies and the National Association of Hispanic and Latino Studies, in Dallas, Texas, February 2019.
  • "Continuidad especular de la Mujer en traje de batalla de Antonio Benítez Rojo en El príncipe y la bella cubana por Roberto G. Fernández" at the 65th Annual Conference of the Southeastern Council of Latin American Studies, at Vanderbilt University. March 2018.
  • "Jacksonville Cubanía in James Weldon Johnson's The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man (1912) and Along This Way (1933)." Camino Real 9.2 (2017): 79-98.
  • "Cuban Presence and Performance in James Weldon Johnson's Jacksonville" at the 88th Annual Conference of the South Atlantic Modern Language Association, in Jacksonville, Florida. November 2016.
  • Archival Dissonance in the Cuban Post-Exile Novel. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Press, 2016.
  • "U.S. Cuban Populations in Jacksonville, Florida, Before and After Jim Crow (1876-1960)" Caribe 17.1-2 (2016): 77-100.
  • "Reconfiguración del banquete neobarroco en 'Un loco dentro del baño' por Ena Lucía Portela." 61st Annual Conference of the Southeastern Council of Latin American Studies. New Orleans, Louisiana. March 2014.
  • "North Florida in the Cuban Literary Canon: Contact Zone, Chronotope, and Liminal Space." Southern Literary Journal 46.2 (2014): 45-66
  • "Sonido y artefacto en el Concierto barroco de Alejo Carpentier." El sol de los talleres: Estudios en homenaje al Profesor Stanislav Zimic. Newark, DE: Juan de la Cuesta, 2014. 97-112
  • "El apócrifo Pedro Menéndez de Avilés y la transculturación de lo español en El mar de las lentejas de Antonio Beníitez Rojo." XXXIII Conference of ALDEEU-Spanish Professionals in America. Saint Augustine, Florida. April 2013.
  • "Representación del músico afroboricua y versiones de negritud en Maldito amor (Ferré) y El entierro de Cortijo (Rodríguez Juliá)." Negritud: International Conference on Afro-Latin Studies, Center of Advanced Studies of Puerto Rico and the Caribbean. March 2012. 


  • El príncipe y la bella cubana: Los amores de don Alfonso de Borbón y Battenberg y doña Edelmira Sampedro y Robato by Roberto G. Fernández. Hispania 98.4 (2015): 847-48.
  • Etnografía imaginaria: Historia y parodia en la literatura hispanoamericana by Erik Camayd-Freixas. Caribe 15.1 (2012): 141-43.
  • Fictional First-Person Discourses in Cuban Diaspora Novels: The Author Within and Beyond Textual Boundaries by Raúl Rosales Herrera. Caribe 13.2 (2010-2011): 184-92.

Contact Information

Building 10, Room 2147

(904) 620-2282

Office Hours

Tuesdays and Thursdays, 1:30-2:30, Wednesdays, 12:00-1:00 pm, or by appointment