Between dissidence and good neighbor diplomacy: Reading Julia de Burgos with the FBI

Harris Feinsod*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Little is known about Julia de Burgos’s six months as an audit clerk at the Offi ce of the Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs in Washington, D.C. (1944-1945). This article recounts this interlude in Burgos’s career by focusing on her FBI fi le and the Hatch Act investigation that led to her termination as a federal employee. Reading the FBI fi le in the vein of literary criticism, the article shows how bureau ghosttranslators characterized Burgos’s political poems as works of dissident Nationalism. In so far as Burgos’s poems navigate the competing ideologies of Puerto Rican Nationalism and Good Neighbor diplomacy, the article links them to a hemispheric matrix of writing—by Elizabeth Bishop, Pablo Neruda, Luis Palés Matos, Samuel Putnam and William Carlos Williams, among others—in which Puerto Rican decolonial politics intersect international communism and anticommunism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)98-127
Number of pages30
JournalCentro Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014


  • Elizabeth Bishop
  • Federal Bureau of Investigations
  • Good Neighbor Policy
  • Julia de Burgos
  • Pablo Neruda
  • Puerto Rican Nationalism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Between dissidence and good neighbor diplomacy: Reading Julia de Burgos with the FBI'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this