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Read the biography of Lizza I. Román here.

Cosmic Energy (Energía cósmica) (2014) represents God’s creation: light, movement of inert matter, and the awakening of human consciousness. I am inspired by the prayer “Contemplation” published in Allan Kardec’s Collection of Spiritist Prayers. — Lizza I. Román

Anyone who has ever undertaken academic research knows that it takes time, resources, and intellectual effort. In this case, each of those three has been required, in addition to the support of multiple friends and collaborators. The archival research would not have been possible without the help of Dr. Gerardo Alberto Hernández Aponte, author of El Espiritismo en Puerto Rico, 1860-1907 (Spiritism in Puerto Rico, 1860-1907). His book is an extensive research study that examines and salvages the early history of Spiritism on the Island through an analysis of the press from the time period. During the spring of 2019, thanks to my friend and colleague David Maldonado Rivera, Professor of Religious Studies at Kenyon College, I began a conversation with Hernández Aponte that continues today. Following his recommendation, I contacted María E. Ordóñez Mercado, Director of the Colección de Estudios Puertorriqueños (Collection of Puerto Rican Studies) at the University of Puerto Rico Río Piedras, with the intention of accessing the pioneer writers’ primary texts and other essential research materials. I scheduled a trip where I would combine archival work with video recording of some interviews. The day before I left, Hernández Aponte informed me that the Collection of Puerto Rican Studies building would be closed indefinitely due to a governmental crisis in which the people were demanding the governor’s resignation. Faced with extraordinary circumstances, the generous researcher offered me access to his personal archives, just after having met me. Despite the crisis, Olivia Geho, Ohio Five Digital Investigations Specialist, and I traveled to Puerto Rico. On Monday morning, we met at the Law School Library at the Río Piedras campus, the only library that remained open during the national crisis. We proceeded to work long days collecting materials; work that continued long-distance for the next eighteen months, throughout which we dealt with the COVID-19 pandemic. With his typical rigor and punctuality, Hernández Aponte read the analyzes I shared with him and offered me valuable bibliographic suggestions that enriched the contextualization of the study. Without the support of this great historian and friend, the work would have had no future…

Read the complete Acknowledgements here.

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