Current News and Upcoming Events
November 15, 2013
In 1994 I was invited to give a lecture at Pomona College on some aspects of Cuban music. As it often happens in these kinds of events, there were some problems with the audiovisual equipment, with the arrangements of seats, etc. Fortunately there was a person there who ran around quickly, got all the equipment to work, rearranged the seating, made sure my microphone was clipped in the best place and got me water. At the end of my lecture that same person was busy re-organizing the room, helping the tech people with the equipment, picking up. I thought it was really nice of Pomona College to assign a person, probably a staffer, to basically attend to my needs so I walked up to her, after all the questions were answered and the session was finished, to thank her. I found out that her name was Katherine Hagedorn and that she was a faculty member in the Music Department at Pomona College. That first encounter captures for me something I will remember about Katherine: a most helpful, caring, and generous person, who always thought of others before she thought of herself. As a child I was told that “quién no vive para servir, no sirve para vivir,” which is difficult to render into English, but could be translated as “Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile.” That is the life that Katherine lived.
In the years that followed Katherine and I became very close professionally. We read and critiqued each other’s work, met frequently to discuss the scholarly and popular literature on Cuban music, salsa and jazz, attended a wide variety of music and dance events, worked jointly on a variety of projects, and wrote supporting letters of evaluation for each other. She showed me new and different ways to listen to and appreciate music. I watched in amazement as she mastered the batá drums under the tutelage of Francisco Aguabella. Personally I became aware of Katherine’s profound spirituality.
In December of last year (2012) Katherine and I traveled to Cuba for a week to continue our respective research agendas. We spent many hours together. Presumably we were going to make progress on a joint manuscript on contemporary Cuban music we’ve been working on for a year or so. We did make some progress but not much because being in Katherine’s company a great deal of the time was spent laughing and telling stories. That trip to Cuba captures for me another thing I will remember about Katherine: her sense of humor, her uncanny ability to mimic other people in a funny yet totally sympathetic way, her smile, and her laughter.
Katherine was kind, generous, funny, simpática, and very spiritual.
Katherine was one of the most soulful persons I have ever met.
By Elba Capote
Translated by Daniel Whitesell
I have many memories of “Katy” [“Kathy”], but now that I realize that I will only be able to see her again through my soul and my heart, images come to me of “Katy” riding all around Havana on a bicycle, and she had a yellow bicycle in honor of the patroness saint of Cuba, Our Lady of Charity (Our Lady of El Cobre), and one time she told me:
“Elbita, if I disappear on the streets of Havana, I want you to take care of the bicycle, because you are my ‘santita’ [protector or guardian angel],”
And I don’t know if I have remained at her side as her “santita,” but I do know that she has become a very important part of my life; we have been together for all of the many times she came to Cuba to research music and drumming, and all of the times she couldn’t come to Cuba. Our friendship was tested at times and we also enjoyed great moments together and “Katy” was always so nice and friendly, so good, and strong minded, and so intelligent.
“Katy,” I’m very sorry (you don’t know how much so) that I did not have the opportunity to say good bye to you, that I wasn’t able to be by your side like the real “santitas,” but even though you’re far away, you will always be at my side, and we will laugh again together about everything, because you will always be with me, you remain with me as my dear friend in my heart, and this for me is enough.
Good bye, dear “Katy,” you have already joined those little angles who protect us.
I love you so much.
Tengo muchas imágenes de Katy, pero ahora que sé que no la veré de otra forma que no sea a través de mi alma y de mi corazón, me vienen imágenes de
Katy por toda La Habana en bicicleta, y ella tenía una bicicleta amarilla en honor a la virgencita de la Caridad del Cobre, y una vez me dijo,
"Elbita, si yo desaparezco en las calles de La Habana quiero que me cuides la bicicleta, porque tú eres mi santita,"
Y yo no sé si he permanecido a su lado como su santita, pero sí sé que ella se ha convertido en una parte muy importante de mi vida, hemos permanecido juntas durante todos sus estudios de música, de tambor, todas las veces que estuvo en Cuba, y todas las veces que no pudo llegar a Cuba, y nuestra amistad pasó grandes pruebas y disfrutó grandes momentos y Katy siempre tan linda y amable, tan buena, y cabeza dura, y tan inteligente.
Katy: lamento mucho, no sabes cuánto, no haber podido despedirme de ti, no haber podido estar a tu lado como las verdaderas santitas pero, aunque lejos, siempre estarás a mi lado, y nos volveremos a reír de todo, porque yo nunca voy a aceptar que no estés, tú te quedas como mi amiguita de mi corazón, y eso para mí es suficiente.
Chao, Katy querida, ya formas partes de esos pequeños ángeles que nos protegen.
Te quiero mucho,
November 20, 2013
October 17, 2003
The Cuban healthcare system is evoked as a symbol of revolutionary success and counterhegemonic possibility for health practitioners, scholars, journalists, and politicians around the world. Cuban government statistics on infant mortality, infectious disease control, and physician/patient ratios are heralded as “first world numbers” emerging from “third world conditions.” Experienced firsthand by those in countries hosting Cuba doctors and returning medical students trained at the Latin American School of Medicine (Escuela Latinoamericana de Medicina or ELAM) outside of Havana, the Cuban model travels both practically and ideologically. Building upon the recently published Health Travels: Cuban Health (care) on and off the Island (UC Medical Humanities Press 2013), Dr. Burke will discuss how ethnographic accounts of the daily lived reality of the production and reproduction of this healthcare system lend complexity to exceptional claims and illustrate the creative labor involved in the provision of care in the context of scarcity and rapid change.
October 1-2, 2013
UC-CUBA co-sponsors conference on African diaspora at UC Irvine (Oct1-2) and UCLA.
For the UCLA segment please click here
UC AT THE CRI
May 31, 2013
UC Cuba affiliates once again shone at this year's CRI conference at
Florida International University in Miami. Susannah Rodriguez
Drissi, Alissa Bernstein, Ayesha Nibbe, Elise Andaya, Andy Martinez,
Bethany Beyer and Nancy Burke all presented thoughtful and original
Javier Jimenez, a recent Berkeley Ph.D. in Comp. Lt. currently at Marietta
College, also presented an excellent paper. We have adopted Javier
as one of UC-CUBA's affiliates. Thanks to Tom McEnaney for the
Monika Gosin did a masterful reading of Hanna Garth's paper. Anita
Casavantes Bradford brilliantly pulled together the common themes
expressed in papers by Andy, Bethany and Susannah. Special thanks to
Bethany Beyer, Susannah Rodriguez Drissi and Nancy Burke for organizing
the 3 UC-Cuba panels.
Finally, we were all very happy to see the sample copy of Nancy Burke's
forthcoming anthology on Cuban health. The book will be out in early June.
I can't wait to read it. Congratulations to Nancy and all the UC-Cuba
January 21, 2013
January 10, 2013
November 19, 2012
Forthcoming on Cuba's Health Care System Edited by Professor Nancy H. Burke
October 16, 2012
Visiting Cuba's Ballet
October 3, 2012
Cuba & California: Prospects for Change and Opportunity (Conference Videos)
September 28, 2012
Cuba & California - Prospects for Change and Opportunity (Conference Program)
August 30, 2012
Cientificamente Black by Tony Avila
April 19-20, 2012
2012 Graduate Grant Recipients
February 18, 2012
Pre-Performance Talk: Chucho Valdés and the Afro-Cuban Messenger
Speaker: Raúl Fernández, Professor, School of Social Sciences, UC Irvine
Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts - UC Davis
November 6, 2011
MARTA ABREU DISSERTATION AWARDS
The UC-CUBA review committee selected two dissertations for the 2012 UC-CUBA Marta Abreu Post-Doctoral Award. The two prizes went to Rebecca Bodenheimer, Ph.D. UC Berkeley, Ethnomusicology; and to Anita Casavantes Bradford, Ph.D. UC San Diego, History.
The UC-CUBA Academic Initiative congratulates Rebecca and Anita for their outstanding scholarship and promise.
Recent Prizes and Appointments
August 1, 2011
The UC-CUBA Academic Initiative nominated Alissa Bernstein, 3rd year doctoral student in Anthropology at UC Berkeley for the Association for the Study of the Cuban Economy 2011 Graduate Student Paper Prizes, issued yearly by ASCE of Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. 2011. Alissa won the Second Place Graduate Student Paper Award for her paper on Cuba's international health diplomacy.
Gaby Amparo accepted a part-time position as Visiting Lecturer in the Department of Hispanic Studies at Scripps College for the 2011-12 academic year. She will be teaching four courses, two in the Fall and two in the Spring.
Cuba: The State of UC Research
April 28-29, 2011
The 2012 UC-CUBA Marta Abreu Post-Doctoral Awards
The University of California-Cuba Academic Initiative announces the UC-CUBA Marta Abreu Prize to recognize recent outstanding doctoral research related to Cuba. The $1,500 award is open to University of California Ph.D. graduates in all disciplines, and is to support international research and/or conference travel to facilitate revision of the dissertation for publication of scholarly or creative works.
Applicants must have completed a Ph.D. dissertation in a Cuba-related area of research no more than three years prior to the closing date for the application and have made contributions to fostering a community of Cuba scholars through attending, participating in and/or organizing lectures, workshops, conferences and other Cuba-related events.
Applicants must submit the following documents: a 1,000-word proposal describing specifically how the award would be used to advance work toward publication, a dissertation abstract, one chapter from the dissertation, a brief CV, and a proposed budget and timeline.
Applications must be received by September 15, 2011. The applications will reviewed by a committee appointed by the UC-CUBA Academic Initiative coordinator. Award will be announced by December 1, 2011.
March 5, 2011
On the doctoral and postdoctoral fronts
Monika Gosin, Ph.D. has accepted a position as Assistant Professor of Sociology
at the College of William and Mary.
Anita Casavantes Bradford, ABD, has received a UC President's Post-Doctoral
Fellowship for 2011-2012.
UC-CUBA: Selected Highlights 2010
1. Four people associated with UC-CUBA received their Ph.D's: Rebecca Bodenheimer, Ethnomusicology, UC Berkeley; Nadia Sanko, Spanish, UCLA; Ayesha Nibbe, Anthropology, UC Davis, and Dan Rood, History, UC Irvine.
2. In February UC-CUBA graduate students and faculty sponsored 4 outstanding panels at the Cuban Research Institute Conference in Miami.
3. In February, UC-CUBA released the book A WINDOW INTO CUBA AND CUBAN STUDIES, edited by Ivette Hernandez-Torres, Amalia Cabezas, Sarah Johnson, and Rodrigo Lazo.
4. In April, Maki Tanaka and Tom McEnaney, organized the second successful UC-CUBA graduate student conference/workshop with broad participation by faculty and doctoral students from 5 campuses of the UC system.
5. In June, and thanks to Cesar Ayala, the distinguished historian Oscar Zanetti lectured at UCLA and met one-on-one with several literature and history UC-CUBA doctoral students from UC San Diego, UC Irvine and UCLA for a fabulous mentoring session on Cuban archives and research resources.
6. In October, with Professor Nancy Burke (UC SF) as our fearless leader, UC-CUBA organized the very ambitious and very successful conference IN SICKNESS AND IN HEALTH at UC Berkeley which featured visiting Cuba health scholars as well as the leading lights of medical anthropology from the UC system, including Professor Carol Browner (Chair, Anthropology, UCLA).
7. In December, Professor Emilio Bejel lectured at Casa de las Americas in Havana to a packed audience that included Roberto Fernández Retamar, Antón Arrufat, Víctor Fowler and Roberto Zurbano, among others. Several UC-CUBA faculty and graduate students spent several days engaged in their own research in Havana during the same period.
8. During the year Professor Robin Derby received a prize for her book on Chapitas Trujillo, the Caribbean Studies Association's 2010 Gordon K. and Sybil Lewis Award for the best recent book about the Caribbean.
9. Gabriela Santizo and Hannah Garth presented papers at the LASA conference in Toronto.
10. Sarah Johnson's book on the impact of the Haitian revolution on the Caribbean was accepted for publication for UC Press.
11. Lisa Garcia Bedolla was appointed Director of the Latino Policy Research Center at UC Berkeley.
December 20, 2010
Research Trip to Cuba
UC-CUBA faculty, graduates, and graduate students made their presence felt in Havana the last two weeks of 2010
Several UC-CUBA faculty members and other UC faculty visited Havana and other cities in Cuba Dec. 10-18, 2010. Professors Bejel (UC Davis), Lewis Watts (UC Santa Cruz), Amalia Cabezas (UC Riverside), Deborah Vargas (UC Irvine), Aisha Finch (UCLA), Nancy Burke (UCSF), Erica Edwards (UC Riverside), Raúl Fernández(UC Irvine), Jody Kim (UC Riverside), Regina Otero (UCSF), as well as Dr. Monika Gosin (Ph.D., UCSD, 2009), and Sarah Chenault (M.A. Program in Latin American Studies, UCLA) visited Cuba during that period to (a) engage in an active research project, (b) explore future research possibilities, and/or (c) reap the benefits of earlier research visits.
Other UC faculty in Havana at the same time included Professor Beatriz Pesquera (UC Davis, Emeritus) who has been running the Brown University Students Abroad Program in Havana, and Professor Luis Martín Cabrera (Literature, UC San Diego). 7 of the 8 UC campuses were represented by those visiting which included 4 members of the UC-CUBA Steering Committee (Professors Cabezas, Bejel, Burke and Fernández)
UC-Cuba colleagues engaged research topics including photography, sex work, literature, history, music, race relations, health and medical issues, film and Martían studies.
Most UC-Cuba colleagues stayed at the Hotel Victoria the sometime home of noted poets Juan Ramón Jiménez and Gabriela Mistral.
Lic. Elba Capote --UC-CUBAs local-arrangements-coordinator, guide and research concierge, provided logistical support to all the visiting UC-Cuba colleagues.
Besides their research projects UC-CUBA and other UC colleagues found time for actividades de esparcimiento which included a visit to the Headquarters of the Ballet Folklórico, a Chamber Music concert at the Basílica de San Francisco, a traditional son performance by Pancho Amat and the Cabildo del Son, dancing at Casas de la Música in Miramar and Galiano, a sojourn to Regla, visits to both sites of the Palacio de Bellas Artes, listening to jazz at several venues during the Havana jazz festival, attending films featured at the Latin American Film Festival, taking dance classes, and enjoying the show at the Cabaret Parisién
The joint trip by UC-CUBA and other colleagues which was part-planned, part- coincidence had many highlights but I wish to note two examples that were very important to me personally.
1. The systematic research discipline and intellectual curiosity shown by our colleagues, e.g. Professors Burke and Otero who worked up to 12 hours daily in their health&medical issues project; Professor Aisha Finch whose dogged persistence opened her the door of the Archivo Nacional despite various visa difficulties; Sarah Chenault, who indefatigably devoted more than 10 hours daily to viewing and studying film and dance; Dr. Monika Gosin who explored informally, quietly but steadily her interest in race relations; and Professor Watts whose photographic explorations took him all the way to Santiago de Cuba.
2. The sophisticated lecture by Professor Emilio Bejel on the relationship between U.S. homophobia and home-grown Cuban homophobia in the late 19th century. Professor Bejel’s lecture was attended by the leading lights of Cubas intellectual elite including writers Fernández Retamar, Antón Arrufat, Víctor Fowler, Ambrosio Fornet, Roberto Zurbano and Jorge Fornet. In the hours and days after his lecture Professor Bejel was interviewed repeatedly by Havanas print, radio, and cyber- journalists. Un verdadero triunfo para nuestro colega Emilio.
Being in the company of so many colleagues and friends who were involved in such interesting work made for a wonderful and exciting trip!S
Another UC-Cuba Ph.D.
Ayesha Nibbe, Ph.D., has received her doctorate in Anthropology from the University of California at Davis. Please see attachment. Congratulations to Ayesha!
Graduate Student Grants for 2011
The UC-CUBA Academic Initiative will award up to ten $1,200 grants this academic year to University of California Ph.D. students conducting Cuba-related research, including travel, in any field. Two of the grants will be earmarked for health-related research. Applications will be considered for both initial research explorations and for developing/completing advanced projects.
Interested applicants should submit a brief (2 page maximum) statement that outlines the project and explains how it fits into their course of study, accompanied by a budget, a short CV, and a letter evaluating the project from the applicant’s advisor. Individuals who received awards in 2010 are not eligible for this cycle of awards.**
**Health professional students in non-PhD programs are also eligible for apply for the health-specific grants, though preference for these grants will be given to projects with potential for publication or longer term engagement.
The deadline for applications is Feb 1, 2011.
The proposals will be reviewed and awards announced by March 1, 2011.
Please send any questions and your application (by email) to:
Professor Raul Fernandez, Chair
UC-CUBA Academic Initiative
Lecture at UC Irvine by Professor Antonio Lopez
Article about "In Sickness and In Health" Conference
"In Sickness and In Health" Conference Final Program
Oct 22, UC Berkeley
Conference "In Sickness and in Health:...," UC Berkeley
Two outstanding young scholars have been added to the program for the conference “In Sickness and in Health: Encountering Wellness in Cuba and the U.S": P. Sean Brotherton (Anthropology, Yale University) and Elise Andaya (Anthropology, SUNY Albany).
Professor Brotherton forthcoming book is an ethnographic examination of how Cuba's shifting state policies and external global factors have interacted with each other to change the course of health and medicine in the socialist island-nation.
Brotherton is currently developing an ethnographic account of Cuba's recent export of medical doctors throughout the world for hard currency. This research focuses on several case studies, including the Barrio Adentro (Inside the Barrio) program, where over 20,000 Cuban physicians are working in Venezuelan communities providing medical care in exchange for hard currency and subsidized petroleum, popularly known as "the oil-for-aid deal."
Recent articles by Brotherton appear in American Ethnologist and the Journal of Latin American Anthropology.
Elise Andaya is a cultural anthropologist specializing in medical anthropology. She conducts fieldwork in Havana, Cuba, on shifts in reproduction, gender ideologies, and kinship strategies since the devastating economic and ideological crisis precipitated by the fall of the socialist bloc. Moving from observations of reproductive health consultations in neighborhood clinics to interviews with women and their families, academics, and medical professionals, she examines the effects of broad political-economic change on familial and reproductive life.
Some of Andaya's research results will appear in "Bearing Statistics: Reproductive Health Policy and Practice in Cuba." In edited volume, Unintended Consequences: The Social Life of Reproductive Health Policy, Susan Erikson, ed.
Two reminders: if you wish to pre-register for conference you may do so by going to:
And please note the new address for the uc-cuba website:
A one-day conference/workshop, organized by Professor Nancy Burke (Anthropology, History and Social Medicine, UCSF) and entitled "In Sickness and in Health: Encountering Wellness in Cuba and the U.S." will take place at UC Berkeley (Bancroft Hotel meeting room), from 8:30-5:00 pm, on Friday, October 22, 2010.
Experts on health, medical anthropology and disciplines in the humanities will be in the program along with several invited health experts from Cuba. A panel including graduate and medical students conducting research on the island will also be featured. Among those whose participation has been confirmed:
Dr. Pedro Ordunez, a leading public health expert and internist who has published extensively in Cuban and international peer-reviewed journals, most recently in the American Journal of Epidemiology. He is a member of the Cuban Academy of Sciences and has received the national health award on several occasions. Currently Dr. Ordunez is Adviser to the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization in Washington, D.C.
Julie Feinsilver, Ph.D., who has published extensively on Cuba, including the book Healing the Masses: Cuban Politics at Home and Abroad (University of California Press, 1993) and essays on Cuban domestic politics and foreign affairs, biotechnology and nontraditional exports.
Several faculty members from UC Berkeley will be in the program as well including:
Charles L. Briggs, Alan Dundes Distinguished Professor of Folklore
Nancy Scheper-Hughes, Chancellor's Professor in Medical Anthropology
Lisa Garcia Bedolla, Professor and Director of the Latino Policy Research Center
Laura Enriquez, Professor of Sociology
Others program participants include:
Dr. Richard Quint, member of the Advisory Council of Medical Education Cooperation with Cuba MEDICC and Health Sciences Clinical Professor Emeritus, Department of Pediatrics (UCSF)
Professor Amalia Cabezas, Women's Studies, UC Riverside
UC-CUBA DOCTORAL STUDENTS AT LASA
Two UC-CUBA doctoral students are in the LASA program in Toronto this coming fall, Gabriela Santizo (Literature, UC San Diego) and Hanna Garth (Anthropology, UCLA)
Gabriela Santizo presents in the panel below:
Thursday, Oct 7, from 6:30-8:15
*Literary Cuba: Past and Present***
Ben A. Heller
*Lezama Lima's Poetics of Hybridity: Accretion, Metastasis, and the Monstrous Baroque*
Mariela A. Escobar
*Los espacios en "La pentagonia" de Reinaldo Arenas: representaciones, itinerarios y tensiones.*
*Recordando el presente: escritura, poder, y representacion en la narrativa
cubana desde los noventa*
Thomas F. Anderson
*Representations of Race, Religion, and Ritual in the poetry of Alejo Carpentier*
*Un paseo por los bosques narrativos de Tres Tristes Tigres de Guillermo Cabrera Infante
Hanna Garth is a presenter in the following panel:
Friday the 8th from 4-6pm:
*Health, Medicine, and the Body in Post-Soviet Cuba***
Julie M. Feinsilver
Julie M. Feinsilver
*Cuba's Medical Diplomacy: Change and Continuity*
Elise L. Andaya
*Risk, Low Birth-Weight, and the Production of Socialist Subjects in Cuban Prenatal Care*
*Public Health Genomics in Cuba; Community Genetics and the 'modern' promise
of personalised medicine*
Hanna F. Garth
*Memories of Food Scarcity and Contemporary Corporeal Aesthetic*
Pierre Sean Brotherton
*A Genealogy of Bodily Practices in Post-Soviet Cuba*
NEW UC CUBA Ph.D.
Rebecca Bodenheimer, or rather, Rebecca Bodenheimer, Ph.D., finished her dissertation this semester and has filed. An expert on Afro-Cuban folkloric music, her dissertation, (Ethnomusicology, UC Berkeley), for which she did extensive field work over the last few years, is the most in-depth, detailed history and analysis of Cuba's rumba complex available. UC-CUBA is very happy to have contributed in a small way: Dr. Bodenheimer obtained two of the travel & research mini-grants UC-CUBA awarded in the last four years. She will be an active participant at the forthcoming LASA conference in Toronto in October. Dr. Bodenheimer will be the discussant at the panel "Diasporic Ties: Theorizing the Diasporic Dimensions of Afro-Latino Identity," (Thursday, 8:30-10:15 am) and will present, and chair, at the panel "Sounds of Crisis: The Political Economy of Music-Making in Latin America," (Friday, 10:30-12:15 pm).
Dr. Bodenheimer also received a 2-year Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship in Arts and Humanities at Hamilton College in upstate New York.
ANOTHER NEW UC CUBA Ph.D.
Dan Rood, or rather, Daniel Rood, Ph.D., finished his dissertation this semester and has filed. An expert the trans-Atlantic connections of the industrial slavery system in the 19th century, his dissertation, (History, UC Irvine), for which he did extensive archival research in Havana, is a path-breaking work.
Rood uncovers how scientific advances usually associated with technological processes in the industrialized countries were actually developed by U.S. engineers working in Cuban slave society in support of, and as part of, the effort by slave systems to survive the advent of the capitalist industrial revolution (long sentence, sorry!). Dr. Rood obtained two of the travel&research mini-grants UC-CUBA awarded in the last four years. He was an active and important participant in the 2009 UC-CUBA graduate student conference&workshop held at UCLA. Dr. Rood will continue to develop his research this coming year as a post-doctoral fellow at the American Antiquarian Society in Worcester, Mass. CONGRATULATIONS!!!
YET ANOTHER UC CUBA Ph.D.
Dr. Nadia Sanko, the recipient of two UC-CUBA research mini-grants, just received her Ph.D. in Hispanic Languages and Literatures from UCLA! Using literary, film, and performance analyses, her dissertation titled "Creolizing Carmen: Reading Subversive Afra-Hispanic Performances of Maria Antonia and Isabel 'La Negra' in the Caribbean" explains how Cuban and Puerto Rican cultural works are reappropriating the figure of the racialized female performer and re-presenting it in new and subversive ways that are exposing social inequalities based on gender and race prevalent in the Spanish Caribbean.
For the upcoming 2010-2011 academic year, Nadia was selected to be a Faculty Fellow in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at UCLA. She will teach her own seminars and advanced language courses as well as continue her research under the mentorship of Dr. Jorge Marturano.
MORE GOOD NEWS
Ivette Gomez, Ph.D. (UCI, Spanish, 2009) will be teaching 3 literature courses in the Fall at the University of Southern California.
Lauren (Robin) Derby's The Dictator's Seduction: Politics and the Popular Imagination in the Era of Trujillo is a co-winner of the Caribbean Studies Association's 2010 Gordon K. and Sybil Lewis Award for the best recent book about the Caribbean.
GRADUATE STUDENTS DISCUSS THEIR WORK WITH VISITING CUBAN HISTORIAN
On Friday, June 4th five graduate students associated with UC-CUBA, from 3 different campuses, had a wonderful opportunity to meet with Dr. Oscar A. Zanetti from Havana University (and research director for the Instituto de Historia de Cuba from 1989 to 2005), who lectured at UCLA in an event sponsored in part by UC-CUBA.
Anita Casavantes Bradford (History, UCSD), James Shrader (History, UCSD), Teishan Latner (History, UCI), Javier Collazo (History, UCI) and Susannah Rodriguez (Comp. Lit), UCLA) met privately with Dr. Zanetti for an hour and a half to discuss their doctoral projects and receive archival suggestions from Dr. Zanetti.
Afterwards they attended Dr. Zanetti's fascinating lecture on West Indian migration to Cuba sugar cane harvest in the early 20th century. In attendance at the lecture they were joined by other doctoral students: Marco Antonio Guzman (Sociology, UCLA), and Jeannine Murray-Roman (Comp Lit, UCLA). Together with Professors Jose Ortega (History, Whittier College), Jorge Marturano (Spanish,UCLA), Cesar Ayala (Sociology, UCLA) and Raul Fernandez (SS-CLS, UCI) they made up a small but high-caliber audience for Dr. Zanetti's presentation.
In terms of its significance for doctoral research the conversation between Dr. Zanetti and five of our UC-CUBA graduate student associates was truly one of the highlights of UC-CUBA's activities during the unit's four year existence.
RESEARCH ON ACADEMIAS DE BAILE
Melissa Blanco-Borelli, our recent Ph.D in Dance from UC Riverside, currently in the faculty in the Department of Film, Theatre and Dance at the University of Surrey (U.K) won an American Society for Theatre Research Targeted Area Research Grant to go to Cuba and continue her research on the academias de baile. She will be meeting women (very old women!) who used to dance at them and record their oral history.
June 04, 2010
LECTURE by Dr. OSCAR A. ZANETTI from Havana University
Labor Migration and the Expansion of the Sugar Industry: West Indian
Workers in Cuba, 1900-1930
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
Los Angeles, CA 90095
Born in Havana in 1946, Oscar A. Zanetti Lecuona received his doctorate in history in 1986. Mr. Zanetti, a full professor in Havana University for more than three decades, is also a researcher and was research director in the Instituto de Historia de Cuba from 1989 to 2005. His studies about Cuban economic history have been focused on the sugar industry in the Island, mainly during the twentieth century. His researches range from the enterprise history of the United Fruit Sugar Company, published in 1976, to his most recent monograph, Las manos en el dulce, an analysis that shows the regulation of sugar production and commerce by the Cuban state from 1926 to 1940. Another extended monograph on a collateral but very closely related theme-the history of Cuban railroads-was published in collaboration with Alejandro Garcia, asCaminos para el azucar. This book received the "Elsa Goveia" award given by the Association of Caribbean Historians as the best book on Caribbean history (1986-1989) and was published by the Uversity of North Carolina Press in 1998 as Sugar and Railroads. A Cuban History, 1837-1959. Currently Mr. Zanetti is developing a comparative history between the sugar economies in the Hispanic Caribbean. Oscar Zanetti is currently visiting professor at American University. He has worked as visiting professor in the Universidad Autonoma de Barcelona, as well as in the universities of Alicante, Santo Domingo, Universidad Veracruzana, Universidad de San Martin in Argentina, and other institutions of higher education. In 1995 he received the Hispanista fellowship from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Spain and has obtained fellowships from the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas of Spain, Rutgers University, and the University of Texas at Austin, among others.
April 16 and 17, 2010
UC-CUBA GRADUATE STUDENT CONFERENCE
"Cuban Counterpoints" is a UC-wide interdisciplinary conference/workshop for graduate students to share work relating to any aspect of Cuban life. Cuban Counterpoints follows How do UC Cuba of 2009, a landmark gathering of scholars working on Cuba across the UC-system.
Conference Poster Conference Schedule
WINDOW INTO CUBA AND CUBAN STUDIES (forthcoming book)
A project of the University of California-Cuba Academic Initiative, a consortium that brings together faculty and doctoral students from seven campuses of the University of California, this book emerged from a two-day conference which UC-CUBA sponsored in May 2008 that started a multi-sided dialogue about current Cuba research among participants from the United States, Mexico and Europe.
February 11-13, 2010
A report on UC-CUBA at the Cuban Research Institute Conference (by Anita Casavantes Bradford)
The 8th CRI conference on Cuban and Cuban American studies, "Cuba: An Island in a Global World," took place from February 11 to 13, 2010, at Miami's Florida International University. Bringing together scholars from the U.S., Canada, Israel, Spain, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Germany, the interdisciplinary conference sought to foster global and transnational approaches to the analysis of contemporary and historical political, social and economic and cultural dynamics on the island and its diaspora. Featuring 31 panels and more than 100 presentations, the conference provided ample evidence that the study of Cuba and its overseas communities continues to be a vital field, as well as the ingenuity and persistence of scholars who continue to find ways to surmount ongoing challenges to research and academic exchange with la isla.
Graduate students and young scholars were well represented at the conference, many of them associated with the UC-Cuba academic initiative. UC-Cuba offered financial support for graduate students in literature, anthropology, ethnic studies, and history from UCLA, Berkeley, Davis, Irvine, Santa Cruz and San Diego campuses to attend and present papers. UC-Cuba associated faculty currently teaching in the UC system, at the University of Utah, San Francisco State University, Pomona College, Rutgers, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, the University of Miami, De Paul University, Whittier College and at Duke University, also served as chairs and discussants on a number of panels, and presented papers on topics ranging from colonialism, race, and nationhood, Afro-Cuban exile politics, and music, literature, sexuality and popular culture. UC-Cuba supported panels were among the best attended at the conference, featuring innovative and occasionally controversial research that sparked lively discussion and debate.
Since 1991, CRI has demonstrated a commitment to working with scholars on the island, and has sought to secure their participation in conferences; unfortunately, the inability of Cuban scholars to secure exit permits and visas prevented island-based scholars from participating this year. Their conspicuous absence, along with that of scheduled panelists who were prevented by historic snowstorms in the eastern United States from reaching Miami, was deeply felt by those in attendance. Nonetheless, the conference provided a rich opportunity for much-needed academic exchange, informal conversation and networking among scholars of Cuban and Cuban American studies.
Our gratitude goes out to the Cuban Research Institute for providing the community with space for these moments, and for their ongoing commitment to providing an open forum for discussion of the island's history, present reality, and future possibilities.
UC-CUBA REPRESENTED AT C.R.I. CONFERENCE IN MIAMI
UC-CUBA will be well-represented at the Cuban Research Institute conference in Miami this coming February. Participants in our 2008 UC-CUBA conference (UC Irvine) and the 2009 Graduate Student Conference/Workshop (UCLA) organized and proposed 4 panels which have been accepted for the upcoming CRI 2010. Faculty and graduate students from six UC campuses are among the 19 panelists. Other panelists are colleagues from institutions that participated in our 2008 UC-CUBA conference.
The panels, and the participants are:
1. El hombre, la hembra, y el hambre: Food and Sex in Cuban culture.
Organized by Susannah Rodriguez, ABD, (UCLA). Professor Robin Derby (UCLA), Hanna Garth, ABD (UCLA), Professor Amalia Cabezas (UC Riverside), and Professor Raul Fernandez (UCI) complete the panel.
2. Leaving Cuba: Exiles, Internacionalistas, and Economic migrants.
Organized by Anita Casavantes Bradford, ABD (UCSD) and Monika Gosin, Posdotctoral Scholar (Duke University). Professor Felix Masud-Piloto (DePaul University), Ayesha Nibbe ABD(UC Davis), and Alissa Bernstein (UC Berkeley) complete the panel.
3. Transgeographical Dilemmas: Nineteenth Century Constructs of Race.
Organized by Professor Gema Guevara(Univ. of Utah). The other panelists: Professor Karina Cespedes (University of Colorado), Professor Laura Lomas (Rutgers), Professor Nancy Mirabal (San Francisco State Univ), Professor Jose Ortega (Whittier College) and Professor Raul Fernandez, UCI (discussant).
4. Cuba Transnational: Encounters of the Imaginary and Imaginary Encounters
Organized by Susannah Rodriguez, ABD, (UCLA). Professor Jorge Marturano (UCLA), Ivette Gomez (Pomona College), Virginia Benitez, ABD (UCSC), and Professor Lourdes Martinez-Echazabal (UCSC) complete the panel.