Cuba: Then and Now

Cuba: Then and Now

A Workshop for Educators

Saturday, March 5, 2016

9:00 am-4:30 pm

FedEx Global Education Center, Room 4003

UNC-Chapel Hill

 
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Download a Cuba: Then and Now Workshop Flyer in PDF form here.
Register here! http://bit.ly/CubaWorkshopReg
Questions? Contact Outreach Program Coordinator Emily Chávez at emily.chavez@duke.edu.
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RESOURCES

WRAL Goes Inside Cuba: http://www.wral.com/lifestyles/travel/video/14975339/

Presentation: The Cuban-American Community & the New U.S.-Cuba Relations by Jorge Duany, Cuban Research Institute, FIU

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SESSION AND PRESENTER INFORMATION.
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Session 1 – A Brief History of Contemporary Cuba
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Presenter: Louis Pérez
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This talk will be an overview of 20th century Cuban history and the socio-political landscape today.  In this talk, Dr. Pérez will highlight key impacts on the Cuban people of Spanish rule and U.S. occupation.  Participants will learn about the major factors leading up to the Cuban Revolution, what was at stake for the nation and the people, and some of the significant shifts that occurred as a result.  Dr. Pérez will also address issues of class, race, and gender and how these have influenced Cubans’ lived experiences and sense of national identity.  Finally, this presentation will comment on the changes that have taken place since December 2014.
Louis Pérez is the J. Carlyle Sitterson Professor of History and the Director of the Institute for the Study of the Americas at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is presently the series editor of “Envisioning Cuba” at the University of North Carolina Press. He got his MA from the University of Arizona in 1966 and his PhD at the University of New Mexico in 1970.
Principal research interests center on nineteenth- and twentieth-century Caribbean, with emphasis on Spanish-speaking Caribbean. Current research explores the character of society and gender in nineteenth-century Cuba. His most recent books include On Becoming Cuban: Identity, Nationality, and Culture, winner of the 2000 Bolton-Johnson Prize, The War of 1898: The United States and Cuba in History and Historiography, Winds of Change: Hurricanes and the Transformation of Nineteenth-Century Cuba, winner of the 2001 George Perkins Marsh Prize, and To Die in Cuba: Suicide and Society, winner of the 2007 Elsa Goveia Prize.
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Session 2 – Notes on the Foundations of the Havana Biennale – Cultural Policy in Cuba

Presenter: Miguel Rojas-Sotelo

The Havana Biennale is one of a group of cultural mega-events that has projected Cuba’s interest in being at the center of world affairs since the installment of the Ministry of Culture in 1976. The Biennale has explored the debates taking place around the issue of alternative cosmopolitan modernisms (Latin America, Africa, and Asia, with particular attention to the role of Cuban art within that configuration) and answers the question of whether these debates and practices have contributed to a redefinition of the network of “global art” today.

This presentation addresses the methodological approach of the Havana Biennale towards the larger picture of “global art,” its interactions with the art world, and its discussions on artistic and cultural subjectivity. More broadly, it seeks to promote and make visible what is (was) called Third World Art that is now labeled Art of the Global South. Most art biennials respond to the national or local questions as it relates to their specific international and global interests. They try to position local production and to promote local and regional (as well as international) cultural markets. The official, political, and economic dimensions of these events are unquestionable, and must be acknowledged.[i]

[i] As Stuart Cunningham suggests, “many people trained in cultural studies would see their primary role as being critical of the dominant political, economic and social order. When cultural theorists do turn to questions of policy, our command metaphors of resistance and opposition predispose us to view the policy making process as inevitably compromised, incomplete and inadequate.” Cunningham finishes the argument stating, “These people are then called to the bar of an abstrusely formulated critical idealism.” I hope to have a different fate. Stuart Cunningham, Framing Culture: criticisms and policy in Australia (Sydney: Allen & Unwin, 1992). p. 9.

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Miguel Rojas-Sotelo was born in Bogotá, Colombia. He is an art historian, visual artist, media activist, scholar, and curator. He holds a Doctorate (Ph.D) in Visual Studies, Contemporary Art, and Cultural Theory (U. Pittsburgh, 2009), M.A. in Modern and Contemporary Art (U. Pittsburgh, 2004), MFA on Visual Arts (U. de los Andes, 1995), and B.A. in Art  (sub-major in History and Philosophy).
Sotelo worked as visual arts director of the Ministry of Culture of Colombia (1995-2001), building cultural policy for the visual arts in his country, and independently as artist, curator, and critic ever since. His areas of interest are: decolonial aesthetics, intercultural visualities, subaltern studies, the global south, contemporary visual circuits, culture and power, Latin American visual production, cultural politics and subjectivity, performance and film studies. He currently works and teaches at the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies at Duke University where he is the Special Events Coordinator and the Director of the NC Latin American Film and New Media Festival.

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Session 3 – Cuban Emigration
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Presenter: Holly Ackerman
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Holly Ackerman is the Librarian for Latin American, Iberian and Latino Studies in the Duke Libraries’ Department of International and Area Studies. She is an active participant in the Seminar on the Acquisition of Latin American Library Materials (SALALM) and the Latin American Studies Association where she chairs the Section on Scholarly Research and Resources. She holds a Doctorate (Ph.D) in International Studies (University of Miami), M.S. in Social Work (Columbia University), and a B.A. in Sociology (Howard University).

Holly is the author of The Cuban Balseros: Voyage of Uncertainty which established the foundational demography and history of the 1994 Cuban raft crisis. She has also published on various topics related to the Cuban diaspora and Caribbean migration. Her work has appeared in the journals Cuban Studies; Encuentro de la cultura cubana; and Latino Studies. She is a contributing editor and author in the recently published collection of essays Cuba. Detroit: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 2011.

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Session 4 – Afro-Cuban Music 
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Presenter: Bradley Simmons
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Bradley Simmons is an Adjunct Lecturer in West African Music and History and Director of the Duke Djembe Ensemble. He is a native of New York City and began playing Afro-Cuban and African percussion when he was 9 years old. From that point on and through his teenage years, he traveled throughout the City seeking out percussion teachers from Haiti, Cuba and Africa in an effort to enhance his understanding of these rhythmic forms, styles and techniques. Bradley was soon very busy doing on-Broadway plays including: “Timbuktu” with Eartha Kitt and Melba Moore; Billy Wilson’s version of “Guys and Dolls” starring Robert Guillume; and “Reggae” with Calvin Lockhart and Philip Michael Thomas. Bradley performed in the following plays off-Broadway: “Night Club Confidential”; Vennette Carroll’s “Never Jam Today” and the “Ups and Downs of Theophilous Maitland”.

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