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Ruth Behar’s An Island Called Home

greater Cuba, new book No Comments »

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Here is Ruth Behar’s recent book on Jewish Cuba.  If Ruth’s student Caroline Bettinger-López traced one site of Jewish-Cuban migration to Florida in Cuban-Jewish Journeys, in this richly photographed book Behar addresses the question of her own need to return repeatedly, and the life of the Jewish community in Cuba today, and the book takes us all over the island.  Despite her described back-and-forth travel, as I read the book it did not seem to describe a transnational circuit–that feels like an inadequate metaphor of stasis, closure, completion.  A transnational spiral, perhaps?

Anyway, anyone have links to reviews, etc?

On Race in Cuba. Recent Academic Works.

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Ariana Hernández Reguant’s “Havana’s Timba: A Macho Sound for Black Sex,” in Globalization and Race: Transformations in the Cultural Production of Blackness, ed. by Kamari Maxine Clarke and Deborah A. Thomas, Duke, 2006, pp. 249-278.

Jafari Sinclaire Allen, “Looking Black at Revolutionary Cuba,” in Latin American Perspectives, vol. 36, no. 1, 53-62 (2009).

Marc D. Perry has a chapter, “Hip Hop’s Diasporic Landscapes of Blackness,” in the just-published volume From Toussaint to Tupac: The Black International since the Age of Revolution, ed. by Michael O. West, William G. Martin, and Fanon Che Wilkens.  In the essay, Perry looks comparatively at hip hop in three context–Cuba, Brazil and South Africa.

Also check out Marc Perry’s article, “Global Black Self-Fashionings: Hip Hop as Diasporic Space,” in Identities, vol. 15, issue 6, pp. 635-664, 2008.

Kaifa Roland: “Tourism and the Negrificación of Cuban Identity,” in Transforming Anthropology, 14(2):151–162 (2006).

Umi Vaughan, “Shades of Race in Contemporary Cuba,” in Islas: Journal of the Afrocuban Alliance, 1(2):13-20 (2006).

Nadine Fernandez, “A Racial Geography: The Meaning of Blackness in a Havana Neighborhood,” in Islas: Journal of the Afrocuban Alliance, 1(2):13-20 (2006),

Katrin Hansing’s Rasta, Race and Revolution: The Emergence and Development of the Rastafari Movement in Socialist Cuba. Beiträge zur Afrikaforschung (2006).  Bd. 28, 2006, 272 S., 29.90 EUR, br. Decades after its birth and subsequent tour du monde Rastafari has more recently also appeared in revolutionary Cuba. How the movement has been globalized and subsequentially localized in a socialist and Spanish speaking context are the main foci of this book. In particular it examines how Cubans have adopted and adapted the movement to their own socio-political and cultural context and what, given these circumstances, ‘Babylon’ is in Cuba. As a predominantly Afro-Cuban youth movement particular attention is paid to Rastafari’s development in the context of Cuba’s current economic crisis and re- appearance of more overt racism. Based on extensive ethnographic fieldwork in Cuba, the study shows how Rastafari’s growth and presence on the island have influenced and contributed to the formation and expression of new cultural identities and discourses with regard to what it means to be young, black and Cuban.

Cuba at the American Ethnological Society Meetings, 2009

Conferences & CFPs 1 Comment »

Held together with CASCA (the Canadian Anthropological Society) in Vancouver, May 13-15, the AES meetings will feature one panel and one paper related to Cuba. The panel has been scheduled for the first day of the conference, Wednesday, at 11am:

Fifty Years of the Cuban Revolution -Organizer: Kendra Coulter (U of Windsor). It includes the papers: “The Stubbornness of Hope: Women, Education Work and Revolution in Cuba” –Kendra Coulter, U of Windsor; “Resources of Hope: The Idea of Cuba for Activist Argentine Pensioners” –Lindsay DuBois, Dalhousie U; “Public Health: Why Are the Cubans So Successful?” –Una Lynch, Queen’s U; “Re-thinking ‘Transition’: Resistance, Acccommodation, and Implications for Solidarity in Cuba” –Kathy Powell, National U of Ireland, Galway

On Wednesday at 9:30am, a panel on ART, MARKET AND VALUE UNDER SOCIALISM includes an additional Cuba-related paper: Ariana Hernandez-Reguant, “Artists or Parasites? Art Curators and Music Producers in Post-Soviet Cuba.”

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