To Follow the Bouncing Ball – Transnational Ethnography and the Experiences of Cuban Transnational Sport Migration. Dr. Thomas F. Carter, Senior Lecturer University of Brighton.
Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010. 5:00 – 7:00 pm. Department of Anthropology, University of California at Riverside. INTS 1113
Thomas Carter is Senior Lecturer in anthropology at the Chelsea School at the University of Brighton in Eastbourne, United Kingdom. He was previously a Research Fellow in the School of Anthropological Studies at Queen’s University of Belfast. He has written extensively on Cuba, sport and politics, including his ethnography, The Quality of Home Runs: The Passion, Politics and Language of Cuban Baseball (Duke University Press 2008) on the historical and current discourses of cubanidad embodied in the national sport of baseball. His forthcoming book, In Foreign Fields, uses the politics and experiences of sport-related transnational labor migration to both critique globalization-based models explaining the movements of sport-related labor and call for greater anthropological attention to sport (Pluto 2011).
Differently from other photographers that went to Cuba in the Special Period and immortalized its ruins and its blackness in beautiful coffee table books, Ernesto Bazán, an Italian, actually lived in Cuba for fourteen years. He lived there between 1992 and 2006, when he was forced to leave the country, along with his Cuban wife and child. His book, Bazan Cuba, was just published and is reviewed in El Pais, today thursday. You can see a selection of photographs, all in black and white, on his website.
Oct 12 event at the UM. At the far left (wearing a tie), Orlando Bosch. Next to him, Enrique Ros (also with suit and tie), who is the father of Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Republican Congresswoman. On the far right, author and radio host Enrique Encinosa. (pic taken from the event’s website)
Colleague Isabel Alfonso, a graduate of the University of Miami, sent us this video of the October 12 event, along with her outrage. How is it possible that a bona fide University would sponsor a homage to Orlando Bosch? He is an extremely controversial figure, well known for his involvement in an airplane bombing; who at one point was convicted of terrorism by a U.S. court and who, according to the U.S. Attorney General’s Ofice, “for thirty years has been resolute and unwavering in his advocacy of terrorist violence.” One thing is to invite an individual, in this case a witness of a history worth telling, a man already in his eighties, to tell his story, even to give his opinion and defend his views. But to stage a homage to his terrorist actions and activities that broke laws in several countries?
Here’s a clip:
The event, on the Escambray anti-revolutionary struggle, was technically organized by an Institute for the Cuban Historical Memory Against Totalitarianism, and merely took place AT the University of Miami’s Institute for Cuban and Cuban American Studies, as clearly stated on their event webpage. Nonetheless, both the Cuban and Cuban American Institute and the University lent their names and banners to the event as can be seen on the pictures. They were therefore sponsors. The Institute (which we link on our link-roll) is a semi-independent entity that has never hidden its partisanship. It is directed by the very widely read historian Prof. Jaime Suchliki, and, even though it does not feature a proper board, it lists a number of UM faculty as contributors.
What is the line between political activism and academic indifference? Are there double or triple standards? Our colleague and former classmate, anthropologist Nick DeGenova, unfortunately lost his job at Columbia University for saying at a sit-in that the United States deserved “a million Mogadishus.” How is this any different? It is always dangerous to try to set limits to free speech, but one could argue that universities, as educational institutions, are in the business of educating citizens for democracy. A university needs to chose its role models -the individuals it honors- carefully and thoughtfully.