Kristina S. Wirtz, on “From Blackface to Voice of the Spirits: A ‘Brutology’ of Bozal“
Monday, November 8, 2010, 3:30 pm University of Chicago, Haskell 315
It was a great pleasure, and one more sign that anthropological scholarship on Cuba continues to prosper, to receive notice of the forthcoming talk by linguistic anthropologist Kristina Wirtz, author of Ritual, Discourse, and Community in Cuban Santería, and associate professor at Western Michigan U., at the mythical Monday Seminar of the University of Chicago Department of Anthropology. As part of the anthropological community with sustained interest in Cuban research (among faculty, principally Stephan Palmié and Shannon Dawdy, as well as M.R. Trouillot, Marshall Sahlins, John Kelly and others, and, among numerous Ph.D. students & graduates, ourselves, EthnoCuba’s editors), we are sorry to miss what will certainly be an outstanding talk and conversation!
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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).
Here is a clickable link to a speech given recently by Temas editor Rafael Hernández, at the University of Chicago. As you probably know, Hernández is a senior research fellow at the Centro de Investigación de la Cultura Cubana Juan Marinello in Havana and is the author or editor of numerous books. The title of this talk, given in English, is “The Cuban Transition: Imagined and Actual.”
Recently, the Cuban Research Institute posted an announcement for a forthcoming book presentation (full text here) of Julia Sweig’s new book, Cuba: What Everyone Needs to Know, Oxford, 2009. On first inspection, the book seems accessible to undergraduates and fairly balanced, albeit from a North American perspective. It is structured in a question & response format which betrays the journalistic underpinnings of the approach, and political (or politicised) topics predominate.
My question for colleagues is: what do you think of the book? I ask because, for years I have used Jules Benjamin’s The United States and the Origins of the Cuban Revolution: An Empire of Liberty in an Age of National Liberation (Princeton, 1992) to help frame the events and politics of the early revolutionary years, but it is now almost 20 years old. Although I’ve been looking, still have not found a text that comes close to Benjamin for lucidity, detail, dialogism, and an awareness of wider structural forces/context. (Indeed, IMO Benjamin’s book should be required reading not just in Cuban studies, but for anyone (e.g. politicians) who has trouble understanding nationalistic responses to projections of U.S. power anywhere). In any case, I am afraid Sweig may be sufficiently accessible to students, and cover both the early and more recent events of the Revolution, but not nearly as well grounded as Benjamin. Does anyone have an opinion about either of these texts, or have a suggestion about comparable others worth teaching?
The conference will take place on October 30th and is organized by FIU’s Center for African and African Diaspora Studies; a center directed by former Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology editor, Jean Rahier. The event features anthropologist and Yale professor Kamari Clarke as keynote speaker, and includes a session on Cuba’s future.