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Kristina Wirtz, talk at the University of Chicago (11/8/10)

Anthropological institutions, By Paul Ryer, Calendar, Seminars & talks 1 Comment »

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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Anthropological Collections in Cuban Museums

Anthropological institutions, By Ariana Hernandez-Reguant, Journals 3 Comments »

I am not aware of any Museum of Anthropology in Cuba [other than the Montané Anthropological Museum in Havana, as Joaquin Estrada Montalván reminds me].* There are several museums that house artifacts related to folklore and religion, like the Guanabacoa Museum, the slave past, like the Museo de la Ruta del Esclavo in Matanzas, or African traditions, like the Museo de la Casa de Africa. Then, there are museums that are dear to cultural anthropologists, like the Museum of the Battle of Ideas, located in Cárdenas (reviewed by Michelle Tisdell in Museum Anthropology two years ago). Today’s Granma paper mentions the personal collection of noted Cuban anthropologist Manuel Rivero de la Calle (author of books and articles on Cuba’s indigenous populations and cultures) in an unlikely museum context, as ironically notes Emilio Ichikawa’s blog. Read on:


La Habana, viernes 22 de enero de 2010. Año 14 / Número 22

Aniversario del Museo de la Marcha del Pueblo Combatiente

El museo de la Marcha del Pueblo Combatiente, en La Habana, arriba a su noveno aniversario, con un grupo de actividades que se desarrollarán el lunes próximo.

Fundado el 25 de enero de 2002, el nombre del Museo perpetúa la primera Marcha del Pueblo Combatiente por la Quinta Avenida, en el municipio de Playa, realizada el 19 de abril de 1980, como respuesta a los hechos vandálicos ocurridos días antes en la sede de la embajada del Perú, donde resultó muerto Pedro Ortiz Cabrera, combatiente del Ministerio del Interior.

El museo exhibe una importante y bien seleccionada muestra de los mejores pintores cubanos de varios siglos, junto a las evidencias históricas de la localidad.

Destacan entre sus colecciones, los restos fósiles colectados por el antropólogo Manuel Rivero de La Calle, en la Cueva de Lamas, en Santa Fe. (AIN)

*The Montané Anthropological Museum at the University of Havana is devoted mostly to pre-Hispanic artifacts. In his comment (below) Joaquin Estrada also mentions other collections that I was not aware of.

P.S.  I read in OPUS HABANA that just last week the 14th Taller de Antropología Social y Cultural Afroamericana took place in the Museo de la Ruta del Esclavo.

Who was Maurice Halperin?

Anthropological institutions, By Paul Ryer, History 3 Comments »

Robin Moore once suggested to me that a history of anthropology in Cuba–from its 19th century roots through the Revolution, as practiced by Cuban and international scholars alike–would be an extraordinary study, and I do see how this would be a fascinating, multi-faceted project.  In any case, one crucial moment for such a history is surely provided by the case of Oscar Lewis and his team of “anthropologists.”  I put “anthropologists” in quotes because whether or not they were spies, the Lewises were certainly more acting as oral historians than anthropologists in their Cuban project; methodologically their team was far, far from an ethnographic approach.

More recently, I came across this obscure article, by one Maurice Halperin, who apparently was a disaffected O.S.S. (i.e. C.I.A.) officer who lived and taught in Havana from 1962-1968, and who seemingly–as described in his article–had a personal role in the events surrounding the Oscar & Ruth Lewis affair.  Regardless of one’s read of that event, and despite the clear biases of the author (who seems so anti-revolutionary that one simply must wonder just how “disaffected” he really was with the U.S. intelligence apparatus even if he did teach at la Universidad de La Habana!) it might be interesting to add this perspective to the far more pro-Revolutionary voices of Douglas Butterworth and Ruth Lewis themselves.  But to give Halperin ANY credibility, I think we need to know more about his scholarship.  So, who was this Maurice Halperin?  Has anyone heard of him, or know Return to Havana or anything else he’s written?  What was his field?  What did he teach in Havana?  I know some of us have met Cubans who worked with the Lewises, have you ever meet anyone in Cuba who knew Halperin?

Archivocubano on Fundación Fernando Ortiz and Museo Montané

Anthropological institutions, Blogs, History, Universidad de La Habana No Comments »

This Italian site, Archivocubano, has a post on the first decade of the Fundación Fernando Ortiz, written a few years ago by Jesús Guanche.  And also a post on the history of the Museo Montané at the Universidad de La Habana, by Armando Rangel Rivero.  To date, I have not been able to find a direct URL for the museum (of, for that matter, for the Centro de Antropología in Cerro).  Does anyone have other links to/from/about these institutions?  If so, please please post them in a quick comment!

Centro de Antropología Cultural de Camagüey

Anthropological institutions 1 Comment »

centro_antropologia_culturalHere is an interesting article about—as the header indicates—a cultural anthropology center in Camagüey.  Has anyone visited?  If you know anything about this centro, please, please comment on it!

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