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Chronicle of Lisbon’s Workshop on Afro-Cuban religion (4/20/2011)

By Grete Viddal, Conferences & CFPs, Religion 2 Comments »

Grete Viddal presenting at the top of the table

I just returned from the 2nd Workshop on Afro-Cuban Religion held at the Instituto de Ciências Sociais (ICS) in Lisbon, Portugal. The theme for this meeting was “Creativity, improvisation and innovation in Afro-Cuban religion.” The event was organized by Ana Stela Cunha and Diana Espirito Santo, currently post-docs at the ICS and CRIA (Centre for Research in Social Anthropology), respectively.

A dozen scholars of Cuban religion gathered for two days to share work in progress, debate ideas, talk theory, practice, and participation, and network. Many participants were at the dissertation-writing stage or post-docs, and established scholars also attended. Discussants from ICS, Universidade de Lisboa, and Universidade Nova de Lisboa provided thoughtful feedback.

Participants included scholars from the US, Portugal, Spain, Cuba, Greece, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Brazil, and Colombia. We spoke in English and Spanish, sometimes switching between languages mid-sentence during Q & A.

The delights of Lisbon pulled us in during evenings, as we ate wonderful food and quaffed mojitos and caipirinas in a friendly, lively, bohemian city with picturesque neighborhoods and charming architecture.

Lia Pozzi, Andrea Antonelli, Anastasios Panagiotopoulos, Katerina Kerestetzi, Géraldine Morel, Diana Espirito Santo, and Jalane Schmidt in an Alafama neighborhood cafe

Panels included: (see below)

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Cuba @ the 2010 AAA meetings

By Ariana Hernandez-Reguant, Conferences & CFPs 1 Comment »

The American Anthropological Association Meetings are in New Orleans this year, Nov. 18-21. These are the Cuba-related papers included in the program:

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After “In Sickness and Health: Encountering Wellness in Cuba and the U.S.”

By Paul Ryer, Conferences & CFPs, Health No Comments »

For the many ECers who were not able to attend the recent medical anthropology conference, “In Sickness and Health: Encountering Wellness in Cuba and the U.S.,” thanks to the University of California’s Cuba working group you can now find a useful write-up of the event here.  While we have not done many post-event postings, such a write-up  adds significant value to an event which brought together a number of esteemed medical anthropologists and specialists in Cuban health systems.  Something to keep in mind should you attend a similar event in the future, and have a bit of time to share your thoughts about it!

Orlando Bosch and the Politics of Academia

By Ariana Hernandez-Reguant, Conferences & CFPs, exile, Miami, Video - lecture and discussion 6 Comments »

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.

UPDATE: Cuban Theater in the 1960s. A conference review.

By M.E.Diaz, Calendar, Conferences & CFPs, Reviews No Comments »

Lillian Manzor, professor at University of Miami and expert on Cuban theater, has organized a conference on Cuban theater in the 1960s that gathers some of the main playwrights and theater personalities of the period.

It will take place on Saturday, March 27th, at the University of Miami Otto Richter Library

The conference includes the presence of personalities such as Eduardo Arrocha, Anton Arrufat, Abelardo Estorino, Eduardo Manet, Matias Montes Ruidobro, Rafael Mirabal, and Jesus Ruiz -all of whom have been granted visas to enter the United States.

For more information, click on the poster to enlarge it. The program website, which includes the complete program and instructions to watch the conference live on video, is HERE.

(The awesome poster is a design of Anna Veltford, known as Connie, of El Archivo)

Prof. Maria Elena Diaz (UC-Santa Cruz) attended the conference and provided the following review:

The U Miami’s conference “Protagonitsts of the 60s: Caminos, esplendor y obstaculos del teatro cubano” organized by Lillian Manzor, was a well attended yet intimate event.  There,  protagonic figures of that decade collated memories of that golden period of theatre in Havana and the creative energy that drove it until the “quinquenio gris.”

The morning section was dedicated to the material culture of theatre–design and costumes. It displayed the work of key designers (some of them still working in Cuba) through surviving drafts and photographs of that work. A highlight of that panel was the memorable staging of  Lope de Vega’s <Fuenteovejuna> based on the striking artistic vision of Rafael Mirabal (Miami) who sought to recreate in his design the work’s central theme of “power.” All agreed that the work had had a tremendous impact in the theatre scene of the time.  Perhaps someone will venture to re-stage along the same lines it in some future festival, it would definitely still play out as a tremendously innovative staging of that classic, aside from the evocations to the 60s staging it could produce. I would have loved to have seen it–or see it.

In the afternoon session, the highlights were Anton Arrufat who gave a moving account of his personal experience in internal exile in the Biblioteca de Marianao during 14 years before being rehabilitated,  Matias Huidobro (writer and scholar) who gave a good panoramic view of the scene during the period weaving in his own experience;  and Eduardo Manet who connected via the internet from Rabat, of all places, where he was representing French writers at a Congress.  Manet’s improvised talk was for the most part a bubbling and optimistic  intervention that mostly focused on the present and the future. His words about the creative role of writers and artists in what he saw as a demoralizing  French cultural scene energized some of the writers and artists in the room.

There were the always moving encounters of friends and colleagues who had not seen each other in decades. Above all, the conference unfolded in a collegial and respectful manner among Cuban writers and artists who, despite their political and artistic trajectories, once shared the energy of being part of perhaps the richest theatre scene in the island’s history. Overall a wonderful conference full of discoveries.

8th CRI conference on Cuban and Cuba-American Studies

Conferences & CFPs 5 Comments »

Here is the reposted CFP for the 8th Cuban Research Institute conference at FIU, Feb. 4-6, 2010. The theme is “Cuba 2010: An Island in a Global World.”

UPDATE: see comments for a brief summary of the conference.

Feria Internacional del Libro dedicated to María del Carmen Barcia

By Paul Ryer, Conferences & CFPs, Notes & Queries, Universidad de La Habana 1 Comment »

Ed. note (Paul Ryer): I was fortunate to take a class with María del Carmen Barcia, a professor of history at the University of Havana, and am thrilled to see that she is one of two scholars to whom this year’s feria del libro is dedicated.  In addition to the scholarship for which she is being recognized here, I can add that Prof. Barcia is a fabulous teacher, with a nuanced yet rigorous approach to historical materials, and although she has high expectations of students in the classroom, she is also personally warm and without the inflated ego of so many successful academics.  So well deserved…  ¡Felicidades, Profesora!

La 19ª   Feria Internacional del Libro, Cuba 2010, se realizará del 11 al 21 de febrero en La Habana bajo el lema Leer es crecer. Estará dedicada a  los autores María del Carmen Barcia, Premio Nacional de Ciencias Sociales 2003, y Reynaldo González Zamora, Premio Nacional de Literatura 2003. En esta edición, el País Invitado de Honor será Rusia….

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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.”

SOYUZ conference on April 24-25 at Yale University

Conferences & CFPs 1 Comment »

This year the title of the SOYUZ conference is “Global socialisms and post-socialisms.” Time after time, SOYUZ has been Eastern Europe-USSR centered. We commend our colleagues for their efforts to include, this time, scholars working on and writing about current and former socialist regimes located elsewhere.  This time we observe papers on Africa, China, Vietnam, but unfortunately, there is no Cuba presence among presenters. We hope, however, that the Cubanist voice of discussant P. Sean Brotherton will be loud enough and will inaugurate a practice that will grow and grow…

Last time AAA was in Philadelphia…

Conferences & CFPs, Images 3 Comments »



AAA double session on ethnography of Cuba, circa 1998!

Reviewing 50 Years of Revolution / Cuba and Its Futures

Conferences & CFPs 2 Comments »

Two conferences will take place over the following days. At Tulane University, Re/Viewing the Revolution: Fresh Perspectives on Cuba 1959-2009 , on April 9-10, includes the following presentations:

Rafael Rojas (Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas, Mexico; Visiting Professor, University of Texas, Austin), “Los pasados de Cuba. Historias e ideologias” — Esther Whitfield (Brown University), “Havana and the Aesthetics of Ruin” — Ernesto Menéndez Conde (Duke University), “El arte abstracto en (versus) las indagaciones sobre lo cubano”– Ariana Hernández-Reguant (University of California San Diego), “The Art of Invention”– Ramón Fernández Larrea (poet and independent scholar), “La risa en la sombra: muerte del humor politico en Cuba” — Round Table/ Mesa Redonda chaired by Ana López and Marilyn Miller (Tulane University)

Then, in Barcelona (march 25-26), a symposium at the Centro de Cultura Contemporánea, in Barcelona (Spain).


The symposium features scholars living  in Cuba (e.g. Victor Fowler, Julio Guanche, Magaly Espinosa) as well as abroad, most of them as exiles  (Ivan de la Nuez, Jorge Ferrer, Carmelo Mesa-Lago, Haroldo Dilla, Alejando de la Fuente, Velia Cecilia Bobes, Rafael Rojas).

You can see the whole program HERE.

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