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The Seeing Eye is the Organ of Tradition

By Paul Ryer, Consumption & material culture, Cultural production, daily life, Globalization, greater Cuba, Miami, urban life, youth cultures No Comments »

Since the 1990s, U.S. flag-themed hats, shirts, pants, and especially bodysuits have seemingly been popular fashion among ordinary Cubans. More precisely, given that the Cuban flag has a white star on a red background, with blue stripes, it is at minimum clear that this fashion does not signify Cubans’ own national banner, and while conceivably referencing Puerto Rico’s bandera, it is fair to say that both foreign visitors and Cuban residents interpretNYT-image-12-14 CROPPED the symbolic referent to be Old Glory. And this, I think, is where things get interesting, since images of U.S. flag-wearing Cubans are a recurrent feature of stories of post-Soviet Cuba in the U.S. media and press, as if to visually confirm pro-U.S. popular sentiments among the population, Q.E.D., obviously political, no further exegesis necessary. One can find this pattern from the cover of Christopher Hunt’s superficial travelogue Waiting For Fidel in 1997, right to the present day. Consider, for instance, the framing of “If Not David to the U.S. Goliath, Cuba Asks What Its Role Is Now,” by Damien Cave and Victoria Burnett, published in the New York Times on December 20, 2014 as part of the barrage of that month’s NYT-led diplomacy. As seen here in cropped form, the lede image of the accompanying slide show, “Cuba Braces for the Winds of Change,” I submit, was carefully chosen to evoke exactly this sort of reading in the U.S.-based readership of the Times.

A century ago, the founder of American anthropology, Franz Boas, taught his students that we see what we are prepared to see: the seeing eye is the organ of tradition. When I first encountered U.S. flag-themed sartorial choices throughout Cuba as a novice ethnographer living in Havana in the mid-1990s, I also initially read them this way, as startlingly clear and overt statements of personal political preference.  What else could they possibly mean, in a context in which images of both Cuban and U.S. flags had for decades saturated state media in clearly politicized ways? And yet… and yet, the more I learned about the people and contexts in which these styles appeared, the more inadequate that initially obvious reading seemed. Not necessarily (or always) wrong, but certainly partial, superficial, and misleading. Many pro-revolutionary grandparents, Party members, and apolitical youth were equally crazy for this stuff!  Over time, I became both more interested in and puzzled by the possible meanings of this style, until one day in 2002 in a small town in central Cuba, I ran into two eight or nine year old girls, holding hands; one was wearing a new-to-me variant of the U.S. flag-themed shirt (see Ryer 2006). I stopped them to ask where the shirt was from, and the girl wearing it beamed and said: “Oh, I am from here, and this is my cousin visiting from Florida, and she brought it for me as a gift, isn’t it great?” (my translation). This simple exchange highlighted an overlooked if obvious point: all of this U.S. themed clothing is imported not in official state-controlled shops, of course, but is hand-delivered by close family or friends abroad. In other words, wearing it also marks one as having familia en exterior, family abroad. As I have argued elsewhere, beyond symbolizing the United States, since the 1990s wearing Stars and Stripes apparel in Cuba is a marker par excellence of one’s privileged access to increasingly important transnational remittance circuits.

Even long before the work of Victor Turner, anthropologists have understood that there are multiple meanings to any symbol, and that is certainly true in the case of enduringly popular U.S. flag-themed apparel in post-Soviet Cuba. But to only see the political, pro-American image as intended by the U.S. popular press, generates, I believe, a dangerously simplistic and even misdirected reading of the sort which once led American planners to anticipate massive Cuban popular support for their epically misjudged Bay of Pigs invasion. Even in 2014, not all meanings are global, nor are they necessarily obvious to the casual observer or photographer.

 

UPDATE:

The re-opening of the embassies and ongoing limited rapprochement between the two governments has kept up the drumbeat of these sorts of images, including more from the New York Times, but also from the international press.  Consider, for instance, this story & images from the Guardian, and this recent cover from the Mexican edition of Revista Letras Liportadamexico_1000_1bres.

The Capacity to Share: new volume on Cuban educational internationalism

By Paul Ryer, greater Cuba, new book, new chapter/edited volume, Space & Place, youth cultures No Comments »

Although not “by or for ethnographers of contemporary Cuba and its diasporas,” The Capacity to Share: A Study of Cuba’s International Cooperation in Educational Development, (2012) ed. by Anne Hickling-Hudson, Jorge Corona González and Rosemary Preston, capacity to share coverwill be of substantial interest to scholars of Cuban education, as well as to those of us focusing on Cuban-educated international students.  Of particular interest are chapters on Cuban-educated graduates from the Anglophone Caribbean, from Ghana, Namibia, and Latin America, as well as the experiences of Cuban teachers in Jamaica, Angola and elsewhere.  Most interesting to me, at least, is an extended interview (by Sabine Lehr) with a Cuban-educated neurosurgeon, but there is also an article on the international film and media school likely to be of interest to several EthnoCubans.  As one can see from the publisher’s summary below, the book has a strongly political perspective which can be distracting, but not to the point that it is unreadable.  More worrisome is the fact that Palgrave has only released it in hardcover, for $95.00 plus shipping!

 

From the publisher:

The Capacity to Share is a discussion of Cuba’s international policies in education. It shows how Cuba shares its educational resources with other countries by helping them with scholarships; school and university teaching; and the development of adult literacy programs and of educational planning. The postcolonial critique underlying the book explores Cuba’s role in relation to how the disengagement from colonial legacies in education is taking place in many countries. This kind of critique is useful in discussing the alternatives that become possible with disentanglement from the constraints of colonial histories.

“1.5 generation” African-Cubans

By Paul Ryer, Ethnographic film, greater Cuba, new article, Space & Place No Comments »

As some of you know, a handful of scholars–including Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh, Aisha Nibbe, Alissa Bernstein, Carol Berger, Sabine Lehr and myself–have been writing about the lives of Cuban-educated international students.  While most of us are ethnographers and anthropologists, because we have encountered these students in a wide range of contexts–anywhere from urban Cuba to refugee camps in the Sahara to rural Alberta–the work has not thus far been taken to represent or constitute a coherent or interrelated field of study.  Nor is it, generally speaking, considered to be within the purview of Cuban or Cuban diasporic studies.  In this post, building on some of my published or in-press work, I want to propose that the lives and experiences of Cuban-educated students pose interesting and worthwhile challenges to the commonsense understanding of Cubanness.  Or more specifically, to hyphenated Cubanness, since Cuban-educated students do not generally claim to be “Cuban” so much as something else–Cuban-Saharan, Cuban-Ghanaian, Cuban-Sudanese, etc–and have commonly been motivated to neologize their own identities, as “Cuban-Jubans,” “ESBECANOS,” “Cubarauis,” or the like.  These are people from among the tens of thousands of African and international students who have spend a decade or more–often half their lives–living, studying, and working in Cuba.  Having arrived to Cuba as adolescents, and having been thrown wholesale into a new language, culture, and environment, arguably these students constitute a 1.5 generation, but in reverse, as immigrants to Cuba, not emigrants.  One of these small and dispersed groups, the Cuban-educated students of the Western Sahara, has become the subject of a series of documentary films.  Directed by Spaniards for particular audiences, as described by both Fiddian-Qasmiyeh and myself, despite their obvious ideological biases, I believe that these films are richly provocative to think with, for those of us interested in Cuban identity, diaspora, home, and belonging.  Here is the trailer for the most recent documentary, El Maestro Saharaui (2011), directed by Nicolás Muñoz:

Maestro Saharaui image

(Complete Spanish-language and English subtitled streaming versions of El Maestro Saharaui (Muñoz 2011) are available for a small fee HERE). 

Now known to themselves and their saharaui (Saharan) kin as “cubarawis” or “cubarauis,” online, on facebook, on twitter and elsewhere, these former students are the principle authors, bloggers, dancers and poets of their distinctive experience, as well as documentary subjects.  See, for instance, this blog http://elporvenirdelsahara.blogspot.com , and click here for some  “salsa saharaui.”

Of the other “cubaraui” documentaries, Las Cubarauis (Márquez 2005) is most difficult to obtain; a portion of the film is available at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oadqsTU7xJA .  However, the full-length version of Caribeños del Sáhara (Pérez 2007),  is available at: http://vimeo.com/11813252. , and a shorter version, Caribeños del Desierto (Pérez and Galdeano 2008) is available at: http://video.google.es/videoplay?docid=7949630530407106225&hl=es.

 

In any case, although we have had so much spam that we were forced to deactivate comments some time ago, I would love to hear the thoughts of colleagues about these documentaries, about Cuban-educated students, or about the work outlined above.

 

Paul

 

Sowing Change: The Making of Havana’s Urban Agriculture, by Adriana Premat

By Paul Ryer, daily life, new book, urban life No Comments »

Recently released is Sowing Change: The Making of Havana’s Urban Agriculture, by Adriana Premat, published as part of the new Cuba series at Vanderbilt University Press.  The book will be a welcome addition to the growing body of research on contemporary Cuban food and food production, and is due to be released November 26th.  Congratulations, Adriana!

 Here is the description from the publisher’s press release:

Following the dissolution of the Soviet bloc, Cuba found itself struggling to find its place in a new geopolitical context, while dealing with an unprecedented agricultural and food crisis that experts feel foreshadows the future of many countries across the globe. Sowing Change traces the evolution of the officially endorsed urban agriculture movement in the capital city of Havana, considering its political significance for the Cuban government and its import for transnational actors in the field of sustainable development. But the analysis does not stop at official understandings and representations of this movement. Rather, it brings into focus the perspectives of small-scale urban farmers–real men and women who live at the conceptual margins of the Cuban economy and struggle to balance personal needs and dreams with political ideals and government expectations, in a context where those very ideals and expectations continually shift. Sowing Change is a timely reflection on the changing agricultural, urban, and power landscapes of post-Soviet Cuba that, finally, queries common presumptions about this socialist nation and its now famous urban agriculture experience.

 

UPDATE (November 2013):  I have just taught this book in a graduate seminar topic focused on Cuban food production, and in the process of a close reading and discussion of the text, have concluded that the real contribution of this very accessible book to anthropological thought, as well as the the ethnographic literature of Cuba, is not simply on the topic of “urban agriculture,” but rather, in its close examination of the shifting relationship of state and citizen, from the relative openness and improvisation of the scarce years of the 1990s, to the recentralizations of the 2000s and beyond.  Here, I found the text dovetailed with Katherine Verdery’s (1996) oft-cited model of fluctuating socialist state relations to parallel markets, and wished I had also assigned the first part of Verdery’s book in counterpoint, as well as wishing that Premat had engaged more closely with that model.  In any case, my students were very taken with the book, particularly with the personal stories of urban gardeners.  Again, though, this is not simply a story of a few urban garderners in Havana in the wake of the Special Period; it is, truly, a story of the relationship of Cuban citizens and their state over the past two decades, and in that sense, would be worth considering for a wide variety of upper-level undergraduate courses, as well as of more interest to colleagues than perhaps the specificity of the title and topic would suggest.

Two new volumes at the intersection of Cuban history and ethnography, fall 2013

By Paul Ryer, History, history of anthropology, Religion, Space & Place No Comments »

shade-grown_slaveryTwo recently published books about the Cuban past may be of interest to ethnographers of Cuba, although in very different ways.  The first, Shade-Grown Slavery: The Lives of Slaves on Coffee Plantations in Cuba, by Luis Pérez, Jr.’s student, historian William C. Van Norman, Jr., comes from Vanderbilt University Press.  By focusing on coffee, rather than sugar, plantations, as well as in siting the research in and around Matanzas, I found the perspective of the book to bring a welcome contrast to more conventional reads of Cuban history through the lens of the production of sugar.  This is also a straightforward historiographical work, lucid, informative and without the theoretical angst of many of us contemporary cultural theorists.  cooking of history

The second volume, The Cooking of History: How Not to Study Afro-Cuba Religion, by Stephan Palmié, University of Chicago Press, is, predictably, a slower read, but well worth the effort.  Taking on the anthropological production of knowledge about Cuban religious practice, from Ortiz onward, the volume challenges us anthropologists to rethink just what we do, and why.  (In this sense, I am reminded of David Scott’s critique of the external production of narratives about the Caribbean past in his classic “That event, this memory”, 1991, Diaspora 1:3, but of course, the metaphor of “cooking” is in part a nod to Sidney Mintz).  Most welcome, for me, is a sense of reflexivity about the object of study, much more pronounced than in Palmié’s earlier work.  Thus for instance, while I am still leery of the use of the term “Afro-Cuban” due to the way so many non-Cuban scholars carelessly conflate it as both a classification of cultural practices and a category for persons (who sometimes resent being so labelled), here Palmié is careful to indicate his own doubts about the adequacy of such a label–the introduction title actually puts “Afro,” “Cuban,” and “Religion” all in quotes.  Most immediately, then, the book speaks to others studying Cuban religious practices, and indeed, questions the nature of “anthropology” as well, in a sophisticated yet readable way.  One thing I’d like to have seen more of is consideration of the way present-day Protestant and evangelical religious movements in Cuba fit into the picture Palmié is drawing–in the sense Trouillot described of the “present in the past.”  And while Fidel Castro’s famous description of Cuba as “un país latinoafricano” is deftly brought into the story (p. 85), surely much more thinking could be done about the relation between a distinctive revolutionary African-Cuban present and contructions of an African past.  But again, this is a text worth wrestling with, probably more at the graduate/professional level than for most undergraduate classes, and I’d love to hear other colleagues’ takes on it.

Americas Media Initiative and the new documentary: “Freddy Ilanga: Che’s Swahili Translator” dir. by Katrin Hansing

By Paul Ryer, Ethnographic film No Comments »

I have recently been introduced to the Americas Media Initiative (AMI) – Cuba Media Project and have been particularly impressed with the documentaries they are distributing, from TV Serrana and elsewhere, for quite reasonable fees.  Indeed, fellow ethnographers and observers of contemporary Cuban culture, recent documentaries from rural and eastern Cuba such as Un Puente sobre el Rio (dir. Rigoberto Jiménez, 2009, 30 min) and on controversial topics, such as Raza (dir. Eric Corvalán Pellé, 2008, 35 min.) and Zona de Silencio (Karel Ducasse, 2007, 40 min.) on the topic of censorship, are absolutely worth watching, and since they are subtitled, great classroom resources as well.

And so it was with surprise that I recently received an announcement from A.M.I. on the release of the documentary, Freddy Ilanga: Che’s Swahili Translator, directed by anthropologist Katrin Hansing.  Have not yet been able to screen this myself, so here is A.M.I.’s description of the film:

In April 1965, Freddy Ilanga, a fifteen-year-old Congolese youth, became Che Guevara’s personal Swahili teacher and translator during the latter’s secret mission in the Congo to train anti-Mobutu rebels. After seven intense months by Che Guevara’s side, the Cuban authorities sent Freddy to Cuba. During his early years, Freddy thought that his stay in Cuba would be temporary. However, 40 years passed, during which time he lost all contact with his family and homeland. That is until 2003, when he received an unexpected phone call from Bukavu, his home town. His family had finally found him…

Che’s Swahili Translator is a documentary about Freddy Ilanga, an African man whose life was abruptly transformed through a chance encounter with one of the great icons of the 20th Century, and which has predominantly been determined by the power struggles of the Cold War and the Cuban Revolution. It is a story about migration and displacement and the high human costs of exile and family separation.

UPDATE: I have just been able to see Hansing’s film, and found it interesting.  While the initial framing has a lot to do with the politics which brought Ilanga to Cuba, it soon becomes a documentary of dislocation–even after 40 years, Freddy never discovered why he was sent to Havana!–and of the trauma of separation from family.  Interestingly, Freddy Ilanga describes the consequences of being rediscovered by his African family as also painful.  In any case, the film tells a ubiquitously Cuban story of migration and separation, albeit in reverse, with Cuba as the receivingrather than sending society. 

¡Venceremos? The Erotics of Black Self-making in Cuba by Jafari S. Allen

By Paul Ryer, Gender & sexuality, new book, Race 1 Comment »

It is a great pleasure to announce the forthcoming ¡Venceremos? The Erotics of Black Self-making in Cuba, by Jafari Sinclair Allen, Duke University Press.  Due out in August, 2011, here is the press’s  book description:

Promoting the revolutionary socialist project of equality and dignity for all, the slogan ¡Venceremos! (We shall overcome!) appears throughout Cuba, everywhere from newspapers to school murals to nightclubs. Yet the accomplishments of the Cuban state are belied by the stark inequalities apparent in the marginalization of blacks, the prejudice against sexual minorities, and gender inequities. ¡Venceremos? is a groundbreaking ethnography on race, desire, and belonging among black Cubans in the early twenty-first-century, as the nation opens its economy to global capital. Expanding on Audre Lorde’s vision of embodied, even “useful,” desire, Jafari S. Allen shows how black Cubans engage in acts of “erotic self-making,” reinterpreting, transgressing, and potentially transforming racialized and sexualized interpellations of their identities. He illuminates intimate spaces of autonomy created by people whose multiply subaltern identities have rendered them illegible to state functionaries, and to most scholars. In everyday practices, events, and sites in Havana and Santiago de Cuba—including Santeria rituals, gay men’s parties, hip hop concerts, the tourist-oriented sex trade, lesbian organizing, HIV education, and just hanging out—Allen highlights small but significant acts in struggles for autonomy and dignity.

Congratulations to Dr. Allen, and stay posted for an update once the book is available.  I, for one, look forward to seeing the analytic of Cuban erotics move beyond the classic 19th century frame of Kutzinski’s Sugar’s Secrets, and into the present day!

Activating The Past—event and edited volume

By Paul Ryer, History, new book No Comments »

Now that I am wrapping up teaching–over 1,000 students this year!–what better way to get back to scholarly work than to attend the launch of a volume showcasing Cuba and providing the opportunity to meet, or catch up with, contributors and editors.

The book, Activating The Past: Historical Memory in the Black Atlantic World, Cambridge Scholars Press, 2010, is edited by Andrew Apter and Robin Derby.  Perhaps because it is not yet available in paper, it may not be familiar to some readers, but it should be, since many of the essays prominently place Cuban history and ethnography within an inter-Atlantic conversation.  Thus, for instance, the first chapter, by Stephan Palmié: “Ekpe/Abakuá in Middle Passage: Time, Space and Units of Analysis in African American Historical Anthropology.”  There are also Cuba-centered chapters by art historian  Judith Bettelheim, “Espiritismo Altars in Puerto Rico and Cuba: The Indian and the Congo,” and Carrie Viarnes, “Muñecas and Memoryscapes: Negotiating Identity and History in Cuban Espiritismo.”  Surely, however, the broader value of the volume is in (re)emplacing Cuba within wider currents, histories, and movements.

As an event, the launch (at UCLA’s African Studies Center) provided an opportunity to speak with Professors Apter and Derby, as well as Judith Bettelheim and several other contributors.  I was particularly struck by Professor Bettelheim’s description of the way in which her chapter built from one particularly startling archived photograph (see Activating The Past, p. 299), circa 1860, in which two performers are wearing feathered headdresses.  Clearly, art historians are very, very skilled at image analysis, and perhaps we ethnographers would be well advised to study those methods or collaborate with art historians in some contexts.  In any case, get your library to order this book, and take a look at it.

 

EthnoCuba featured on U. Chicago’s Center for Latin American Studies site

academic exchanges, Blogs, By Paul Ryer, News and Views 1 Comment »

In a new post, “The Past and Future of US_Cuba Academic Exchange,” the University of Chicago’s Center for Latin American Studies showcases EthnoCuba:

US-Cuba policy experts have likened the new regulations to Cuba travel policies under the administration of Bill Clinton. During this period, a generous grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation allowed CLAS to administer a program of scholarly exchange between Chicago faculty and graduate students, and scholars at the University of Havana, as well as other universities and cultural institutions in Cuba. Many of those who participated in the program went on to make significant contributions to the field, based on the research they conducted and scholarly connections that they formed as participants in the program.

Among them are cultural anthropologist Ariana Hernández-Reguant, now on the faculty of the School of Communications at UC San Diego, who writes on ideology, media, and cultural production in Cuba, and Paul Ryer, a professor in the Department of Anthropology at UC Riverside, who studies Cuban culture and the African migrant communities on the island. Today, Hernández-Reguant and Ryer co-edit a collective blog, Etnocuba, where Cuba scholars discuss research in the field, their experiences on the island, and the latest happenings in Cuba and in the international Cuban community.

Denni Blum, Cuban Youth & Revolutionary Values 2011

By Paul Ryer, new book, youth cultures 1 Comment »

Ethnocuba is pleased to announce the first book of 2011, Denise F. Blum’s Cuban Youth and Revolutionary Values: Educating the New Socialist Citizen, University of Texas Press.   Here we reproduce some information from the publisher:

Drawing on extensive fieldwork in Havana’s secondary schools, Cuban Youth and Revolutionary Values is a remarkable ethnography, charting the government’s attempts to transform a future generation of citizens. While Cuba’s high literacy rate is often lauded, the little-known dropout rates among teenagers receive less scrutiny…. Despite the fact that primary-school enrollment rates exceed those of the United States, the reverse is true for the crucial years between elementary school and college. After providing a history of Fidel Castro’s educational revolution begun in 1953, Denise Blum delivers a close examination of the effects of the program, which was designed to produce a society motivated by benevolence rather than materialism. Denise F. Blum is an assistant professor at Oklahoma State University.

Transforming Anthropology and J. of Iberian & Latin American Research special issues on Cuba

By Paul Ryer, new article No Comments »

For those who missed it, in 2008 Transforming Anthropology: Journal of the Association of Black Anthropologists had a two-part special issue on Cuba, vol. 16 no. 1 (April 2008) and no. 2 (October 2008).  There are a total of eight short articles by colleagues like Marc Perry, Kaifa Roland, Andrea Queeley, and Amelia Rosenberg Weinreb (click in the links provided for full table of contents).

In December 2009, the Australia-based Journal of Iberian and Latin American Research published a special issue, vol. 15 no. 2, “Cuba Today: 50 Years On,” which included articles by anthropologists Thomas Carter and Adrian Hearn.  Note that this journal can be difficult to find; not only was it formerly known as the Journal of Iberian and Latin American Studies, but vol. 15.2 was also the last issue before the journal moved to a new home with the Taylor & Francis group of Routledge. Full Table of Contents after the jump:

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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!

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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Thomas Carter speaking at UC Riverside Tues, Nov. 2

By Paul Ryer, Calendar, Globalization, greater Cuba, Seminars & talks, Sport 2 Comments »

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).

Shannon Lee Dawdy awarded MacArthur!

By Paul Ryer, News and Views, Notes & Queries 1 Comment »

Exciting news this morning, that Shannon Lee Dawdy has been awarded a MacArthur Foundation Grant.  As many of you know, Shannon is an archeologist and historical anthropologist whose work spans the Caribbean, focusing particularly on Louisiana and Cuba, and her publications include the pictured co-edited collection.   Please join us in wholeheartedly congratulating Shannon on this remarkable accomplishment!

Update: here is a link with more information about Shannon’s award and current projects.

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