Cuban Stud­ies at CUNY: His­tory and Promise

December 5, 2003 - 4:00 PM

This round­table is designed to bring out the broad­est pos­si­ble par­tic­i­pa­tion, with each pan­elist pro­vid­ing brief accounts of their past and cur­rent work, as well as their thoughts on the promise of Cuban stud­ies at CUNY.

Round­table Par­tic­i­pants:

Kelly Ander­sonHunter Col­lege
A recip­i­ent of fel­low­ships from the Rock­e­feller Foun­da­tion, the Amer­i­can Film Insti­tute (NEA), and the New York State Coun­cil on the Arts, Kelly Ander­son is an Assis­tant Pro­fes­sor in the Depart­ment of Film and Media Stud­ies at Hunter Col­lege in New York City. She directed the doc­u­men­tary,Look­ing for a Space: Les­bians and Gay Men in Cuba.

Jerry Carl­sonCity Col­lege and The Grad­u­ate Cen­ter
Jerry Carl­son is a film his­to­rian spe­cial­iz­ing in Cuban and Latin Amer­i­can cin­ema. In Jan­u­ary 2003 he was a vis­it­ing pro­fes­sor at the EICTV (Escuela Inter­na­cional de Cine y Tele­vi­sion) in San Anto­nio de los Banos, Cuba. In the past he has pro­duced tele­vi­sion inter­views with Cuban writ­ers and direc­tors such as Julio Gar­cia Espinosa, Ser­gio Giral, and Hum­berto Solas. In the fall of 2003 he pro­duced and hosted a six part series on CUNY-TV about Cuban cinema.

Mar­garet E. Cra­hanHunter Col­lege and The Grad­u­ate Cen­ter
Mar­garet. Cra­han has writ­ten exten­sively on Cuba. Her most recent vol­ume on Cuba is Reli­gion, Cul­ture, and Soci­ety: The Case of Cuba (Wash­ing­ton: Woodrow Wil­son Inter­na­tional Cen­ter, 2003), of which she is edi­tor and co-author.

Samuel Far­berBrook­lyn Col­lege and The Grad­u­ate Cen­ter
Samuel Far­ber is cur­rently work­ing on the book, Rethink­ing the Ori­gins of the Cuban Rev­o­lu­tion(ten­ta­tive title, under con­tract with the Uni­ver­sity of North Car­olina Press). He has writ­ten exten­sively on Cuba, includ­ing his Rev­o­lu­tion and Reac­tion in Cuba, 1933–1960.

Mauri­cio FontQueens Col­lege and The Grad­u­ate Cen­ter
Mauri­cio Font’s most recent work on Cuba includes Cuban Coun­ter­points: The Legacy of Fer­nando Ortiz (co-editor, forthcoming).

Alfonso Gar­cía OsunaKings­bor­ough Com­mu­nity Col­lege
Alfonso Gar­cia Osuna’s most recent work on Cuba is Cuban Fil­mog­ra­phy, 1897–2001 (Lon­don: Mac­Far­land & Co., 2003).

Ted HenkenBaruch Col­lege
Ted Henken’s recent dis­ser­ta­tion on Cuba is Con­demned to Infor­mal­ity: Cuba’s Exper­i­ments with Self-Employment Dur­ing the Spe­cial Period (Tulane, May, 2002). He also has an arti­cle in “Cuban Stud­ies” (Vol. 33).

Eduardo LoloKings­bor­ough Com­mu­nity Col­lege
Eduardo Lolo will dis­cuss his recent edi­tion of La Edad de Oro (Martí, José. La Edad de Oro. Edi­ción Crítica de Eduardo Lolo. Miami: Edi­ciones Uni­ver­sal, 2001) and his last book on Marti, Después del rayo y del fuego. Acerca de José Martí (Madrid: Beta­nia, 2003). He will also sum­ma­rize the work on “estu­dios mar­tianos” by mem­bers of the CUNY fac­ulty dur­ing the last quar­ter of a cen­tury (prob­a­bly the most sus­tained effort in the United States).

Iraida LopezRamapo Col­lege and orig­i­nal coor­di­na­tor of CUNY-Caribbean Exchange Pro­gram
Iraida Lopez is the author of La auto­bi­ografia his­pana con­tem­po­ranea en los Esta­dos Unidos: a traves del calei­do­sco­pio (Mellen Press, 2001) on Cuban-American and Latino/Latina autobiography.

Alfonso QuirozBaruch Col­lege and Grad­u­ate Cen­ter
Alfonso Quiroz’s most recent work on Cuba is Implicit Costs of Empire: Bureau­cratic Cor­rup­tion in Nineteenth-Century Cuba, Jour­nal of Latin Amer­i­can Stud­ies (2003), Cuban Coun­ter­points: The Legacy of Fer­nando Ortiz (co-editor), Jose Marti and the Cuban Repub­lic (co-editor), and sev­eral other stud­ies on Cuban civil soci­ety and socioe­co­nomic history.

Peter RomanHos­tos Com­mu­nity Col­lege and Grad­u­ate Cen­ter
In Novem­ber 2003 Row­man and Lit­tle­field pub­lished the updated edi­tion of Peter Roman’sPeople’s Power: Cuba’s Expe­ri­ence with Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Gov­ern­ment. His arti­cle, The National Assem­bly and Polit­i­cal Rep­re­sen­ta­tion will appear in eng­lish in Cuban Social­ism in a New Cen­tury: Adver­sity, Sur­vival and Renewal (Eds. Max Azi­cri and Elsie Deal, 2004), as well as in Span­ish inTEMAS (Cuba). He was a mem­ber of the edi­to­r­ial col­lec­tive for the Spring-Summer 2001 issue of the jour­nal “Social­ism and Democ­racy” enti­tled Cuba in the 1990′s: Econ­omy, Pol­i­tics, and Soci­ety.

Lau­ren ShawMount Saint Mary Col­lege
Lau­ren Shaw recently com­pleted her dis­ser­ta­tion titled, La nueva trova cubana:una poética y política menor. She received her Ph.D in His­panic and Luso-Brazilian Lit­er­a­tures from The Grad­u­ate Center.

Araceli Tina­jeroCity Col­lege of New York
Araceli Tina­jeros is cur­rently work­ing on a book on read­ing prac­tices in Cuba, The United States and Spain (but mainly Cuba). Her Ori­en­tal­ismo en el mod­ernismo his­panoamer­i­cano (Pur­due U. Press, 2003) is about to come out (this book deals with Cuba dur­ing the Mod­ernista period).

For decades, fac­ulty at the City Uni­ver­sity of New York have been in the fore­front of the study and analy­sis of Cuba, as well as US-Cuba rela­tions, and their list of con­tri­bu­tions is con­sid­er­able. This panel/workshop will under­take an overview of the excit­ing work that has been done and is being done about Cuba at CUNY.

This panel will also trace the his­tory and promise of Cuban stud­ies at CUNY. Some chap­ters are bet­ter known than oth­ers. The University’s involve­ment has been long­stand­ing. In the 1950s and 1960s, fac­ulty mem­bers of Cuban descent or recently arrived from the island joined the fac­ulty. After 1959, as is well known, Cuba began to attract a great deal of atten­tion. In the 1970s, mem­bers of the fac­ulty began to orga­nize var­i­ous aca­d­e­mic exchange pro­grams. In the 1980s, Pro­fes­sor Frank Bonilla and chan­cel­lor Joseph Mur­phy put together the CUNY-Caribbean Exchange Pro­gram (ini­tially called the CUNY-Cuba Schol­arly Exchange Pro­gram). Admin­is­tered by the Cen­tro de Estu­dios Puer­tor­riqueños and coor­di­nated by Rina Ben­mayor, Iraida Lopez, and Marta Rodriguez, this pro­gram facil­i­tated sus­tained exchange with the Uni­ver­sity of Havana in the 1980s. More recently the Cuba Project estab­lished in 1996 and the CUBA Sem­i­nar have con­tributed to the devel­op­ment of Cuban stud­ies at CUNY.

The pur­pose of the Decem­ber 5th panel is to help estab­lish the his­tory of Cuban stud­ies at CUNYand iden­tify cur­rent projects and research. There are excit­ing devel­op­ments in the human­i­ties, lit­er­a­ture, music, film stud­ies, the social sci­ences, the per­form­ing arts, and other areas. For instance, The Cuba Project/Bildner Cen­ter is cur­rently spon­sor­ing a series on New Sce­nar­ios for US-Cuba relations.

Through this forum the Bild­ner Cen­ter seeks to bet­ter dis­sem­i­nate the fruits of these efforts and cur­rent ini­tia­tives and to pro­mote greater dia­logue and shar­ing of results. This panel will be devoted to a round­table dis­cus­sion by all atten­dees of his­tor­i­cal accounts of past projects and pro­grams, updates on cur­rent research, as well as cel­e­brate recent pub­li­ca­tions, dis­ser­ta­tions, and major achieve­ments related to Cuba by CUNY faculty.