The Predica­ments of Study­ing Jew­ish Dias­pora in Cuba

February 8, 2002 - 4:00 PM

Ruth Behar
Uni­ver­sity of Michigan

Ruth Behar was born in Havana, Cuba and came to New York in 1962 with her fam­ily. She received her B.A. in Let­ters (1977) from Wes­leyan Uni­ver­sity, and her M.A. (1980) and Ph.D. in Cul­tural Anthro­pol­ogy (1983) from Prince­ton Uni­ver­sity. She resides in Ann Arbor and is Pro­fes­sor of Anthro­pol­ogy at the Uni­ver­sity of Michi­gan. Ruth has writ­ten sev­eral books, among these are The Pres­ence of the Past in a Span­ish Vil­lage: Santa María del Monte (Prince­ton, 1986; expanded paper­back edi­tion, 1991), Trans­lated Woman: Cross­ing the Bor­der with Esperanza’s Story (Bea­con Press, 1993), The Vul­ner­a­ble Observer: Anthro­pol­ogy That Breaks Your Heart (Bea­con Press, 1996), book of essays, she has recently com­pleted a doc­u­men­tary Adio Kerida (Good­bye Dear Love), about the Sephardic Jews of Cuba. As a Cuban woman of the dias­pora, Ruth Behar is com­mit­ted to seek­ing rec­on­cil­i­a­tion and a com­mon cul­ture and mem­ory with Cubans on the island. In that spirit, she edited Bridges to Cuba/Puentes a Cuba (Uni­ver­sity of Michi­gan Press, 1995). The anthol­ogy paved the way for more inter­changes and became a highly praised forum for the voices and visions of Cubans on the island and in the dias­pora. She also wrote the Fore­word to the anthol­ogy Cubana: Con­tem­po­rary Fic­tion by Cuban Women (Bea­con Press, 1998). For more infor­ma­tion about her work please go to (The film, Adio Kerida (90 min­utes), will be shown at the 92nd Street on Sat­ur­day, 2/9/02 at 7 P.M.)