Democracy and Revolution in Cuba: The Republic

February 5, 2016 - 12:30 PM

Democracy and Revolution: The Republic. February 5, 2016



“State-Building and Democracy in Republican Cuba”

Mauricio Font, Bildner Center

“The Revolutionary 1930s and Aftermath”

Ariel Mae Lambe, University of Connecticut

The presentation discusses the ways in which Cubans frustrated by Batista’s rise to power in the mid-1930s reinterpreted their own popular political struggle as part of global anti-fascism and engaged with the defenses of the Spanish Republic. By building transnational solidarity and engaging in ostensibly foreign fights, they hoped to achieve their own domestic goals.

“‘Party Feminism’ in the 1940s and 1950s: The Federacion Democratica de Mujeres Cubanas”

Michelle Chase, Bloomfield College

This presentation will discuss the vision of women’s emancipation held by women affiliated with Cuba’s pre-revolutionary Communism Party, detailing the way that vision was both enriched and limited by engagement with the socialist world.

“The Racial Debate from the Twenties to the Forties”

Tomás Fernández, University of Havana

En la presentación  se  abordaran panoramicamente las tendencias del pensamiento antirracista de Fernando Ortiz (1881-1969), Juan Marinello (1898-1977), Gustavo E. Urrutia (1881-1958) and Juan Rene Betancourt (1918-1976).

(Presentation will be in Spanish)


Samuel Farber, Brooklyn College


Julie Skurski, The Graduate Center, CUNY

Ariel Mae LambeAriel Mae Lambe (Ph.D., Columbia University) is assistant professor of History as the University of Connecticut.  Her areas of specialty include Latin America and the Caribbean, Cuba, social and political movements, and activism. Lambe’s research interests are Cuban antifascism and involvement in the Spanish Civil War; transnational movements, activism, networks, and solidarity; the 1930s in the Atlantic World.


Michelle ChaseMichelle Chase (Ph.D) is assistant professor at Bloomfield College and a historian of modern Latin America and the Caribbean, specializing in twentieth-century Cuba. Her research and teaching interests include revolution and counter-revolution, the Cold War, gender and sexuality, and oral history and the politics of memory. Chase is currently writing a book on the role of women and gender in the Cuban revolution.


Tomás FernándezTomás Fernández has been a scholar at the José Martí National Library since 1962 where he has studied Afro-Cuban issues.  He is also associate professor at the University of Havana and a prolific author on AfroCuban issues. His most recent publication is Antología del pensamiento antirracista cubano (2015). His other publications include: Índice  de las revistas folklórica (1971) Bibliografía de temas afrocubanos (1986),  El negro en Cuba: 1902-1958 (1990), Hablen paleros y santeros (1994, 5th.ed. 2008), Cuba: personalidades en el debate racial (2007), Identidad afrocubana: cultura y nacionalidad (2009),  Misa para un Ángel (2010), about his friendship with Reinaldo Arenas, Critica Bibliográfica y Sociedad (2011), and El negro en Cuba: colonia, república y revolución (2012).

Samuel FarberSamuel Farber is an emeritus professor of Political Science at Brooklyn College of CUNY. He was born and raised in Cuba and has written numerous books and articles about the country. His most recent book is Cuba Since The Revolution of 1959. A Critical Assessment published by Haymarket Books in 2011.



Julie SkurskiJulie Skurski (Ph.D., University of Chicago) came to the Graduate Center in January 2009 from the University of Michigan, where she taught in the departments of anthropology and history, and served as associate director of the doctoral program in anthropology and history. Her interests lie in the subjects of historical anthropology, race, gender, postcolonialism, popular religion, and Latin American, Caribbean, and Atlantic studies. her books include States of Violence (2005), co-edited with Fernando Coronil, and Anthrohistory: Unsettling Knowledge, Questioning Discipline (2011), co-edited with Coronil and others. Skurski is now at work on Civilizing Barbarism: nationhood, Masculinity, and Mestizaje in Early Twentieth-Century Venezuela.


Mauricio FontMauricio Font is director of the Bildner Center for Western Hemisphere Studies and professor of sociology at The Graduate Center and Queens College, CUNY. Professor Font’s most recent publication is The State and the Private Sector in Latin America (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015). He is co-editor of Handbook of Contemporary Cuba (Paradigm Press, 2013), Handbook on Cuban History, literature, and the Arts (Paradigm Press, 2014), Cuban Counterpoints: The Legacy of Fernando Ortiz (Lexington Books, 2005), La República Cubana y José Martí (1902-2002) (Lexington Books, 2005), Toward a New Cuba? (Lynne Rienner, 1997) and Integración económica y democratización: América Latina y Cuba (Instituto de Estudios Internacionales, Universidad de Chile, 1998).