American Cultural Influences in Contemporary Cuba

November 7, 2011 - 4:00 PM

Alfredo Prieto
Unión de Escritores y Artistas de Cuba (UNEAC) 

Araceli Tinajero
The City College of New York and The Graduate Center 

Carlos Riobó
The City College of New York and The Bildner Center

The presentation will focus on American cultural presence in Cuba since the 1990’s, with emphasis on popular culture, music, literature and cultural policies. The prevalence of US culture in Cuba is based upon historical factors embedded in Cuban society at various levels. This influence bears a contrasting dualism: the psychological imprint left by the historical political record and its opposing national ethos and the existence of feelings of cultural attraction that are not necessarily distortionary or contradictory expressions of cubanness.

Alfredo Prieto is associate director of Ediciones Unión (publishing house of the Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba), and managing editor of the journal Temas. He has also served as editor of the social science journal Cuadernos de Nuestra América, as researcher in North American Studies and International Relations at the Centro de Estudios sobre América, as editor of the socio-theological journal Caminos (of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Center), and as associate editor of Cultura y Desarrollo (of UNESCO’s Office on Latin America and the Caribbean). His books include La prensa de los Estados Unidos y la agenda interamericana (1995), Prensa y construcción de consenso en los Estados Unidos(1997), and El otro en el espejo (2004), as well as various essays on cultural ties between the US and Latin America, especially with Cuba. His latest book is Ensayos para siete días.

Araceli Tinajero is an associate professor at The City College of New York and The Graduate Center and is one of the founders of the Mexico Study Group at the Bildner Center for Western Hemisphere Studies. She is the author of Orientalismo en el modernismo hispanoamericanoEl lector de tabaquería (in English: El Lector: A History of the Cigar Factory Reader). Tinajero is the editor of Cultura y letras cubanas en el siglo XXIand is currently co-editing Technology and Culture in Twentieth Century Mexico. Her last book, Kokorotestimonio de una mexicana en Japón is forthcoming.

Carlos Riobó (Ph.D., Yale University) is Assistant Professor of Latin American literature and cultures at The City College of New York and Cuba Project and Fellow of the Bildner Center for Western Hemisphere Studies, The City University of New York. Riobó is the author of Sub-versions of the Archive (2011) and the editor and author of Cuban Intersections of Literary and Urban Spaces (2011). He has published in numerous peer-reviewed articles on Severo Sarduy, Manuel Puig, Sigüenza y Góngora, nineteenth-century Argentine literature, Ezra Pound, and Italian and Spanish Medieval literature. His current research is focused on the figure of the captive in Argentine literature and culture.