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Course Information

Instructor Info:Carol Bengelsdorf
Office Extension x5402
Margaret Cerullo
Office Extension x5514
TA Info:Gia Del Pino
Term: 2013F
Meeting Info: Tuesday Thursday
02:00 PM - 03:20 PM Franklin Patterson Hall (FPH) 108
02:00 PM - 03:20 PM Franklin Patterson Hall (FPH) 108
Description: How do we study a reality as complex and contested as that of contemporary Cuba? What intellectual, political and affective frameworks do we have available? What images of Cuba in US popular culture do we have to recognize and perhaps displace to even begin? What are the competing lenses for examining Cuban history? The Cuban Revolution? The post-1989 period? Can we extricate Cuba from the Cold War frameworks that have dominated US academic (and US political) approaches to the island, at least until recently? How do we locate Cuba analytically-as part of the Caribbean [with its history of plantation economies and slavery]? Latin America [conquered by the Spanish, and strongly influenced by the Cuban Revolution]? In relation to the US [with its "ties of singular intimacy"] ? To other socialist or "post-socialist" countries? As a significant part of the African diaspora? As part of worldwide neoliberal restructuring of economies, cultures, politics? This course will challenge Cuban "exceptionalism, " the view of Cuba as unique, unrelated politically, culturally, economically, or historically to the forces and imaginaries that have shaped other parts of the world. We will ask how race, gender, and sexuality have figured in defining the Cuban nation. Finally, we analyze the development of exilic culture and ideology in Miami, "Cuba's second largest city."