2016 New Directions in Cuban Studies Conference

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Registration is now open for the 2016 New Directions in Cuban Studies conference presented by the Cuban Heritage Collection at the University of Miami, October 20-21, 2016. This multidisciplinary conference is held biennially to disseminate the work of graduate students and emerging scholars and survey the current status of Cuban and Cuban American Studies.

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Questions?
Please contact Mei Méndez, Interim Esperanza Bravo de Varona Chair of the Cuban Heritage Collection, at meimendez@miami.edu or 305-284-4900.

Conference History
The inaugural conference was held in 2014 and included the participation of 13 former CHC fellows. The event’s keynote speaker was Louis A. Pérez, Jr. Panel discussants included Ada Ferrer, New York University, José Quiroga, Emory University, Lisandro Pérez, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and María de los Angeles Torres, University of Illinois, Chicago.

The 2014 New Directions in Cuban Studies conference was made possible in part through funding from The Goizueta Foundation and the Amigos of the Cuban Heritage Collection.





Join Us for Mindfulness at Richter on October 26, 4 p.m.

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Wednesday, October 26
4 – 4:30 p.m.

Otto G. Richter Library
3rd Floor Conference Room
1300 Memorial Drive | Coral Gables, FL 33146

Co-presented by the UM School of Law

Join us for a practice session in mindfulness led by Scott Rogers, Lecturer in Law and Director of the Mindfulness in Law Program. This 30-minute session will introduce the fundamentals in mindfulness with five minutes of gathering and readying for practice, a 15-minute lightly-guided practice, and five-minute period of quiet discussion.

If you’re interested in attending this free program, please send an email to richterevents@miami.edu.

Parking is available at the Pavia Garage near Stanford Drive. Please click map image below to enlarge. Learn more about parking »

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UM Libraries Celebrates Banned Books Week

by Lauren Fralinger, Learning and Research Services Librarian

How often do you think about your right to read? It is often said that words can change the world, whether they’re spoken aloud or written down. The First Amendment recognizes the power of words, enshrining our freedom of speech. But what happens when that speech is challenged? When we’re told we can’t speak out, can’t read words that might challenge our thoughts or give us new ideas?

Sbeyond magentaeptember 25 through October 1 is Banned Books Week, a time of year designated to raise awareness of banned and challenged books, and an opportunity to understand the consequences of censorship. This year the week takes a thematic focus on diversity, celebrating diverse voices and ideas and shining a light on disproportionate censorship of authors from diverse communities.

Banned Books Week was founded in 1982 by Judith Krug in response to a sudden surge of challenged books. Krug, a First Amendment defender and library advocate, strongly opposed censorship. She felt that no one should be restricted from books or ideas, and that readers should have the freedom to develop their own opinions.

In the thirty-four years since Krug began her initiative, there have been more than 11,300 books challenged, according to the American Library Association (ALA). 275 books were challenged in 2015, which is lower than previous years. Some of the most frequently challenged books  of 2015 included Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out by Susan Kuklin, Nasreen’s Secret School: A True Story from Afghanistan by Jeanette Winter, and even the Holy Bible, which appeared on the list for the first time. Books that involve topics of sexuality and religion often top lists of frequently challenged books.

51cKB7Nh4YL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_If a book is challenged, someone is trying to keep it from the hands of readers. ALA’s Office of Intellectual Freedom has reported the top three reasons for a challenge are: 1) the material was considered to be sexually explicit, 2) the material was considered to have offensive language, and 3) the material was considered unsuited for any age group.

Challenges by various groups have resulted in books commonly regarded today as classic literature being banned from libraries and schools across the United States: In 1957, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was banned from the Detroit Public Library for “having no value for children of today, supporting negativism, and bringing children’s minds to a cowardly level.”

Other classic works that have been banned include:

  • Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, on the grounds of profanity and racially charged language.
  • J. D. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye, described by detractors as a “filthy, filthy book.”
  • First edition copies of Allan Ginsberg’s Howl were seized by the San Francisco customs for obscenity in 1957; however, after a trial the obscenity charges were dropped.
  • John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath was temporarily banned in the in region of California in which it was originally set for “alleged unflattering portrayal of area residents.”
  • The Diary of a Young Girl, by Anne Frank, was once banned by an Alabama textbook committee, deeming it a “real downer.”

Banned Books Week at Richter

Banned Books Week highlights these and many other influential works that have endured censorship, bringing together proponents of free speech, librarians, publishers, teachers, and book lovers of all genres. This year’s events specifically highlight the increasingly popular medium of comic books and graphic novels.

Come join us in September for a week-long celebration of free speech and great literature! Starting September 25, look around the library for books that have been challenged or banned – some of the titles may surprise you. And don’t miss our Read Out of banned and challenged work on September 28!

Throughout the week, you can also view a selection of banned, rare books at Special Collections. An exhibit near the elevators on the 8th floor will feature works by John Milton, William Shakespeare, Giordano Bruno (burned at the stake for his religious and scientific views), D. H. Lawrence, Allen Ginsberg, and others.

Exercise your right to read – check out a banned book from the library!



Join Us for Banned Books Week Read Out on September 28, 2 p.m.

E-mail HeaderWednesday, September 28
2 – 3:30 p.m.

Otto G. Richter Library
Learning Commons, 1st floor
1300 Memorial Drive | Coral Gables, FL 33146

Join us in celebrating the “right to read!” The University of Miami will commemorate the American Library Association’s Banned Books Week 2016 with a Read Out of previously banned or challenged works. Speakers for this event include:

  • cfrancis blackchild, Lecturer, Department of Theatre Arts
  • Louise Davidson-Schmich, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science
  • Suchismita Dutta, Ph.D. Candidate, Department of English
  • Jeremy Penn, Treasurer of SpectrUM
  • Josh Schriftman, Lecturer in the Composition Program, Department of English
  • Sarah Shreeves, Associate Dean for Digital Strategies, University of Miami Libraries

About Banned Books Week

Since 1982, the American Library Association has designated this annual week to raise awareness of banned and challenged books and the consequences of censorship. Banned Books Week 2016 takes a thematic focus on diversity, celebrating diverse voices and ideas and shining a light on disproportionate censorship of authors from diverse communities. Learn more about UM Libraries celebration of Banned Books Week »

Parking is available at the Pavia Garage near Stanford Drive. Please click map image below to enlarge. Learn more about parking »

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Join Us for Mindfulness at Richter on September 28, 4 p.m.

Mindfulness_header2

Wednesday, September 28
4 – 4:30 p.m.

Otto G. Richter Library
3rd Floor Conference Room
1300 Memorial Drive | Coral Gables, FL 33146

Co-presented by the UM School of Law

Join us for a practice session in mindfulness led by Scott Rogers, Lecturer in Law and Director of the Mindfulness in Law Program. This 30-minute session will introduce the fundamentals in mindfulness with five minutes of gathering and readying for practice, a 15-minute lightly-guided practice, and five-minute period of quiet discussion.

If you’re interested in attending this free program, please send an email to richterevents@miami.edu.

Stay tuned for the next date in this series:

  • Wednesday, October 26

Parking is available at the Pavia Garage near Stanford Drive. Please click map image below to enlarge. Learn more about parking »

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Join Us for Mindfulness at Richter on August 31, 4 p.m.

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Wednesday, August 31
4 – 4:30 p.m.

Otto G. Richter Library 
3rd Floor Conference Room
1300 Memorial Drive | Coral Gables, FL 33146

Co-presented by the UM School of Law

Join us for a practice session in mindfulness led by Scott Rogers, Lecturer in Law and Director of the Mindfulness in Law Program. This 30-minute session will introduce the fundamentals in mindfulness with five minutes of gathering and readying for practice, a 15-minute lightly-guided practice, and five-minute period of quiet discussion.

This free program is open to UM faculty, staff, and students. If you’re interested in attending, please send an email to richterevents@miami.edu.

Stay tuned for the next two dates in this series:

  • Wednesday, September 28
  • Wednesday, October 26

Parking is available at the Pavia Garage near Stanford Drive. Please click map image below to enlarge. Learn more about parking »

UML-campusMap_v1



Goizueta Fellows: In Their Own Words

Throughout the 2016-2017 academic year the Cuban Heritage Collection is welcoming ten emerging scholars into the Goizueta Foundation Graduate Fellowships Program. We are proud to introduce each of our 2016-2017 Goizueta Fellows throughout the course of the program.
Our fifth fellow of the series, Vida Owusu-Boateng, will discuss her work in a CHC Research Colloquium on Monday, August 15, 3 p.m., at CHC’s Roberto C. Goizueta Pavilion. All are welcome to attend this presentation.

About Vida Owusu-Boateng

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Goizueta Fellow Vida Owusu-Boateng is pursuing her Ph.D. in comparative literature at Louisiana State University.

Vida Owusu-Boateng is a second year Ph.D. student at Louisiana State University concentrating in comparative literature.

What university/program are you from?

The Comparative Literature Program at Louisiana State University

What are you working on?

My research focuses on the reception of ancient Greek tragedy in Africa and the African diaspora, specifically in Cuba and South Africa. As part of my preliminary research for my dissertation prospectus, I focus on the dramatic and critical outputs of two Cuban playwrights: Virgilio Piñera’s Electra Garrigó (1941) and José Triana’s Medea en el Espejo (1960), and their performance history in Cuba, Miami, and the Caribbean world. These works are important for exploring the political, historical, and cultural situation of Cuba and the Caribbean at large. Piñera’s experimental drama, Electra Garrigó, is one of the earliest receptions of ancient tragedy in the Caribbean as a whole and it is widely regarded as marking the beginning of Cuba’s theatrical modernism and the avant-garde and absurdist theater in the Caribbean. These authors cubanize and revolutionize Greek tragedy and its reception in both Cuba and the Cuban diaspora by situating these Greek myths in a Cuban imaginary to interrogate present political, cultural, historical, and social issues. By cubanizing these myths, Triana and Piñera establish a connection between the oral traditions of ancient Greece and the hybrid transculturation and diasporic nature of Cuban culture and society.
I am particularly interested in the historical and cultural context that influenced these artists and playwrights and their artistic choices towards these ancient works. Specifically, my research focuses on how the plays by Piñera and Triana have created an economics of cultural exchange, of loss and gain of identity, negotiated over a considerable period of time between Cuba, Africa and the West. These Cuban examples offer a valuable insight into the potential of —and especially the limits of—Classical dramas to address fraught political and social realities in the modern world.

What do you expect to find at CHC?

During my visit to the Cuban Heritage Collection (CHC), I hope to consult a wide array of materials about the literary and artistic scene in Cuba and other Cuban diaspora locales from the 1940s through the 1970s, an era that envelopes the development of Cuba’s modernist theater. Miami and other Cuban diasporic locales represent important Cuban diasporic locations where plays will be staged regularly with numerous alterations to interrogate issues of exile, identity, race, homeland, and nation. Studying these works will open up important insights and counterpoints to the construction of Cuban identities through time and space in and beyond Cuba and thus broaden the reception history of these works.

How can we learn more about your research?

I will be talking about my project in a CHC Research Colloquium* on August 15, 3 p.m., at the Roberto C. Goizueta Pavilion. Additionally this study will culminate in a monograph and hopefully I will publish some of my findings as articles in research journals.

*Colloquia are free and open to the public. Contact us at chc@miami.edu for more information.



Goizueta Fellows: In Their Own Words

Throughout the 2016-2017 academic year the Cuban Heritage Collection is welcoming ten emerging scholars into the Goizueta Foundation Graduate Fellowships Program. We are proud to introduce each of our 2016-2017 Goizueta Fellows throughout the course of the program.

Our fourth fellow of the series, James Wilkey, will discuss his work in a CHC Research Colloquium on Thursday, August 11, 3 p.m., at CHC’s Roberto C. Goizueta Pavilion. All are welcome to attend this presentation.

About James Wilkey

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Goizueta Fellow James Wilkey is pursuing his Ph.D. in Latin American history at Louisiana State University.

James Wilkey is a third year Ph.D. student at Louisiana State University, where he studies Cuban-American diasporic culture. James received his M.A. at Queen’s University Belfast in Northern Ireland and his bachelor’s degree at the University of Florida.

What university/program are you from?

The Department of Latin American History at Louisiana State University

What are you working on?

I’m exploring the relationship between the early decades of the Cuban and Mexican film industries. Specifically, I’m looking at Mexico’s prominent role in establishing a Spanish-language industry aimed at Latin America broadly and how that industry impacted, and was impacted by, Cubans. I’m also interested in determining what role this connections had, if any, in Cuban movement to Mexico.

What do you expect to find at CHC?

I hope to find periodicals and papers related to the industry that will help me better understand the way Cubans imagined Mexico through its prominent presence in Latin American pop culture. I hope to encounter correspondence or other evidence clarifying the extent to which Mexican and Cuban filmmakers encountered, worked with, and influenced each other. I’m also curious to see how concepts of “Nuestra America” and the idea of an interconnected Latin America, coupled with competition from Hollywood, impacted the images of Latin America that Cuban and Mexican filmmakers put on screen.

How can we learn more about your research?

I will be talking about my project in a CHC Research Colloquium* on August 11, 3 p.m., at the Roberto C. Goizueta Pavilion. I invite anyone interested in learning more about my research to contact me through my email: jwilk33@lsu.edu.

*Colloquia are free and open to the public. Contact us at chc@miami.edu for more information.

About the Goizueta Foundation Graduate Fellowships Program

The Goizueta Foundation Graduate Fellowships Program provides assistance to doctoral students who wish to use the research resources available in the University of Miami Cuban Heritage Collection (CHC) in support of dissertation research. The goal of these fellowships is to engage emerging scholars with the materials available in the Cuban Heritage Collection and thus contribute to the larger body of scholarship in Cuban, hemispheric, and international studies.

For more information about fellowship opportunities to study at the Cuban Heritage Collection or to learn about past fellows, click here.



Florida Menu Collection: A New Taste of Florida History

By Yvette Yurubi, Reference Assistant, Special Collections

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The Buccaneer Lodge in Marathon, Florida, was a famous resort in the Florida Keys. This menu highlights some of the local seafood dishes.

There is much to be learned about a region’s culture and economy through looking at something as commonplace as a simple restaurant menu. Some of the world’s oldest menus trace back to clay tablets written by the Sumerians who devoted time to listing out foods that they would serve their gods. Since then, menus have become a daily part of our lives, so much so that they tend to go unnoticed beyond their utilitarian purposes. But they also have an important use in libraries and archives, shedding light on moments in time and highlighting changes in the world at large.

In a general sense, menus provide a very graphic and immediate window into the way economy, class, and cuisine affect one another. If you ever want to know where the upper echelons of any society chose to dine or what cuisine they revered as their finest, there is no better source than menus. Hotel and cruise menus, in particular, capture the cultural conscience in terms of what can be classified as luxury and exotic dining while menus for local eateries capture what the working class and less affluent chose to eat on a daily basis. Furthermore, they depict how the nation’s fluctuating GDP and increase or limits in global trade affected the prices of common, regional dishes and foreign dishes over time, showing the delicate interplay between supply and demand.

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Left: A mid-century menu from the Fleur de Lis Room, an iconic restaurant located inside the Fontainebleau Hotel on Miami Beach which hosted performances by Elvis and Frank Sinatra. Right: Menu cover from Little Havana’s China City, today known as Oriental Restaurant.

Florida’s menus, in particular, exhibit the rich history of the many diasporas that make up the state’s diverse population and a growing maritime and agricultural economy as new businesses started to emerge throughout the 1900s. The previous uninhabited swamp lands of Florida were purchased by visionaries like George E. Merrick, founder of Coral Gables, who sought to turn these lands into profit, thus aiding Florida in becoming an agricultural center that quickly expanded and prospered over time. As Florida’s land grew more attractive to other business moguls due to the year-round warm temperatures, its prime fishing locations, and its beautiful beaches, the hospitality industry also flourished.

In the 1960s and the decades that followed, mass diaspora from the Caribbean islands contributed to a dramatic cultural shift that had also affected the local cuisine, particularly in South Florida. Spanish and Caribbean food were rapidly becoming a staple there, introducing native Floridians and vacationers to a new array of dishes and flavors that would eventually expand internationally over time. These trends could be observed in the way traditional American dishes were being replaced by a growing obsession among food enthusiasts in fusion cuisine. The onset of the new millennium also brought about more awareness to health issues and lifestyle choices, paving the way for gluten-free, low-fat, and vegetarian dishes becoming ubiquitous among modern restaurant menus.

As part of our initiative to document Florida’s unique and evolving cultural history, we have been collecting menus from all over Florida and adding them our new Florida Menu Collection. We invite you now to come bring us all the menus you happen to find while dining out or strewn among your old belongings and to donate them to the University of Miami Special Collections department here on the 8th Floor of the Otto G. Richter Library.

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This Miami Beach eatery was also popular in the 1950s.