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.



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 third fellow of the series, Rachel Emily Pérez, will discuss her work in a CHC Research Colloquium on Tuesday, August 2, 3 p.m., at CHC’s Roberto C. Goizueta Pavilion. All are welcome to attend this presentation.

About Rachel Emily Pérez

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Goizueta Fellow Rachel Emily Pérez is pursuing her Ph.D. in American Studies and African American Studies at Yale University.

Rachel Emily Pérez is a doctoral student in Yale University’s joint program in American Studies and African American Studies. Prior to that, she worked as an intern and researcher at Dr. Rafael Ma. Moscoso National Botanical Garden in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. She is a recipient of the 2016 Yale RITM Center Fellowship, which she is using to conduct additional archival and ethnographic research in Miami. In 2015 she received a Tinker Field Grant to conduct independent ethnographic and archival research in Havana, Cuba. In 2013, she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in history, anthropology, linguistics, and Spanish from the University of Georgia’s Honors Program, where she worked as a teaching and research assistant.

What university/program are you from?

I am from Yale University’s Joint Ph.D. Program in American Studies and African American Studies.

What are you working on?

I am investigating healing and religious practices among Cubans on the island and in the diaspora in the 20th and 21st centuries. More specifically, I am looking at the interactions between “alternative,” “traditional,” and “conventional” practices among this demographic, and the role of language and rhetoric in these interactions. I am additionally interested in the role of discourse in forging distinct categories such as “medicine” versus “religion.”

What do you expect to find at the CHC?

I expect to find a wide range of primary documents pertinent to my project. These include anthropological studies of healing-religious practices such as those found in the Lydia Cabrera Papers and in the Diana G Kirby Papers. I additionally hope to perform close readings of texts on health and medicine produced within the field of biology, such as those found in the Hady López papers. I additionally hope to learn more about Cuban immigrants’ healing-religious practices in many of the interviews from the Luis J. Botifoll Oral History Project.

How can we learn more about your research?

I will be talking about my project in a CHC Research Colloquium* on August 2, 3 p.m., at the Roberto C. Goizueta Pavilion.

*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.



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 second fellow of the series, Mariel Martínez Alvarez, will discuss her work in a CHC Research Colloquium on Monday, August 1, 3 p.m., at CHC’s Roberto C. Goizueta Pavilion. All are welcome to attend this presentation.

About Mariel Martínez Alvarez

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Goizueta Fellow Mariel Martínez Alvarez is pursuing her Ph.D. in Spanish at the University of Michigan.

 

Mariel Martínez Alvarez is a Ph.D. student in Spanish at the University of Michigan. She is interested in Cuban literatures across the diaspora and is planning to write her dissertation on Cuban American literature and culture. Previously Mariel was a teaching assistant at Washington University in St. Louis, where she received her M.A. in Hispanic literatures. She also earned an M.A. in comparative literature at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, where she defended her dissertation, titled “Subjectivity, Fiction and Dictatorial Power in Reinaldo Arenas’s The Color of Summer or the New Garden of Earthly Delights.” She received her bachelor’s degree in literature from the Universidad de las Américas Puebla in Mexico.

What university/program are you from?

I am a Ph.D. student at the University of Michigan. I am completing my Ph.D. in Spanish in the Romance Languages and Literatures department.
What are you working on?

I am researching the Cuban diaspora in Spain and in the United States.

What do you expect to find at the CHC?

In the CHC I expect to find unpublished essays, correspondence, and articles of and about the Cuban poet Gastón Baquero, who was engaged with the Batista government and went to Spain after the triumph of the revolution. As a public intellectual during the Francoism, I am interested in analyzing his production of a colonial imaginary when narrating the dynamics between Cuba and Spain.

How can we learn more about your research?

I will be talking about my project in a CHC Research Colloquium* on August 1, 3 p.m., at the Roberto C. Goizueta Pavilion.
*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.



CHC Research Colloquia August Schedule

The Cuban Heritage Collection’s 2015-2016 Research Colloquia continues in August with several talks by researchers on works in progress. ​Colloquia are scheduled for 3 p.m. unless otherwise noted.

    • Thursday, August 13
      Abel Sierra Madero, New York University (visiting fellow)
      Made in Cuba: Theatre, Nation and the Forging of the Erotic Subject in the Second Republic (1933-1958)
    • Tuesday, August 18
      Elise Arnold-Levene, Columbia University (CHC Graduate Fellow)
      Lydia Cabrera, the Storyteller as Collector
    • Thursday, August 20 * rescheduled for Wednesday, September 2
      José Villar, Florida International University (CHC Graduate Fellow)
      New Men, New Nations, New Selves: Queer Subjects between Assimilation and Practices of Freedom in Contemporary Cuban Cultural Production
    • Tuesday, August 25
      William Kelly, Rutgers University (CHC Graduate Fellow)
      Constancy and Change: An Analysis of Revolutionary-Era Urban Housing Policy in Cuba
    • Thursday, August 27
      Richard Mwakasege-Minaya, University of Michigan (CHC Graduate Fellow)
      Mobilizing the Empire: Cuban Exile Media & Cold War Politics
    • Monday, August 31
      Francisca Aguilo Mora, University of Miami (CHC Graduate Fellow)
      Language Crossing and Multiaccentuality in Women Writers del Gran Caribe: Narrative, Drama and Performance
  • Learn more about the CHC Graduate Fellowships »


2015-2016 CHC Research Colloquia Convenes

As we welcome a new class of graduate fellows to the Roberto C. Goizueta Pavilion, we open the 2015-2016 CHC Research Colloquia. Join us as fellows and other researchers discuss their work and their research in the Cuban Heritage Collection. Colloquia are open to the public and scheduled for 3 p.m. unless otherwise noted. RSVP to 305-284-4900 or chc@miami.edu.

Thursday, June 25
Rebecca Salois, CUNY (CHC Graduate Fellow)
“Choteo Cubano: Humor as a Critical Tool in 20th Century Cuban Theater”

Tuesday, June 30
Sara Kozameh, New York University (CHC Graduate Fellow)
“The Agrarian Reforms in Revolutionary Cuba: 1959-1965”

Thursday, July 9
Daniel Fernandez, University of Florida (CHC Graduate Fellow)
“Transnational Contributions to Cuban State Formation: the Spanish Republican Exiles in Cuba”

Thursday, July 23
Olivia Ortega, Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología, Mexico (visiting researcher)
Influencia de los Estados Unidos en la construcción de la identidad colectiva publicitaria de México y Cuba, 1930-1950
In Spanish

Tuesday, July 28
Antonio Cardentey Levin, University of Florida (CHC Graduate Fellow)
“Crítica de la pasión caribeña: La dialéctica de los afectos en la novela histórica del Caribe insular hispano”

Tuesday, August 18
Francisca Aguilo Mora, University of Miami (CHC Graduate Fellow)
“Language Crossing and Multiaccentuality in Women Writers del Gran Caribe: Narrative, Drama and Performance”

Thursday, August 20
José Villar, Florida International University (CHC Graduate Fellow)
“New Men, New Nations, New Selves: Queer Subjects between Assimilation and Practices of Freedom in Contemporary Cuban Cultural Production”

Tuesday, August 25
William Kelly, Rutgers University (CHC Graduate Fellow)
“Constancy and Change: An Analysis of Revolutionary-Era Urban Housing Policy in Cuba”

Thursday, August 27
Richard Mwakasege-Miyar, University of Michigan (CHC Graduate Fellow)
“Disseminating Greater Cuba: Cuban Exiles & Cuban-American Media Production”



CHC Fellowships applications due February 1st

 

The Cuban Heritage Collection (CHC) offers fellowships in support of individual research by U.S.-based graduate students and scholars who wish to use the research resources available in the Collection. Applications for 2015-2016 fellowships are due on Sunday, February 1, 2015.  To learn more about the awards, eligibility, and requirements, visit library.miami.edu/chc/fellows.


Launched with a grant from The Goizueta Foundation, the CHC Fellowships program has made 55 awards since 2010. Questions? Write to us at chc@miami.edu.

 

 





2015-2016 CHC Fellowships Call for Applications

 

The Cuban Heritage Collection (CHC) at the University of Miami Libraries invites applications for the 2015-2016 CHC Fellowships in support of individual research by graduate students and scholars who wish to use the research resources available in the Collection. Awards are made in two categories:

CHC Graduate Fellowships
Awards are available for Pre-Prospectus and Research fellowships for U.S.-based doctoral students. For more information and to apply, please visit apply.interfolio.com/27641.

CHC Arts in the Cuban Republic Fellowships
Awards support U.S.-based students and scholars with projects focused on topics related to the arts in Cuba between 1933 and 1958, including but not limited to visual arts, music, theater, dance, and architecture. For more information and to apply, please visit apply.interfolio.com/27642.

The CHC Fellowships require residency in the CHC for the duration of the award period. All applications are due on Sunday, February 1, 2015 and must be submitted electronically through the links provided above. Questions? Please write to chc@miami.edu

Launched with a grant from The Goizueta Foundation, the CHC Fellowships program has made 55 awards since 2010. To learn more about the program and past CHC Fellows, visit library.miami.edu/chc/fellows.

 



Scholar Spotlight: Hideaki Kami

Hideaki Kami was a 2013-2014 CHC Graduate Research Fellow. A doctoral student in history at Ohio State University, he authored the following report about his fellowship and his research on “Diplomacy and Migration: A Transformation of U.S. Relations with Cuba, 1974-1992.”

Hideaki KamiI am pleased to report that my research at the University of Miami’s Cuban Heritage Collection (CHC) proved very fruitful due to the generous support from the CHC. CHC staff members helped me settle in Miami, become familiar with materials and peoples, and gain better chances to deepen my knowledge of the history of Cuba and Cuban Diasporas. By writing this report I would like first to acknowledge your valuable assistance to my research in Miami in the autumn of 2013, which would be a fundamental source for my PhD dissertation on the history of U.S. relations with Cuba in the 1970s and 1980s.

The fundamental purpose of my Miami research was to incorporate Cuban American politics and its history into the broader narrative of U.S. relations with Cuba in the recent decades. Because of its central focus on state-to-state relations, the field of diplomatic history has all too often dismissed the importance of human migration—the changing configuration of demographics, backgrounds, worldviews, and mindsets—for the making of U.S. foreign policy. Such assumptions, however, would be open to question if we study the case of Miami Cubans and their role in U.S. relations with Cuba, which would help us to wonder how the movement of people might have changed the dynamics of power and cultures within and across the borders of nation-states.

The CHC graduate fellowship allowed me to take an important step toward an answer to this question by broadening my perspectives of foreign relations history. With this fellowship I could stay for three months in Miami, where I could gain access to the valuable resources, even outside the CHC, and could meet with historical figures who were willing to share their stories with future generations. One good example of such resources is Dante Fascell Papers at the University of Miami’s Special Collection. This congressional collection holds numerous notes, letters, correspondences, published materials, which tell about the last fifty years’ history of Miami, where Cuban Americans played a major role. Further, my interview with Alfredo Duran, key player during the Jimmy Carter’s presidency, generously informed me of the insider story of the Carter administration’s approach to the Cuban American community.

Most of the time I spent in Miami, however, was at the CHC’s reading room, where I encountered even more numerous stories of Cuban life in Miami. Reading Cuban American newspapers, magazines, tabloids, newsletters, and all other published materials consumed much of my time and energy. Yet, these resources provided crucial information about the Cuban American community’s varying reactions to the actions and behaviors of Washington and Havana at critical moments in bilateral relations. Even richer materials than these published materials are manuscript collections, which provided unique perspectives of the Cuban American community and its interactions with the governments of the United States and Cuba. Particularly relevant to my project were Bernardo Benes and Mirta Ojito Collections, whose resources allow me to reexamine the context of the Mariel boatlift of 1980. While comparing and combining stories of this specially emotive event from perspectives of Washington, Havana, and Miami, I came to realize how valuable these collections were not only in terms of the history of the Cuban American community, but also in the broader context of U.S. relations with Cuba at the height of the Cold War.

Several noteworthy testimonies that I found within Diana Kirby Papers also will shed new light on the experiences of Mariel Cubans, whose critical views of all U.S. and Cuban players were indispensable for polishing my views of the event. Likewise, the materials of Cuban Refugee Center Records and Fort Chafee Collections will enrich further my stories of the boatlift.

Materials on the 1980s are relatively scarce, but the CHC also surprised me by offering several important sources. Some organizations like Alpha 66 held the comprehensive records, covering this decade. The most powerful and important Cuban American organization, Cuban American National Foundation, published numerous newsletters and information memorandum that poured into some of individual collections at the CHC. Equally important are three volumes of Jorge Mas Canosa’s speeches and radio transcripts, Jorge Mas Canosa en busca de una Cuba libre: Edición completa de sus discursos, entrevistas y declaraciones, 1962-1997. The records account for the trajectory of his political career, as well as the shifting strategies of the most memorable leader of the community of his time. Added to these sources is Jose Antonio Font Papers, which includes some of CANF’s internal documents that would be otherwise unattainable anywhere else.

My research also benefits from Luis J. Botifoll Oral History Project, which the CHC offers online. Colorful testimonies and recollections of major Cuban American players in U.S.-Cuban relations, such as José Basulto, Bernardo Benes, Lincoln Díaz-Balart, Alfredo Durán, Irma Santos de Mas Canosa, Enrique Ros, Jorge Mas Santos, Diego R. Suárez, not only provided precious information but also made me aware of what might be missing from the written records available today. Despite CHC’s generous support for my attempts to interview Pepe Hernandez and other CANF’s founding fathers, these efforts have not yet come to fruit until now. Nonetheless, I will keep pursuing this and other chances to expand my knowledge of the ideas and activities of the foundation, along with its connections with Washington politics.

Numerous other materials, such as Cuban periodicals like Bohemia, interview records with Fidel Castro, and Miami’s radio monitoring service records (on Cuban radios in Havana) prove helpful to explore the Cuban side of history and to prepare for further research on this frontier. Overall, the CHC fellowship gave me tremendously valuable opportunities not only to read uncountable rare resources in Miami, but also rigorously to train myself as a scholar, who wants to be familiar with the unique history of Cuba and Cuban Diasporas. I will continue my dissertation research in the hope of writing dissertation within three years, and writing a book and/or journal articles on some of the topics that would be relevant to this project.

Thank you once again for the generous support. As one of the former CHC fellows, I will remember and cherish my fortunate time as the University of Miami’s Cuban Heritage Collection.

This report was authored by Hideaki Kami to fulfill one of the requirements of the CHC Graduate Fellowships.