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”

Cuban Sculptor Roberto Estopiñán (1921-2015) Honored at CHC

by Sarah Block, Library Communications

Click the image above to watch a video of the discussion on May 13. More photos from the event can be viewed on Facebook.

Click the image above to watch a video of the discussion on May 13. More photos from the event can be viewed on Facebook.

Friends, family, and longtime admirers of Cuban sculptor Roberto Estopiñán shed light on the late artist’s vision and the compassion behind his celebrated work during an event held in his memory at the Cuban Heritage Collection (CHC) and co-presented with the Cuban Museum on May 28. Estopiñán, who died in Miami in January 2015 at age 93, is widely known for his work in sculpture describing the complexities of the human condition, often through interpretations of the female form.

The program included a recognition of Estopiñán’s widow, Carmina Benguría, followed by remarks by nephew George Roberto Pace and art historian Alejandro Anreus on Estopiñán’s work and social activism—often interrelated—prior to his exile in 1961 and throughout his life. “At the heart of his work was always the human figure for he believed in the integral and spiritual value of the human person,” Anreus said. The program also included readings by the poets Alina Galliano and Gastón Álvaro, and a screening of the 1994 documentary Artists in Exile: Roberto Estopiñán by the late Cuban-American television writer and producer Ray Blanco.

Forty-six of Estopiñán’s sketchbooks, a few which were on display during the event, were donated to CHC where they will now be preserved and made available to the public.

Photos by Andrew Innerarity.


Carmina Benguría, widow of Roberto Estopiñán, is honored by CHC Chair Maria Estorino Dooling (left), Ileana Fuentes of the Cuban Museum, and Benguría’s great-nephew Griffin Pace, during the May 28 celebration of Estopiñán’s life and work.

Join Us for a Celebration of Roberto Estopiñán on May 28


Join us in honoring the life and work of Cuban-born sculptor Roberto Estopiñán, who passed away in January at the age of 93. The evening will include readings by the poets Alina Galliano and Gastón Álvaro; remarks by Estopiñán’s nephew Victor Alberto Garrido and the art historian Alejandro Anreus; and a recognition of his widow, Carmina Benguría. The program will be followed by a screening of the documentary Artists in Exile: Roberto Estopiñán (1994, 30 minutes) by the late Cuban-American television writer and producer Ray Blanco.

From the artist’s estate per his wishes, a selection of works on paper by Roberto Estopiñán will be donated to the Cuban Museum. The Cuban Heritage Collection has received 46 of his sketchbooks, some of which will be on display.

RSVP now to richterevents@miami.edu or call 305-284-4026.

Reception sponsored by the Amigos of the Cuban Heritage Collection.

UM’s Cuban Heritage Collection Celebrates the Legacy of Maestro Manuel Ochoa

by Rosa Monzon, Cuban Heritage Collection

The exhibit includes a digital component through which viewers can watch videos of performances conducted by Maestro Ochoa.

The exhibition includes a digital component through which viewers can watch videos of Ochoa’s performances.

Maestro Manuel Ochoa, a Cuban exile musician, choral and orchestra conductor, and founder of the Miami Symphony Orchestra, was the focus of a reception at the Cuban Heritage Collection (CHC), at the University of Miami’s Otto G. Richter Library. The event served as the official launch of an exhibition that includes Ochoa’s greatest works and documented memories, which are preserved and available for research at the CHC in the Manuel Ochoa Papers.

Ochoa is recognized internationally not only for his numerous contributions to classical Cuban music in the island but also his work in Spain, Austria, and the United States.

Curated by Meiyolet Mendez, librarian at the CHC, the exhibition displays photographs, letters, publications, music scores, and concert programs of Ochoa’s personal life and career. Included is a photograph from the beginning of Ochoa’s career, at the age of 17, conducting members of the Holguin Choral Society, which he created in 1942, even before he had any formal training. Another photograph shows Ochoa leading the Belen Jesuit Choir in Havana years later. Ochoa’s lesson plans and notes on working with child choir singers also are on display.

“One of the most exciting parts of working on this exhibit was the opportunity to bring to life Maestro Ochoa’s entire career,” said Mendez. “I discovered a person who was passionate about music and music education, and who loved sharing that passion with others.”

Also on display is a paper program of the Concierto Sacro, sponsored by the Cuban Catholic Artists Guild, featuring Ochoa’s Coro de Madrigalistas (Madrigal Choir), popularly noted as the best choir in Cuba, in 1956, Havana.

A driving force and inspiration in Ochoa’s life was always his family. One of the highlights of the exhibition is a photograph of his mother, Caridad Ochoa, who was a trained opera singer, plus a tear sheet from The Miami Herald with an article by David Lawrence Jr. celebrating Ochoa as well as his wife and biggest supporter, Sofia Ochoa.

“She was at his side every step of the way,” said their son, Manuel Ochoa Jr. “My father always said she made it easy for him to just stand at a podium and conduct.”

CHC recognized Sofia Ochoa (right) during the event.

Esperanza Bravo de Varona (left), former chair of the CHC, and current chair Maria Estorino recognized Sofia Ochoa (right) during the event.

Sofia’s unwavering support for her husband continued after his death, in 2006. She not only donated his collection but also contributed countless hours as a volunteer in the processing of these records.

“When my mother and I thought about how we would remember and commemorate my father, we wanted a living memorial,” said Ochoa Jr. “We wanted to share his life story so that others, especially young Cubans and Cuban-Americans would be inspired to continue his musical legacy.”

After studying and working in Cuba, Vienna, Spain, and Rome, Ochoa settled in Miami following the Cuban Revolution. On display are photographs of Ochoa’s performances in Miami, such as the first Festiva Symphony Concert at the Colonel Hotel in 1989. There is also a photograph of acclaimed Cuban pianist Zenaida Manfugás, from the same concert.

In Miami Ochoa also created the Society of Arts and Culture of Americas, but his greatest contribution to the city’s cultural development was the creation and leadership of the Miami Symphony Orchestra for more than 25 years. Multiple playbills from its concerts are displayed in the CHC’s Roberto C. Goizueta Pavilion, as well as audio and videos of performances.

Guests at the reption.

The celebration of Ochoa’s life and legacy took place at CHC’s Roberto C. Goizueta Pavilion, where the Manuel Ochoa Papers are now permanently housed and available for research.

Considered “the highlight of his tenure with the orchestra,” said Ochoa Jr., was a concert in Carnegie Hall in June of 2000, also represented in the exhibition.

“Maestro Ochoa’s legacy lives on in the Miami Symphony Orchestra he founded and in the lives that he touched through his various cultural activities,” said Maria Estorino, chair of the CHC. “But it also lives on here, in the library, where through his own papers, his life, his work, and his passion can be discovered.”

The CHC is home to thousands of books, manuscripts, photographs, and other materials that document the rich history and culture of Cuba and its diaspora. The legacy of Maestro Manuel Ochoa, as well as countless other Cubans and Cuban-Americans, “will not only be preserved here, but it will be shared with our students and with the community,” said Estorino.

“I hope the Maestro Manuel Ochoa Collection continues to inspire and educate future generations to become musicians and conductors, and keep alive the rich tradition of classical music,” Ochoa Jr. said.

The exhibition is available for viewing through the end of summer. For more information about the Cuban Heritage Collection and its events, please visit www.library.miami.edu/chc.

View more photos from the event here.

Photos by Andrew Innerarity.

The exhibit will be available at the Roberto C. Goizueta Pavilion through summer 2015.

The exhibition is on view at the Roberto C. Goizueta Pavilion through the end of the summer.

2015-2016 Graduate Fellowships Awards

The Cuban Heritage Collection will welcome twelve new Graduate Fellows beginning in June. Hailing from institutions across the United States, the 2015-2016 class of fellows is comprised of historians, literary specialists, political scientists, and media scholars.

2015-2016 is the sixth year of the CHC’s graduate fellowships program. The Goizueta Foundation recently made a $1 million gift to endow graduate fellowships at the Cuban Heritage Collection. The CHC will host the first class of Goizueta Fellows in 2016-2017.

This year’s cycle of awards are made possible with the support of the Bared Family Foundation, the Amigos of the Cuban Heritage Collection, and additional donors.

The CHC Graduate Fellowships provide assistance to doctoral students in the U.S. who wish to use the research resources available in the Cuban Heritage Collection at the University of Miami Libraries. 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.

Graduate Research Fellows

Francisca Aguilo Mora
University of Miami (Modern Languages & Literature)
Language Crossing and Multiaccentuality in Women Writers del Gran Caribe: Narrative, Drama and Performance

Elise Arnold-Levene
Columbia University (Latin American and Iberian Cultures)
Lydia Cabrera, the Storyteller as Collector

Gillian Beach
West Virginia University (Political Science)
Diffusion or Dissent: Examining International Advocacy Efforts and Domestic Policy Divergence

Antonio Cardentey Levin
University of Florida (Spanish and Portuguese Studies)
Crítica de la pasión caribeña. La dialéctica de los afectos en la novela histórica del Caribe insular hispano

Anasa Hicks
New York University (History)
Servants, not Workers: Domestic Labor in Cuba, 1902-1975

Dana Linda
UCLA (Comparative Literature)
Urban Landscapes: gender and the global cartographies of Caribbean literary cities

Rebecca Salois
City University of New York (Hispanic and Luso-Brazilian Literatures and Languages)
Choteo Cubano: Humor as a Critical Tool in 20th Century Cuban Theater

Graduate Pre-Prospectus Fellows

Daniel Fernandez
University of Florida (History)
Transnational contributions to Cuban state formation: The Spanish Republican Exiles in Cuba

William Kelly
Rutgers University (History)
Constancy and Change: An Analysis of Revolutionary-Era Urban Housing Policy in Cuba

Sara Kozameh
New York University (History)
The Agrarian Reforms in Revolutionary Cuba: 1959-1965

Richard Mwakasege-Minaya
University of Michigan (Screen Arts & Cultures)
Disseminating Greater Cuba: Cuban Exiles & Cuban-American Media Production

Jose Villar
Florida International University (Modern Languages)
New Men, New Nations, New Selves: Queer Subjects Between Assimilation and Practices of Freedom in Contemporary Cuban Cultural Production

Now on Display: Ochoa: Remembering the Life and Legacy of Maestro Manuel Ochoa


We invite you to visit the exhibition currently on display in the Roberto C. Goizueta Pavilion on the second floor of the University of Miami’s Otto G. Richter Library.

Drawing from his personal papers, this exhibition commemorates the life and work of Cuban-born conductor and orchestra director Manuel Ochoa (1925-2006), whose passion for music led him from Cuba to Austria and Spain and back. In exile, he worked with other Cuban artists to bring to life the traditional music of Cuba and Spain, most notably through the Miami Symphony Orchestra, which he founded and led for almost two decades.

Stay tuned in the coming months for activities related to our spring exhibit. Follow CHC to keep in touch.

From Cuban Rafters to Enemy Combatants: Lawyers Revisit Case that Turned Guantanamo into a Prison

By Catharine Skipp, Special to UM News


Lawyers involved in the case that determined the due process rights of more than 33,000 Cuban rafters who were intercepted at sea in 1994 and detained at the U.S. Naval Station at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, will discuss its historic significance during a panel discussion at the Richter Library, Cuban Heritage Collection, from 6 to 8 p.m. on Monday, February 16. The case, Cuban America Bar Association v. Secretary of State Warren Christopher, laid the legal groundwork for the use of Guantánamo to detain enemy combatants after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

“With all the seemingly endless talk of whether to close the detention centers at the U.S. Naval Base in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, it is worth remembering that now is not the first time the base has held a group of people the United States wanted to contain in a ‘rights-free zone,’” said Christina Frohock, a scholar on Guantánamo and detainee issues and a faculty member at the School of Law, who will moderate the discussion.

“The panel will cast a current eye on events before 9/11, exploring two contrasting outcomes of the U.S. government’s housing in Guantánamo camps of more than 33,000 Cuban rafters intercepted at sea in August 1994,” Frohock said.

The participating panelists were all lead counsel in the CABA v. Christopher case in 1994 and 1995 before the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida in Miami and the Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit in Atlanta. Haitian refugees, picked up at sea prior to the Cubans, were already housed in Guantánamo camps and later intervened as additional plaintiffs in the case.

  • One panelist will be Harold Hongju Koh, Sterling Professor of International Law at Yale Law School, who is one of the country’s leading experts in public and international law, national security law, and human rights. He previously served as legal advisor to the U.S. Department of State, for which he received the Secretary’s Distinguished Service Award. He is past dean of Yale Law School, and former U.S. assistant secretary of state for democracy, human rights, and labor. Koh argued in the U.S. Supreme Court in a case on behalf of Haitian refugees.
  • Joining Koh will be Roberto Martinez, adjunct professor at Miami Law and partner at Colson Hicks Eidson, who successfully served as co-lead counsel in several anti-terrorism cases, including a $188 million wrongful death judgment in the Brothers to the Rescue shoot down by Cuban Air Force MiG fighter aircraft. A former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Martinez has extensive expertise in the public and private sector.
  • Also participating will be Marcos Jimenez, J.D.’83, a partner at McDermott Will & Emery LLP in Miami and New York, who served as U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida just after September 11, 2001, and on the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee of U.S. Attorneys; and former president of the Florida Bar and the Cuban American Bar Association, Francisco Angones, J.D.’76, who  is a senior partner at Angones McClure & Garcia.

Angones was lead counsel in the Brothers to the Rescue case.

“This is an opportunity for a unique insight into a historic event that helped shape U.S. immigration and national security policies,” said Jimenez.

A reception at 5 p.m. will precede the panel discussion. The event is free and open to the public. CLE credits are pending.

To RSVP, click here.

This event is free of charge and cosponsored by the University of Miami’s Cuban Heritage Collection, Cuban American Bar Association, Southern Wine & Spirits, and Colson Hicks Eidson.

Cuban-flavored Thanksgiving

Guest post by Dora Marie Williams, CHC Student Assistant

Turkey peddlers in Havana, Cuba, 1899.

From the Ramiro A. Fernández Collection.

With Thanksgiving approaching, the smells of baked turkey, mom’s mashed potatoes and grandma’s stuffing will soon fill houses around the nation. However, if you happen to be Cuban the smells might be a little different. When Cuban refugees flocked to the U.S. they brought with them their culture, and the combination of U.S. and Cuban customs resulted in some very interesting traditions, especially when it comes to Thanksgiving dinner.

Frijoles negros and boniato dulce are some of the dishes listed in a church’s Thanksgiving event menu from November 24, 1966 found in the Alberto Cuartas collection. The traditional pumpkin and apple pie is replaced by flan or tres leches, which is always mouth-wateringly good. In Little Havana Blues: A Cuban American Literary Anthology edited by Virgil Suárez and Delia Poey, Richard Blanco remembers that “…there was always pork… and black beans, yucca con mojito and fried plantain chips,” as well as the first time his parents agreed to make a turkey for Thanksgiving, which his grandmother unenthusiastically prepared (29).

I remember as a young girl hearing the story of my grandparents’ first Thanksgiving in the United States and until this day I cannot retell it without laughing. My grandparents emigrated from Havana in April of 1966. My grandfather was an accountant, my grandmother a stay-at-home-wife and my mother and aunt were no older than three years old. My grandparents were living in a one bedroom apartment on Flagler Street and could not afford a turkey for Thanksgiving. Being the crafty and ingenious person that my grandmother is, she noticed that the neighbors had a chicken that every so often roamed the neighborhood. On the day before Thanksgiving my grandmother lured the chicken into the apartment and the rest is history, Thanksgiving history.

Cuban-American Thanksgiving dinners have something in common with all other celebrations of this holiday: family. Family is a huge part of the holidays and of Cuban and American life in general. On Thanksgiving Day the family comes together and the house is filled with warm wishes, chitter-chatter and love. Whether your family watches the Macy’s Day Parade, Thursday night football or plays dominoes and catches up on el chisme, as far as I’m concerned you’ll be having a great Thanksgiving.

Happy Sansgivin!