Newsletter of the Cuban Heritage Collection
of the University of Miami Libraries, April 2013

CHC Retirements Announcement

After more than 90 collective years of service, Professor Esperanza Bravo de Varona and Associate Professor Lesbia Orta Varona will retire from the University of Miami Libraries effective May 31, 2013.

“Esperanza Bravo de Varona and Lesbia Orta Varona are living treasures who have brought unparalleled creativity and energy to the University of Miami Libraries. Over their tenures, they have established the Cuban Heritage Collection as an internationally recognized archive of unique scholarly importance,” said William D. Walker, Dean and University Librarian.

Esperanza Bravo de Varona holds the Esperanza Bravo de Varona Chair of the Cuban Heritage Collection. Her reputation and influence have attracted many valuable collections and significant contributions to the University. The Roberto C. Goizueta Pavilion, home of the Collection since 2003, stands as a testament to Professor de Varona’s leadership. Under her direction, the Collection also received numerous grants, including two awards from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) in 1999 and 2000 totaling over $1 million, and more recently a five-year, $2.4 million grant award made by The Goizueta Foundation.

Lesbia Orta Varona has also announced her retirement after 46 years at the Libraries. She currently serves as the Collection’s Reference Librarian and Bibliographer. Professor Varona has nurtured and grown the Libraries’ renowned and comprehensive Latin American and Cuban collections, and the work of innumerable students and scholars has been enriched by her generosity and expertise. She is recognized and admired for her extensive knowledge of Cuban and Latin American cultural production and in particular literature and theater.

Both faculty members will retire on May 31, 2013, but will continue to be active in the Cuban Heritage Collection as volunteers.

 Learn more about Esperanza B. de Varona.

 Learn more about Lesbia Orta Varona.


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2013-2014 CHC Graduate Fellows announced

We are happy to announce the 2013-2014 CHC Graduate Fellows, generously funded by The Goizueta Foundation, with additional support from the Amigos of the Cuban Heritage Collection.

The Cuban Heritage Collection 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, click here.

Research Fellows

Hideaki Kami
Ohio State University (History)
Diplomacy and Migration: A Transformation of U.S. Relations with Cuba, 1974-1992

Elizabeth Schwall
Columbia University (History)
Embodied Communiqués and the Politics of Revolutionary Culture in Cuba, 1959 – 1989

Kelly Urban
University of Pittsburgh (History)
“For the Poor Sick Ones and for Cuba”: Tuberculosis and Nationalism in Cuba, 1902-1959

Francis Watlington
University of Texas at Austin (Spanish & Portuguese)
Risueños febriles: Dehumanization, Embodiment, and Ethics in the Subject of Cuban Existentialist Poetics

Gabriela Zaviezo
University of Miami (Modern Languages & Literatures)
Visual and discursive representations of gender during the past 30 years in Cuba

Pre-Prospectus Fellows

Alexis Baldacci
University of Florida (History)
The Haves and Have-Nots: Material Culture in Revolutionary Cuba and the Cuban Diaspora, 1959-1980

Walfrido Dorta Sánchez
City University of New York (Hispanic & Luso-Brazilian Literatures & Languages)
Intellectual and Cultural Politics in Cuba and Cuban Exile in United States (1960-2000): the Map of the Cultural Journals

Maikel Fariñas Borrego
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (History)
Regional Pressure Groups in Cuba: Rotary Clubs, Local Elites, and Conflicting Interests, 1916-1968

Cary García Yero
University of Pittsburgh (History)
Masculinities and Musical Culture in Havana 1940-1970

Eric Herschthal
Columbia University (History)
Black Communication Networks between the Early American Republic and Cuba (1775-1833)

Anasa Hicks
New York University (History)
Domestic work in 20th century Cuba

Eric Mayer-García
Louisiana State University (Theatre)
Translocating Theatrical and Cuban Imaginaries: Virgilio Piñera’s Electra Garrigó in Miami, 1978

Kevin Sedeño-Güillen
University of Kentucky (Hispanic Studies)
The Colonial Modernity of the Spanish American Literary Criticism of the Second Half of the 18th Century


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CHC-CLAS Undergraduate Scholars to share their work

The CHC partners with the University of Miami’s Center for Latin American Studies (CLAS) to offer faculty grants and student stipends for independent undergraduate research. Funds are available to University faculty to revise or create an undergraduate course to make meaningful use of the Cuban Heritage Collection in its assignments and activities; and to mentor selected Undergraduate Scholars on independent research projects. The CHC-CLAS Undergraduate Scholars program is made possible by a grant from The Goizueta Foundation. Learn more »

The Spring 2013 Undergraduate Scholars will share the results of their research this month. Please join us for the following events:

Afro-Cuban Religion: Race, Gender, and Politics

  • Tuesday, April 16 at 4:30 p.m.
    ‘Above All Politics?’: The Virgin of Charity and Cuban Streets, 1951-1961
    A lecture by Jalane Schmidt, Associate Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Virginia
    Roberto C. Goizueta Pavilion, Otto G. Richter Library
    Click to view flyer »

  • Tuesday, April 17 at 10:00 a.m.
    Undergraduate Scholars Symposium
    Student presentations by undergraduate scholars Elaine Penagos and Thomas Terrill. Introduction by their faculty mentor Dr. Michelle Gónzalez Maldonado, Associate Professor of Religious Studies, and comments by Jalane Schmidt, Associate Professor of Religious studies at the University of Virginia
    Roberto C. Goizueta Pavilion, Otto G. Richter Library
    Click to view flyer »

Alternative Energy for Cuba

  • Wednesday, April 17 at 6:15 p.m.
    Undergraduate Scholars Symposium
    Student presentations by undergraduate scholars Melissa Barona, Margarita Giraldo and Seth Marini (mentored by Dr. Helena Solo-Gabriele, Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering) followed by a discussion with guest speakers Buck Martinez, FPL Director of Development, and Manuel Cereijo, P.E.
    McArthur Engineering Annex Room 220
    Click to view flyer »

 Visit our Events & Lectures web page for more information.

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CHC recognized for online exhibit, Cuban Theater in Miami: 1960-1980

Last month, the Rare Books and Manuscripts Section (RBMS) of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) announced the winners of its Katharine Kyes Leab and Daniel J. Leab “American Book Prices Current” Exhibition Awards program. The Cuban Heritage Collection’s online exhibit “Cuban Theater in Miami: 1960-1980” received an honorable mention in the electronic exhibition category. This award is a true honor for us as it is the first time that the University of Miami Libraries has been recognized for an exhibition by this program. Continue reading »

This project was funded by a grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

 View the full announcement »

 View the online exhibit, Cuban Theater in Miami: 1960-1980 »

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Cuban blogger Yoani Sánchez visits CHC, learns about the collections

Cuban blogger Yoani Sánchez visited us for a private tour of the Cuban Heritage Collection and an interview session with University of Miami student media. In this picture, Deputy Chair María R. Estorino is giving her an overview of our website, search tools, and digital collections while UM President Donna E. Shalala looks on.  Ms. Sánchez has repeatedly indicated that technology tools and access to information as two of the most important things that Cubans on the island need.  We did our part to answer this call by giving her 10 flash drives loaded with a selection of materials digitized from the CHC’s holdings, including four of the over 100 interviews we have conducted as part of our Luis J. Botifoll Oral History Project. Continue reading »

  VIDEO: A conversation with Cuban blogger Yoani Sánchez »

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In this issue

In short

Now available online are items from the Patronato del Teatro Ephemera Collection, including programs and playbills of performances at the Patronato del Teatro theater in Havana, Cuba, from the late 1940s until the late 1950s, which form part of the CHC Theater Collections.

Mon & Tue: 9am – 4pm
Wed: 9am – 7pm
Thu & Fri: 9am – 4pm
Exceptions and Other Libraries

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