CHC Recommends: Freedom’s Mirror by Ada Ferrer on March 2nd

Ada Ferrer is Professor of History and Latin American and Caribbean Studies and New York University.  She will present her new book, Freedom’s Mirror: Cuba and Haiti in the Age of Revolution (Cambridge University Press, 2014) at Books & Books in Coral Gables on Monday, March 2, 2015 at 8:00 p.m.

ferrercoverDuring the Haitian Revolution of 1791-1804, arguably the most radical revolution of the modern world, slaves and former slaves succeeded in ending slavery and establishing an independent state. Yet on the Spanish island of Cuba barely fifty miles distant, the events in Haiti helped usher in the antithesis of revolutionary emancipation. When Cuban planters and authorities saw the devastation of the neighboring colony, they rushed to fill the void left in the world market for sugar, to buttress the institutions of slavery and colonial rule, and to prevent “another Haiti” from happening in their own territory.

Freedom’s Mirror follows the reverberations of the Haitian Revolution in Cuba, where the violent entrenchment of slavery occurred at the very moment that the Haitian Revolution provided a powerful and proximate example of slaves destroying slavery. By creatively linking two stories – the story of the Haitian Revolution and that of the rise of Cuban slave society – that are usually told separately, Ada Ferrer sheds fresh light on both of these crucial moments in Caribbean and Atlantic history.

ferrerAda Ferrer’s first book, Insurgent Cuba: Race, Nation, and Revolution, 1868-1898, (which appeared in French and Spanish translation) won the 2000 Berkshire Book Prize for the best first book by a woman in any field of history. Her recent article “Haiti, Free, Soil and Atlantic Antislavery” (2012) won the John Hope Franklin Prize from the Law and Society Association and the Paul Vanderwood Prize from the Conference of Latin American History. She is the recipient of awards and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Social Science Research Council, and the Fulbright Commission, among others.  Freedom’s Mirror was awarded Honorable Mention in the 2015 PROSE Award for European and World History by the Association of American Publishers.


Materials on View

The Cuban Heritage Collection has contributed books, photographs, documents, and original art from our holdings to four external exhibitions on view this fall. If you see our materials at any of these, snap a photograph and tag us on Instagram or Twitter @UMCHC.

Wifredo Lam: Imagining New Worlds at the Boston College McMullen Museum of Art, August 30-December 14, 2014, at the High Museum of Art Atlanta, February 14-May 24, 2015

Margarita Cano: Once Upon an Island at the Miami-Dade College Wolfson Campus Centre Gallery, September 4-October 31, 2014

Kept at Bay: Art on Guantánamo at Florida International University’s Frost Art Museum, September 10-October 19, 2014

The Exile Experience: Journey to Freedom at Miami-Dade College Museum of Art + Design at Freedom Tower, opening on September 19, 2014


CHC recommends: Wifredo Lam: Imagining New Worlds


If you’re in the Boston area this fall, consider a visit to the McMullen Museum at Boston College, where a major exhibition will open August 30 exploring the canon of Cuban painter Wifredo Lam (1902-1982). Wifredo Lam: Imagining New Worlds will present more than forty paintings and a wide selection of works on paper, examining the full range of the artist’s career. CHC lent materials for this retrospective, which also examines Lam’s many artistic and poetic influences, including Pablo Picasso, André Breton, Federico García Lorca, Alejo Carpentier, Gabriel García Marquez, and Aimé Cesaire. The exhibition will run through December 14.

CHC recommends: La Avellaneda and Baquero: An Enduring Bridge Between Cuba and Spain

La Avellaneda and Baquero:
An Enduring Bridge Between Cuba and Spain

Friday, June 6 – Saturday, June 7
10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Centro Cultural Español de Miami
1490 Biscayne Boulevard
Miami, FL, 33122

Presented by Ediciones La gota de agua and the Centro Cultural Español de Miami. Co-sponsored by Florida International University’s Cuban Research Institute, Pen Club de escritores cubanos en el exilio and other institutions.

Work sessions dealing with the life and work of these authors and their relationship with both Cuba and Spain. Exhibition of a documentary film, and dramatization of two theatrical works.