2016 New Directions in Cuban Studies Conference

The University of Miami Cuban Heritage Collection (CHC) will host a multidisciplinary conference October 20-21, 2016, at the University of Miami Donna E. Shalala Student Center to disseminate the work of graduate students and emerging scholars and survey the current status of Cuban and Cuban American Studies.

The New Directions in Cuban Studies conference is free and open to the public. Registration is required.


Watch New Directions Live

We are pleased to announce that the conference will be available on Livestream. We will begin broadcasting live video on Thursday, October 20, at the start of the conference and cover each of the sessions listed in the schedule.

To access the archived videos, visit: livestream.com/accounts/2263400/events/6275901


Meet the Panelists

The 2016 New Directions in Cuban Studies conference brings together 27 Cuban Studies scholars and emerging scholars from institutions across the United States. Learn more about the panelists and discussants.


Conference Schedule

Please note that titles marked by * indicate the presentation will be delivered in Spanish.


Shalala Student Center, 3rd Floor, West Ballroom

1:00 – 1:30 p.m. Registration

1:30 – 1:45 p.m. Welcome and Opening Remarks

Charles Eckman, Dean of Libraries, University of Miami
Meiyolet Méndez, Interim Chair, Cuban Heritage Collection

1:45 – 3:05 p.m. The Ontology of Lydia Cabrera’s Archive: Sexuality and the Spirit

Yemayá’s Daughter or, Jicotea’s Beloved: Queer Archival Research and the Lydia Cabrera Papers (1910-1991)
Sarah Piña, University of Houston

Theatricalizing the Queer Aesthetics of Lydia Cabrera’s “Suadende”
Eric Mayer-García, Louisiana State University

A Feast for San Rafael: Reading and Dwelling in between Lydia’s Lines
Martin Tsang, University of Miami Libraries

Discussant: Solimar Otero, Louisiana State University

3:05 – 3:20 p.m. Break

3:20 – 5:00 p.m. Modernity and Economy

Tuberculosis and the Politics of Modernity in Cuba, 1899-1909
John Gutierrez, John Jay College

Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Transition to Neoliberal Democracy
G. Nelson Bass, III, Nova Southeastern University

More than a Special Period: Reframing Sustainable Agriculture in Cuba
Justine Williams, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Making Ends Meet: Women’s Small-Scale, Home-Based Informal Employment in Post-Soviet Cuba
Dalyani Jeronimo Kersh, University of Roehampton, London

Discussant: Danielle Pilar Clealand, Florida International University

5:00 – 7:00 p.m. Welcome Reception


Shalala Student Center, 3rd Floor, West Ballroom

8:00 – 8:30 a.m. Registration and Continental Breakfast

8:30 – 9:15 a.m. Opening Remarks

Dr. Felicia Marie Knaul, Director, Miami Institute for the Americas, University of Miami

Keynote Lecture
Dr. Jorge Duany, Director, Cuban Research Institute, Florida International University

9:15 – 10:55 a.m. Cultural Politics/Political Cultures during the Cuban Revolution: Between Agency and Constraint

Los recuerdos del porvenir: cinco perspectivas de la política cultural de la Revolución cubana*
Carlos Velazco Fernández, Independent Scholar

Juxtaposed (A)chords/Accords: Musical Aesthetics and Revolutionary Ideology in the Concert Programming of the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de Cuba
Marysol Quevedo, Indiana University

El simbólico siglo XIX en la literatura cubana posterior a 1959*
Elizabeth Mirabal Llorens, Independent Scholar

A Colorful Gray: Dancing Reassessments of Cuban Cultural Politics
Elizabeth Schwall, Northwestern University

Discussant: Michael Bustamante, Florida International University

10:55 – 11:10 a.m. Break

11:10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Racializing Histories and Culture

Contested Territory: Cuba’s Nineteenth-Century Black Press and the Question of Reparations
Alexander Sotelo Eastman, Dartmouth College

Comparsa in Cuban Tourism’s Racialized Regime of Representation, 1920-1959
Corina Moebius, Florida International University

Visually Consuming Cuba: Walker Evans’ Woman on the Street, Havana
Beth Zinsli, Lawrence University

Discussant: Guillermo Grenier, Florida International University

12:30 – 1:45 p.m. Lunch Break

1:45 – 3:25 p.m. Transterritorial Aesthetics and Subjects in Cuban Literature

Morir de luz: Virgilio Piñera, traductor de Aimé Césaire*
Ernesto Fundora, University of Miami

De la tragedia griega al reality show: Intermedialidad y tradición clásica en el teatro cubano contemporáneo*
Gustavo Herrera Daz, Independent Scholar

An Influential Debut?: Revisiting ¡Écue-Yamba-Ó! In a comparative context
Elizabeth Langley, University of Miami

Post-national Narratives by the Children of the Revolution Around the World: The New Nomadic (Wo)Man of “Livadia” and “La viajera”
Marelys Valencia, University of Miami

Discussant: Lillian Manzor, University of Miami

3:25 – 3:40 p.m. Break

3:40 – 5:00 p.m. Art and Culture

The Museum as Battleground: Politics and Culture in Miami’s Cuban Museum of Arts and Culture
Elizabeth Cerejido, University of Florida

Contested Cubanidad: Marcelo Pogolotti
Susanna Temkin, Americas Society

Hopeful Intimations: Time, Space and the Politics of Intimacy in Contemporary Cuban Performance
David Tenorio, University of California, Davis

Discussant: Victor Deupi, University of Miami

5:00 – 5:20 p.m. Closing Remarks


Dining Services

Coffee and light refreshments will be provided throughout each day of the conference in addition to a continental breakfast on Friday. Attendees will be able to opt for lunch from food vendors in the nearby Food Court or at the Shalala Student Center.


Hotel Information

Conference participants are eligible for a discounted rate of $130/night (plus taxes) single/double at the Holiday Inn Coral Gables – University of Miami. Please use this link to make your reservation at the conference rate (available until September 30). The hotel has free Wi-Fi access, an outdoor pool, a fitness center, and an onsite restaurant.

Holiday Inn Coral Gables – University of Miami
1350 South Dixie Highway
Coral Gables, FL 33146

The Holiday Inn Coral Gables – University of Miami is near the Metrorail University Station and across US 1 from the University’s Coral Gables campus.


Parking & Transportation

Attendees staying outside of the University of Miami Coral Gables campus area may travel to UM via the Metrorail, which runs from Dadeland Mall area to Hialeah. Buses connect with Metrorail and many outlying areas of Dade County. Ride services by Uber or Lyft are also available in Miami.

Parking is available in the Pavia Parking Garage near Stanford Drive. Conference attendees may purchase a daily pass at the garage. Metered parking is also available at various locations on campus. Check campus maps for more options.


About New Directions in Cuban Studies 2016

This year’s conference has been developed with the support of the organizing committee:

  • Dr. Victor Deupi, Lecturer, University of Miami School of Architecture
  • Michael Graybeal, Senior Manager, Business Operations at the University of Miami Institute for the Americas
  • Dr. Felicia Marie Knaul, Director, Miami Institute for the Americas and Professor, Department of Public Health Sciences at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine
  • Dr. Lillian Manzor, Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Modern Languages and Literatures, University of Miami College of Arts and Sciences
  • Meiyolet Méndez, Interim Esperanza Bravo de Varona Chair, University of Miami Cuban Heritage Collection
  • Dr. Martin Tsang, CLIR Postdoctoral Fellow in History and Area Studies, University of Miami Libraries


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.