2019 New Directions in Cuban Studies Conference

2019 Conference: October 17-18, 2019

The Cuban Heritage Collection at the University of Miami will host a multidisciplinary conference on October 17-18, 2019 in the Kislak Center at the University of Miami. The conference serves to disseminate the work of advanced graduate students and emerging scholars that survey the current research and findings on Cuba and its diaspora.

The conference is free and open to the public. Registration is required to attend.


Conference Photos

To view photos of the 2019 New Directions in Cuban Studies conference events visit: https://spark.adobe.com/page/cKHCfpjcnRGk9/

Watch New Directions LiveStream

We are pleased to announce that the New Directions in Cuban Studies conference is available on Livestream. Use the button below to access the live broadcast or visit: livestream.com/accounts/2263400/events/8852227

Watch Recorded LiveStream

The original video was broadcasted on Thursday, October 17, at the start of the conference and covered each of the sessions listed in the schedule.

Conference Schedule

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

Thursday, October 17, 2019
Kislak Center at the University of Miami

1:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. Registration
2:00 p.m. Welcome Remarks
2:15 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.

Reframing Cuban Studies

Discussant: Albert Laguna (Yale University | American Studies)

Moderator: Yolanda Martínez San Miguel (University of Miami | Department of Modern Languages and Literatures)

Panelists (in presenting order):

  • Roseli Rojo Posada (Rutgers University) – El Regañón de La Habana. Transporte y movilidad social en La Habana Colonial (1800-1835)*
  • Andy Alfonso (Princeton University) – Remember Angola?! Imaginative Inquiry in the Wake of Archival Closure
  • María A. Gutiérrez Bascón (University of Turku) – Nuevos escenarios para la arquitectura en La Habana: consumo, turismo y entretenimiento en una urbe postsocialista*
  • Carmen Torre Pérez (University of Pennsylvania) – Estética de la (auto)destrucción: identidades punk en Cuba / Cultural studies, Cuban Punk*
3:45 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Break
4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Keynote Address & Welcome Reception

Guest speaker: Esther Whitfield (Brown University | Comparative Literature and Hispanic Studies) – Cuban Cultural Studies and Caribbean Borderlands

Friday, October 18, 2019
Kislak Center at the University of Miami

8:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. Registration
9:00 a.m. Welcome Remarks
9:15 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.

Visual and Performing Arts

Discussant: Rachel Weiss (School of the Art Institute of Chicago | Arts Administration and Policy)

Moderator: Erica Moiah James (University of Miami | Department of Art and Art History)

Panelists (in presenting order):

  • Alyson Cluck (University of Maryland) – Zilia Sánchez’s Classical Turn: Diaspora, Theater, and Politics in “Antígona” (1969)
  • Jennifer Caroccio Maldonado (Rutgers University) – “Out of the Window and Through the Panels: Re-Membering Feminist Art in the Comic Biography Who is Ana Mendieta?”
  • Laura Almeida (Pennsylvania State University) – Staging Loss: Reenacting and Forgetting in Tania Bruguera’s “Homenaje a Ana Mendieta”
  • Luke Urbain – (University of Wisconsin – Madison) – Safekeeping: Maintenance, Care and Change in and around the Work of Felix Gonzalez-Torres
10:45 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Break
11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Health, Science and the Environment

Discussant: Arachu Castro (Tulane University | School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine)

Moderator: Daniel Suman (University of Miami | Department of Marine Ecosystem and Society)

Panelists (in presenting order):

  • Ahmed Correa (University of California, Merced) – Triscornia and the reinvention of migratory control in Cuba under the US military occupation
  • Olivia Piniero Ramírez (University of Miami) – Drivers of Coastal Erosion in the Cuban Sabana-Camaguey Archipelago Coastline
  • Daylín Pujol López (Tulane University) – The Modern Cuban Woman: Gender and Modernity in Health and Medicine (1800-1860)
  • Alejandra Marks (Tulane University) – Invisible men: a study about male attitudes and emotions towards abortion in Cuba
12:30 p.m. – 1:45 p.m. Lunch Break
1:45 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.

Challenging Cuban Diasporas

Discussant: Katrin Hansing (Baruch College, City University of New York | Sociology and Anthropology)

Moderator: Lillian Manzor (University of Miami | Department of Modern Languages and Literatures)

Panelists (in presenting order):

  • Elise Arnold-Levene (Mercy College) – The “vieja casa criolla” and the “Sala Afrocubana”: Afterlives of Lydia Cabrera’s Collections
  • Brandon Mancilla (Harvard University) – Are Practitioners Political Subjects?: Lydia Cabrera, Pan-Africanism, and the Cuban Revolution
  • Natalie Catasús (Emory University) – From the Monumental to the Makeshift: Memorializing the Cuban Rafter Crisis After Twenty-Five Years
  • Jeanine Navarrete (Independent Scholar) – “The County that Speaks your Language”: Cuban-American Citizenship and Bilingualism in Miami, Florida, 1973-1980
3:15 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Break
3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Digital Cuba: Emerging Technologies

Discussant: Anna Cristina Pertierra (Western Sydney University | Institute for Culture and Society)

Moderator: Sallie Hughes (University of Miami | Department of Journalism and Media Management)

Panelists (in presenting order):

  • Jorge Felipe González (Michigan State University) – Reassessing the Slave Trade to Cuba, 1790-1820
  • Miranda García (University of Michigan) – Promotional Strategies in Contemporary Cuban Advertising: Reflections of a Shifting Socioeconomic Landscape
  • Sara García Santamaría (Universitat Ramon Llull) – Digital Journalism and Social Change in Cuba: Can the Political become Oppressive?
  • Darien Sánchez Nicolás (Concordia University) – Extreme Makeover: Cuban Home Edition. El Paparazzi cubano, Cuba’s Grassroots Digital Economies and the Remaking of the Cuban Household
5:00 p.m. – 5:15 p.m. Closing Remarks

Conference Venue

The conference venue is the Kislak Center at the University of Miami. The Kislak Center is located in the Otto G. Richter Library.


UM is a smoke-free campus. Metered parking is available at all lots on the Coral Gables campus.

Campus Dining

For information on available dining options on campus, please visit UM Dining.

Conference History

The inaugural conference was held in 2014 and included the participation of 13 presenters. The event’s keynote speaker was Louis A. Pérez, Jr (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill). Panel discussants included Ada Ferrer (New York University), José Quiroga (Emory University), Lisandro Pérez (John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York), and María de los Angeles Torres (University of Illinois at Chicago).

In 2016, the Cuban Heritage Collection hosted the second installment of New Directions. That year, the number of panels and presenters increased to 6 and 27, respectively, evidencing a growing interest by the community of emerging scholars in Cuban studies in participating in this biennial event.

The New Directions in Cuban Studies conferences have been made possible in part through funding from The Goizueta Foundation and the Amigos of the Cuban Heritage Collection.