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Anthony Di Fiore, Chair SAC 4.102, Mailcode C3200 78712 • 512-471-4206

Spring 2007

ANT 391 • Cuban Public Culture

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
30145 F
2:00 PM-5:00 PM
eps 1.128
ALLEN

Course Description

Cuba's Special Period in Times of Peace, brought on by the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Cuban state inefficiency, tightening of the US Blockade, and globalization, was a moment of rapid and precipitous disarticulation and re- or interarticulation of perhaps unexpected elements. The Special Period's rupture has forced the array of possibilities to open out, as powerful global forces exert their hegemony on local ones. As Cuba recovers from the 1990's Special Period in Times of Peace, it is attempting to re-enter global currency on its own terms. However, their re-assertion into the global economy seems contingent upon taking up positions which diverge from the early Revolution, including neo-liberal reforms, greater openness to global cultural expressions, and exploitation of Cuban culture and tourism as principal development strategies. Cuban Public Culture will trouble the assumptions, tired/tried tropes and metaphors used to describe or theorize the state of Cuba and the nation of individual Cubans. Interdisciplinary reading [reading, listening, looking] assignments are drawn from visual art, music, film; poetry and fiction writing, ethnography, history, cultural criticism, and everyday life. Students will be challenged to enter the fray of scholars, travelers, artists, poseurs, politicos, pundits and other partisans; luchando to answer three critical questions:

[1] What kind of moment is this in Cuba? [2] How does this moment compare to others? [3] Which [theoretical] models/tropes/frameworks best explain or illustrate this moment, or hold the most gravid potential for new descriptions, theorization and explanation. These questions will serve as our framework.

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