LAS 324L • POSTSOCIALIST, POSTMODERN CUBA
4:00 PM-7:00 PM
Cuba continues to loom large in the global imagination, although the island had been effectively cut off from much of the world for nearly forty years due largely to the (continuing) US Embargo and its alliance with the former Soviet Union. Still reeling frm the "Special Period in Times of Peace", following the fall of the USSR and tightening of the US Blockade-- iin serious financial trouble and social crisis, Cuba is attempting to re-enter global currency, as a mixed Socialist economy. This transformation and recovery is now largely effected through tourism and the exportation of Cuban art, music and Pre-Revolutionary structures of feeling, which put the beneficiaries of the gains of the 1959 Revolution in especially vexed positions, and Socialist idealogues in a quandary. This seminar course will investigate the social/political and cultural terrain of Cuba, and mechanics of (post) socialist Cuban society, during Cuba's Special Period of the 1990's and the current moment of crisis. Students will be challenged to investigate and analyze ways in which Cubans -- especially black Cubans and women -- have been repositioned vis a vis changes in the global economy, and local society. Graduate students and upper-division undergraduates may register for this class. We will survey the growing specialty of Cuban Special Period studies, currently emerging; theories of globalization transnationalism, and identity formation; as well as texts produced on both sides of the Florida Straits and political divides, which detail the nuts and bolts of the Socialist system of service delivery and social welfare, and histories of revolutionary and pre-revolutionary Cuba.