Cuban and Caribbean Studies Institute

Tulane University

Tulane Libraries & Special Collections

Amistad Research Center, Tilton Hall

Manuscripts and book collections that include materials about African roots of Caribbean culture.

Koch Botanical Library, Dinwiddie Hall

Collections of rare botanical works, including 18th- and 19th-century works on Latin America.

Latin American Library, Howard Tilton Library Building

Tulane is one of three universities in the U.S., which has created separate collections for Latin American materials. Current holdings total some 365,000 volumes. The LAL comprises 20% of total main library holding and occupies one sixth of total floor space. Its holding ranks tenth among institutions surveyed by the Seminar on the Acquisition of Latin American Library Materials (SALALM). Combined holding of all Latin American materials at Tualne place us in the top four or five libraries ranked in a 1997-8 study of U.S. collections.

LAL is visited by scholars from throughout the world, including many from Latin American searching for information about their own countries. Yearly it honors about a thousand interlibrary loan requests from other institutions. Every year it fields some 1,000 extramural scholar inquiries and its award-winning website registers 280,000 “hits”. Vol. 56 of the Handbook of Latin American Studies identifies LA as one of the four most important Internet research sites on Latin America.

The historic focus of the LAL has been Mexico and Central America, given the nature of the original gift around which the library has evolved. This focus remains and, in fact, the Library of Congress uses the LAL as a yardstick to evaluate its own collections for Guatemala and Belize.

Among the more notable holdings is an archive of almost 30,000 historic photographs, many of them depicting customs, costumes and buildings no longer extant. The photo collection also includes unique glass negatives and lantern slides taken by early photographers.

LAL has an extensive collection of original Spanish Colonial handwritten documents, including the first letter written by Fernando Cortes in Mexico. LAL is especially rich in its collection of native language dictionaries, grammars, catechisms, legal dossiers, administrative proceedings and notarial records from New Spain. Another extremely important special collection includes over 2,000 rubbings (many of them huge in size) of Maya stone carving. These are work of Merle Greene Robertson, the inventor of the rubbing technique as applied to this stonework. The importance of this collection increases yearly as the original stone material is pilfered, looted or eroded by acid rain and petrochemical pollution. In many cases it is best full-scale record of particular inscriptions extant.

Perhaps the crown jewel of the LAL is its collection of original Mexican pictorial manuscripts in the Native tradition, the largest such collection in the U.S. These pre-Columbian and colonial painted manuscripts, codices, lenzos, and mapas are visited by scholars from throughout the world. A notable example of these manuscripts is the Codex Tulane, a beautiful color Mixtec document from around 1550 which offers a mythological history of an area of Oaxaca and recounts details of the regimes of fifteen generations of rulers.

Louisiana Collection, Jones Hall

Books and journals relating to all periods of Louisiana history, including Spanish colonial imprints, compilations of Louisiana law, a copy of the Spanish law code Las Siete Partidas, and a complete set of the New Orleans Medical and Surgical Journal, which contains numerous reports on tropical diseases in the Gulf region. In the collection are Spanish-language newspapers published in New Orleans.

Manuscripts Department, Jones Hall

Extensive holdings of manuscripts from the French and Spanish colonial period, including family letters, military and official correspondence, army rosters and commissions; collections relating to Gulf shipping and trade with Central America, such as the Standard Fruit Company Papers; personal papers of travelers in Mexico and Central America, such as the Francisco Reibeau and Mary Ashley Townsend Papers; and the political papers of Mayors Chep Morrison and Victor Schiro, who worked to promote trade and cultural exchange between New Orleans and Latin America.

Middle American Research Institute, Dinwiddie Hall, 4th floor
Collections of pre-Columbian artifacts, Mayan textiles, lantern slides and photographs of archaeological expeditions to Mexico and Central America.

Southeastern Architectural Archive, Jones Hall

Elevations, floor plans, and specifications of 19th- and early-20th-century commercial buildings and residences; records of the leading architectural firms in New Orleans; photographs of New Orleans and Gulf-South architecture.

University Archives, Jones Hall

Correspondence and clipping files relating to the establishment and history of the Middle American Research Institute, as well as to other Tulane activities in Latin America.

U.S. Government Documents, Howard Tilton Library

Reports of the Department of Commerce for statistics on trade with Latin America; reports of the Department of State for foreign relations material; extensive documentation about the Panama Canal, border relations with Mexico, treaties, and other topics.

William Ransom Hogan Jazz Archive, Jones Hall

Photographs, sheet music, scores, oral interviews, and other types of material relating to New Orleans jazz. The repository offers the opportunity to study the influences of music from Cuba, Mexico, and the trans-Caribbean area on local music. The photograph collection contains many images of African-American culture.

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The Evolution of African Visuality in Cuban Art: A talk by Raul Ruiz Miyares

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Join Raul Ruiz Miyares for a talk on the African presence in Cuba and its’ influence in regard to its representation in art. During the colonial period in Cuba, the first painters were descendants of Africans who recreated images of virgins, saints, and sacrifices. With time, the art evolved to depict scenes from everyday life, as well as the life of Africans and their descendants. Today, we continue to find exemplary models of African heritage in the visual arts in Santiago de Cuba.

Raul Ruiz Miyares is an art critic and specialist in Afro-Cuban culture and religions. He has worked as a researcher at the Fernando Ortiz African Cultural Center, and currently works at the Casa del Caribe in Santiago de Cuba. This event is free and open to the public. The talk will be given in Spanish.

From Cuba to New Orleans

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From Cuba to New Orleans: A series of events celebrating Cuban music featuring internationally acclaimed pianist Alexandre Moutouzkine presented by The Historic New Orleans Collection, The Musical Arts Society of New Orleans, and the National Park Service.

EVENTS

The Historic New Orleans Collection Presents: FRANCISCO BOULIGNY LECTURE
Tuesday, September 26, 6:30 PM
Williams Research Center, 410 Chartres Street | Admission is free
Reservations: wrc@hnoc.org or 504.523.4662

The Musical Arts Society of New Orleans Presents: FLAVORS OF CUBA
Wednesday, September 27, 6:30 PM
L’Entreprot, 527 Julia Street | Tickets are $40
Click here for Tickets and More Information

The National Park Service Presents: KEYBOARD CONNECTIONS: Havana, New Orleans, and Music in the 1800s
Friday, September 29, noon
Old U.S. Mint, 400 Esplanade Avenue | Admission is free

Carnaval Latino's Parade of the Americas

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Join us for the 18th annual Carnaval Latino during the weekend of September 30th, 2017.

This celebration during National Hispanic Heritage Month will commence with the vibrant Parade of the Americas (Desfile de las Américas) through New Orleans’ historic French Quarter. The Krewe of Quetzal ‘s fifth annual Desfile de las Américas will feature floats, folkloric groups, and bands celebrating Louisiana’s Hispanic Heritage. The Parade will commence on Saturday, September 30th, at 6:00 pm. For more information on the parade route, visit Carnaval Latino’s official website.

After the parade, festival goers will then enjoy Latin music, art, food and drink, during Carnaval Latino’s festival at Generations Hall in the Warehouse District. Besides an outstanding musical line-up, the festival showcases a sampling of authentic Latin cuisine in the Cantinas area. Children are most welcome during this family-friendly celebration. Carnaval Latino is offering plenty of music and dancing for those who can’t resist the urge to move to the Latin beat. Featured artists include La Makina de Puerto Rico, Rumberos de Cuba, Round Rock Ballet Folkorico, and La Banda Blanca (Honduras).

For more information on the festival and parade, visit Carnaval Latino’s official webiste or Facebook page.

28th Annual New Orleans Film Festival to Feature Latinx Programming

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The 28th Annual New Orleans Film Festival will be held from October 11th to October 19th at the Ace Hotel, New Orleans. Born in a city known for its eclectic and artistic vibrancy, the New Orleans Film Festival (NOFF) has sought out bold and passionate storytellers since 1989. It is the longest-running festival of its kind in the state of Louisiana and one of the largest film festivals in the South. Now in its 28th year, the New Orleans Film Festival has grown into an internationally respected annual event that attracts 20-25k people, 400+ filmmakers, and 240 films.

This year’s film festival will feature a number of films relating to the Latin American community, either in subject matter and/or made by Latin American filmmakers. The Stone Center for Latin American Studies and the Center for Cuban and Caribbean Studies Institute will be sponsoring select films from this year’s Latinx programming.

Titles relating to the Latin American community include:

Olancho
Manuel, a farmer from Olancho, Honduras, seeks fame by making msuci for the region’s drug cartels. When some of his song lyrics get him in trouble, he must make the most difficult decision of his life: continue the quest for fame, or flee.

The Thunder Feast (Truenos de San Juan)
A documentary about the ancient festival of San Juanito in Guanajuato where homemade explosives are part of the revelry, but not everyone in the community is sure this tradition should continue.

Sambá
A documentary about Cisco, a Dominican-born man who returns to the Dominican Republic after doing time in a United State prison. Cisco soon finds that the only way he can make money is getting involved in loosely organized street fighting.

Days of Wholesome Joy
A Cuban narrative short about a woman taking care of her grandmother who has dementia.

Holy Hill
A narrative short story about a nun who works at a school for young boys in the Dominican Republic. Both she and the boys have parallel sexual awakenings.

Camp of the Innocents
A Louisiana-made short documentary about the U.S. interment of Latin American “enemy aliens” during World War II in New Orleans.

Fighting Cuba’s Boxing Ban
A short documentary about female boxing in Cuba, where the Cuban government forbade women from competing in the 2016 summer olympics.

Manuel
A short documentary about an 87-year-old Cuban man who brews and sells potions said to be aphrodisiacs.

Dead Horses
A Catalan animated short film about a child fleeing his home during wartime.

Bells in the Mountains
A Spanish short documentary about a group of cows who migrate seasonally from the town of Ullé through the foothills of the Spanish Pyrenees Mountains.

Elegy
A short narrative film about a girl who cannot process her complicated feelings about the death of her two classmates.

A full list of film selections and synopses may be found here.

For more information on tickets, passes, and film packages, visit the NOFF website.

Call for Papers: Association of Academic Programs in Latin America and the Caribbean 2018 Conference

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The Association for Academic Programs in Latin America and the Caribbean (AAPLAC) seeks session proposals for its 29th Annual Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana, February 21-24, 2018, hosted by the Stone Center for Latin American Studies at Tulane University.

This year’s theme, “Study Abroad: Meeting the Challenges of Cultural Engagement,” includes a variety of paper topics, including:

  • New Orleans after Katrina: The impact of the growing Hispanic population which came to help with rebuilding and has since stayed on
  • Interdisciplinary Institutional Content Assessment: How to best track what students are doing overseas and the benefits for our campuses
  • Global Partnerships through Peer Collaboration: How we can better work with institutions in Latin America and the Caribbean
  • Research Collaborations – U.S.-Latin America: Faculty led/student participation in on-site studies
  • Anglo-Hispanic Challenges: Cross-cultural understanding through experiential learning and study abroad
  • Strategic Partnerships: How we can enhance protocols between our schools in the US and those in Latin America and the Caribbean
  • Strengthening AAPLAC Relationships through Inter-Organization Mentoring: How we can enhance protocols amongst our schools in the US
  • Latina Empowerment: More women on study abroad programs: How we can take advantage of this bond between women of the North and the South
  • Rethinking Mobility: How is the student’s identity compromised/enhanced abroad?
  • Community-Based Partnerships: How students can learn as they engage with local communities in working type environments
  • Crossing Borders: The eternal quest for a global space as students interact with the other
  • Global Xenophobia on the Rise of Brexit/Trump? What is our role?
  • Cuba: Future U.S. Relations – Impact on Study Abroad

Please visit the Call For Papers web page to download the proposal template, timeline, and more information about the conference.

For questions, please contact Laura Wise Person at 862-8629 or lwise1_at_tulane.edu.