Cuban and Caribbean Studies Institute

Tulane University

Talk by LAL Greenleaf Fellow Alfredo Prieto

April 16th, 2010

LAL seminar room
4th floor, Howard-Tilton Memorial Library
Tulane University

Latin American Library Greenleaf Fellow Alfredo Prieto’s talk is titled “El otro: Visiones sobre la cultura cubana en los Estados Unidos” and will be in Spanish.

Light refreshments will be served.

Alfredo Prieto has a distinguished career in the field of communications, media and publishing, and has written widely on the perception of Cuba in the United States as reflected in literature and the social sciences. In Havana he has occupied key posts on the staff of journals such as Caminos, Cultura y Desarrollo, and Cuadernos de Nuestra América. Since 1997 he is the editor-in-chief of Revista Temas; he is also Assistant Director of Ediciones Unión, the publishing house of the Cuban Association of Artists and Writers (UNEAC), and is a regular columnist for several digital newspapers such as 7 Días (Dominican Republic) and Havana Times. He currently teaches at the University of Havana at the Center for Hemispheric and United States Studies, and is completing a Master’s degree in Literature and Sociology at the same university. Lic. Prieto has been described as arguably the most knowledgeable Cuban scholar living in Cuba specializing in the culture of the Cuban diaspora.


El otro: Visiones sobre la cultura cubana en los Estados Unidos

Aquí presentaré la imagen de Cuba, los cubanos y su cultura en la literatura de viajes norteamericana de la última década. Intento develar, y en lo posible deconstruir, las mediaciones que intervienen en la percepción de “la otredad” por parte del viajero norteamericano, los estereotipos actuantes, y explicarlos considerando la existencia de factores como el etnocentrismo, la latinidad, las diferencias axiológicas, de lengua y, en última instancia, de culturas distintas.

Coexistiendo, alternando con las visiones tradicionales del discurso político y mediático sobre el sistema cubano de los años 90 a hoy se ha venido produciendo en los Estados Unidos una (re)composición de la imagen de Cuba que se afinca en un sedimento cultural y en una persistencia de la memoria para nada corroídos por el tiempo. Sus ángulos más reiterados remiten a una isla elusiva borrada del mapa cultural durante la Guerra Fría, pero en definitiva ahora (re)descubierta en sus atributos aludidamente totalizadores y esencialistas: el placer mundano, la música y la cuestión sexual. Esta perspectiva, que omite un cambio cultural y social de más de cincuenta años, no suele matizarse o modificarse mayormente después del contacto directo de muchos norteamericanos con la isla.

La literatura de estos viajes que circula profusamente en los distintos circuitos—desde librerías públicas y bibliotecas universitarias hasta— da abrumadora fe de ello. Tal vez la principal continuidad de este corpus narrativo con su homólogo del siglo xix consista en su etnocentrismo, pero otras determinaciones pueden ser añadidas: la dependencia de fuentes que se reciclan a sí mismas, las diferencias de idioma, así como los estereotipos largamente construidos por la cultura norteamericana al mirar a Cuba y lo cubano —de Weekend in Havana a I Love Lucy. Esto constituye un lastre del que resulta muy difícil desprenderse, que da a menudo pie a la idea de que la visión de la cultura cubana en los Estados Unidos parecería condenada a la repetición.

This event is made possible through a generous endowment by Tulane emeritus professor Richard E. Greenleaf to the Latin American Library.




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Why Marronage Still Matters: Lecture with Dr. Neil Roberts

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What is the opposite of freedom? Dr. Neil Roberts answers this question with definitive force: slavery, and from there he unveils powerful new insights on the human condition as it has been understood between these poles. Crucial to his investigation is the concept ofmarronage—a form of slave escape that was an important aspect of Caribbean and Latin American slave systems. Roberts examines the liminal and transitional space of slave escape to develop a theory of freedom as marronage, which contends that freedom is fundamentally located within this space.In this lecture, Roberts will explore how what he calls the “post-Western” concept and practice of marronage—of flight—bears on our world today.

This event is sponsored by the Kathryn B. Gore Chair in French Studies, Department of French and Italian.
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Office of Multicultural Affairs: International Food and Music Festival

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The International Food and Music Festival is a tradition for Tulane University and the surrounding New Orleans community. It is not possible without the participation of the international community at Tulane. We need your help to represent your culture, country, or community. Share food, crafts, cultural history, language, performance, and have fun at this beautiful outdoor festival.

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Apply for the Teaching Cuban Culture & Society: A Summer Educator Institute in Cuba

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Teaching Cuban Culture & Society: A Summer Educator Institute in Cuba
Havana, Cuba | June 23 – July 7, 2018
Program Application
Application Deadline: March 2, 2018

Tulane University’s Stone Center for Latin American Studies and the Cuban and Caribbean Studies Institute at Tulane University join forces with the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s Center for Latin American & Caribbean Studies to take K-16 educators to Cuba. This is our fourth year running the Cuban Culture & Society K-16 Educator Institute and we are excited about this year’s itinerary. The institute will approach Cuban society and culture form a multidisciplinary perspective focused on the arts, the geography, and history of the country. Innovative programming and annual summer teacher institutes over the past three years provide the benefits of an interdisciplinary approach to teaching and studying the region. Taking advantage of Tulane’s relationship with the University of Havana and Cuba’s National Union of Writers and Artists, the institute equips teachers with multidisciplinary content, curricular resources, and methods of inquiry for developing that approach in their K-16 classrooms. Conducted in English by Professor Carolina Caballero, the institute will explore current trends and issues in Cuban culture and society through readings, films, and lectures. The program includes a series of talks by prominent Cuban intellectuals and local field trips to important political and cultural sights throughout Havana.

This two-week program provides the unique opportunity to work on developing lesson plans while exploring the sights and sounds of a nation and country that remain obscured behind political rhetoric and misinformation. Recent economic changes on the island have provoked a series of social and cultural transformations that have left Cubans and the entire world wondering what could be next for the island and the Revolution. Don’t miss the chance to witness some of these challenges and triumphs firsthand and get the opportunity to bring your experience back to your students in the classroom.

The trip will include a pre-departure orientation and two weeks in Cuba. The institute incorporates visits to local museums and exposes participants to arts organizations, schools, and teachers from the country’s national literacy campaign. Participants will stay within walking distance of the Malecón, the university, and many cultural venues. There will be group excursions to the historic Che Guevara monument, a visit to the site of the Bay of Pigs invasion, and a special visit to the town of Hershey, the town developed by Milton Hershey to begin his chocolate enterprise with the sugar from Cuba’s plantations. There will also be group excursions to the historic cities of Trinidad and Cienfuegos, Playa Girón, and Viñales, focusing on their role in the development of the economy and culture of the country

The cost will include a shared room and two meals a day, medical insurance, airfare to/from Havana from Tampa, Florida*, airport transportation in Havana to/from residence, OFAC-licensed academic visa, and specialized tours and outings.

*Airfare to/from Tampa, Florida, a one-night hotel stay in Tampa, incidental costs, and extra meals and expenses are not included in the program cost. You are responsible for your own air flight to/from Tampa, FL.

Those interested in applying must be a K-16 educator or librarian. There is no Spanish language requirement for this program. The application deadline is March 2, 2018, at 5:00 PM.

Please note: This program is only open to K-16 educators who are currently teaching, are pre-service teachers or are serving in a school or public library.

Please be advised that this itinerary is subject to change based on availability in Cuba. The itinerary below is the schedule from the 2017 institute.

  • Day 1 – U.S./HAVANA, CUBA
    Depart from Tampa, FL, Upon arrival, enjoy dinner and a welcome reception followed by an informal walk and people watching on the Malecón.
  • Day 2 – HAVANA
    Habana Vieja (Old Havana) Tour with local preservation experts to discuss in depth the history of local landmarks, historical preservation efforts, and future plans. Visit Muraleando Lawton, a community art project in the Lawton neighborhood of Havana. Hear from the founders of this project on how the neighborhood developed to promote skills in the community and support the local economy and meet with local community leaders, students and elderly folks at the community center.
  • Day 3 – HAVANA
    Lecture with Professor Carlos Alzugaray on Cuba Since the Special Period. Visit the elementary school Sergio Luis Ferriol in Habana Vieja. Connect with teachers and administrators about their experiences in the classroom.
  • Day 4 – HAVANA
    Visit the Museo Nacional de la Alfabetización (National Museum of the Literacy Campaign) and connect with members of the literacy brigade, teachers from the literacy campaign.
  • Day 5 – HAVANA
    Visit and explore Ernest Hemingway’s house. Have lunch in the infamous fishing village of Cojimar. In the afternoon, explore art by taking a tour of the Cuban Collection of the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes accompanied by a curator then visit with artists at the Taller de Gráfica.
  • Day 6 – HERSHEY
    Day trip to the Hershey, Cuba and nature park. The site where famous chocolatier Milton Hershey developed his chocolate business by setting up sugar mills in the early 1900’s. Explore the natural side of Cuba in this country town.
  • Day 7 – HAVANA
    Learn about children’s literature and the book publishing business in Cuba by visiting Cuba’s national publisher UNEAC and hear first hand from children’s book authors. We will hear from children’s book author Olga Marta Pérez about the children’s/ youth Literacy Scene in Cuba today.
  • Day 8 – HAVANA/REGLA
    Take the ferry across the bay in Havana to the town of Regla to learn about Afro-Cuban dance and music from musicologist Cari Diez and an Afro-Cuban dance performance group.
    Travel to Trinidad via Santa Clara, a town founded by 175 people on July 15, 1689. It is the site of the last battle in the Cuban Revolution in 1958. Visit to the Che Mausoleum in Santa Clara. Also visit the historic sugar plantation of Manaca Iznaga before arriving in Trinidad.
  • Day 10 – TRINIDAD
    Explore this UNESCO World Heritage site, founded on December 23, 1514 by Diego Velázquez de Cuellar. Trinidad was a central piece of Cuba’s sugar-based economy. Guided city tour with the city historian. Visit the Trinidad library to learn about the importance of libraries and debate questions of intellectual freedom with the staff.
  • Day 11 – PLAYA GIRON (SITE OF BAY OF PIGS) Ciénega de Zapata, Playa Larga
    Day excursion to the historic site of the Bay of Pigs, one of the landing sites for the 1961 US-backed invasion. Visit the Finca Fiesta Campesina farm, the Playa Girón museum, the Parque Ciénaga de Zapata, the Laguna del Tesoro, and the Taino Indian village. Snorkel in the Bay of Pigs!
  • Day 12 – HAVANA
    Visit the U.S. Embassy and hear first-hand about the state of current relations between the U.S. and Cuba. In the afternoon, we head over to meet up with the famous hip-hop group, Obsesión to hear about their music and experience as hip-hop artists in Cuba.
    Take a day trip to Matanzas, the capital of the Cuban province of Matanzas. Known for its poets, culture, and Afro-Cuban folklore, we will explore the Triunvirato Plantation and the Castillo San Severino where we will hear about the history of slavery in Cuba. The rest of the afternoon we relax and explore the beautiful beaches of Varadero, a popular resort town covering Cuba’s narrow Hicacos Peninsula.
  • Day 14 – HAVANA
    Wrap-up curriculum workshop followed by a free afternoon ending in a celebratory dinner.
  • Day 15 – HAVANA/U.S.
    Morning departure for the U.S.

Explore our past trips through these photos and curricula:

Program Application

For more information, please contact Denise Woltering-Vargas at or call the Stone Center for Latin American Studies at 504-862-3143.