Cuban and Caribbean Studies Institute

Tulane University

Caribbean

The Caribbean region comprises three main island chains that extend in a roughly crescent shape from the eastern tip of the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico and south-eastern Florida in the United States to the Venezuelan coast of South America. The Bahama Islands, in the north, form a south-easterly line. The Greater Antilles, comprising the islands of Cuba, Hispaniola, Jamaica, and Puerto Rico, lie in the centre. To the south-east, arching southwards from Puerto Rico and then westwards along the Venezuelan coast, are the Lesser Antilles, comprising the Leeward Islands and Windward Islands. Barbados, Trinidad, Tobago, and the Netherlands Antilles are often considered part of this third chain. The region has a land area of about 235,700 sq km (91,000 sq mi), and the total population (2000 estimate) is about 37.5 million. Christopher Columbus’s visits to the islands during his voyages to the New World between 1492 and 1502 proved to be the beginning of a long tradition of European intervention in the area. The strategic position of the islands along the profitable trade routes to Peru and Mexico, enhanced by their wealth of harbours and sheltered coves, made them a haven for traders, smugglers, and pirates alike. Many countries in Europe, including England, France, the Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, and Portugal, struggled for control over the islands. During the 17th century the Atlantic slave trade, and the sugar cane originally introduced by Columbus, steered the course of the region’s history. The colonial architecture and stone sugar mills characteristic of the islands remain as a legacy of that era. For further history see the entries for the individual islands.

MSN Encarta: Caribbean

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On/Off-Screen: The Other Histories of Cinema in Latin America

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On/Off Screen. The Other Histories of Cinema in Latin America / Las otras historias del cine en América Latina explores practices of film distribution, exhibition and cinemagoing in Latin America. Over the past decade, the receiving end of the film chain, including patterns of film distribution and exhibition and the experiences of cinemagoers, has received increasing scholarly attention. Although this turn has made inroads beyond Eurocentric, Anglo-American limits, there is still a need to highlight other important cinematographic regions, especially Latin America. The symposium brings together scholars working in/on this domain from Brazil, Mexico, Chile, Colombia, Argentina, Ecuador, Cuba, and the US, etc to engage in conversations about film culture across the Western hemisphere.

More information can be found on the website, here.