Cuban and Caribbean Studies Institute

Tulane University

Jana Lipman

Associate Professor - History

Contact Info
jlipman@tulane.edu

Department Affiliation
History

Biography

My first book told the history of the U.S. naval base in Guantánamo Bay (GTMO) from the point of view of Cuban base workers. Based on rich and previously untapped regional Cuban archives, U.S. government documents, and oral histories, Guantánamo argued that historians must “count” working people as diplomatic actors and that overseas military bases are critical nodes of political power. Guantánamo was a prize-winning book, reviewed in the London Review of Books and numerous scholarly journals, and adopted in graduate and undergraduate courses across the country. After publication, I was asked to be an advisor to the Guantánamo Public Memory Project, a traveling exhibit which brought questions related to U.S. empire, U.S-Cuban relations, refugee camps, and post-9/11 detention practices to more than a dozen universities and communities. I initiated bringing this exhibit to Tulane and the Ashe Cultural Arts Center in 2014, and organized three months of on-campus and community events related to Cuba, migration, and human rights.

Although my work now focuses more on Southeast Asia, it continues to engage with questions, which have relevance for the Caribbean, namely the legacies of U.S. empire and migrations between the Caribbean and the United States. To this end, I spearheaded two collaborative projects that included substantial Latin American content. First, I co-edited American Quarterly’s Special Issue “Tours of Duty and Tours of Leisure,” which investigates the interconnected relationships between the military and tourism. This included soliciting, selecting, and editing the Special Issue, which included an essay on understanding child adoptions in Guatemala and unaccompanied minors fleeing Central America in the same frame, an article on the legacies of slavery in Jamaica’s tourist industry, and a review on early American borderlands and travelogues. Second, I co-edited Making the Empire Work: Labor and U.S. Imperialism (NYU Press, 2015), which was the first book-length volume to conceptualize U.S. empire through its network of workers and labor. It too contained substantive essays on the United Fruit Company in Guatemala and Costa Rica, a banana massacre in Colombia, coffee workers in El Salvador, and Caribbean migrants throughout the region. In both cases, my expertise in Latin America and the Caribbean enabled these projects to recognize the relationships between U.S.-Latin America and the legacies of U.S. economic and military power elsewhere. (My co-collaborators largely studied the U.S. and the Pacific).

I continue to write about Caribbean topics and mentor graduate students in Latin American Studies. I recently wrote an essay for Modern American History on Haitian refugees in the United States and an article about the Cuban representations of “Guantánamo” in its state run media. Next year, I plan to write a new article on British Guyanese MP Bernie Grant and his support for Hong Kong Chinese citizenship petitions. My expertise on the Caribbean is also recognized by senior colleagues, and this fall, I was invited to provide extensive commentary to Harvard University’s Global American Studies post-doctoral students, one studying Caribbean and Central American refugees and the other religion and race-making in Hispaniola. At Tulane, I mentor graduate students studying U.S.-Cuban relations, Puerto Rican hurricane relief efforts, the Latinx population in New Orleans, and Latin American economic overtures to the Gulf Coast cities during the Cold War.

Degrees
  • B.A., Brown University, History, 1996.
  • M.A., Yale University, History, 2001
  • M.Phil., Yale University, History, 2003.
  • Ph.D., Yale University, History, 2006
Academic Experience
  • Associate Professor, Tulane University, 2012-
  • Assistant Professor, Tulane University, 2008-2012
  • Assistant Professor, St. Joseph’s College, 2006-2008

Research & Teaching Specializations: U.S. Foreign Relations, History of Empire, Cuba, Caribbean

Related Experience
  • Advisor, Guantanamo Public Memory Project, 2011-
  • Big Onion Tour Company, New York, NY, 2005-2006
  • Graduate Employee and Student Organization (GESO), 2000-2006
  • New Hampshire Democratic Party, Lebanon, NH, 2002
  • NYCLU Reproductive Rights Project, 1998-2000
  • US Peace Corps, St. Lucia, Eastern Caribbean, 1996-1998
Distinctions
  • Constance Rourke Essay Prize for the best article published in American Quarterly 2012, 2013
  • Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation Research Travel Grant, 2011
  • General and Mrs. Matthew B. Ridgway Military History Research Grant, US Army Military History Institute, 2010
  • Co-Winner, Taft Prize in Labor History, 2009
  • Nota Bene Book, Chronicle of Higher Education, 2009
  • Newcomb Fellow Travel Grant, 2009
  • Committee on Research Tulane Summer Research Grant, 2009
  • George Washington Egleston Prize, Yale University, 2007
Languages:
  • Spanish
  • French
  • Creole
Overseas Experience
  • Cuba
  • Jamaica
  • Lesser Antilles
Selected Publications
  • 2018. “Immigrant and Black in Edwdige Danticat’s Brother, I’m Dying,” Forum: Nation of Immigrants, Modern American History.
  • 2018. “Where is Guantánamo in Granma? Competing Discourses on Detention and Terrorism.” Guantánamo and the Empire of Freedom: Politics and the Humanities at a Global Crossroads. Edited by Don Walicek and Jessica Adams. Palgrave McMillan Press.
  • 2018. “War, Persecution, and Displacement: U.S. Refugee Policy Since 1945.” At War: Militarism and U.S. Culture in the 20th Century and Beyond. Edited by David Kieran and Edwin A. Martini. Rutgers University Press.
  • 2016. “Tours of Duty/Tours of Leisure: The Politics and Cultures of Militarism and Tourism.” With Vernadette Vicuna Gonzalez and Teresia Teaiwa. American Quarterly.
  • 2015. Making the Empire Work: Labor and United States Imperialism. With Daniel Bender. New York: NYU Press.
  • 2014. “A Refugee Camp in America; Fort Chaffee and Vietnamese and Cuban Refugees, 1975-1982,” Journal of American Ethnic History.
  • 2013. “‘The Fish Trusts the Water, and it is in the water that it is cooked’: The Caribbean Origins of the Krome Detention Center,” Radical History Review Special Issue on “Haiti and the World.”
  • 2012. “‘Give Us a Ship’: Vietnamese Repatriates on Guam, 1975,” American Quarterly 64.1: 1-31.
  • 2011. “‘The Face is the Roadmap’: Vietnamese Amerasians in U.S. Political and Popular Culture, 1980-1988,” Journal of Asian American Studies, 14.1: 33-68.
  • 2009. Guantánamo: A Working-Class History between Empire and Revolution. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.
  • 2009. “Guantánamo and the Case of Kid Chicle: Labor, Privatization, and the Law in the Expansion of US Empire.” In Transitions and Transformations in the US Imperial State. Alfred McCoy and Francisco Scarano, eds. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin.
  • 2008. “Buenos Vecinos”, Ciudadanos y Súbditos: Nacionalidad y Competencia Laboral en la Base Naval de Estados Unidos en Guantánamo.‘€ Trans. Rolando García Milián. In Memorias del VII Taller Internacional de Problemas Teóricos y Prácticos de la Historia Regional y Local (Urbana). La Habana, Cuba-Chapingo, Mexico: Instituto de Historia de Cuba, Universidad de Chapingo.

Recently-Taught Latin American-Related Courses: HIST-1910-01: Rebellion & Crime in Latin America

Number of Dissertations or Theses Supervised in the Past 5 Years: 2

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Upcoming Events

Lunch with LAGO featuring Ruben Luciano

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Join the Latin Americanist Graduate Organization (LAGO) on Friday, 1/24 at 12pm for the latest installment of our bi-weekly lunch series. Ruben Luciano is a Ph.D. student in the Tulane University History department, specializing in modern Latin American (specifically, Dominican) history, the military under dictatorship, intersectionality, and gender. He also has two Master’s degrees in the Social Sciences and Health Communication. He’ll be speaking on his thesis project, entitled “Queering the Trujillato: Reinterpretations of Loyalty, Criminality, and Homosociality in the Dominican Military from 1930-61.” Afterwards, we’ll open the floor for a Q & A, allowing for further conversation about Ruben’s work, more practical questions about the dissertation research and writing experience, and navigating the grants application process as a Ph.D. student.

The Labyrinth will be serving mini paninis, bagels, savory spreads and dips, desserts (including tres leches cake) and fresh juices. Please come hungry!

Haitian Artists Showcase at Tulane

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HAITIANOLA and the Stone Center present artists from the Jacmel Arts Center in Jacmel, Haiti. This event will feature live dance as well as a discussion on Haitian art and its connection to New Orleans culture.

FLAS Summer Fellowship Application Deadline: February 14th, 2020

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The Stone Center for Latin American Studies receives funding from the U.S. Department of Education’s Title VI program for Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) fellowships. FLAS fellowships administered by the Stone Center are available to undergraduate and graduate students for the intensive study over the summer of Kaqchikel Maya, Portuguese, or another less-commonly taught Latin American language. Graduate students wishing to engage in intensive study of such a language are encouraged to apply for one of these fellowships. Only U.S. citizens or permanent residents are eligible to apply; and only intensive summer language programs that meet the FLAS guidelines will be considered. A listing of some of the approved programs is prepared by CLASP and available on-line. Program information and application packets for Tulane sponsored summer language programs can be found here.

The following FAQs offer further information on the application process and program guidelines for undergraduates and graduates respectively:

Summer FLAS FAQ for Undergraduates
Summer FLAS FAQ for Graduate Students

The Stone Center staff held an on-line information session on Wednesday, January 15, 2020. You can access the video and PowerPoint presentation here: FLAS SUMMER APPLICATION MATERIALS for 2020 All materials are PDF files, forms are in fillable PDF format.

All application materials, including the faculty recommendation form, proposal narrative, and financial need statement or FAFSA EFC, should be submitted electronically by email according to the application guidelines. Please review these guidelines carefully.

For questions regarding the FLAS Fellowship, please contact Dr. Jimmy Huck by email at jhuck@tulane.edu OR Valerie McGinley at vmcgmar@tulane.edu.

Graduate Student Writing Group

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The Graduate Student Writing Group convenes on Fridays from 1:30 – 3:30 PM. These structured writing sessions are open to Latin Americanist graduate students in all departments. Students, who arrive with a project and a goal, work in communal silence during two 45 minute blocks separated by a 10-minute coffee break. All meetings will be held in the Latin American Library Seminar Room. Co-sponsored by the Stone Center and the Latin American Library.

Teaching Cuban Culture & Society: A K-12 Summer Educator Institute in Cuba

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APPLICATION DEADLINE: MARCH 15, 2020
Cost: $3580

Now, in its fifth year, the Stone Center for Latin American Studies and the Cuban and Caribbean Studies Institute at Tulane University are proud to announce the return of our annual two-week summer educator institute exploring the geography, culture and history of Cuba. For an educator, Cuba is rich with lessons to bring into the classroom. This program highlights the important historical and cultural connections between the United States and Cuba. Participants will explore key sites and meet local experts and artists who will provide unique insight for educators who teach such subjects as U.S./Latin American Relations, World Geography, World History, and Spanish among others. Come and visit the site of the historic Bay of Pigs, explore Milton Hershey’s sugar plantation and the Cuban national literacy campaign.

Fill out the online APPLICATION here, due March 15, 2020.

Additional materials needed:
  • Two letters of recommendation (please make sure to have at least one recommendation letter from a colleague at your school) Please email your recommenders the PDF above. They submit via email the complete recommendation letter.
  • Copy of Passport
  • $200 program deposit

THE PROGRAM INCLUDES:

  • Lodging at Casa Vera (double occupancy)
  • At least 1 meal a day (at Casa Vera and on excursions)
  • Transportation to/from airport to residence (if you arrive on time)
  • Medical insurance: Each participant will be covered for the entire program length by a travel health insurance policy.
  • Group tours and excursions, with associated transportation

THE PROGRAM DOES NOT INCLUDE:

  • Airfare to/from the U.S.: approx. $300-$600
  • Visa: $50-$100 depending on airline
  • Checked luggage ($25) + Overweight baggage: This constitutes anything in excess of maximum allowed luggage weight (50lbs), both going and returning from Cuba.
  • Communication: Internet and long distance/international calls
  • Additional meals (1 a day, snacks)
  • Taxi/ground transportation: Participants are responsible for expenses incurred getting around town during free time.
  • Admission to museums, events, etc.: Participants will be responsible for these expenses unless they are part of itinerary.
  • All materials and personal expenditures
  • Loss/Theft Travel Insurance: Please note only travel medical insurance is included in program. If you would like additional coverage (including insurance for loss of baggage, emergency cash transfers, etc.), it is recommended that you purchase additional insurance.

APPLICATION

Please email crcrts@tulane.edu or call 504.865.5164 for additional details.

Preview the Itinerary here