Cuban and Caribbean Studies Institute

Tulane University

History

The Cuban & Caribbean Studies Institute, a part of Tulane’s Stone Center for Latin American Studies, and originally named the Cuban Studies Institute, evolved out of several years of sustained effort in developing relations with Cuban counterpart organizations for the purposes of academic collaboration and exchange, curricular development, cultural exchange and international development and dialogue. This organizational unit, officially established in 1997, has been responsible for the organization of a variety of lectures, performances, courses, symposia, etc. aimed at promoting a true academic and cultural exchange between Cuba and the United States. Since its origination, the Institute has also led an annual summer study session in Cuba which provides students with a rare opportunity to study and live in Havana, Cuba. The courses are generally hosted by the University of Havana, but they are supplemented with various cultural excursions including museum trips, art openings, cultural performances, etc. In addition, the Institute fosters and coordinates Cuba-related initiatives in other units of the University, such as in the Schools of Architecture, Social Work, and Public Health and Tropical Medicine. Reflecting the success of these efforts, Tulane University in recent years has had a greater presence of faculty, staff, graduate and undergraduate students in Cuba than any other American university. In addition, the sponsorship of Visiting Professors from the U.S. and Cuba itself that have contributed Cuban-themed course offerings throughout the years, and the flow of visiting Cuban speakers, artists, and performers who have participated in special events on campus, have in turn created a strong “Cuban” presence in the Tulane community.

In the Spring of 2002, the Institute’s name changed from the “Cuban Studies Institute” to its current name to reflect the expansion of its scope to Cuban and Caribbean Studies. The Institute’s intent is to continue developing great strength in Cuban and other Caribbean programming as these areas are enriched by Tulane’s new faculty lines and considerable student interest. As part of Tulane’s Stone Center for Latin American Studies, the Institute is affiliated with faculty throughout most schools and departments on campus and has been able to collaborate with other faculty / departments in the promotion and sponsorship of Caribbean programming.

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