Handbook on Cuban History, Literature, and the Arts: New Perspectives on Historical and Contemporary Social Change

Edited by

Book Info

  • Length: 376 pages
  • Trim size: 6 1/8" x 9 1/2"

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  • ISBN: 978-1-61205-679-1
  • Publish date: June 2014
  • List Price: $195.00
  • Your Price: $165.75


Puzzled by the conditions that made possible a socialist revolution in Cuba—the first and only in the Western Hemisphere—scholarship after 1959 focused on the historical and cultural aspects of the making of a revolutionary order. Since 2008, the end of Fidel Castro’s direct rule, world economic conditions and a wave of reforms and social transformation have forced a reconsideration of Cuban cultural and historical dynamics. The scholarly gaze is now on possibilities for alternative transformations rather than on the deepening of conventional twentieth-century state socialism.

This handbook explores key themes in the current debate about Cuba’s contemporary cultural and historical dynamics. Leading academics from Cuba, the United States, and Europe bring to light significant revisions of the artistic and literary canon and the historical archive, and they reconsider often neglected subjects and dynamics in historiography as well as contemporary affairs. The book includes new studies on contentious mobilization, leftist activism, and youth organizations in the pre-revolutionary republic. Current analyses include the relation between the Cuban state and intellectuals; institutional legitimation processes; the formation and reconstruction of national identity discourses; and new framings of gender, race, and sexual orientation.

Author Info

Mauricio Font is Director of the Bildner Center for Western Hemisphere Studies and Professor of sociology at The Graduate Center and Queens College, City University of New York.

Araceli Tinajero is Professor of Spanish at The Graduate Center and The City College of New York. Among other books she is the author of El Lector: A History of the Cigar Factory.


"This handbook fills a need to bring interested readers up to date with developments in Cuban culture and society after the Special Period, when the Soviet Union disappeared together with its generous subsidies. . .Summing Up: Recommended. All libraries."

"Handbook on Cuban History, Literature, and the Arts offers in one volume a comprehensive view of the status of Cuban studies today. The book illuminates the growing salience of social issues and changes in music, literature, cinema, and theater, thus fostering a fuller understanding of historical and current social dynamics of a Cuba in transformation today. This compilation contributes to the development of a framework for understanding the ongoing transformations in the presence of changing structural dynamics."
Sir Read-a-Lot


General Introduction
Mauricio A. Font and Araceli Tinajero

Part I: History
Julie Skurski
1 El derecho de nacer: Legitimidad, historia, y literatura en Cuba
Rafael Rojas
2 In Defense of the Cuban Revolution: Mobilization and Popular Support for Revolutionary Change, 1959–1961
Albert Manke
3 Youth Organizations in Revolutionary Cuba, 1959–1962: From Unidad to Vanguardia
Anne C. Luke
4 Sugar and Revolution: Cuba 1952–2002
Luis Martínez-Fernández
5 Cuban Corporatism: Batista’s Three-Year Plan and a Nation Betrayed
Brenden M. Carbonell
6 An Anarchist Crucible: Transnational Radicals in Cuba, 1900–1915
Kirwin R. Shaffer
7 The Hernández Family: Migration, Cubanidad, and Transnational Identities
Evelyn Powell Jennings

Part II: Literature and Intellectuals
Rafael Rojas
8 Defining the Revolution: Afro-Cuban Intellectuals and the Doctrine of Martí
Kyle T. Doherty
9 Fantoches 1926: A Collective Crime Mystery
Ana María Hernández
10 Reinaldo Arenas: The Spokesman of the Invisible Community
María Encarnación López
11 Havana, a City of Disenchantment in the Narrative of Padura Fuentes
Paula García Talaván
12 El sujeto cubano en ruinas y las heterotopías sexualizadas de La Habana en Contrabando de sombras, de Antonio José Ponte
Elena Valdez

Part III: Arts
Ana María Hernández and Raúl Rubio
13 “La Habana está en todas partes” : Young Musicians and the Symbolic Redefinition of the Cuban Nation
Nora Gámez Torres
14 Rumba Performance and the Politics of Place in the Era of Cultural Tourism
Rebecca Bodenheimer
15 Cuban Ethnicities in Cinematic Context, 1930s–1950s
Raúl Rubio
16 Fashion in Twenty-First-Century Havana
Araceli Tinajero
17 Infidelity in Cuban Drama of the 1980s and 1990s—Toward a Positive Interpretation of Rupture
Ilka Kressner
18 Teatro cubano del transmilenio: 1990–2010
Esther Suárez Durán
19 P.M. in the Artistic Context
Jerry W. Carlson
20 Una mirada historiográfica a la plástica cubana contemporánea: La Generación de cierta esperanza versus la Generación de la esperanza cierta
Ana María Socarrás Piñón

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