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International Relations, Internationalism, and Transnationalism
Cuba in a Global Context examines the unlikely prominence of the island nation's geopolitical role. The contributors to this volume explore the myriad ways in which Cuba has not only maintained but often increased its reach and influence in Latin America, Europe, Africa, and Asia.
From the beginning, the Castro regime established a foreign policy that would legitimize the revolutionary government, if not in the eyes of the United States at least in the eyes of other global actors. The essays in this volume shed new light on Cuban diplomacy with communist China as well as with Western governments such as Great Britain and Canada.
In recent years, Cubans have improved their lives in the face of the ongoing U.S. embargo. The promotion of increased economic and political cooperation between Cuba and Venezuela served as a catalyst for the Petrocaribe group. Links established with countries in the Caribbean and Central America have increased tourism, medical diplomacy, and food sovereignty across the region. Cuban transnationalism has also succeeded in creating people-to-people contacts involving those who have remained on the island and members of the Cuban diaspora. While the specifics of Cuba's international relations are likely to change as new leaders take over, the role of Cubans working to assert their sovereignty has undoubtedly impacted every corner of the globe.
Daily Life in the Twilight of the Revolution
Amelia Weinreb takes readers deep inside the everyday life of middle-class Cubans--arguably the majority of citizens on the island. Un-theorized and under-described, it is a group that is portrayed honestly, accurately, and empathetically.
The political and economic systems of Cuba in the post-Soviet period pose ongoing challenges to ordinary Cubans as they struggle in the waning years of the Castro regime. Weinreb demonstrates that the major reason they have been ignored in the scholarly literature is because remaining obscure is one of their strategies for coping with these challenges.
Weinreb has made repeated visits to the island, frequently living in local communities along with her family. Thus her ethnography of this "shadow public" is based upon traditional participant-observer methodology. Her experiences--from the clothesline, the back bedroom, the kitchen table, and the living room sofa--allow her an unprecedented opportunity to bring to outside readers the reality of daily life in Cuba, and she includes an epilogue that addresses citizen and consumer changes that have taken place since Raúl Castro became president in February 2008.
No other book reveals so much about the anxieties and clandestine plans that have shaped Cubans' lives during the final years of the Fidel Castro era.
Beat Writers in Revolutionary Havana
Immediately after the Cuban Revolution, Havana fostered an important transnational intellectual and cultural scene. Later, Castro would strictly impose his vision of Cuban culture on the populace and the United States would bar its citizens from traveling to the island, but for these few fleeting years the Cuban capital was steeped in many liberal and revolutionary ideologies and influences.
Some of the most prominent figures in the Beat Movement, including Allen Ginsberg, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, and Amiri Baraka, were attracted to the new Cuba as a place where people would be racially equal, sexually free, and politically enfranchised. What they experienced had resounding and lasting literary effects both on their work and on the many writers and artists they encountered and fostered.
Todd Tietchen clearly documents the multiple ways in which the Beats engaged with the scene in Havana. He also demonstrates that even in these early years the Beat movement expounded a diverse but identifiable politics.
Catholicism underwent momentous change as it transitioned to the modern era and the relatively new colonial environments of North America and the Caribbean. Critical to this evolution was the role of women in religion.
John J. Clune Jr. examines the impact of the eighteenth-century European Enlightenment on the lives of nuns in colonial Cuba and New Orleans, both crucial centers of Catholicism where women had significant influence.
Only recently have scholars begun to give attention to the importance of female religious life in the Spanish Empire. Clune illustrates the changing attitudes toward convents in the eighteenth century by contrasting the Clares, Dominicans, and Carmelites of Havana with the Ursulines of New Orleans (and later of Cuba). Built upon research in the archives of Spain, Cuba, Louisiana, and Texas, Clune acknowledges the importance of female religious life in the Spanish Empire and demonstrates that the decline in prestige of female religious orders in Latin America began not with Vatican II in the mid-twentieth century but with enlightened reform during the reigns of Spanish kings Charles III and Charles IV.
Most scholarship on the Cuban economy looks at the island nation from the outside in. Cuban Economists on the Cuban Economy is the first collection to bring together some of the island’s leading economists to discuss the good and the bad about their own economy. These thirteen voices--seldom published together in English--offer clear and straightforward analyses of how Cuban society provides for its needs, distributes surplus, and assesses its shortcomings.
Focusing on changes in policy during the Special Period, the years following the collapse of the Soviet Union, this volume tracks various shifts, both major and minor, in the island’s planned economy as leaders adapted to changing global relations while developing independent sources of income. These essays offer invaluable and sober assessments of Cuba’s entrance into the international economy through such sectors as tourism, knowledge-based goods and services, and agriculture.
Cuban Economists on the Cuban Economy was written, in part, to reveal the rigorous research conducted within the country and to clarify the different factors that Cubans emphasize in examining their place on the world economic stage. It also provides unique insights into the island’s fight against poverty, its aging population, and its trade unions. This book will be an invaluable resource for years to come.
A Global Perspective
Even as places and objects that have particular cultural significance are increasingly valued in our global world, powerful forces threaten them with destruction. Cultural Heritage Management discusses the efforts of a broad range of contributors devoted to safeguarding our cultural heritage.
Editors Phyllis Mauch Messenger and George Smith have brought together an international group of contributors, featuring archaeologists, anthropologists, development specialists, and others engaged in the study, management, protection, and interpretation of places and objects that represent histories, traditions, and cultural identities.
From international law to artifact preservation to site interpretation, there is a wide variety of approaches to the management of our cultural heritage. Combining the voices of scholars and practitioners, the book provides a much-needed diversity of voices and perspectives from people steeped in the issues that directly affect the future of the past.
Urbanism and Archaeology in the Inka World
One person’s lifelong research pursuit is brought to fruition here, in the first major publication on the planning and archaeology of the Inka capital of Cusco. No other book to date has focused so extensively on the oldest existing city in the Americas, the “navel of the world” according to the Inka Empire, a fascinating and complex urban landscape that grew and evolved over 3,000 years of continuous human habitation.
Conrad, Hemingway, and Lawrence
In Dangerous Masculinities, Thomas Strychacz has as his goal nothing less than to turn scholarship on gender and modernism on its head. He focuses on the way some early twentieth-century writers portray masculinity as theatrical performance, and examines why scholars have generally overlooked that fact.
Strychacz argues that writers such as Conrad, Hemingway, and Lawrence--often viewed as misogynist--actually represented masculinity in their works in terms of theatrical and rhetorical performances. They are theatrical in the sense that male characters keep staging themselves in competitive displays; rhetorical in the sense that these characters, and the very narrative form of the works in which they appear, render masculinity a kind of persuasive argument readers can and should debate.
Perhaps most interesting is Strychacz's contention that scholarship has obscured the fact that often these writers were quite critical of masculinity. Writing with a clarity and scope that allows him to both invoke the Schwarzeneggarian "girly man" and borrow from the theories of Judith Butler and Bertolt Brecht, he fashions a critical method with which to explore the ways in which scholars gender texts by the very act of reading.
The year 2009 will mark the bicentennial of Charles Darwin's birth and the 150th anniversary of the publication of The Origin of Species. From 1840 to his death in 1882, Darwin was constantly plagued by chronic illnesses that allowed him to work only a few hours at a time and by an obsession with his physical health. Was this the psychosomatic product of stress resulting from the development and public reception to his theory of evolution or the result of a disease or parasite obtained during the world traveler's excursions?
In 1977 Ralph Colp Jr. argued persuasively for the former explanation in his book To Be an Invalid: The Illness of Charles Darwin, now out of print, but considered to be one of the century's most important works on Darwin's life. Expanding and reworking his earlier arguments to take into account new information (including Darwin's "Diary of Health," included as an appendix), Darwin's Illness paints a more intimate portrait of the nature and possible causes of Darwin's lifelong illness, of the ways he and Victorian physicians tried treating it, and how it influenced his scientific work and relations with his family and friends.
Town, Region, and Nation among Eighteenth-Century Cherokees
This significant contribution to Cherokee studies examines the tribe’s life during the eighteenth century, up to the Removal. By revealing town loyalties and regional alliances, Tyler Boulware uncovers a persistent identification hierarchy among the colonial Cherokee.
Boulware aims to fill the gap in Cherokee historical studies by addressing two significant aspects of Cherokee identity: town and region. Though other factors mattered, these were arguably the most recognizable markers by which Cherokee peoples structured group identity and influenced their interactions with outside groups during the colonial era.
This volume focuses on the understudied importance of social and political ties that gradually connected villages and regions and slowly weakened the localism that dominated in earlier decades. It highlights the importance of borderland interactions to Cherokee political behavior and provides a nuanced investigation of the issue of Native American identity, bringing geographic relevance and distinctions to the topic.