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Beyond Black and White: Race Making and Race Mixing in Contemporary Cuba
Start Date: 3/13/2017Start Time: 4:30 PM
End Date: 3/13/2017End Time: 6:00 PM

Event Description:
How can we understand race in Cuba? History highlights a plantation past, and deeply held nationalist ideologies of mestizaje. Demographics draw a contested map on the proportions and definitions of whites, blacks, and mixed-race people on the island.  While contemporary politics gives us a different view, ongoing racial discrimination is undermining the advances the socialist revolution made toward achieving equality.

In this mosaic of history, politics and demography, this lecture will present an alternate angle on the complexity of racial meaning on the island by focusing on the intimate domains of family and partner choice. Families have remained the keystone of society during the current social and economic transformations in Cuba. In this context, we see Cubans enact everyday notions of race and color, self and other, in their family formation and reproductive choices. We will explore how their intimate decisions shape the present and future contours of race and race mixing on the island.

Nadine Fernandez, associate professor and department chair of Social Science at SUNY Empire State College, received her doctorate in cultural anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley. Her research examines race and gender relations in Cuba. Fernandez is also interested in the social impact of Cuba’s changing economy in the post-Soviet period, and the effect of mass tourism on intimate relations. Most recently, her research has focused on Cuban marriage migration to Scandinavia, and examining how gender, sexuality, and race are enmeshed in processes of transnational mobility, migration and tourism. Her publications include journal articles, book chapters and Revolutionizing Romance: Interracial Couples in Contemporary Cuba (2010, Rutgers University Press). Fernandez is currently working on two co-edited books: the first on the post-Soviet Cuban diaspora, and the second on mobility and sexual economies globally.
Location Information:
*Swarthmore College - McCabe Library
Room: McCabe Lobby
Contact Information:
Name: Anna Everetts
Phone: (610) 328-7750
Nadine Fernandez
Event Sponsors
Latin American and Latino Studies, History, Intercultural Center, Black Studies, Sociology and Anthropology, and Swarthmore Library
Open To
The Public

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