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February 5 Democracy and Revolution in Cuba: The Republic



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“State-Building and Democracy in Republican Cuba”
Mauricio Font, Bildner Center

“The Revolutionary 1930s and Aftermath”
Ariel Mae Lambe, University of Connecticut

The presentation discusses the ways in which Cubans frustrated by Batista’s rise to power in the mid-1930s reinterpreted their own popular political struggle as apart of global antifascism and engaged with the defenses of the Spanish Republic. By building transnational solidarity and engaging in ostensibly foreign fights, they hoped to achieve their own domestic goals.

“Women’s Organizations and the Politics of Gender from 1920s to 1950s”
Michelle Chase, Bloomfield College

“The Racial Debate from the Twenties to the Forties”
Tomás Fernández, University of Havana
En la presentación se abordaran panoramicamente las tendencias del pensamiento antirracista de Fernando Ortiz (1881-1969), Juan Marinello (1898-1977), Gustavo E. Urrutia (1881-1958) and Juan Rene Betancourt (1918-1976).
(presentation will be in Spanish)

Samuel Farber, Brooklyn College


  • Ariel Mae Lambe (Ph.D., Columbia University) is assistant professor of History as the University of Connecticut. Her areas of specialty include Latin America and the Caribbean, Cuba, social and political movements, and activism. Lambe’s research interests are Cuban antifascism and involvement in the Spanish Civil War; transnational movements, activism, networks, and solidarity; the 1930s in the Atlantic World.
  • Michelle Chase (Ph.D) is assistant professor at Bloomfield College and a historian of modern Latin America and the Caribbean, specializing in twentieth-century Cuba. Her research and teaching interests include revolution and counter-revolution, the Cold War, gender and sexuality, and oral history and the politics of memory. Chase is currently writing a book on the role of women and gender in the Cuban revolution.
  • Tomás Fernández has been a scholar at the José Martí National Library since 1962 where he has studied Afro-Cuban issues. He is also associate professor at the University of Havana and a prolific author on AfroCuban issues. His most recent publication is Antología del pensamiento antirracista cubano (2015). His other publications include: Índice de las revistas folklórica (1971) Bibliografía de temas afrocubanos (1986), El negro en Cuba: 1902-1958 (1990), Hablen paleros y santeros (1994, 5th.ed. 2008), Cuba: personalidades en el debate racial (2007), Identidad afrocubana: cultura y nacionalidad (2009), Misa para un Ángel (2010), about his friendship with Reinaldo Arenas, Critica Bibliográfica y Sociedad (2011), and El negro en Cuba: colonia, república y revolución (2012).
  • Samuel Farber is an emeritus professor of Political Science at Brooklyn College of CUNY. He was born and raised in Cuba and has written numerous books and articles about the country. His latest book is The Politics of Che Guevara: Theory and Practice to be published by Haymarket Books this coming spring.
  • Mauricio Font is director of the Bildner Center for Western Hemisphere Studies and professor of sociology at The Graduate Center and Queens College, CUNY. Professor Font’s most recent publication is The State and the Private Sector in Latin America (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015). He is co-editor of Handbook of Contemporary Cuba (Paradigm Press, 2013), Handbook on Cuban History, literature, and the Arts (Paradigm Press, 2014), Cuban Counterpoints: The Legacy of Fernando Ortiz (Lexington Books, 2005), La República Cubana y José Martí (1902-2002) (Lexington Books, 2005), Toward a New Cuba? (Lynne Rienner, 1997) and Integración económica y democratización: América Latina y Cuba (Instituto de Estudios Internacionales, Universidad de Chile, 1998).
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