(varying credit, 2-15 weeks)
Depending on the length of the class and the interests of the students, this interdisciplinary class looks at the circumstances and conditions that created contemporary Cuba. Topics may include: indigenous cultures of Cuba; European conquest and colonization; the colonial economic system; Cuba’s unique role in the Spanish empire; aspects of colonial society and culture; colonial architecture and city planning; independence movements and U.S. intervention; society and culture in post-independence Cuba; the pseudo-republic years; Cuba’s relationship to the USA in the first half of the 20th century; economic development of Cuba in the 20th century; the Cuban revolution and its aftermath; Cuba’s role in international missions; economic and political change in Cuba 1960s-present day; contemporary culture with attention to film, literature, art and music. Field trips to important historical and world heritage sites (such as Trinidad, Santa Clara, Old Havana, Bay of Pigs, etc) will complement class content. The class is taught in a lecture/ discussion format by a team of Cuban professors who are specialists in the field. In addition, students will have an opportunity to work one-on-one with a Cuban tutor to investigate a topic of particular interest to the student. Students will also keep a journal outlining their personal reactions to what they’re learning about Cuba, which they’ll be invited to share at a University round table discussion, where they will have a chance to share ideas and views with Cuban students.
With this course module: