(varying credit, 1-8 weeks)
Depending on the length of the class and the interests of the students, this course looks at facets of contemporary Cuba, including but not limited to: public health and nutrition, education, family planning, food production and distribution, sports, environmental issues, women’s issues, Cuba’s changing economy, emigration, the social and economic impact of tourism on Cuba, the effects of the embargo, art and artists’ spaces in Cienfuegos, and political policy that impacts US/Cuban relations. Presented from the Cuban perspective by a team of Cuban professors who are specialists in the field, students learn about the complexities that shape contemporary life in Cuba from an interdisciplinary point of view. Taught in a lecture/ discussion format, students will have the opportunity to explore the “why” behind contemporary issues, to understand them through an historical lens as well as a cultural and social one. Students will carry out research on a topic of their choosing, working with a Cuban mentor who will provide feedback and engage in conversation and debate with them about the topic they’ve chosen to study. Field trips will complement class content, as appropriate to the topic of the class. The goal of the class is to provide students with a body of knowledge they can use to analyze and interpret what they see in Cuba today, to encourage them to think critically about the underlying issues, and to draw conclusions based on thoughtful reflection.
With this course module: