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Ethnic Studies presentation

January 19, 2009

Wednesday, Jan. 21 - 9:30 a.m.
Lory Student Center, room 213

Economies of desire: Cuban tourism, sex work and the marketing of Afro-Latinidad

Speaker:  Karina Céspedes, Ph.D., from the University of New York, Oneonta

This presentation on Wednesday, Jan. 21, will address Afro-Cuba's long history within the United State's imagination. As early as the 1890s, Afro-Cubans appeared in major U.S. magazines and their "contamination" was considered of paramount importance in the annexation debates of the time.

1898 U.S. occupation of Cuba

The presentation will address the impact of the 1898 U.S. occupation of the island and progress through the revolution of 1959, culminating in an analysis of the marketing of Afro-Cubania within contemporary Cuba.

The latter part of the presentation focuses on the Post-Soviet Economic Restructuration following the collapse of the Soviet Bloc which resulted in a desperate re-opening of the island of Cuba to tourism.

Tourism an economic sustainer

Tourism is presently Cuba's primary economic sustainer, as such a number of new social identities have emerged in order to fit the needs of this economy.

As a part of this major shift from Soviet economic dependency to a tourism economy, representations of Cubanness have also shifted. The global market's demand for "Afro-Cuban" bodies, experiences, and objects has altered the role of both Afro-Cuban citizens (now a part of a site to be toured) and of artists who have had to renegotiate producing for the "Revolution," taking into account the demands of the global tourism market for Afro-Cubania. 

Sponsored by the Ethnic Studies Department.

Contact: Jodi Griffin
Phone: (970) 491-2730