Special Topics in Latin American History: Cuba in World History

History 100E.002

Fall 2016
Section: 
002
Instructor: 
Location: 
370 Dwinelle
Day & Time: 
TTh 1230-2
CCN: 
32355
Units: 
4

This course surveys Cuban history, culture, and politics from the fifteenth century to the present.  We will examine both the outsized role the island has played in world history and the dramatic ways world history has refracted through the island’s turbulent past.  Over this long timespan, Cuba has had relationships of colonial status with Spain, a client role with the United States, and dependency with the Soviet Union.  Today it stands at the precipice of a new post-Cold War relationship with the United States.  Throughout its history, the island has played a critical part in global flows of capital, goods, people, and ideas that have profoundly altered world politics, economics, demographics, and cultures.  How has Cuban history and culture been shaped by its unique position in global geopolitics, at the crossroads of Europe, the Americas, and Africa?  How have inhabitants of Cuba struggled against recurring and ongoing relationships of colonialism and dependency with foreign powers? And finally, how have inhabitants of Cuba defined what it means to be Cuban both because of and in spite of these global forces?  In answering these questions, we will draw on a wide array of texts (historians’ interpretations, contemporary accounts, speeches, literature, art, music, dance, and film) from long before the famous Revolution of 1959 to well after.  Our goal will be to interrogate the broad sweep of Cuba’s past and the ongoing and fiercely contested process of its interpretation.

Course Books

Episodes of the Cuban Revolutionary War by Guevara, Ernesto Che Pathfinder Press. ISBN: 978-0873488242 Required
Cuba Between Reform and Revolution by Perez, Louis Oxford University Press. ISBN: 978-0199301447 Required
The Cuba Reader by Chomsky, Aviva Duke University Press. ISBN: 978-0822331971 Required
Reminiscences of the Cuban Revolutionary War by Guevara, Ernesto "Che" Ocean Press. ISBN: 978-1920888336 Required
Cuba Between Reform and Revolution by Pérez, Louis A. Oxford University Press. ISBN: 978-0199301447 Required
The Cuba Reader: History, Culture, and Politics by Chomsky, Aviva Duke University Press. ISBN: 978-0822331971 Required
The 1812 Aponte Rebellion in Cuba and the Struggle against Atlantic Slavery by Childs, Matt University of North Carolina Press. ISBN: 978-0807857724 Optional
The 1812 Aponte Rebellion and the Struggle Against Atlantic Slavery by Childs, Matt D. University of North Carolina. ISBN: 978-0807857724 Optional