“In the Cuban ajiaco, a traditional Taino stew of vegetables, roots and meats, the ingredients do not “melt” but rather contribute individually with their distinctiveness.”
—Fernando Ortíz, ethnomusicologistj
For the first time since the 1959 Revolution, Cuba and the US have diplomatic relations. History is unfolding rapidly! This course will examine the complex cultural, geographic, historic, social, racial, literary, political and artistic fabric of Cuba. Historical readings will explore major themes of Cuban history, while literary and personal narratives provide inside into social and political realities. Emigration and immigration patterns created by colonization, the slave trade, tourism, wars, and the US Embargo will be studied through journalistic, historical and sociological lenses, as well as through personal narratives. Underlying all of this will be a continuous introduction to and study of the arts (particularly film, dance, music and literature) as voices of identity. Finally, as developments between the US and Cuba continue to unfold rapidly at this historic juncture, current events will be followed and discussed at the beginning of week, using knowledge gained from the course’s interdisciplinary and textured approach. The course will feature daily discussion, short writing assignments, group work, and two exams.Students who successfully complete this seminar will satisfy the Communities & Identities core requirement.
Professor of Music and Africana/ Latin American Studies, Laura Klugherz is a concert violinist and specialist in the art and popular music of Latin America, specifically Cuba and Mexico. Prof. Klugherz is Latin American Studies Coordinator, she directs the Colgate Chamber Players, and also teaches courses on Mexico, Cuba, California and Latin American music.