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Racial Politics in Cuba and the Americas

“More Than White, More Than Mulatto, More Than Black”:
Racial Politics in Cuba and the Americas

26-28 February 2015
Florida International University
Modesto A. Maidique Campus

Deadline for submissions: 31 October 2014

CFP from conference website:

The Cuban Research Institute (CRI) of Florida International University continues its tradition of convening scholars, students, and other persons interested in the study of Cuba and Cuban Americans by announcing its Tenth Conference. We encourage the submission of panels and papers concentrating on any aspects of the main conference theme, but will consider all submissions relevant to the history, economy, politics, culture, society, and creative expression of Cuba and its diaspora.

In 1893, the Cuban patriot, journalist, and poet José Martí published his famous article, “Mi raza” (“My Race”). In it he argued against fomenting racial divisions within the context of Cuba’s independence struggle from Spain. His axiom that “man is more than white, more than mulatto, more than black” has been extensively cited since then. Although Martí’s thought has been praised for promoting racial integration and equality, scholars and activists have criticized the practical implications of his model of racial democracy in Cuba and elsewhere.

The Tenth Conference on Cuban and Cuban-American Studies takes Martí’s dictum as a cue for further academic inquiry and public debate. Our main theme, Racial Politics in Cuba and the Americas, invites comparisons between Cuban experiences of race and those of other Latin American and Caribbean peoples (such as Puerto Ricans, Dominicans, Haitians, and Brazilians), as well as their diasporic communities. Although we emphasize the racial politics that emerged from the African-European encounter, we welcome analyses focusing on other racialized groups in Cuba and the Americas. We are especially interested in examining the economic, social, and cultural underpinnings of racial politics, as well as their histories, enduring significance, and potential futures. Panels and papers could focus on but are not limited to the following topics:

  • Conceptualizations of race, racialization, racial identity, race relations, mestizaje, and other related terms as they apply to the experiences of Cubans and other peoples in the Americas
  • Differences and similarities between the Cuban system of racial classification and that of other Latin American and Caribbean countries
  • The origins of race relations in Cuba and the Caribbean during the days of the colonial slave plantation system
  • The impact of Chinese indentured labor on race relations in Cuba and the Caribbean
  • Changes in racial discourses and practices, political culture, public opinions, and attitudes toward race in Cuba and other Latin American and Caribbean countries
  • The contemporary debate about the ethnic and racial diversity of the Cuban population
  • The racial politics of the Cuban exodus to the United States and other countries over time
  • Afro-Latinidad as an alternative concept of strategic identities and alliances
  • Interactions between Cubans and other ethnic and racial groups in the United States, particularly in the Miami metropolitan area
  • The impact of racial prejudice and discrimination in the educational, occupational, and housing markets of Cuba and the United States
  • Analysis of the multiple intersections among race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, class, and other factors, both in Cuba and in the diaspora
  • Literary, artistic, musical, and religious expressions of racial identities in Cuba and its diaspora
  • The performance of blackness in theatre, music, dance, cinema, and the visual arts
  • The role of Afro-Cuban intellectuals, writers, and artists in the development of black consciousness
  • The rise in racial activism in Cuba and the Americas and its influence on the ideology of racial democracy
  • Historical and contemporary exchanges between Afro-Cubans and other Afro-descendants in the Americas
  • The racial politics of civil rights discourse
  • The effects of the “Special Period in Times of Peace” on racial inequality in Cuba
  • The racially differentiated impact of family remittances and the persistence of socioeconomic gaps between people of African and European origin in Cuba
  • The representation of race in the media

Guidelines for Presenting Panels and Papers

Although we prefer panel proposals, we will attempt to group individual papers in sessions according to shared themes. Panels will ideally include four paper presenters, a chair (who may be one of the presenters), and a discussant. Panels may feature five paper presentations if they do not include a discussant. Participants may perform two roles at the conference (chair, discussant, roundtable participant, or paper presenter) but may not present more than one paper. Submissions may be in English or Spanish.

Proposals for panels or roundtables must include a general description of the theme and one-page abstracts of each participant’s paper. Each presentation will be limited to 20 minutes. The following information must be submitted for each participant: full name, role in the session, academic affiliation, title of presentation, preferred addresses, office, cell, and home phone numbers, fax, and email address. Persons wishing to submit individual papers must present a one-page abstract and all pertinent personal data.

The deadline for submission of all paper and panel proposals is October 31, 2014. Notifications of acceptance (or refusal) will be sent out by December 1, 2014. For further information about the conference and other CRI activities, please visit our website at http://cri.fiu.edu. All submissions and requests for information should be sent to cri2015conference@gmail.com. An acknowledgement of receipt will be sent.

Para ver la convocatoria de paneles y ponencias en español, presione aquí.