This program explores the complex history and unique culture that makes Cuba such a fascinating nation today. Through daily readings, lectures, discussions, and visits to historical sites, we will gain insight into the daily life experienced on the street corners of Havana and Santiago. Students will study Cuban history in a Caribbean context as well as relations between Cuba and the United States from the 19th century onwards with a view towards furthering these positive developments. The program will focus mostly on the history of Cuba, first as part of the pre-Columbian Taino civilization, and then as part of the larger Spanish Caribbean Empire. Students will visit numerous historical sites in Havana and Santiago where much of the Cuban and U.S.-Cuban history unfolded. Through simple interactions with street vendors to viewing museums and historic locations in two of Cuba's greatest cities, we will find ourselves walking in the footsteps of conquistadors and revolutionaries as we explore what drives the Cuban people today and where their future may be headed.
Tentative Itinerary, based on 2017 program. All items subject to change, including portion in Santiago.
Jan 2: We will depart Miami airport for Havana. Check in at the Hotel Copacabana. Dinner at Hotel Nacional.
Jan 3:Activities for the day include visiting the Morro Castle, a socieo-economic discussion with urban planner Miguel Coyula, and a walking tour of the Old City. Lunch will be at La Bodeguita del Medio. 3pm- first lecture
Jan 4: 8:30am class meeting, 11am-discussion with a historian about the Spanish Colonization in Cuba, 12:30- China Town with historian Maria Teresa Montes de Oca, a specialist on the Chinese community in Cuba. Visit to Federacion Casino Chungg Wah, principle center of the Chinese community in Cuba followed by a visit to le Sociedad Lung Kong Cun Sol. 2:30 Museo Yoruba de Cuba, 3:30 Museum of the Revolution, 5:00 Roberto Salas, one of Cuba's most successful photographerswho documented the stories of Cuba during the revolution,
Jan 5: Activities for the day include a class session, followed by a discussion with Carlos Alzugaray, a former Cuban diplomat, lunch at Paladar Atelier. The group will also visit the Law Faculty at the University of Havana and the Jose Marti Memorial. There will be free time in the evening.
Jan 6: We will do a driving tour of Havana, visit the Instituto Superior de Arte, the studio of artist Fuster, and have a class session with lunch at El Aljibe, followed by a class lecture. Students will have the evening free.
Jan 7: Activities for the day include visits to a policlinic and the Nostalgic Cars restoration garage, discussion with Giulio Ricci, Cuban economist, and a class session with the evening free.
Jan 8: Students will visit the Museum of Cuban Art, Christopher Colon Cemetery, and have a discussion with members of a hip-hop/jazz duo followed by a light lunch at Havana's 21 Restaurant and a visit to a family of artists at Alta Mira art loft.. There will also be a class session, followed by free time in the evening.
Jan 9: We will fly to Santiago followed by a lunch at La Canasta Restaurant,check in at Hotel Rex, a class lecture, and then a free evening.
Jan 10: Students will visit the Parque Cespedes, Museo de Arte Colonial, Castillo de San Pedro de la Roca, and the site of the Battle of San Juan Hill. There will be a class session followed by a free afternoon.
Jan 11: Students will have a class session followed by visits to the Moncada Barracks and Santa Ifigenia Cemetery. There will be a farewell dinner in the evening.
Jan 12: We will leave Cuba and fly back to the United States.
Students will take 3 credit HIST 4951, taught by Dr. Michael Donoghue (Associate Professor of History). The course is open to undergraduate students.
The course examines the history of the Caribbean from pre-colonial times to the 20th century with an especial concentration on Cuba. Students will explore topics such as indigenous society, colonialism, slavery, race, gender, the transformation of work and the economy, state formation, US intervention, and competing political systems. These topics will be discussed in the context of an island or a region, with emphasis given to the differences in historical experience and to the complex interactions of the diverse peoples and cultures that make up Cuba and the Caribbean.
Students will stay in the hotels Hotel Copacabana and Hotel Rex for the duration of the trip
Havana- No one could have invented Havana. It’s too audacious, too contradictory, and – despite 50 years of withering neglect – too beautiful. How it does it, is anyone’s guess. Maybe it’s the swashbuckling history, the survivalist spirit, or the indefatigable salsa energy that ricochets off walls and emanates most emphatically from the people.Havana is the capital city, largest city, province, major port, and leading commercial centre of Cuba.
Santiago de Cuba-Enlivened by a cosmopolitan mix of Afro-Caribbean culture and situated closer to Haiti and the Dominican Republic than to Havana, Santiago's influences tend to come as much from the east as from the west, a factor that has been crucial in shaping the city's distinct identity. Nowhere else in Cuba will you find such an inexorably addictive colorful combination of people or such a resounding sense of historical destiny. Diego Velázquez de Cuéllar made the city his second capital, Fidel Castro used it to launch his embryonic nationalist Revolution, Don Facundo Bacardí based his first-ever rum factory here, and just about every Cuban music genre from salsa to son first emanated from somewhere in these dusty, rhythmic and sensuous streets.Setting-wise, Santiago could rival any of the world's great urban centers. Caught dramatically between the indomitable Sierra Maestra and the azure Caribbean, the city's casco histórico (historical center) retains a time-worn and slightly neglected air that's vaguely reminiscent of Salvador in Brazil, or the seedier parts of New Orleans