The Cuban Revolution(s) from 1898 to Today
Cuba has an impact on world affairs and culture completely disproportionate to its size and population. This is true not only in the political sphere but also in such varied areas as music, sports, and medicine. This course will look at elements of continuity and change in three revolutionary movements: the 19th-century struggle against slavery and Spanish colonialism, which ended with the US occupation of 1898; a revolutionary anti-dictatorial upsurge in the 1930s; and the socialist revolution of 1959. We will examine how the internal dynamics of revolutionary Cuba have developed over the last 54 years (economic challenges, relations between workers and the state, race relations, changes in the family, art and revolution, generational differences and the role of youth). We will look at the reasons for the half-century of hostility between the United States and Cuba and consider the possibility of improved relations. The course will use film, art, and firsthand accounts, as well as historical and political analysis, to look at the contradictory reality of Cuba today. Students planning to apply to the Sarah Lawrence study-abroad program in Havana are strongly encouraged to take this course.