Pregones | Summer 2019
A newsletter providing seasonal updates about CHC collections, exhibits, and events

Director's Statement

Dear Readers:

We kicked off 2019 by honoring the five Cuban women who founded what is today the largest repository of resources on Cuba and its diaspora, the Cuban Heritage Collection (CHC) at the University of Miami Libraries.
Rosa M. Abella, Esperanza Bravo de Varona, Gladys Gómez-Rossié, Ana Rosa Núñez, and Lesbia Orta Varona began their collecting efforts as early as the 1960s toward building a unique collection that documents Cuban and Cuban American history from the colonial period to the present. Their vision to secure a permanent home within the library for the CHC became a reality in 2003 with the inauguration of the Roberto C. Goizueta Pavilion, located on the second floor of the Otto G. Richter Library. This past February, the University of Miami officially recognized the hard work of these visionaries and celebrated their legacy at a beautiful reception; Nuestra Herencia: Honoring the Founding Women of the Cuban Heritage Collection was hosted by President Julio Frenk and Dean of Libraries Charles Eckman.
On the academic and research side of our operations, the CHC hosted two Goizueta Fellows in the spring: Laura Almeida, Ph.D. candidate in Art History at Pennsylvania State University, and Carina Schorske, Ph.D. candidate in English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University. After a month-long residency, they both presented on their respective dissertation topics, which coincidentally found common ground in the work of renowned Cuban American artist, Ana Mendieta. Almeida's Staging Loss: Reenacting and Forgetting in Tania Bruguera's 'Homenaje a Ana Mendieta' argued that Bruguera's reenactments of Mendieta's performances, rather than acts of remembering, perform a type of erasure. While Schorske's Scattered Bodies, Fugitive Forms: American Women Artists in the Caribbean provided a comparative analysis between Ana Mendieta's rupestrian sculptures and Lydia Cabrera's painted stones vis-á-vis Caribbean indigenous artistic practices, specifically Taino.

The doctoral work mentioned above underscores the Goizueta Graduate Fellowship Program's mission to support research for innovative scholarship in Cuban and Cuban American Studies. This inter and cross-disciplinary approach defines new trends in the field; such is the driving impetus behind our third installment of New Directions in Cuban Studies conference to be held on October 17 and 18, 2019. The Call for Papers is currently out, and we encourage you to participate in what promises to be an engaging platform for discussion among emerging and established scholars.

The summer continues to keep us busy at the CHC as we host a new group of Fellows for the 2019–2020 cycle of the Goizueta Graduate Fellowship Program. In addition, we are working arduously on a robust line-up of exhibitions and public programs for fall 2019 and spring 2020—stay tuned!

Warm regards,

Elizabeth Cerejido
Esperanza Bravo de Varona Chair
Cuban Heritage Collection
University of Miami Libraries

Goizueta Foundation Graduate Fellowship Program  

2019–2020 Awards Announcement

The Goizueta Foundation Graduate Fellowship Program provides assistance for supporting doctoral research at the Cuban Heritage Collection. The goal of the program is to engage emerging scholars with the materials available in the CHC and thus contribute to the larger body of scholarship in Cuban and Cuban diaspora studies. As part of their fellowship residency, they are asked to present on their research and are streamed via Facebook Live.

Graduate Research Fellows

Alyson Cluck 
University of Maryland (Art History and Archaeology) 

Forms of Encounter: Zilia Sánchez's "Topologías Eróticas" in 1960s New York

John Ermer 
Florida International University (History) 

The Cuban Mahjar: Citizenship, Identity, and Lebanese and Syrian Migration to Cuba, 1880–1970

Juan Esteban Plaza
Stanford University (Iberian and Latin American Cultures) 

The Riddles of Perspective: Secrecy Systems and Alternative Communities in Latin American Ethnography, Novel, and Film

Lilianne Lugo Herrera 
University of Miami (Modern Languages and Literatures)

Mediated Archipelagoes: Theater, Women, and Media

Yairamaren Román Maldonado
University of California, Berkeley (Spanish and Portuguese/Berkeley Center for New Media) 

Caribbean Imaginations in Twenty-First Century Avant-Gardes

Graduate Pre-Prospectus Fellows 

Miranda García
University of Michigan (Anthropology)

Independent Advertising in Cuba: A Lens on Economic and Social Change

Brandon Mancilla
Harvard University (History)

The Construction of the "Afro-Cuban" Revolutionary Subject: The Intertwined Histories of Afro-Cuban Politics and Anthropology, 1940–1970

Fernando Norat
Brown University (History) 

Cuban-Soviet Relations

David Roldán Eugenio 
Rutgers University (Spanish and Portuguese) 

New Rhythms in the Streets of Havana: Spanish Gypsy Immigrants, between Minority and Elite Cubans 

Carmen Torre Pérez
University of Pennsylvania (Hispanic and Portuguese Studies/Romance Languages) 

Counterhegemonic Mestizaje on a Changing Island: Punk Culture in Cuba
CHC kicks off 2019 film series with two screenings

The Cuban Heritage Collection continued to celebrate the pioneering spirit of Cuban women throughout history with the screening of Emilia: An Untold Cuban American Story, which inaugurated the CHC's first film series. Directed by Luis Pérez-Tolón, the film narrates the story of Emilia Teurbe Tolón, who sewed Cuba's national flag while living in exile in New York in 1850. Emilia's story is told through the director's personal lens, who as a distant relative of Emilia, weaves historical documentation with current footage in search of her story and his roots; a journey that led him to Spain, Cuba, and Miami.

The CHC also hosted a screening of Cuba's Forgotten Jewels: A Haven in Havana. Co-directed by Judy Kreith and Robin Truesdale, the film documents the story of Marion Kreith, who was 14 when she and her family fled Nazi-occupied Europe and sailed across the Atlantic Ocean to safety in Cuba. Refugees who made it to Havana, including young Marion, found work to support themselves and their families in a newly transported trade: diamond polishing. Firsthand survivor accounts take us back to 1940s Havana—an era at once tumultuous, heartbreaking, and intoxicating—to reveal an immigration success story. This program was produced in collaboration with Dr. Haim Shaked, director of the Sue and Leonard Miller Center for Contemporary Judaic Studies and the George Feldenkreis Program in Judaic Studies.
Illuminating the Archives: Art and Artists' Books in Context

As part of the public programming related to our current exhibition, Illuminating Women: Representations and Narratives from Ediciones Vigía, the Cuban Heritage Collection invited Dr. Tracy Bonfitto, curator of art at the Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas at Austin; Dr. Josh Franco, national collector for the Smithsonian's Archives of American Art; Dr. Linda Howe, associate professor, Wake Forest University, and Dr. Donna Aza Weir-Soley, associate professor at Florida International University to discuss the role of art and of materials that support artistic practice in a scholarly archive. We invited our colleague, Cristina Favretto, head of Special Collections at the University of Miami Libraries, to moderate the discussion. The Vigías currently on view in the gallery at the Goizueta Pavilion provided a context that allowed for a multidisciplinary conversation on representation, gender, curating, and artistic practice.
Illuminating Women is scheduled to close the first week of August 2019. For a tour of the exhibit, please email or call 305-284-4900.
at the Cuban Heritage Collection

The CHC regularly hosts class sessions from multiple academic departments across the UM campus. Both undergraduate and graduate students engage in hands-on investigation, learning, and research with historical documents, books, and objects that include handmade artists' books, maps, photographs, posters, and letters drawn from the CHC's expansive holdings. These classes, led by CHC faculty Amanda Moreno and Martin Tsang, offer a tailored and engaging experiential environment creating opportunities for students to explore and connect materials in relation to their learning experiences.

Recently, the CHC has hosted Africa in Cuba/Cuba in Africa; Caribbean History; The Caribbean through Literary and Cultural Studies; and Cuban Art, Art History and the Creation of the Modern Cuban Subject. Many professors bring their classes at least once per semester to the CHC to discover materials, and many students return to conduct independent research for assignments and capstone projects. Students are often amazed and delighted to be handling objects that can be more than 400 years old, as well as to encounter contemporary and thought-provoking materials, and each contribute with thoughtful reflection, a question, or novel finding.
at the Cuban Heritage Collection

This year the CHC hosted two visits from the CubaOne Foundation, a Miami-based nonprofit organization that sponsors free weeklong visits to Cuba for young Cuban Americans. Before traveling to Cuba, each group gathers in Miami, and for the evening before their departure they meet at the CHC, where they learn about our mission and view selected materials from our collections with the aim of helping to build historical context and insight into Cuban and Cuban American history.
Each CubaOne trip is themed, and the first visit the group paid to the CHC in January 2019 was focused on women, which aligned with both the CHC exhibition opening of Illuminating Women and our film screening and discussion of Emilia. In May the CHC hosted its second CubaOne pre-trip evening focused on LGBTQ+ Cuba. UM's Modern Languages and Literatures faculty member, Dr. Ernesto Fundora, who has published on the subject, was on hand to discuss Cuba's history of LGBTQ+ and the performing arts.
Luis Medina Photograph Collection

In fall 2018 the Cuban Heritage Collection received the Luis Medina Photograph Collection as a gift of the Art Institute of Chicago, through prior restricted gift of Lucia Woods Lindley. Cuban-born Medina (1942–1985), an architectural and street photographer, documented the Latinx and LGBTQ communities of Chicago from the 1960s to the 1980s. He often worked with José López, together amassing a collection of thousands of images of daily life in one of America's largest urban centers. Medina left Cuba for Spain in 1958, studying art before eventually immigrating to Miami to rejoin his family in 1961. He and López both moved to Chicago in 1967 to study sculpture at the School of the Art Institute, eventually focusing their artistic work in photography.

A catalog of his work, Facts and Fables by Luis Medina, Photographer, was published posthumously by the Art Institute to accompany a solo exhibition of his work in 1993/1994; this book, in addition to his archive of over 8,000 slides, 7,000 silver gelatin prints, 4,000 negatives, notebooks, and correspondence, is now available for research in the CHC Reading Room. This donation represents an important addition to our collection of contemporary Cuban American photography, an area we are actively seeking to grow and strengthen as a collection development priority. 
Medina's work is held at the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Contemporary Photography at Columbia College Chicago, and the Center for Creative Photography at the Phoenix Art Museum.

Photo: Santero, ca. 1980, Luis Medina Photograph Collection 
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