Racial and Ethnic Identities in the Media(Palgrave, 2016)

Eleftheria Arapoglou, University of California, Davis
Yiorgos Kalogeras, Aristotle University, Thessaloniki, Greece
Jopi Nyman, University of Eastern Finland

ISBN 9781137568335

This volume examines the role and representation of ‘race’ and ethnicity in the media with particular emphasis on the United States. It highlights contemporary work that focuses on changing meanings of racial and ethnic identity as they are represented in the media; television and film, digital and print media are under examination. Through fourteen innovative and interdisciplinary case studies written by a team of internationally based contributors, including Robert Stam (NYU), Ella Shohat (NYU), as well as renowned list of media scholars and practitioners, the volume identifies ways in which ethnic, racial, and national identities have been produced, reproduced, stereotyped, and contested. It showcases new emerging theoretical approaches in the field, and pays particular attention to the role of race, ethnicity, and national identity, along with communal and transnational allegiances, in the making of identities in the media. The topics of the chapters range from immigrant newspapers and gangster cinema to ethnic stand-up comedy and the use of ‘race’ in advertising. 

Living with Class:  Philosophical Reflections on Identity and Material Culture
Editors: Ron Scapp and Brian Seitz
New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013.
ISBN 978-1-137-32681-2

It is clear that the world is in conflict about the status (quo) of capital. Living With Class: Philosophical Reflections on Identity and Material Culture addresses and reflects upon the many different ways in which and through which we find ourselves struggling, surviving, and thriving today. The contributors offers diverse considerations, 'ethnophilosophies,' about the force, subtleties, and consequences of the many different ways that capitalism, wealth, and poverty continue to dominate our lives and influence our sense of identity, our understanding of material culture, and our continued maintenance of class status. Following the current debates about wealth and class and the longing for a new discursive engagement with this historically defined concept, they examine the social and cultural phenomena of class from a uniquely innovative philosophical approach and reconsider certain philosophical "givens" within the context of culture in the broadest sense of the word, experientially and theoretically.

Peer-Reviewed Book :
2013 La Habana: cartografías culturales
​Aduana Vieja: Valencia, Spain, pp. 239.

Raul Rubio

Handbook on Cuban History, Literature, and the Arts: New Perspectives on Historical and Contemporary Social Change
Editors: Mauricio A. Font & Araceli Tinajero
Boulder, Paradigm Press, 2014
ISBN 978-1-61205-679-1

The Handbook on Cuban History, Literature, and the Arts: New Perspectives on Historical and Contemporary Social Change (2014) edited by scholars Mauricio A. Font & Araceli Tinajero features research by leading academics from Cuba, the United States, and Europe. It is organized as collection of both discipline-based and interdisciplinary research from a wide-range of interconnected fields that span the social sciences and the humanities.  The handbook’s purpose is to offer new perspectives on the historical archive, the literary and artistic canons, while embarking on the analysis of new contemporary interventions related to cultural and social activism.

Professor Rubio’s chapter titled “Cuban Ethnicities in Cinematic Context, 1930s-1950s” considers the meanings behind the display of ethnicity as represented in three films that span the 1930s-50s, the latter part of Cuba’s Era as a Republic (1902-1959). While examining the potential meanings of these representations and their formats, Rubio explores how the urban realm, Havana, also plays an important role in these depictions. The three films analyzed in this piece, El Romance del Palmar (Cuba, 1938), El Mariachi Desconocido (Tin Tan en La Habana) (Mexico, 1953), and Week-end in Havana (US, 1941), bring to the table three different national perspectives on Cuba pertaining to the 1930s-1950s.  All three, however, partake in demonstrating the use of ethnicity as common practice and as a nuanced stylistic practice within the popular culture of those times. The films and their respective perspectives offer a window into the socio-political situation of ethnic citizens in Cuba and the societal treatment they received. 



La Habana: cartografías culturales
Valencia: Aduana Vieja, 2013
 ISBN 9788496846845            
La Habana: cartografías culturales examines the worldwide fascination with Cuba and things Cuban during the last century, particularly envisioning how the city of Havana, is more than a scenic backdrop, having become the nation’s most visible protagonist and its foremost player, perhaps second only to Fidel Castro. It offers a cutting-edge approach to the intersections between Cuban politics, ideology, national identity, and artistic production, both on and off the island. Organized through studies on a wide-range of artistic mediums, including literature, film, photography, and material products that are manufactured not only in Cuba but also globally, the book offers an alternative take on the complex state of contemporary Cuban national identity. The book features some of Rubio's previously published scholarship as well as new work featuring the Cuban exile writer Daína Chaviano, filmmaker Fernando Pérez and activist blogger Yoani Sánchez. He employs the perspective that, given Havana’s isolated reality, it is the city’s image, a simulated cartography, what has become highly desired and perpetually reproduced by media and cultural sources. Havana, in that light, is therefore mostly accessible to the world through artificial means, mechanically reproduced as nuanced copies of the real city.
This book is a partial culmination of Professor Rubio’s long-range research on Havana’s symbolic appearance in Cuban-oriented cultural production of the last century. The book features both new and previously published scholarship that has appeared over the last eight years: chapter one, appeared in its entirety as “Afro-Cuban Havana, 1930s: Walker Evans and Carleton Beals in the The Crime of Cuba” which appeared in Caribe: Revista de cultura y literatura, 12 (Summer, 2009), 81-101; sections of chapter two previously appeared in “Discourses of/on Nostalgia:  Cuban America’s Real and Fictional Geographies.” Letras Hispanas, 3(1), 2006; sections of chapter three previously appeared in “Political Aesthetics in Contemporary Cuban Filmmaking: Fernando Pérez’s Madagascar and La vida es silbar." Ciberletras, 13, 2005; chapter four is an extension of what appeared in “Framing the Cuban Diaspora: Representation and Dialogue in Recent Filmic Productions,” in Cuba: ‘Idea of a Nation’ Displaced (pp. 314-326), 2007; chapter five offers new theoretical and textual approaches to his long-range work on Cuban material culture which has appeared in numerous prior publications: 2005, 2007, 2010. 

Narratología y discursos múltiples: Homenaje a David William Foster
Editors: Daniel Altamiranda and Diana B. Salem.
Buenos Aires. Editorial Dunken, 2013
ISBN 978-987-02-6412-5

Narratología y discursos múltiples: Homenaje a David William Foster (Dunken, 2013) gathers scholarship that has been influenced by the theoretical work of Professor David William Foster, Arizona State University, whose cutting-edge scholarship on alternative identities, sexuality, and marginality, has greatly impacted Latin American literary and cultural studies during the last thirty years. The anthology features a jury-vetted and peer-reviewed selection of the papers that were presented at the 2011 International Symposium offered by the Centro de Estudios de Narratología (CEN) in Buenos Aires at the Biblioteca Nacional. Among the collaborators from Spain, Argentina, and the United States, are Gabriela Cittadini (Fundación Internacional Jorge Luis Borges), Daniel Halcombe (Arizona State University), and Jean Graham-Jones (The Graduate Center, CUNY).

Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles:

2011 “Argentine Anthropophagy: Carnal and Cultural Encounters in Carlos Balmaceda’s Manual del canibal.” Chasqui: revista de literatura latinoamericana, Volume 40, Number 2, 160-170.

2010 “Cosas cubanas: economía, ideología y estética de la cultura material cubana.” Espéculo: Revista de estudios literarios (Universidad Complutense, Madrid, Spain), Volume 44, March-June Issue, 2010.

2009 “Afro-Cuban Havana, 1930s: Walker Evans and Carleton Beals in The Crime of Cuba (1933).” Caribe: Revista de cultura y literatura, Volume 12, Summer 2009, 81-101.

​2006 “Discourses of/on Nostalgia: Cuban America’s Real and Fictional Geographies” Letras Hispanas Volume 3, Issue 1, Spring 2006.
[Cited: “Messy Moods: Nostalgia and Other Nagging Feelingsin Oscar Hijuelos’s Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love.” By Maya Horn in Latino Studies, Volume 7, Number 4, 2009, pp. 499-514.]

2005 “Political Aesthetics in Contemporary Cuban Filmmaking: Fernando Pérez’s Madagascar and La vida es silbar.” Ciberletras 13: 1-4
[Listed: http://filmstudiesforfree.blogspot.com/2009/08/studies-of-third-cinema-and- anti.html]
[Listed: “Recent Work in Cuban Studies” Cuban Studies, Volume 38, 2007, p. 225.]

​2005 “Materializing Havana and Revolution: Cuban Material Culture.” Studies in Latin American Popular Culture 24, 161-177.
[Cited: “Inventado: Between Transnational Consumption and the Gardening State in Havana’s Urban Spectacle.” By Sam Binkley in Cultural Studies-Critical Methodologies, April 2009, 9 (2)]

Reading Cuba: Literary Discourse and Transcultural Geography, 2016
This new bilingual volume compiles critical essays by 21 scholars specializing in Cuban culture, who invite readers to rethink and update their notions of the Cuban nation. Reading Cuba brings together diverse approaches to Cuba's literary and cultural production inside and outside the island, including theater, documentary film, and the Internet. The contributors examine processes and phenomena that are traditionally studied separately, isolated in the margins of various humanistic disciplines.
The volume is based on a selection of papers presented at a 2016 interdisciplinary conference cosponsored by FIU's Cuban Research Institute and Department of Modern Languages. Reading Cuba features prominent literary and cultural critics such as Eliana Rivero, Rafael Rojas, Laura Alonso Gallo, Belén Rodriguez Mourelo, Santiago Juan-Navarro, Maida Watson, Raúl Rubio, and Vitalina Alfonso, as well as younger scholars.

Book Reviews:

2011 Flores, Juan, The Diaspora Strikes Back: Caribeño Tales of Learning and Turning, in Latino Studies

9 (4): November, 2011. (Monograph Review, by invitation)

2010 Whitfield, Esther, Cuban Currency: The Dollar and “Special Period” Fiction, in Hispanic Review (University of Pennsylvania), 78 (3): Summer, 2010. (Monograph Review, by invitation)

2009 Jaúregui, Carlos, Canibalia: Canibalismo, calibanismo, antropofagia cultural y consumo en AméricaLatina, in Revista de crítica literaria latinoamericana, 35 (69): 2009. (Monograph Review, by invitation)

​2005 Santos, Lidia, Kitsch Tropical, in Luso-Brazilian Review, 41 (2): 194-196. (Monograph Review, by invitation)

Peer-Reviewed Book Chapters:

2014. “Nostalgic Trips: Corporality, Identity, and Memory in thePerformance Piece Rum and Coke by Carmen Peláez.”  Un Pueblo Disperso: Dimensiones sociales y culturales de la diáspora cubana.

Editor: Jorge Duany Valencia, Aduana Vieja, 281-298.

2014 “Cuban Ethnicities in Cinematic Context, 1930s-1950s.” Handbook on Cuban History, Literature, and the Arts – Volume II. Editors: Mauricio A. Font & Araceli Tinajero. Boulder: Paradigm Press, 214-222

2013 “Consuming Class: Identity & Power through the Commodification of Bourgeois Culture, Celebrity, and Glamour.” Living with Class: Philosophical Reflections on Identity and Material Culture.

Edited by Ron Scapp and Brian Seitz. New York: Palgrave, 159-167

​2013 “Subjetividad, alteridad y colectividad en Morir de glamour: crónica de la sociedad de fin de siglo, de Boris Izaguirre.” Narratología y discursos multiples. Editors: Daniel Altamiranda and Diana B. Salem. Buenos Aires: Editorial Dunken, 307-314.

​2007 “Framing the Cuban Diaspora: Representation and Dialogue in Recent Filmic Productions.” In Cuba: ‘Idea of a Nation’ Displaced. Andrea Herrera, Editor. Albany: SUNY Press, 2007, 314-326.
[Cited & Reviewed: Caminero-Santiangelo, Marta. Latino Studies 8, Spring 2010, pgs. 141-143]
[Reviewed: Curry-Machado, Jonathan. Latin American Research Review, 28 (4), 2009, pgs. 558-559]

​2006 “Cuban Material Culture: Graphic Arts, Photography, and Memorabilia across Revolutions.” 

Cuba: In Transition? Pathways to Renewal, Long-Term Development, and Global Reintegration

Editors: Mauricio A. Font and Scott Larson, Bildner Center for Western Hemisphere Studies, TheGraduate Center, The City University of New York.[Cited: Cuban-American Literature and Art: Negotiating Identities. By Isabel Alvarez-Borland, SUNY Press,2009, pages. 121n, 165]

Peer-Reviewed Commentaries:

2006 “Comparative Ethnic Sexualities and Interdisciplinarity in Latin (o) American Research”. Forum – Latin American Studies Association (LASA) Magazine, Volume 37, Issue 3, Summer 2006.

Un Pueblo Disperso: Dimensiones sociales y culturales de la diáspora cubana
Editor: Jorge Duany
Valencia, Aduana Vieja, 2014
ISBN 978-84-96846-94-4

The idea of a Cuban diaspora has become widespread over the last decades.  Given that for over fifty years there has been a growing dispersal of Cubans around the world, the idea of acknowledging, researching, and writing about Cuban diasporic cultures has taken a primary role in contemporary scholarship pertaining to Cuban and Cuban-American studies. This bilingual volume contains a selection of vetted and blind-refereed papers presented at the Ninth Conference on Cuban and Cuban-American Studies, sponsored by the Cuban Research Institute at Florida International University (FIU). The collection features scholarship by analyzes numerous aspects of Cuban and Cuban-American studies, including politics, economics, sociology, literature, music, religion, art, and cinema. The authors come from diverse disciplines of the humanities and the social sciences, particularly literary and art criticism, cultural studies, history, sociology, anthropology, and geography. The texts are published in Spanish and English, according to their authors’ preference, as a reflection of the bilingual character of Cuban-American culture. Many of the contributions included herein document the transition in the Cuban-American community from the historical exile toward a diasporic perspective—a transition notable in cultural fields such as narrative, popular music, and the visual arts. Aduana Vieja (Spain) is the premier heritage press of Cuban exile and diaspora studies, particularly literature and cultural studies.

Professor Rubio’s chapter, “Nostalgic Trips: Corporality, Identity, and Memory in the Performance Piece Rum and Coke by Carmen Peláez” explores the discourses of nostalgia that are evident in work of Cuban-American playwright and performer Carmen Peláez. In her solo performance piece Rum and Coke, Peláez physically embodies the lives of a handful of Cuban women on and off the island. Rubio’s essay concretely focuses on Peláez’s “narrative” on Cuba arguing that the dramaturgy of Peláez’s Rum and Coke text and performance is heavily connected to techniques of corporality, specifically the corporal experiences of the characters when dealing with Cuba and the Revolution, whether they are on the island or extraterritorially.

Cuba: Idea of a Nation Displaced
Editor: Andrea Herrera
Albany; SUNY, 2007
ISBN 978-0-7914-7199-9

Cuba: Idea of Nation Displaced (SUNY, 2007) features contributions by internationally recognized artists, philosophers, and writers who reflect on the idea of a diasporic and displaced nation. Through a comprehensive portrayal of perspectives, inclusive of academic essays, testimonials, interviews, and literary pieces, the collection vividly re-examines what it means to be Cuban in a transnational context. The editor, Andrea Herrera, is Professor of Ethnic Studies at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, and the contributors include renowned scholars, Isabel Álvarez Borland, Antonio Benítez-Rojo, María Cristina García, William Navarrete, Eliana Rivero, Rafael Rojas, and Carlos Victoria, as well as many others. The collection gives voice to the complex and often-antagonistic cultural-political debates coexisting within the Cuban exile population. As a multivoiced text, the anthology formulates a deeper understanding of diasporic identity, and broadens the discussion of the manner in which Cuban cultural identity and nationhood have been constructed, negotiated, and transformed by physical and cultural displacement.