The Cuban Research Institute (CRI) is pleased to announce the winner of the 2017 Eliana Rivero Scholarship competition, Alberto Sosa Cabanas. Mr. Sosa Cabanas will receive an award of $2,000 to offset the costs of traveling to Cuba to conduct research for his doctoral dissertation. His project, "Racism, Celebration, and Otherness: Depictions of Blackness in Cuban Cultural Discourse (1790–1959)," will deconstruct literary and artistic representations of the black presence in Cuba and trace their continuities through notions of black primitive degradation from the end of the 18th century to the period before the Cuban Revolution. His thesis is that blackness is overdetermined in Cuban literature by colonial representations that persist in narratives of emancipation and cultural celebration, even when rendered invisible through postcolonial discourse.
Alberto Sosa Cabanas is a Ph.D. candidate in Spanish in the Department of Modern Languages at Florida International University. He is primarily focused on 19th- and 20th-century Latin American and Caribbean literatures and cultures. He holds graduate certificates in both African and African Diaspora Studies and Latin American and Caribbean Studies from FIU. He earned his B.A. in Hispanic Literature (Summa Cum Laude) at the University of Havana, Cuba. He has published several articles and reviews on literary topics, and is the editor of the volume Reading Cuba: Modulaciones del discurso cultural cubano, to be published by Editorial Aduana Vieja.
The Eliana Rivero Scholarship in Cuban Studies was established thanks to the generosity of Dr. Eliana S. Rivero, Professor Emerita in Spanish and Portuguese at the University of Arizona, to promote the development of young scholars working in the field of Cuban and Cuban-American studies.