Call for Panels and Papers | Twelfth Conference on Cuban and Cuban-American Studies

Image: two-wings.jpg
Disappeared mural on East 117th St. and 3rd Avenue in Manhattan, New York.

Cuba and Puerto Rico: Two Wings of One Bird?

FIU Modesto A. Maidique Campus
Graham Center Ballrooms
Miami, Florida
February 14–16, 2019

Deadline to Submit Proposals for Panels and Papers: October 31, 2018

The Cuban Research Institute (CRI) of Florida International University continues its tradition of convening scholars and other persons interested in the study of Cuba and Cuban Americans by announcing its 12th Conference. We encourage the submission of panels and papers concentrating on any aspects of the main conference theme, but will consider all submissions relevant to the history, economy, politics, culture, society, and creative expression of Cuba and its diaspora.

In 1893, the Puerto Rican poet Lola Rodríguez de Tió (1843–1924) published her patriotic text, "To Cuba." In this poem, she wrote: "Cuba and Puerto Rico are / two wings of one bird / they receive flowers or bullets / in the same heart." Generations of Cubans and Puerto Ricans have recited these verses as an expression of the solidarity between the two peoples and their shared cultural traditions. Arawak peoples inhabited both islands before their Spanish conquest and colonization beginning in the late 15th century. Cuba and Puerto Rico remained the last Spanish colonies in the Americas until 1898, when U.S. troops invaded the islands.

Whereas Cuba attained its formal independence in 1902, Puerto Rico became an unincorporated territory of the United States. U.S. political, economic, and cultural influence was pervasive in the two Antilles during the first half of the 20th century. Puerto Rico became a U.S. Commonwealth in 1952, but the United States broke diplomatic relations with Cuba in 1961, after the triumph of the 1959 Cuban Revolution. For several decades during the Cold War, Cuba and Puerto Rico represented countermodels for economic and political development.

The Twelfth Conference on Cuban and Cuban-American Studies takes Rodríguez de Tió's famous metaphor of the "two wings of one bird" as a cue for comparative academic inquiry and public debate. Our main theme, the relations between Cuba and Puerto Rico, invites interdisciplinary approaches to the multiple, complex, and often contrasting links between the two countries, both historically and in current times. Although we welcome discussions about the recent situation and the future of Cuba and Puerto Rico, we invite a thorough retrospective examination of the social, economic, political, and cultural dimensions of the intertwined histories of the two countries. We are especially interested in assessing the contribution of the islands' diasporas to the growing "Latinization" of the United States, particularly in Florida.

Panels and papers could focus on but are not limited to the following topics:

  • The similarities and differences between the historical development of Cuba and Puerto Rico
  • The legacies of sugar, coffee, and tobacco agriculture
  • Comparative perspectives on the slave systems and abolition movements of Cuba and Puerto Rico during the Spanish colonial period
  • The collaboration between Cubans and Puerto Ricans in the independence struggle against Spain
  • The distinct political and economic trajectories followed by the two islands since the Spanish-Cuban-American War
  • The construction and transformation of national, regional, racial, and gender identities
  • The history of the islands' diasporas to the United States, including the various émigré communities in New York and Florida
  • Migration from Puerto Rico to Cuba (1900–30) and from Cuba to Puerto Rico (since 1959)
  • Contemporary population movements from Puerto Rico and Cuba to the United States, particularly to Florida
  • The relations between Cubans and Puerto Ricans in the United States since the 19th century
  • Prominent Puerto Ricans in the history of Cuba, such as Juan Rius Rivera, Lola Rodríguez de Tió, Sotero Figueroa, Pachín Marín, Luisa Capetillo, Rafael Hernández, Pablo de la Torriente Brau, Julia de Burgos, Daniel Santos, and Myrta Silva
  • Prominent Cubans in the history of Puerto Rico, such as Antonio Ferré Bacallao, Jorge Mañach, José Miró Cardona, Roberto Agramonte, Leví Marrero, Cundo Bermúdez, Guillermo Alvarez Guedes, Cristóbal Díaz Ayala, Carlos Castañeda, and Mayra Montero
  • The political impact of the Cuban Revolution on Puerto Rico and its diaspora, particularly regarding the Puerto Rican independence movement
  • The multiple intersections among gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, and class in Cuba, Puerto Rico, and their diasporas
  • Literary, cultural, religious, artistic, and musical exchanges between Puerto Rico and Cuba
  • Scientific, technical, and educational collaboration between the two countries
  • The repercussions of hurricanes María and Irma
  • The potential for Cuban-Puerto Rican economic cooperation

Guidelines for Presenting Panels and Papers

Although we prefer panel proposals, we will attempt to group individual papers in sessions according to shared themes. Panels will ideally include four paper presenters, a chair (who may be one of the presenters), and a discussant. Panels may feature five paper presentations if they do not include a discussant. Each presentation will be limited to 20 minutes. Participants may perform two roles at the conference (chair, discussant, roundtable participant, or paper presenter), but may not present more than one paper. Submissions may be in English or Spanish.

Proposals for panels or roundtables must include a general description of the theme and one-page abstracts of each participant's paper. The following information must be submitted for each participant:

  • Full name
  • Institutional affiliation
  • Role in the session
  • Title of presentation
  • Postal address
  • Office, cell, and home phone numbers
  • Email address

Persons wishing to submit individual papers must present a one-page abstract and all pertinent personal data.

The deadline for submission of all paper and panel proposals is October 31, 2018. Notifications of acceptance (or refusal) will be sent out by December 1, 2018. For further information about the conference and other CRI activities, please visit our website at https://cri.fiu.edu. All submissions and requests for information should be sent to cri2019conference@gmail.com. An acknowledgment of receipt will be sent.

Registration Fees and Other Conference Expenses

All participants should be registered under one of the following categories. Registration fees include three continental breakfasts, coffee breaks, a reception, and all conference materials. Please register online at https://12thcriconference.eventbrite.com/.

Pre-registration for the General Public (before January 31, 2019): $125
Onsite Registration: $150
Non-FIU Students: $35
FIU Students, Faculty, and Staff: Free of Charge

Each participant will be responsible for his or her own travel and lodging expenses, as well as the conference registration fee.