Twelfth Conference on Cuban and Cuban-American Studies

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

Click here for final program

Cuba and Puerto Rico: Two Wings of One Bird?

FIU Modesto A. Maidique Campus
Graham Center Ballrooms
Miami, Florida
February 14–15, 2019

The Cuban Research Institute (CRI) of Florida International University continues its tradition of convening scholars, students, and other persons interested in the study of Cuba and Cuban Americans by announcing its 12th Conference. Although we welcomed the submission of panels and papers on any aspect of the history, economy, politics, society, culture, and creative expressions of Cuba and its diaspora, we encouraged concentrating on the main conference theme.

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 inquiry and academic reflection. 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 welcomed discussions about the recent situation and the future of Cuba and Puerto Rico, we invited a thorough retrospective examination of the social, economic, political, and cultural dimensions of the intertwined histories of the two countries. We were especially interested in assessing the contribution of the islands' diasporas to the growing "Latinization" of the United States, particularly in Florida.

Guidelines for Presenting Panels and Papers

Although we preferred panel proposals, we attempted to group individual papers in sessions according to shared themes. Panels 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. Presentations may be in English or Spanish.

The deadline for submission of all paper and panel proposals was October 31, 2018. Notifications of acceptance (or refusal) were sent out by December 1, 2018. All requests for information should be sent to

Registration Fees and Other Conference Expenses

All participants should be registered under one of the following categories. Registration fees include two continental breakfasts, coffee breaks, a reception, and all conference materials. Please register online at

Pre-registration (before January 15, 2019): $125
Registration for the General Public: $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.