“Finding the Real Cuba”: A Special ALA Breakfast Presentation

On Sunday, June 29, 2014, during the American Library Association annual conference, Readex will host a special breakfast presentation on “Finding the Real Cuba: Citizen-Entrepreneurs and the Communist-Capitalist State Today.” An open discussion will follow the talk by Lillian Guerra, Ph.D., Professor of Cuban & Caribbean History, University of Florida, and winner of 2014 fellowships from both the American Council of Learned Societies and the Guggenheim Foundation.

About the presentation: Since the early 1990s when the collapse of the Soviet bloc forced Cuba's Communist leaders to adopt capitalist reforms, the government has fought a daily turf war with citizens in the effort to monopolize tourist dollars and control an internal market of goods and ideas dominated by average entrepreneurs. Yet the international media continues to leave the Cuban state's remarkable political stability largely unexplained and citizens' battles for political change mostly unexplored. Analyzing daily life and efforts to create an autonomous civil society, Lillian Guerra reveals a hidden reality shaped by unarmed, citizen-led guerrilla struggle to redefine public spaces and the meaning of revolution in Cuba.

About the presenter: Lillian Guerra, Ph.D., has taught Cuban, Caribbean and Latin American history at Bates College, Yale University and the University of Florida. Prof. Guerra has lived, researched, and taught courses in Cuba, which she has visited 40 times in the past 18 years. She is the author of many scholarly essays as well as three books, Popular Expression and National Identity in Puerto Rico (1998), The Myth of José Martí: Conflicting Nationalisms in Early Twentieth-Century Cuba (2005), and Visions of Power in Cuba: Revolution, Redemption and Resistance, 1959-1971 (2012). This year, Visions of Power in Cuba received the Bryce Wood Award from the Latin American Studies Association, its most prestigious prize for a book on Latin America across all fields. It also was named a 2013 CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title.

If you’ll be attending the American Library Association conference in Las Vegas this summer, and would like to request a reserved seat at this presentation, please reply to Erin Luckett at eluckett@readex.com. In July a video of Prof. Guerra’s presentation will be available here on The Readex Blog.

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