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Lectures and Presentations

City on the Edge of Forever
8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday - Friday
Aug. 22 through Sept. 19, 2003
Spiva Art Gallery on campus
Admission: free

Photos taken by Mary Katherine Crabb (University of Oklahoma), John Sleezer (The Kansas City Star), John Couper (Pittsburg State University), David Locher (Missouri Southern), and Andy Tevis (Missouri Southern) make up this exhibition. Crabb’s photos, all taken in Havana and Santiago, Cuba, between 1997-1998, were previously on exhibit at Emory and Mercer universities in Atlanta. Sleezer and Kansas City Star sportswriter Wright Thompson visited Cuba earlier this year for a special section on baseball in Latin America. Couper and Locher have made two recent trips to Cuba, and Tevis, the director of photography for the student newspaper, The Chart, accompanied the Alumni Association on a weeklong trip in December/January.

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Cubans and U.S. Professional Baseball, 1871
to 2003: From Esteban Bellan to Jose Contreras
7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 4, 2003
Webster Hall Auditorium
Admission: free
Speaker: Dr. Milton Jamail

This talk focused on the contribution of Cuban players to professional baseball in the U.S. In 1871, Cuban-born Esteban Bellan became the first player from Latin America to play in the U.S. Jose Contreras, the most recent, made his debut with the New York Yankees in April 2003. Most of the early Cubans were forced to play in the Negro Leagues, and the talk discussed the issue of the color line in baseball. It also looked at the period between 1947, when baseball was integrated in the United States and the early 1960s, when the flow of Cuban players was cut off. The last part of the talk looked at the defectors from Cuba who have played in the major leagues since 1991.

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Cuban Baseball: From Rebel Game to Revolutionary Baseball
10:00 a.m. Friday, Sept. 5, 2003
Webster Hall Auditorium
Admission: free
Speaker: Dr. Milton Jamail

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Balsero Dreams: Riff Blues on Immigration
9:00 a.m. Friday, Sept. 12, 2003
Webster Hall Auditorium
Admission: free
Speaker: Virgil Suarez

A discussion on the nature of Cuban immigration to the U.S. since 1959.

Virgil Suarez was born in Havana, Cuba in 1962. At the age of 12 he arrived in the United States. He received an MFA from Louisiana State University in 1987. He is the author of three new poetry collections, Palm Crows (University of Arizona Press), Banyan (LSU Press), and Guide to the Blue Tongue (University of Illinois Press). He is also the author of four novels, The Cutter, Latin Jazz, Havana Thursdays, and Going Under. He is the recipient of an NEA grant for poetry. His work continues to be featured in international and national literary magazines and journals.

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Virgil Suarez Presents to Classes

11:00 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 11, spoke to Dr. Kumbier's World Humanities class, Hearnes 320.

1:00 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 11, spoke to Dr. Sartori's Survey of Spanish American Literature class, Webster 308.

7 :00 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 11, "Cuban Night," Spiva Art Gallery.
A sampling of Dr. Suarez' poetry and prose, with Q&A from audience.

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Cuban Citizenship Education: Democracy, Politicization, and Socialization
9:00 a.m. Friday, Sept. 19, 2003
Taylor Hall Room 113
Admission: free
Speaker: Dr. Denise Blum

The Cuban government claims to have established and maintained a democracy in Cuba and to have explicitly employed its education system to promote it. History and economics, however, affects the particular flavor of citizenship, political socialization, and democracy that is fostered in any given country. With this in mind, in what ways has the demise of the Soviet Union, increased tourism, and the use of capitalist measures since the early 1990s influenced the direction of Cuban citizenship education? What type of society are Cuban children being prepared for and how is democracy being (re)defined? This presentation focusd on Cuban education since the fall of the Soviet Bloc, especially in more recent years with the reintegration of the school subject Civic Education.

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Vocational Training in Cuba: A Visit to the Pioneer Interest Circles
10:00 a.m. Friday, Sept. 19
Taylor Hall Room 113
Admission: free
Speaker: Dr. Denise Blum

What has been the impact of a mixed-market economy on preparing Cuban youth for work in 21st century Cuba? How do students' vocational aspirations match up to the state's expectations? To answer these questions, Dr. Blum examined the activities of the Cuban mass student organization, the Pioneers, which actively structures Cuban school life politically, academically, and socially, providing opportunities for participating in model citizenry. One of the most notable programs of the Pioneers is the vocational interest circles. By tying educational experience more closely to the economy, the interest circles perform a very important function. A society that supposedly has foregone the use of the wage incentive needs an alternative means of encouraging young people to enter occupations in short supply. Thus, the interest circles are a means of informing young people about the content of various educational pursuits, while at the same time stimulating student interest in careers likely to make a major contribution to national development. The interest circles bridge school curriculum, a student's future and productive activity.

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Cuba's 'School to the Countryside' Program: Cultivating a Proper Consciousness Towards Work
11:00 a.m. Friday, Sept. 19, 2003
Taylor Hall Room 113
Admission: free
Speaker: Dr. Denise Blum

Focusing on the relationship between the Cuban education system and the country's mixed economy, Dr. Blum provided information concerning the current functioning of the Cuban work-study principle through the Escuela al campo (School to the Countryside) program, initiated in the 1960s. How does/will the marxist-based principle behind the Escuela al campo program — the cornerstone of Cuba's socialist education — prepare students for citizenship in a more globalized Cuba in the 21st century? This analysis of one of its education system's most notable citizenship-building work-study programs and policies explores how students valorize work, sacrifice, and patriotism, while struggling with current economic exigencies.

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Gockel International Symposium: "Cuba After Castro?"
Thursday, September 25, 2003
Taylor Performing Arts Center
Admission: free

Morning Discussion - 9:30 a.m. Thursday, September 25, 2003

"A Guide to Understanding the Complexities of Cuba Today"
by Dr. Alberto Coll

Evening Discussion - 7:00 p.m. Thursday, September 25, 2003

"Cuba's Future: Why the United States Should Care"
Dr. Alberto Coll

"Why Castro Hasn't Fallen: Challenges and Opportunities for Cuba/U.S. Relations"
Dr. Jonathan Benjamin-Alvarado

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Mary Katherine Crabb Presents to Class
9:30 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 2, 2003
Webster Hall 205
Admission: free
Speaker: Mary Katherine Crabb

Ms. Crabb spoke to Ms. Carrier's Physical Anthropology and Archaeology class.

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Everyday Life in Cuba: An Ethnographic Portrait
11:00 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 2, 2003
Webster Hall Auditorium
Admission: free
Speaker: Mary Katherine Crabb

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Dengue, 1997: Case Study of a Cuban Epidemic
9:00 a.m. Friday, Oct. 3, 2003
Matthews Hall Auditorium
Admission: free
Speaker: Mary Katherine Crabb

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Post-Socialism and Organized Crime: A Potential Problem for Cuba in the New Millenium?
12:00 p.m. Friday, Oct. 3, 2003
Billingsly Student Center 310
Admission: Brown Bag presentation, faculty and staff only
Speaker: Mary Katherine Crabb

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Senses of Cuba
9:30 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2003
Webster Hall Auditorium
Admission: free
Speaker: Dr. John Couper

Cuba’s dramatic social and cultural environment is experienced in many ways by ordinary Cubans. This multi-media program was based on observations, conversations, and activities with a range of people in several areas of Cuba. From a family New Year’s Eve party to a soldier to an expectant mother, Dr. Couper explored his personal understanding of the lives of those Cubans who welcomed him to their daily lives. First, he outlined and discussed elements of life in urban and rural Cuba, such as ration cards, work, religion and children. Secondly, he interpreted these elements to find patterns of everyday perspectives, such as views of the Castro regime and the U.S., media use, and hopes for the future. Thus, many Cubans feel secure in government services but frustrated by limited access to consumer goods. Rather than attempting to speak for Cubans, Dr. Couper offeedr a vicarious immersion in Cuban daily experience along with his analyses to help us make sense of how Cubans make sense of their world.

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La Batalla de Ideas (Battle of Ideas) - speaking to Dr. Stebbins' Global Journalism class
11:00 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2003
Webster Hall 319
Admission: free
Speaker: Dr. John Couper

Cuba’s official culture centers on a “battle of ideas” between Cuba and the rest of the world, especially the U.S. While acknowledging national economic and military limits, Cuba’s mass media often and unapologetically suggest that Cuba is a superpower of ideological might. In this centralized, Socialist country, everything from the nightly news to political billboards to children’s humor magazines refers to this concept. This presentation analyzed a wide range of mass media portrayals of this battle, which in turn is subtle, heavy-handed, and humorous. Cuba’s Batalla suffuses the identity provided by the government-run media and responded to in many ways by people with limited access to, but intense interest in, the surrounding world. By examining this complex view of Cuban and U.S. identities, Dr. Couper offered a glimpse into one of the world’s most consistent and remarkable national self-images. Finally, Dr. Couper briefly compared Cuba’s “Batalla” with a parallel “Battle” waged by the U.S. government and media toward Cuba and its government.

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Cuba: At the Crossroads
1:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 9, 2003
Matthews Hall Auditorium
Admission: free
Speaker: John Holod

Mention Cuba and one image comes to mind...Fidel...but Cuba is more than that — much more. American documentary film producer John Holod entered Cuba through the “back door,” without official help or intervention, to find out the true story of this “mysterious” island. The filmmaker spent several months exploring the cities and back roads while talking to the “real” island people. Cuba is like nowhere else on Earth. It is the largest, most diverse, and most beautiful island in the Caribbean with a deep sense of history and culture, according to Holod.

Holod introduced the 80-minute documentary, then answered questions afterwards. The film featured the island's fascinating history; Cuba’s greatest hero, José Martí; Fulgencio Batista; Castro, “Che” Guevara, and the freedom fighters; the spectacular Sierra Maestra mountains; Guantanamo Naval Base; Cuban cowboys; La Faroa, the island’s most scenic drive; Santiago de Cuba; Carnival!; Trinidad, a colonial jewel; the Bay of Pigs story; Zapata Swamp, nature’s showplace; Isle of Youth, underwater paradise; stunning Vinales Valley; the story of the Cuban cigar; Varadero, tourist haven; vintage cars; Columbus Cemetery; the Hemingway Trail; and Havana, the heart of Cuba.

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Tropical Reels: Cuban Cinema and Revolution from the 1960s to the Present
11:00 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2003
Webster Hall Auditorium
Admission: free
Speaker: Dr. Tamara Falicov

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Cuba Va: Challenge of the Next Generation
2:00 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2003
Webster Hall Auditorium
Admission: free
Speaker: Dr. Tamara Falicov

The 60-minute documentary, directed by Gail Dolgin and Vicente Franco, takes a critical look at Cuba's social and economic situations today, through the eyes of its youth. The video provides interviews with young people: their discussions and arguments about the economic situation, the government, and the political system; and the responses of those in the authority to youth subcultures such as rock, rap, hard core, and reggae.

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Translating Cuba: Predicaments of a Diasporic Anthropologist
11:00 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2003
Webster Hall Auditorium
Admission: free
Speaker: Dr. Ruth Behar

Dr. Ruth Behar has been "translating Cuba" in a number of ways for the past decade: on a personal level, as a native of the island who left as a child and returns in search of memory and belonging; as an anthropologist, in scholarly writing and documentary filmmaking; and as an educator who "translates Cuba" for those who want to learn about the island and its culture. "In this intense and multilayered process of translation, I find myself caught in a paradox," she says. "I feel that even as I reclaim Cuba, I also lose Cuba. The translations both bring me closer to Cuba and force me to continually detach myself from my lived experience of the island in order to explain Cubanness to others." Dr. Behar presented her reflections on this subject in the context of the "Cuba boom" that is currently drawing an ever-wider American audience to all things Cuban. Images of Cuba were included in this presentation.

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Dr. Ruth Behar Speaks to Classes

11:00 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 23, Hearnes Hall 320
spoke to Dr. Kumbier's World Humanities class

1:00 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 23, Webster Hall 308
spoke to Dr. Sartori's Survey of Spanish American Literature class

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Adio Kerida/Goodbye Dear Love: A Film Screening and Discussion
7:00 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 23, 2003
Webster Hall Auditorium
Admission: free
Speaker: Dr. Ruth Behar

Dr. Behar addresses her goodbye to her native land, to the Cuba she left as a child before developing any memories. Her grandparents were Jewish emigrants to Cuba and hoped it would be their promised land. But after the revolution most of the Jews left Cuba and resettled in the United States; only a small number stayed on the island. Through her documentary "Adio Kerida," Dr. Behar goes in search of the exotic tribe of Sephardic Jews still in Cuba, as well as the Jewish Cubans (or "Jubans") living in the United States. On her journey, Dr. Behar encounters a fascinating cast of characters, including an Afro-Cuban boy of Jewish descent who dreams of becoming a drummer in Israel, a pair of shopkeepers in Miami who sell Turkish good luck charms, and her own father in New York, who says goodbyes are final and you should never look back.

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Everything I Kept: Being a Poet in Cuba
10:00 a.m. Friday, Oct. 24, 2003
Webster Hall Auditorium
Admission: free
Speaker: Dr. Ruth Behar

Everything I Kept is the title of a book of prose poems inspired by the work of Cuban poet Dulce Maria Loynaz, which Dr. Behar published with Ediciones Vigia, in Matanzas, Cuba. Ediciones Vigia is a unique independent publishing venture that produces beautiful, wistful, and charming handmade books in small editions. The aim of the Vigia project is to produce books that are of literary value and also works of art, using modest materials, and always using as their foundation the simple brown paper of grocery bags. In this presentation Dr. Behar spoke about her work as a poet and also discussed her collaboration with Ediciones Vigia. Images showing a variety of Vigia books were part of this presentation.

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Cuba On Our Mind: Reflections of Joplin’s Only Cuban-American Couple
1:00 p.m. Friday, Oct. 31, 2003
Webster Hall Auditorium
Admission: free
Speaker: Aldo and Diana Dominguez

Born in Holguin, Cuba, Joplin attorney Aldo Dominguez came to the U.S. in 1965. His wife, Diana, moved to the U.S. from Pinar del Rio, Cuba in 1988; the couple married six years later. Aldo, who received his Juris Doctorate from the Creighton University School of Law in 1988, is the only Spanish-speaking attorney in Southwest Missouri dedicated to representing the Hispanic population. He was featured nationally on NBC’s “Hispanic Today” program in October 2001. In their presentation, the couple discussed how they maintain communications with their Cuban relatives, how they maintained Cuban traditions with their children (Aldo, 6; and Camila, 4), and their respective families’ flight from communism. In addition, they shared their impressions of the current situation in their homeland.

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Michael Spiro Presents

Monday, November 10, 2003

12:00 - 12:50 Clinic/Demonstration for Music Appreciation - Room M-108
4:00 - 5:15 Open Clinic/Masterclass on Cuban Music/Drumming - Phinney Recital Hall
7:00 - 10:00 Rehearsal with Jazz orchestra - Webster Hall Auditorium

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

11:00 - 11:50 Clinic with Percussion Ensemble - Room M-222

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