History, Culture, and Politics of Cuba
THIS PROGRAM HAS BEEN SUSPENDED FOR THE 2014/2015 ACADEMIC YEAR.
Fall Semester: Early September through early December
Spring Semester: Early February through early May
Launching in Spring 2013! CGE has secured all proper licensing for this program/travel.
Building on CGE’s experience with 14 short-term travel programs to Cuba between June 2011 and July 2012, this semester program will introduce students to a unique island nation few others get to experience.
The program is based in the capital city of Havana, where the Gulf of Mexico meets the Caribbean. The climate is tropical. Due to Havana’s almost five hundred year existence, the city boasts some of the most diverse styles of architecture in the world, from castles built in the late 16th century to modernist present-day high-rises. Havana is the cultural center of the country and offers museums, palaces, public squares, churches, and avenues to take in ballet, art, music, and festivals.
- Decision-making processes and citizenship rights through exploration of the impact of paternalism, centralism, bureaucracy, autonomy, the role of mass organizations, collective rights, and the meaning of community.
- Social justice as it relates to wealth production, including discussions of market mechanisms, socialization, and material versus moral incentives
- Race, class, gender, and sexual orientation in the Cuban context
- Issues of equity, the impact of a classless society and the historical context of today’s social relations
Students enroll in the following four courses, which are integrated into a modular system that utilizes and interdisciplinary pedagogy combining theoretical classes with workshops and experiential learning.
- Topics in World History: History of Cuba (History 440)
- Topics in International Politics: Cuban Politics (Political Science 461)
- Special Topics in Cuba Today (Sociology 295)
- One of Three Spanish Courses: Intermediate Spanish I (Spanish 211); Intermediate Spanish 2 (Spanish 212); Conversation in Cultural Context (Spanish 316)
Check out the course syllabi!
Students will meet with the Cuban Council of Churches, artists and radio personalities, people involved with the US Interest Section, women leaders from various sectors,and students from the University of Havana; students will also participate in a popular education workshop.
Veradero Beach, Santa Clara, Cienfuegos, Trinidad, and Santa Maria Beach
Housing and Homestay
Students will live with families in the Marianao community, about 20 minutes from the city center. It is a popular barrio with a large Afro-Cuba population. Homestays provide students with a unique opportunity to learn firsthand from Cuban families while also improving their Spanish language proficiency.
Student Life in Cuba
Students live with Cuban families in Marianao—a working-class neighborhood that provides them with a typical daily Cuban experience. Outside of this charming neighborhood with its own local cafés and destinations, students easily use Havana’s extensive (and cheap!) public transportation system to make their way to Havana Viejo or Vedado. Havana is filled to the brim with live music, museums and galleries, shops, places to dance, and theaters to see both Cuban and international films. Since Havana is a coastal city, students’ favorite activities include hanging out on the Malecón (an enormous boardwalk along the coast) or heading out to one of the
This program is coordinated by the Center for Global Education in conjunction with the Martin Luther King Jr., Center, an organization based in Havana and dedicated to community development and national and international politics. The Martin Luther King, Jr. Center assists CGE with critical program logistics such as the coordination of homestays and the arrangement of excursions.
Dr. Thomas Hansen in the program director. He has coordinated educational abroad programs for more than 20 years and has served as a group leader for more than 3,000 participants; many of these programs took place in Cuba. Dr. Hansen will work closely with the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center and CGE to ensure academic integrity and a positive living/learning environment for students.
Courses are either taught by Dr. Hansen or professors from the University of Havana, with oversight by Dr. Hansen.
As internet access permits (which is not often!), our staff in Cuba post to a blog. In this blog, you will also see post related to CGE’s short-term programs in Cuba – which visit many of the same places and meet with similar local people.
Students must have studied the equivalent of one year of college-level Spanish.
Early application is encouraged to ensure a place in this competitive and selective program. Applications are accepted on a rolling admissions basis. Deadlines are October 15 (spring term) and April 1 (fall term). After receipt of application, we require an interview and the submission of a Spanish language reference form.