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Event Details 
Cuba - Our Neighbor in Transition (series)
Located only 90 miles off the coast of Florida in the midst of vital sea lanes, Cuba has long been politically and culturally important to the United States. When Cuba became the first Communist state in the Western Hemisphere, an already complex relationship was strained to the breaking point by events like the failed Bay of Pigs invasion, U.S. efforts to assassinate Fidel Castro, the placement of Russian nuclear missiles on Cuban soil, and trade embargoes. These events left memories that still resonate 50 years later. Now, the future holds promise. When the U.S. normalized diplomatic relations with Cuba in 2014, the two countries again shared trade, travel, and cultural exchanges. Today the island rocks with Salsa music and dance, and its miles of white beaches have bolstered a thriving tourism industry. Still, Cuba remains a one-party state that suppresses political liberties and freedom of the press, with economic woes that include trade problems, rising food costs, and emigration. This lecture series presents a broad view of Cuban culture and history to help us understand today’s Cuba, a nation in transition. September 14 - Past, Present, and Future Donna Rich Kaplowitz, Ph.D. Note lecture starts at 9:30 a.m. In this presentation, Professor Kaplowitz will share her personal experiences visiting Cuba over the past 33 years. From the vantage point of a young university graduate spending a summer with ordinary Cubans in the height of the Cold War to meeting Fidel Castro, she has had extraordinary access and insight into Cuban life, policy, and change. She will combine history, memoir, and commentary from her most recent trip to the island to share her thoughts on what’s next for our closest neighbor. She has published widely and her book credits include: "The Cuba Reader: The Making of a Revolution", "The Anatomy of a Failed Embargo: U.S. Sanctions Against Cuba", and "Cuba’s Ties to a Changing World". September 21 - No lecture September 28 - The US and Cuba: A Troubled Relationship Ambassador (Ret) Melvyn Levitsky Join us for a Taste of Cuba - light fare and music after the lecture. Ambassador Levitsky will examine U.S.-Cuban relations from both their historical and contemporary perspectives. He will focus on the period beginning in 1956 when President Eisenhower broke relations with Cuba and imposed an economic embargo on the island nation and extending through the Obama Administration’s reestablishment of relations in 2015. He will also discuss his personal involvement with Cuban affairs during his diplomatic career and will conclude with an examination of the Trump Administration’s policies toward Cuba. During his 35-year Foreign Service career, Ambassador Levitsky served as Ambassador to Brazil, Ambassador to Bulgaria, Executive Secretary of the Department of State, and Assistant Secretary of State for International Narcotics Policy. He also served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Human Rights, Deputy Director of the Voice of America, Director of UN Political Affairs, Director of U.S.-Soviet Bilateral Relations, and at the U.S. Embassy Moscow. He has been a professor of international policy and practice at the Gerald Ford School since 2006. October 5 - The Fascination with the Jews of Cuba Ruth Behar, Ph.D. In recent years, the Jews of Cuba have become a source of fascination to numerous travelers who have gone to the island. Why is this community at once so exotic and so endearing to outsiders? As a member of the Jewish Cuban diaspora herself and a longtime scholar of and writer about the community, Ruth Behar will speak about the history and current situation of the Jews of Cuba. She will discuss the role played by the various Jewish diasporas to the island, the perspective held by Jewish Cubans toward the Cuban Revolution in 1959, and the role of the Jewish community in Cuba today. She will end with a reflection on the process of writing a novel for young readers from the perspective of a Jewish-Cuban girl. Ruth Behar was born in Havana, Cuba and grew up in New York City. She is the Victor Haim Perera Collegiate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Michigan and the recipient of a MacArthur Fellows “Genius” Award and a Guggenheim Fellowship. A storyteller, poet, educator, and public speaker, Ruth frequently visits and writes about her native Cuba and is the author of "An Island Called Home: Returning to Jewish Cuba" and "Traveling Heavy: A Memoir in between Journeys". Her debut novel for young readers, "Lucky Broken Girl", is the story of a Cuban-Jewish immigrant girl. October 12 - The Folkloric Music of Cuba -- Clave is the Key! Michael Gould, Ph.D. Professor Gould will help explain some of the styles of music from Cuba and the context in which they are found. Styles will include the three types of rumba: Yambu, Guaguanco, and Columbia as well as the styles associated with Son such as Cha Cha Cha. The presentation will include a detailed look into how these musical styles relate to the Clave rhythm. Be ready to clap along! Michael Gould is a Professor of Music at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan and has received international recognition as a performer and scholar in the field of drumset, contemporary percussion performance, and pedagogy. He has performed and given clinics all over the world. He has also composed and performed music for a wide range of ensembles and venues from the Münich Opera and Ballet to National Public Radio. He has had unique collaborations with engineers, material scientists, painters, poets, athletes, and business professionals. Currently, he is working with Henry Pollack, the co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, on an installation entitled A World Without Ice. October 19 - Cuba -- Primary Care and Public Health -- Lessons Learned William Cunningham, DO, MHA Ninety miles separate the U.S. from Cuba, but since the Cuban revolution, the two countries have been worlds apart. The United States embargo, the fall of the U.S.S.R., and the death of Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez have all had major economic impact on the Caribbean island and its ability to progress its standard of living. Although a low income country, the socialist policies of Cuba have made great strides in the delivery of health care to their inhabitants, as well as assisting other countries in need. How does a socialist country with a marginal economy provide the same longevity and infant mortality as the United States health system with all of its technology and resources? Dr. Cunningham is currently the Associate Dean of Global Health and Director of the Institute for Global Health (IGH) at Michigan State University. He serves as a representative for the College of Osteopathic Medicine on the University Curriculum Committee. He is a graduate of the Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine, interned at Brentwood/Cleveland Clinic Hospital, graduated from the Emergency Medicine residency program at Akron General Medical Center, and has a Master’s degree in Health Administrations. October 26 - Religion in the Cuban Revolution Silvia Pedraza, ph.D. In this talk Professor Silvia Pedraza traces the changing relationship of the church and state during the Cuban revolution. Over the course of nearly 60 years, the Cuban revolution has had several distinct relationships to the Church, ranging from open confrontation and silencing to incorporation. Changing its definition from an atheist society in the early years of the revolution to a secular society now, today it is more possible to be religious and to practice one’s faith in Cuba than it was earlier in this half century. Silvia Pedraza is a Professor of Sociology and American Culture at UM, where she received a B.A. and M.A.; her Ph.D. in Sociology is from the University of Chicago. She was born and raised in Cuba, from where she immigrated with her family. Her work seeks to understand the causes and consequences of immigration as a historical process that forms and transforms persons and nations. She is the author of three books and numerous articles.
Event Type : Thursday Morning Lecture Series      
Date(s) : 09/14/2017 - 10/26/2017
Day of Week : Thursday, no lecture on 9/21
Time : 10 - 11:30 a.m., 9/14 lecture starts at 9:30 a.m.
Location : Washtenaw Community College/ Morris Lawrence Building
Address : Towsley Auditorium,
4800 E. Huron River Dr,
Ann Arbor, MI 48105
Fee : $30.00
Event Status : COMPLETED