Cuban Women: Caribbean Studies Program
Women Studies 314: Global Women Studies (4 credits)
Winter-Break – Spring 2004: Caribbean Studies Program: Cuba
The program was a huge success. We had 14 students and 3 faculty participate. They visited a number of fun sites including the Havana art district, saw a baseball game, enjoyed the Buena Vista Social Club, and various tourist sights. The academic experiences included visits to an alternative day care center, a rum factory, a technical school, a foster home, a health center for pregnant women, a community garden, and the Federation of Cuban Women. The group came back with about 600 pictures. Here are a couple of our favorites.
Packing Medical Supplies for donation to the Cuban Red Cross
3 Program Delegates at one of many Che images
Learning about the history of sugar cane and colonization through a visit to a rum factory.
Women Studies 314 will focus on Caribbean women, in particular Cuban women. Class assignments and evaluation will vary according to students’ participation in the field trip. There will be flexible registration and assignments for graduate students. Both sections will cover the same material and students from both sections are eligible for the field trip to Cuba during the Break.
- Instructor approval is necessary for participation in the Cuba trip.
- WWU Tuition for WS 314 does not include cost of the field trip.
- Students best suited for this Program are those who have earned at least a “B” grade in courses in gender, race and/or globalization. While this is a women studies course, enrollment is open to all students.
Overlapping Themes of Program
- Cuba in the Caribbean: history and geography of the plantation economy and beyond
- Cuba and the USA: communism and the Cold War, US embargo
- Development of music, art, religion, literature, healthcare, education and other social structures, with special emphasis on women
Class readings will be drawn from the following bibliography:
- Patricia Mohammed, Rethinking Caribbean Difference: Feminist Review #59
- Carmen Esteves & Lizabeth Paravisini, Green Cane Juicy Flotsam: Short Stories by Caribbean Women
- Antonio Benito Rojo, The Repeating Island: The Caribbean and the Postmodernist Perspective
Judy Maloof, Voices of Resistance: Testimonies of Cuban and Chilean Women
- Aguiar and Moya, Cuban Women toward the End of the Century, Realities and Challenges
- Valerie Poupeye, Caribbean Art
- Ruth Behar, Bridges to Cuba/Puentes a Cuba
- Marta Morena Vega, Altar of My Soul: The Living Tradition of Santeria
Time: Winter - Break - Spring 2004
Dates in Havana: March 18 – 28, 2004
Students will register for four credits of Women Studies 314: Global Women Studies in Winter 2004 or Spring 2004, taught by Cynthia Moulds and Rosanne Kanhai, respectively. In-class instruction will be followed or preceded by a ten-day field-trip to Havana, Cuba. The field trip will take the form of a MADRE delegation.
MADRE is an International women’s human rights organization that works partnership women’s community organizations in Central America, the Caribbean, the Middle East, Africa and the United States. MADRE documents and condemns human rights violations against women as well as works actively to win justice and ultimately change the conditions that give rise to such abuses, in particular as they affect women. They have many years experience in arranging and conducting delegations to Cuba
Number of students
Approximately 15. Prerequisites: at least Junior status and interview with the instructor. Students best suited for this Program are those who have earned at least a “B” grade in courses in gender, race and/or globalization. While this is a women studies course, enrollment is open to all WWU students.
Because there is the possibility that USA immigration may deny charter flights to Cuba, this trip is being routed through Toronto, Cancun or the Bahamas. MADRE is licensed by USA immigration and our students will be traveling with WWU’s license as a MADRE delegation.
Cost to WWU Students
$2600 includes airfare from Toronto, Cancun or Bahamas, lodging, some meals, visas, translators, ground transportation to places of interest in Havana and one trip outside of Havana, some meals, translators and tour guides.
Application fee = $200, due November 15, 2003, non refundable
Final payment = remaining $2400, due January 15, 2004
Contact Student Financial Resources for funding ideas. Some scholarship funds might be available from the Women Studies program (to be announced).
Faculty and Residential Directors
Rosanne Kanhai, Women Studies Director and English Faculty, previous experience: Trinidad and Tobago Program, Winter 2001.Teaching WS 314 Spring 2004. Email: Rosanne.Kanhai@wwu.edu
Cynthia Moulds, Women Studies Faculty, previous experience: Nepal program, Winter 2000. Teaching WS 314 Winter 2004. Email: Cynthia.Moulds@wwu.edu
Both faculty visited Havana in Winter 2002 to investigate places of interest and meet with artists and feminist activists.