April 23, 2009 - 4:00 pm
Robert Portada, Kutztown University
In “The Dissident Cross: The Catholic Church and Political Confrontation in Cuba” (Ph.D. Dissertation in Political Science, University of Notre Dame), Dr. Robert Portada studies the evolving political role of the Catholic Church in Cuba and its implications for the development of Cuba’s civil society and the future of Cuban politics. He relies on evidence gathered from extensive fieldwork in Cuba to examine the nature of church-state relations. Set in a comparative perspective, Dr. Portada’s work offers a new approach that distinguishes between strategies of direct confrontation and indirect confrontation between church and state in contemporary societies.
About the Speaker:
Robert Portada graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in Latin American and Caribbean Studies from Hunter College in 2002. He began his graduate studies at the University of Notre Dame in 2002 as a Gaia Presidential Fellow. Dr. Portada earned his Ph.D. in political science on December 3rd, 2008. His dissertation, entitled The Dissident Cross: The Catholic Church and Political Confrontation in Cuba, is a study of the evolving political role of the Catholic Church in Cuba and its implications for the development of Cuba’s civil society and the future of democracy in Cuba. As a political scientist specializing in comparative politics and international relations, he has used Cuba as the primary country case study of his research while maintaining a regional focus on Latin America and the Caribbean, and investigating questions related to the intersection of religion and politics, transitional politics, democratization, social movements, and American foreign policy. Dr. Portada was recently hired as an Assistant Professor by Kutztown University, where he will begin teaching in the fall of 2009.