June 5, 2023 - 4:00 pm
The Graduate Center, CUNY
This panel seeks to discuss new avenues of research that arise from intersecting gender and politics in the same framework of analysis. For this purpose, we will look at two key moments in the history of Latin America: the Age of Revolutions and the Cuban Revolution.
Patriarchy, Misogyny, & Politics in the Age of Revolutions
This contribution seeks to bring together three basic avenues of gender analysis usually seen in isolation with the aim of expanding our understanding of the Age of Revolutions and showing us the benefits of examining them in unison. It will connect the rise of new political actors with the emergence of a new dominating masculine identity in the late eighteenth century. The analysis turns next to male homosexuality in the context of revolutions. Finally, it will examine women and politics, paying particular attention to the discourse that excluded them from the new political order. The presentation will both review historiographic trends and offer insights from my own primary source research on the Viceroyalty of Peru in the context of the Spanish empire.
Mónica Ricketts (Ph.D., Harvard University) is an associate professor of history at Temple University where she also serves as director of Latin American studies. She specializes in the intellectual, political, and cultural history of the late Spanish empire. She has published Who Should Rule? Men of Arms, the Republic of Letters, and the Fall of the Spanish Empire (Oxford University Press, 2017) and articles on Spanish liberalism, militarism in the Bourbon era, the struggles of the lettered in the viceroyalty of Peru, and the intersection of gender and politics in the Spanish empire. She is currently working on a history of the theater in the late viceroyalty of Peru.
Cold War Conflicts over Gender and Sexuality: Cuba and Beyond
Popular understandings of the Cuban Revolution and its impact in Latin America often focus on the rise of guerrilla warfare in Cuba and the subsequent exportation of “foco theory” throughout the region. This talk will use gender and sexuality to illuminate different political dynamics of this period, including the revolutionary movement’s use of maternalist discourse to discredit Batista before 1959, followed by exiles’ allegations of unnatural forms of sexuality and family destruction wrought by the revolution to discredit Castro throughout Latin America in the early 1960s.
Michelle Chase (Ph.D., NYU) is an Associate Professor of History at Pace University. She is the author of Revolution within the Revolution: Women and Gender Politics in Cuba, 1952-1962 (2015) and the co-editor of the January 2020 issue of Radical History Review titled “Revolutionary Positions: Sexuality and Gender in Cuba and Beyond.” She has published articles in Journal of Latin American Studies, Journal of Women’s History, and Bulletin of Latin American Research. Her work has been supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Lyndon B. Johnson Foundation, and the Hoover Institution. Her current research explores the transnational reverberations of the Cuban Revolution during the Cold War.
The Return of the Repressed: Gendered/Racialized Iconography of Resistance in Contemporary Cuban Art
Against the historical backdrop of the “Age of the Revolutions” and the transgenerational trauma spawn by the systemic violence of the “plantation machine,” this paper reflects on the gendered recalibration of these legacies in select examples drawn from contemporary Cuban art. The multilayered iconography of Susana Pilar Delahante Matienzo’s (b. 1984) work in particular provides the main focus for analyzing how the power of art can be harnessed in a provocative and ideologically charged process of unmasking the racialized gendered violence of the twenty-first century socialist Cuba within the symbolic, material, and methodological frameworks of the Plantationocene (Donna Haraway’s term).
Elzbieta Sklodowska (Ph.D., Washington University) is a Randolph Family Professor of Spanish at Washington University in Saint Louis. She has published widely on cross-disciplinary topics pertaining to Latin America and the Caribbean, including books on parody, testimonio, and relations between Cuba and Haiti. She is the author of Invento luego resisto: El Período Especial en Cuba como experiencia y metáfora (1990-2015) and co-editor, with Mabel Cuesta, of Lecturas atentas. Visita desde la ficción y la crítica a veinte narradoras cubanas contemporáneas (2019). Currently, she is at work on Alternative Lineages: Contemporary Cuban Women Writers and Artists and engaged in several projects related to the material, aesthetic, and symbolic legacies of the Caribbean sugar plantation.
Organizer & Moderator: Araceli Tinajero, City College/The Graduate Center, CUNY
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