One of the longest running socialist experiments in history, Cuba is at a critical crossroad. Cuba’s political and economic spheres have long been subjects of interest and debate providing fertile ground for exciting academic inquiry. Havana, the capital city, was founded nearly 500 years ago, and due to its location, became a center of ship-building in the Caribbean and a strategic stopping point in the Spanish colonial empire. Today it is a sprawling metropolis, home to 2 million residents, and a mix of European, Latin, and American influences. Historic Old Havana, with its diverse architectural styles, has been named a UNESCO World Heritage site.
CASA-Cuba provides students with a unique opportunity to have direct access to Cuba’s leading institution of higher learning, the University of Havana, and to Casa de Las Américas, the Cuban government’s premier research institution – since its founding in 1959 – on Caribbean and Latin American studies, Cuban culture and the arts.
CASA-Cuba, the University of Havana and Casa de Las Américas have worked together to develop a program of study that will challenge students to achieve a critical understanding of the key issues facing Cuba today, and enable them to interact with some of the country’s leading academic experts in the social sciences, arts and the humanities. Students will immerse themselves in Cuba, taking in credit-bearing lectures from recognized experts in Spanish on key issues facing the country and interacting with peers who share their intellectual curiosity about Cuba’s past, present and future. Courses are complemented throughout the semester with special seminars and guest lectures by respected experts from other key research centers, including the Centro de Estudios Demográficos (CEDEM), Cuba’s premier research organization focusing on demographic studies and social research, the Centro de Estudios de la Economía Cubana and the Centro de Investigación de la Cultura Cubana Juan Marinello. In addition, interested students will be encouraged to carry out focused research projects that will engage them with recognized Cuban experts in given disciplines and connect them with local archives, museums, and key cultural organizations.