Experts listed in this section have no affiliation with the Cuba Study Group.

Society and Culture Experts

Dr. Elise Andaya
State University of New York

Department of Anthropology
University at Albany (State University of New York)
Albany, NY


Funded by the Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Grant and the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research Dissertation Grant, Dr. Elise Andaya (Ph.D., New York University, Anthropology 2007) conducted 16 months of fieldwork (2004-2005) on changing ideologies of gender, kinship, and reproduction in Havana, Cuba, after Cuba's Special Period. As a cultural medical anthropologist, she brought her training in qualitative methodologies to bear on her exploration of the interaction between state reproductive health and familial policies, changes in the economy and in health/health care, and the reproductive decision-making of women and men. Her dissertation research resulted in her Ph.D. dissertation (2007), entitled "Reproducing the Revolution: Gender, Kinship, and the State in Contemporary Cuba". She is currently assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology at University at Albany (State University of New York).

back to top
Anke Birkenmaier
Indiana University

Department of Spanish and Portuguese
Indiana University
1020 E. Kirkwood Avenue
Bloomington, IN 47405-7103

Anke Birkenmaier is an Assistant Professor of Spanish at Indiana University, Bloomington. She is co-editor of Cuba: un siglo de literatura (2004) and the author of Alejo Carpentier y la cultura del surrealismo en América Latina (2006) (Premio Iberoamericano, LASA). Her anthology Havana Beyond the Ruins. Cultural Mappings after 1989 (Duke UP, 2011), co-edited with Esther Whitfield, presents a collection of essays by prominent architects, scholars, and writers based in and outside of Cuba, who analyze how Havana has been portrayed in literature, music, and the visual arts since 1989. Her special co-edited issue of the Americas Society’s Review: Literature and Art of the Americas on “Cuba Inside and Out” (May, 2011), offers critical essays on Cuban literature and media, as well as creative writing by contemporary Cuban authors.

back to top
Prof. Velia Cecilia Bobes Leon
Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales

Camino al Ajusco 377
CP 14200
Mexico, DF


Velia Cecilia Bobes León is Professor and Coordinator of the Master and Doctoral Degrees in Social Sciences at the Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales (FLACSO) in Mexico City. An expert on Cuban civil society, she is the co-editor of La transición invisible: Sociedad y cambio político en Cuba (Oceáno Press 2004) and the author of Los laberintos de la imaginación: repertorio simbólico, identidades y actores del cambio social en Cuba (El Colegio de México 2000). Chapters by Bobes appear in Changes in Cuban Society since the Nineties (Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars 2005), Cuba: sociedad, cultura y política en tiempos de globalización (Centro Editorial Javeriano 2003), and Votar en la distancia: la extensión de los derechos políticos a migrantes. Experiencias comparadas (Instituto Mora 2003). Bobes is co-director of “Governance and Social Justice in Cuba: Past, Present, and Future,” an international academic initiative co-sponsored by FLACSO-México, the Canadian Foundation for the Americas (FOCAL), and the Cuban Research Institute (CRI) at Florida International University (FIU). A three-year initiative funded by the Ford Foundation, the project aims to create a multinational network of scholars from the United States, Canada, Europe, Mexico, Cuba, and several other Latin American countries to analyze issues of governance and social justice in Cuba. Works by Bobes: “Citizenship and Rights in Cuba: Evolution and Current Situation” in Changes in Cuban Society since the Nineties, edited by Joseph S. Tulchin et al. Washington, D.C.: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, 2005. 61-80. La transición invisible: Sociedad y cambio político en Cuba. Co-edited by Velia Cecilia Bobes León and Rafael Rojas. México, D.F.: Editorial Oceano de México, 2004. Los laberintos de la imaginación: repertorio simbólico, identidades y actores del cambio social en Cuba. México, D.F.: El Colegio de México, 2000.

back to top
Prof. Margaret Crahan
Hunter College

695 Park Avenue
Wes Building, Room 1512
New York, NY 10021


Margaret Crahan is the Dorothy Epstein Professor of History at Hunter College in New York. An expert on Latin American history, religion and politics, Crahan has published extensively on Catholicism and human rights in Latin America. Among other publications, she is the editor of Religion, Culture, and Society: The Case of Cuba (Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars 2003); the co-editor of Wars on Terror and Iraq: Human Rights, Unilateralism, and U.S. Foreign Policy (Routledge 2004) and The City and the World: New York's Global Future (Council on Foreign Relations 1997); and the author of Religion and Revolution: Cuba and Nicaragua (Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars 1987). Currently Crahan is working on several manuscripts, including Religion and Civil Society in Cuba. She has published chapters on religion in Cuba in numerous books, including Religious Freedom and Evangelization in Latin America: The Challenge of Religious Pluralism (Orbis 1999). Crahan is a member of the executive committee of the board of trustees of the Interamerican Institute of Human Rights and of the editorial board of Human Rights Quarterly.

back to top
Alejandro M. de la Fuente
University of Pittsburgh

Department of History
3P01 WWPH
Pittsburgh, 15260


Associate Professor of History at the University of Pittsburgh, Alejandro M. de la Fuente focuses on Latin American and Caribbean history and comparative slavery and race relations. An expert on race relations in Cuba, de la Fuente is the author of A Nation for All: Race, Inequality, and Politics in Twentieth-Century Cuba (University of North Carolina Press, 2001), winner of the 2003 prize for “best book in Latin American history” sponsored by the Latin American and Caribbean Section of the Southern Historical Association. He has written extensively on the history of sugar and slavery in colonial Cuba, on the ideology of racial democracy, and on racial discrimination in contemporary Cuba. De la Fuente has published numerous book chapters and articles in such journals as Law and History Review, Latin American Research Review, NACLA, Latin American Perspectives, Encuentro de la Cultura Cubana, Revista de Indias, Revista de Historia Económica, Estudos Afro-Asiáticos, and La Gaceta de Cuba. Currently he serves on the editorial board of Cuban Studies and on the international advisory board for Latin American & Caribbean Ethnic Studies. De la Fuente has organized several conferences and seminars on Cuban race relations, including “Race and Ideology in Cuba” sponsored by the Institute for Cuban Studies in 1999, and “Race, Citizenship and Nationality in Cuba,” a seminar in Cuba attended by academics from Cuba and the United States. He has been the recipient of grants and fellowships from the Rockefeller Foundation, the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation, the Social Science Research Council, the United States Institute of Peace, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the National Science Foundation. Works by de la Fuente: “Myths of Racial Democracy: Cuba, 1900-1912.” Latin American Research Review vol 34, no 3 (Fall 1999): 39-73. (Spanish translation: “Mitos de ‘democracia racial’: Cuba, 1900-1912” in Espacios, silencios y los sentidos de la libertad, edited by Fernando Martínez, Rebecca J. Scott, and Orlando García. Havana: Unión, 2001: 235-69.)

back to top
Dr. Sujatha Fernandes
City University of New York

Queens College
City University of New York
New York, NY


Sujatha Fernandes is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Queens College, City University of New York. She received her Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Chicago. She is the author of various articles on Cuba, Venezuela, and Latin America, as well as a book, "Cuba Represent! Cuban Arts, State Power, and the Making of New Revolutionary Cultures" (Duke University Press, 2006). She is currently working on a new book about urban social movements in Chávez’s Venezuela, based on extended fieldwork and residence in the barrios of Caracas.

back to top
Dr. Katrin Hansing
Baruch College

One Bernard Baruch Way
P.O. Box B4-280
New York, NY 10010-5585


Katrin Hansing is Associate Professor in the Department of Black and Hispanic Studies at Baruch College in New York. Previously, she served as Associate Director of the Cuban Research Institute at Florida International University. As an anthropologist she has conducted research in Cuba and its diasporas (Miami, Southern Africa, Spain) for over 10 years. Her main areas of expertise include: race/ethnicity, religion, remittances, medical internationalism, youth, and civil society. Currently she is working on a project on conflict prevention/transformation. Dr. Hansing received her Ph.D. from the University of Oxford. She is the author of numerous articles and the book 'Rasta, Race, and Revolution: The Emergence and Development of the Rastafari Movement in Socialist Cuba' (2006). Apart from her academic pursuits, she has worked as a consultant for numerous think tanks and is currently completing a documentary film about Cuban African relations.

back to top
Prof. Sheryl L. Lutjens
Northern Arizona University

Department of Political Science
Box 15036
Flagstaff, AZ 86011


Sheryl L. Lutjens is Professor of Political Science and Director of Women’s Studies at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff. An expert on comparative politics, public administration, political economy, and feminist theory, she is the author of The State, Bureaucracy, and the Cuban Schools: Power and Participation (Westview Press 1996) and the co-editor of Rereading Women in Latin America and the Caribbean: The Political Economy of Gender (Rowman & Littlefield 2002) and Cuba, 1953-1978: A Bibliographic Guide to the Literature (Kraus International Publications 1986). Works by Lutjens: Cuba, 1953-1978: A Bibliographic Guide to the Literature. White Plains, NY: Kraus International Publications, 1986. The State, Bureaucracy, and the Cuban Schools: Power and Participation. Boulder: Westview Press, 1996.

back to top
Prof. Gustavo Perez-Firmat
Columbia University
Casa Hispanica Room 402
612 W 116 Street Mail Code: 1301
New York, NY 10027-6902
back to top
Ms. Anabella Rodriguez
Encuentro de la Cultura Cubana
Infanta Mercedes 43, 1-A
Madrid, Spain, 28020
back to top
Mrs. Mercedes Sandoval
Miami-Dade College
Richter Library
1300 Memorial Drive
Coral Gables, FL 33146
back to top
Mr. Enrico M. Santi
University of Kentucky
Department of Hispanic Studies
1103 Patterson Office Tower 0027
Lexington, KY 40506 back to top
Dr. Stephen Wilkinson
London Metropolitan University

International Institute for the Study of Cuba
London Metropolitan University
London


Stephen Wilkinson first visited Cuba in 1986 and has been traveling to and writing about the island ever since. Now the IISC's assistant director, Stephen has a PhD on the subject of Cuban literature. He has written numerous articles on such questions as the history of US-Cuba relations, Cuban attitudes and policy towards homosexuals and the nature of the Cuban state. Among his other commitments, Stephen is a contributor to the Economist Intelligence Unit reports on Cuba and has consulted on a number of documentaries about the island, including the recent Channel 4 documentary "638 Ways to Kill Castro". Stephen's book: "Detective Fiction in Cuban Society and Culture" was published in 2006 by Peter Lang. He frequently comments on Cuba issues on The Guardian newspaper's Comment is Free website: http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/stephen_wilkinson/ Stephen is currently researching US Cuba Policy and the prospects for change after the next US presidential elections for an article to be published in the first edition of the International Journal of Cuban Studies. An article by Stephen on the social and economic effects of tourism in Cuba will be published shortly in the Third World Quarterly.

back to top