Bryn Mawr Teams With Main Line School Night

Posted March 6th, 2008 at 10:57 am.

The recent announcement of Cuban president Fidel Castro’s retirement has sparked a wave of interest in the island nation and speculation about its future. Bryn Mawr and the surrounding community will have a chance to learn about the history and culture of the United States’ largest Caribbean neighbor from five Bryn Mawr scholars in a series of lectures offered as a course by Main Line School Night, the area’s largest adult-education program, in March and April.

The lectures, to take place on the Bryn Mawr campus in Room 2 of Dalton Hall at 7 p.m., are free to Bryn Mawr students, faculty, and staff. Members of the general public may enroll in the course through Main Line School Night at a cost of $19 per lecture or $85 for the series. The schedule:

  • March 18: From Amsterdam to Havana: The Odyssey of the Linguist Benjamin Spenser, 1699
    Ignacio Gallup Diaz, associate professor and chair, Department of History
    By the late 17th century, it was clear that the Spanish empire in the New World could be divided into securely held core regions and vulnerable frontier zones. The Scots tried to found a colony in eastern Panama in the 1690s. Benjamin Spenser signed on as the colony’s linguist, and his experiences in Panama and Havana provide a framework through which we can explore the Spanish response to the Scottish threat.
  • March 25: The Road to Happiness: Cuba’s Americanization, 1925-2007
    Stephanie Schwartz, Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in the History of Photography
    The (very) current debates about the process of Americanization will be seen in the context of one key historical event, the construction of the island’s first highway, La Carretera Central.
  • Barrios Chinos: Havana and Beyond
    Gary McDonogh, professor, Growth and Structure of Cities Program
    Havana’s Chinatown was once the largest such enclave in Latin America. The story of its formation and decline in comparison to rivals in Lima, Guayaquil, Panama City, and North American cities offers an important perspective on local histories, regional patterns, and changing meanings of globalization.
  • April 8: The Politics of the Past in Post-Revolutionary Havana
    Matthew Hill, research associate, Bryn Mawr College; lecturer, University of Pennsylvania
    Hill will discuss the political uses of the past in post-revolutionary Cuba by examining how the state seeks to rescue the past in the historic city center, Habana Vieja. The state seeks to capitalize on this place, designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1982, both economically, through its commodification, and experientially, as an arena for national reenchantment in a period of rapid social change
  • April 16: Cuba’s Struggle for Freedom
    Enrique Sacerio-Garí, Dorothy Nepper Marshall Professor of Hispanic and Hispanic-American Studies and chair of the Spanish Department
    Building upon the most recent events on the island, Sacerio-Garí will examine Cuba’s cultural and sociopolitical issues and policies in the context of its long struggle to be a free and sovereign nation.

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