Taller «Cuba, Normalization, and Communication Research»

Dentro de la International Communications Association Conference

Lunes, 25 de Mayo, 10:30 am – 11:45 am, San Juan Caribe Hilton Hotel, Boardroom 2

Organizers: Monroe Price, Center for Global Communication Studies, Annenberg School, UPENN

Taller “Cuba, Normalization, and Communication Research”

Taller “Cuba, Normalization, and Communication Research”

This BlueSky workshop focuses on ways in which the move to normalization affects scholarly research possibilities on media and communications. Already, there has been a rich history of such scholarship, and the workshop will seek ways of presenting that work as a basis for future possibilities. Not only is there the question of understanding the past half century better, there is the possibility of capturing the moment of change. In this respect, Cuba presents an extraordinary site for research in all fields of communications studies

These include approaches to changed attitudes in Cuba (and the US), shifts in the mix of images in Cuba from the US (and elsewhere); rhetoric of change in the US and in Cuba, opportunities for public opinion research, changing uses of mobile telephony, the relationship between Cuba and its diaspora, changing attitudes in the diaspora, and Cuba as a study in public diplomacy. One emphasis at the workshop will be on the status of Cuba—perhaps in comparison with other states —in terms of the shaping of Internet policy. Another interesting avenue would be to examine sources of funding for research in and related to Cuba and opportunities for collaborative research.

The goals of this workshop are to expand conversations within and across disciplines and to assist members of the ICA think through directions for collaboration, for special opportunities and for placing new developments in context. There will be an effort to provide a bibliography, in advance, on communications studies research on Cuba.

Prospective attendees who have not done so should write the chair c/o the Center for Global Communications Studies (lsh@asc.upenn.edu) a short note concerning their background and interests and some indication of discussion topics and information in which they are interested. Those who have engaged in Cuba related studies are especially welcome, but those with a general interest in the subject are warmly invited. The hope is to capture existing scholarly partnerships, and help encourage institutional arrangements that might be opening. Some scholars not part of the ICA might be invited and suggestions to the chair would be useful. The chair would also welcome thematic statements or proposals that can be used in organizing the session. It would be good to invite Cuban participants and, of course, other Latin American and Caribbean members interested in Cuba. Suggestions on how this can be encouraged should be directed to the chair. With luck, a committee will be convened to consider this subject between the announcement and the session.


Please note that we will begin promptly at 10:30.
Please also note that dialogue will be conducted in both English and Spanish.
Light Breakfast will be served.

10:30-10:55: Introductions: Who you are, what are your research interests, what is your experience conducting communications research in Cuba (or with regard to diaspora communities), what practical knowledge (on collaborations, conducting research in Cuba, etc) can you offer other scholars, what do you hope to learn from others.

10:55-11:05: Lilian Manzor: The practicalities, obstacles, and logistics of conducting research in Cuba, pre and post normalization

11:05-11:20: Areas of Inquiry for future research: What has been done and what gaps exist?

11:20-11:45: Open discussion on opportunities and future collaborations

Participant Biographies

Monroe E. Price is director of the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Global Communication Studies (CGCS) at the Annenberg School for Communication, where he works with a wide transnational network of regulators, scholars, and practitioners in Europe, Africa, Latin America, and Asia, as well as in the United States. Price founded the Programme in Comparative Media Law and Policy at Oxford University and remains a research fellow there. He also chairs the Center for Media and Communications Studies at Central European University. Price has served on the President’s Task Force on Telecommunications Policy and the Sloan Commission on Cable Communications (both in the 1970s) and on the Carter-Sagalaev Commission on Radio and Television Policy (in the 1990s). He was a long-time member of the International Broadcasting Institute (now the International Communications Institute). He is the author and editor of numerous publications including the forthcoming Freedom of Expression, Globalization and the New Strategic Communication; Media and Sovereignty:  The Global Information Revolution and its Challenge to State Power, Owning the Olympics: Narratives of the New China, and the Routledge Handbook of Media Law.

Lillian Manzor is an Associate Professor and Chair of Modern Languages and Literatures at the University of Miami and founding Director of the Cuban Theater Digital Archive.  Her research interests include Latin American and Latino/a cultures, performance studies, gender studies, and literature and the visual arts. Some of her publications include: Teatro cubano actual: dramaturgia escrita en Estados Unidos (La Habana, 2005-the first anthology on US Cuban theater published in Spanish and in Cuba); Latinas on Stage (Berkeley, 2000); and Borges/Escher, Cobra/CoBrA: Un encuentro postmodemo (Madrid, 1996). She is currently working on a manuscript titled Marginality Beyond Return: US Cuban Performance and Politics. As a leader in the development of Digital Humanities, she has directed the filming and editing of over 150 theater productions, in Cuba and the United States. She has also published a bilingual online exhibit “Cuban Theater in Miami: 1960-1980″. As a community engaged scholar, she has been involved in the development of cultural dialogue between Cuba and the US using theater and performance since 1993. She was a founding member of ENCASA, a coalition of Cuban American scholars and artists advocating change in US-Cuba policy. She is currently curator of Cuban Culture on the Edge and other activities aimed at creating a bridge between the artistic community in South Florida and Cuban artists living in Cuba. Her research and cultural projects have been funded by a number of foundations, including the National Endowment for the Humanities, American Council of Learned Societies, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the Cuban Artist Fund.

Maite Hernández-Lorenzo is a Journalist and theater critic. She has participated in several national and international conferences and forums on theater. Her articles appear in Cuban cultural publications frequently and also in foreign spaces. For nearly a decade she has written a column for La Jiribilla (print and online magazine) on theater criticism under the pseudonym of Zoila Sablon and she has an entry in the Encyclopedia Cuba. She has organized dozens of theatrical events and cultural management and communication. Since 2003 she serves as Director of Communication and Image of the Casa de las Americas. Ediciones Vigia published in 2014 her book of short stories Empty Memories of Solange Banuelos and is preparing the book of Chronicles, The fifth column. She has been a fellow of LASA twice: 2003 and 2014. She has directed dozens of communication campaigns in the field of culture and founded creative spaces and platforms of participation such as House Taken at the Casa de las Américas. She has also organized several workshops and cultural communication management. The Latin American Theatre Corridor has recently published her article «New staging of cultural communication in Cuba». She was part of the organizing committee in 2012 the first workshop on Digital Humanities in Cuba.
Xenia Reloba is the Editor of the magazine, Casa de las Americas. She has her degree in journalism from the University of Havana in 1994, and has worked as an author and editor in several national and foreign media accredited in Cuba. Her latest web-based project is the website Cuba Contemporánea -dedicated to Cuban socio-cultural reality– which she led for a year and a half until February 2015. She is editor of several books, including Habáname : the musical city of Carlos Varela » ( Ediciones La Memoria , Havana, 2014; University of Toronto , 2014) and Julio Cortazar’s Materials in the Journal Casa  (House of the Americas , Havana, 2015).

Elaine Díaz is a blogger, journalist and professor of journalism at the University of Havana. Her research and teaching focuses on digital journalism, communication, technology and society, and alternative journalism on the web. Díaz is the sole Cuban author for Global Voices and has blogged for La Polemica Digital (The Digital Controversy) about social problems and the politics of online expression in Cuba. She has written about digital communication, technology infrastructure and the digital divide for Cuban and international outlets. She completed an MA in communications in 2014 at the University of Havana. She studied the current state of the Cuban blogosphere and its possibilities to promote processes of public deliberation and consensus-building. Díaz was part of the Draper Hills Summer Fellows Class of 2014 and she is currently a fellow at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University. Read more about Elaine here.

Yasmin Silvia Portales Machado is an independent scholar, LGBT rights activist, and a freelance journalist for cubaliteraria.cu and havanatimes.org. She is the coordinator in Cuba of the “Anticapitalism and Emergent Sociability” Work Group of the Latin American Council for Social Sciences and founder of the Cuban Digital Humanities Network. Portales Machado´s two main research fields are the use of blogs as platforms for public debates and the expression of sexualities in Cuban speculative fiction. Had been speaker in panels of congress and conferences in USA, Canada, Portugal and Cuba.

Dr. Sallie Hughes is an inter-disciplinary communications scholar with a specialization in Latin America, the Caribbean and their Diasporas. She is the co-author of the book Making a Life in Multi-Ethnic Miami: Immigration and the Rise of a Global City (Lynne Rienner Publishers: Latino Studies Series, 2014) and author of Newsrooms in Conflict: Journalism and the Democratization of Mexico (University of Pittsburgh Press: Latin America Series, 2006). Her first book was recognized by AEJMC as a top book in mass communication for 2006. The Political Communication and Ethnicity and Race in Communication divisions of the International Communication Association recognized her work with best paper awards, in 2003 and 2013 respectively. She recently joined the editorial board of the International Journal of Press/Politics and is the program track chair for Mass Media and Popular Culture for the 2014 Congress of the Latin American Studies Association, of which she has been a member since 1998. She teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in the Department of Journalism and Media Management and the Latin American Studies Program at The University of Miami.

Dr Anna Cristina Pertierra is the ARC Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Cetnre for Critical and Cultural Studies at the University of Queensland. Anna’s research interests focus on media and consumption in three countries: Cuba, Mexico and the Philippines. Her new project, funded by an ARC Postdoctoral Fellowship, is a cultural history of television in Mexico, Cuba and the Philippines from 1980-2010. Previously, Anna was employed at the Centre as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow on Graeme Turner’s Federation Fellow Project, and she continues to work on material from that project in the form of an ethnography of television and social mobility in Chetumal, on the Mexico-Belize border. Anna maintains an ongoing interest in consumption and material culture in contemporary Cuba. In addition to her book Cuba: the struggle for consumption (Caribbean Studies Press, 2011), she works on informal networks of new media in Cuba, the role of digital photography in quinceañera ceremonies of Cuban teenage girls, and cultural consequences of scarcity for Cuban women’s domestic practices including shopping, cooking and home decorating.

Yeidy M. Rivero is an Associate Professor in the Department of Screen Arts and Cultures, and the Program of American Culture at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Yeidy Rivero’s scholarship focuses on the ‘lowbrow’ medium of television, with Rivero’s theatre background playing a pivotal component in her studies of television in the Spanish Caribbean and Latin America.  Her focus on race and ethnic representation in television/media has been influenced by the anti-black racism she witnessed in casting practices in television in Puerto Rico and that also reverberated across the region.  Drawing on the fundamental relationship between creative people and audiences in the theater world, Rivero’ has paid close attention to both of these groups in her research by regularly communicating with directors, actors, and audience members.  Much of her work includes these diverse voices, such as in her examination of a telenovela (Yo soy Betty la fea), a situation comedy (¿Qué pasa U.S.A.?), and an adaptation of a US format (A Corazón Abierto).  Similarly, her initial curiosity in researching Cuban commercial television (her current book project) gestated from conversations with actors, directors, and scriptwriters.
Cristina Venegas is an Associate Professor of Film and Media Studies at the University of California Santa Barbara. She focuses her research on international media with an emphasis on Latin America, Spanish-language film and television in the U.S., and digital technologies. Her book Digital Dilemmas (Rutgers 2010) deals with digital media in Cuba and she has also written about film and political culture, revolutionary imagination in the Americas, telenovelas, contemporary Latin American cinema, co-productions. She has curated numerous film programs on Latin American and Indigenous film in the US and Canada, and is Co-founder and Artistic Director (since 2004) of the Latino CineMedia International Film Festival in Santa Barbara.

Nancy Morris is a Professor in Temple University’s Department of Media Studies and Production and a faculty member in the Mass Media & Communication doctoral program. She received her Ph.D. in Communications from the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania in 1992, and taught at the University of Stirling, Scotland from 1993-1998. In 2002 she held the Unesco Communications Chair at the Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain. Her work has been published in various journals including the European Journal of Communication; International Journal of Communication; Media, Culture and Society; Revista de Ciencias Sociales and Communication Theory. She is author of Puerto Rico: Culture, Politics and Identity (1995) and co-editor of Media and Globalization: Why the State Matters (2001).

Matt Jackson is the Head of the Department of Telecommunications at Pennsylvania State University’s College of Communications. He teaches communications law, Internet law, advertising law, copyright, telecommunications policy, media programming strategies and survey of electronic media. His research focuses on how copyright impacts free speech and shapes the production and consumption of cultural texts.  He also conducts research on the First Amendment and policy issues affecting the Internet and other telecommunications industries. Professor Jackson has published articles in numerous outlets, including Cardozo Arts & Entertainment Law Journal, Hastings Communications and Entertainment Law Journal, Journal of Communication, Federal Communications Law Journal, Communications Law and Policy, and Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media. He also wrote the chapter on cable regulation for the textbook «Communication and the Law.» He presents his research at numerous academic and professional conferences each year and was recently elected vice-chair of the Law and Policy Division of the International Communication Association. He is teaching an undergraduate course in Spring 2016 on Cuban telecommunications and internet policy, the history of U.S. communications policy toward Cuba, and the role of the Internet in socio-economic development in Cuba.

Summer Harlow, who has a Ph.D. in journalism and an M.A. in Latin American Studies from the University of Texas at Austin, is a former newspaper journalist and blogger with 10 years of experience reporting from the United States and Latin America. Summer’s recent work had been published in journals such as New Media & Society; the International Journal of Communication; Information, Communication & Society; Journal of Computer Mediated Communication; the Howard Journal of Communications; Journalism Practice; and the Latin American Journal of Communication Research.

Maria Cabrera-Baukus is a Senior Lecturer of Telecommunications at Pennsylvania State University’s College of Communications. She teaches television production, production management and broadcast management. The productions by students in her upper-level courses air locally on CNET. She has also co-produced «Watch It!» a program that highlights the work of students on WPSU-TV for Penn State Public Broadcasting. Since 2003, she has involved her television production classes in the Library of Congress Veterans History Project. Her students conduct videotaped oral histories with veterans from World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War and the War in Iraq. Those interviews are then edited and archived at the Library of Congress, the Pennsylvania Military Museum and in Pattee Library’s Special Collections on campus.

Gisela Gil-Egui is an Associate Professor in the Department of Communication and Latin American and Caribbean Studies at Fairfield University. Her research deals with telecommunications, international media, copyright/copyleft, information access, the digital divide, e-governance, and alternative media systems. She is particularly interested in internet policy and e-governance issues in Cuba. Previously, she was the Communications Director at Ateneo de Caracas.

Sandra Ristovska is a doctoral student at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania. Ristovska’s research explores the role of online video in public discourse and policy deliberations with a particular focus on human rights video advocacy. Sandra is a recipient of the Top Paper Award from the Philosophy, Theory and Critique Division at the International Communication Association (ICA) and the Herbert Schiller Prize from the International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR). She has written for the World Policy Institute Blog, Public Books, American Journal of Sociology, and has a forthcoming article in the journal The Communication Review. Sandra is a co-chair of the Emerging Scholars Network (ESN) of IAMCR and an honorary, non-resident Research Fellow at the Center for Media and Communication Studies at the Central European University.

Laura Schwartz-Henderson serves as the Research Project Manager at the Center for Global Communication Studies. In this position, Laura manages domestic and international projects, the annual Annenberg-Oxford summer program, CGCS courses, and graduate student outreach. Laura obtained her BA in International Development and English at McGill University, concentrating her studies on media policy and development. Her honors thesis focused on broadband infrastructure development in sub-Saharan Africa. She has worked in finance and communications for several political campaigns, the San Francisco-based nonprofit One World Children’s fund and the public diplomacy sector of the U.S. Department of State.

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