T5083 – Race, Gender and Revolution in Cuba

Havana, Varadero, Santiago de Cuba
Faculty: Dr. Pilar Cabrera and Dr. Daniel Gerling
01/07/2019 – 01/28/2019

We approach Cuban society through conversations with citizens from all backgrounds about the histories and experiences of discrimination in the island.

Academic Overview
This course gives students an opportunity to see for themselves a neighboring country from which we have become distant due to a history of political conflict. In two major cities of the island, Havana and Santiago de Cuba, students will be able to engage with Cuban scholars, artists, students, religious leaders, workers, and other social actors. Through home stays, conferences, visits to cultural centers, and daily explorations of urban and natural landscapes, students will form their own opinions about Cuba. Our focus on race and gender places our study of Cuba on a comparative perspective. Students will uncover similarities and divergences between Cuba and the United States as countries that up to this day are dealing with histories fraught by slavery and racism but also distinguished by the vibrancy of their mixed cultural heritages. Students will also be able to compare changing formulations of gender roles, and the struggles of women as well as the LGBTQ+ to assert their rights under both capitalism and socialism. Our investigation of prejudice will extend from its roots in Colonial times to encompass the transformations that have taken place with the socialist Revolution, from its initial persecution of sexual dissidence to its current more open stance.

Program Fee/Cost
Program Fee includes:  Transportation and course arrangements as indicated, hotel accommodations in twin and triple rooms, and home stays, continental breakfast daily, five lunches and eleven dinners (subject to change).

For SPAN 397 credit: SPAN 211 (fourth semester of college-level Spanish) or equivalent by exam results. No prerequisites for ENG 200 or MDFL 397

Required Readings

  • Castillo Bueno, M.R., and Castillo D. Rubiera. Reyita: The Life of a Black Woman in the Twentieth Century. Durham: Duke UP, 2000. Spanish version for SPAN 397 students (PRINT AT HOME AND BRING)
  • Course reading packet (containing the articles and book selections listed in the itinerary)
  • Article for individual presentation (PRINT AT HOME AND BRING)
  • Spanish-English dictionary
  • 200 pp of notebook paper


  • Lively participation in classes and site visits……………………………………15%
  • Presentation of individual article………………………………………………………15%
  • Presentation of common reader article…………………………………………..15%
  • Journals ……………………………………………………………………………………………15%
  • Final essay (in Spanish for SPAN 397)……………………………………………40%

Faculty Directors
Pilar Cabrera
, Augustana University, (605) 274.5524, email: pcabrera@augie.edu
Daniel Gerling, Augustana University, (605) 271.4034, email: dgerling@augie.edu

Description of Faculty Directors
Dr. Cabrera, Associate Professor of Spanish, teaches in the Department of Modern Foreign Languages at Augustana University.  She has a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the University of Texas at Austin. She specializes in Cuban literature and culture. She was born in Mexico to a Cuban mother. She is a member of the editorial board of Cubanabooks. This is the second time Dr. Cabrera has instructed this course.

Dr. Gerling is a Professor of English at Augustana University. He graduated from the Ph.D. program of American Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. His dissertation includes research on American policies on sanitation implemented in both Cuba and the Philippines during the Progressive era. As an instructor at the University of Texas at Austin, he designed and taught courses on the American Dream and American cultural diplomacy. This is his second time co-instructing this course.

Application Procedures & Deadline
· Select the How to Apply link to start your online application.
· All applications received by your home institutions priority deadline will be sent to the faculty immediately. Applications will be taken after that deadline for programs with space still remaining until the final application deadline of October 1, 2018.

Final Application Deadline: October 1, 2018

For more information on course content, contact Pilar Cabrera
On application procedures or logistical information, contact your study abroad office.


Travel Packet

Travel Packet (Link)

Click the image at left to access the course Travel Packet. The ePacket contains important information about traveling abroad, including your itinerary, frequently asked questions, participant letter and culturegram.

Preliminary Itinerary will be posted by October 16.
Final Itinerary will be posted by December 7.


The Orientation process includes 3 components:
– an online self-study and quiz on the UMAIE student handbook.
– an online orientation webinar conducted by your faculty director(s)
– an on-site orientation upon arrival.

You are REQUIRED to participate in and complete all 3 steps within the deadlines specified below. Failure to do so may result in your removal from the course.

Student Handbook and Online Quiz

2019 Student Handbook (PDF)

We have put together this handbook to provide you with helpful information for planning and spending your time abroad. The handbook is also your primary study guide to pass your online quiz. There are excellent tips in this handbook, and it is organized in a way we hope will be user-friendly and straightforward.

Please carefully read the UMAIE student handbook and complete the quiz on the UMAIE student handbook by October 20, 2018.


quiz_thumbYou can access the online quiz through your online application by logging in to your school’s study abroad website. Complete the 2018 UMAIE Participant Quiz under Assessments on your online application portal.

For students at St. Ambrose University, see your study abroad adviser for a paper copy of the quiz.

 Orientation Webinar

The online orientation webinar for this course is on:

Wednesday, October 24, 2018 – 4:00pm-5:30pm

Your participation is required. Please review the sign-in instructions below and make yourself available to participate on this date.

Click the webinar icon below to access the launch and sign-in screen for Zoom.

Instructions (PDF)

Instructions (PDF)

Webinar Link (Zoom)


(Alternate Access to Webinar)

Topic: 5083: Race, Gender and Revolution in Cuba – Cabrera/Gerling
Time: Oct 24, 2018 4:00 PM Central Time (US and Canada)
Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android: https://stthomas.zoom.us/j/930433811
Or Telephone:
    Dial(for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location):
        US: +1 669 900 6833  or +1 646 876 9923  or +1 877 853 5247  (Toll Free) or +1 877 369 0926 (Toll Free)
    Meeting ID: 930 433 811
    International numbers available: https://zoom.us/u/ekApOSeWZ


Participants are required to bring their Student ID card with them on the course to qualify for reduced student entrances at many sites. Without your ID, you could be responsible to pay any difference in entrance fees.