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Unit information: The Cuban Revolution in the World: Culture and Politics of Internationalism in 2018/19

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Unit name The Cuban Revolution in the World: Culture and Politics of Internationalism
Unit code HISP30074
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Peters
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of Hispanic, Portuguese and Latin American Studies
Faculty Faculty of Arts


Cuba’s historical ties to the United States were ruptured by the triumph of the Revolution in 1959, and almost immediately the Castro government embarked on a policy of seeking political and economic allies across the world. This course traces the evolution of Havana’s foreign policy, beginning with Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara’s early support for revolutionary groups in Latin America, Asia and Africa, and continuing to the epic military and humanitarian campaign to assist the MPLA (Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola) during the Angolan civil war, 1975-2002. We will consider the success and failure of a variety of diplomatic, humanitarian, military and cultural initiatives, in order to form a critical analysis of how internationalism has helped shape Cuban identity at home and in the world.

Our ‘readings’ will be multidisciplinary including historical, sociological, political and literary texts, journalism, photography and documentary films.

Intended learning outcomes

By the end of the unit, students will be able to:

- 1. demonstrate a wide-ranging and critical understanding of the key issues arising from the study of Cuba’s foreign policy since the revolution of 1959. - 2. respond in a rigorous and analytical manner to the debates raised by the unit - 3. demonstrate their ability to engage in close analysis of a wide range of sources including: historical, sociological, political and literary texts; journalism; photography; and documentary films. - 4. demonstrate a critical awareness of the theoretical scholarship in the field of study and the ability to analyse and to express this in written form, as appropriate to level H. - 5. demonstrate carry out independent research inquiry appropriate to level H.

Teaching details

1 weekly Lecture hour and 1 weekly seminar hour

Assessment Details

The unit will be assessed by one essay of 3000 words (50%), testing ILOs 1-5, and one 2 hour exam (50%), testing ILOs 1-4.

Reading and References


- Jorge Dominguez, To Make a World Safe for Revolution: Cuba’s Foreign Policy, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press (1989) - H. Michael Erisman, Cuba's international relations : the anatomy of a nationalistic foreign policy, Boulder, CO.: Westview Press (1985) - Piero Gleijeses, Conflicting Missions: Havana, Washington, and Africa, 1959-1976, Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina (2002) - Dirk Kruijt, Cuba and Revolutionary Latin America: An Oral History, Chicago: University of Chicago (2016) - Christabelle Peters, Cuban Identity and the Angolan Experience, New York: Palgrave Macmillan (2012)


- Jorge Dominguez, ed., Cuban Studies No. 22 (2015)


- Jihan El-Tahri, Cuba: An African Odyssey (2006) - Jose Massip, Madina Boe (1969)


- Tricontinental - Bohemia - Verde Olivo