Maya Berry, 'Una Rumba Pa’ochun: Race, Folklore and Syncopation in an ‘Updating’ Cuba'

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January 27, 2016 @ 11:15 am
January 27, 2016 @ 12:15 pm
Department of African, African-American, and Diaspora Studies
Dey Hall, Toy Lounge
Chapel Hill, NC 27516 United States

Maya Berry (center)

This lecture is presented by Maya Berry, a doctoral candidate in the department of anthropology at the University of Texas at Austin.

As public discourse anxiously surrounds the “updating” process in Cuba, there is much attention on the macro-policies and reforms of the Cuban political economy and the “normalization” of relations with the U.S. Using ethnography, black feminism and performance theory to read “against the grain,” this paper insists that important bottom-up understanding about the current moment is gained when we look at how black body-politics collectively move through the changing political, economic and social landscape. Rumba performance, by and for practitioners of Afro-Cuban religion, takes center stage in this ethnography as a strategic resource for navigating the “updating” rhythm of the nation.

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