The Cuba Program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is committed to the development of multiple and multifaceted initiatives that foster production and dissemination of knowledge of Cuba, based on professional collaboration between the members of the faculty, staff, and students of the University with colleagues in Cuba. The Program hosts Cuban scholars to conduct research, organizes international conferences, and sponsors a Cuba Speakers Series.
The Cuba Program has developed a collaborative relationship between the Biblioteca Nacional ‘José Martí’ in Havana and Davis Library at UNC for the purpose of preparing inventories of holdings preliminary to enabling both libraries to assist each other in filling gaps in their respective collections. The University has entered into a formal collaborative protocol with the Unión de Artistas y Escritores de Cuba (UNEAC) designed to foster academic and artistic exchanges. Institutional relationships exist with the Centro Cultural ‘Juan Marinello,’ the Fundación Fernando Ortiz, the Casa de Altos Estudios, and the Academia de Historia. With the assistance of generous grants in 2008 and 2013 from the Christopher Reynolds Foundation, the Cuba Program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill inaugurated new initiatives dedicated to the development of collaborative Cuba-Carolina partnerships in the fields of social sciences, humanities, natural sciences, health sciences, and law.
An estimated 100 undergraduate students at UNC have completed a one-semester full-time study at the University of Havana. At the graduate level, scores of students have completed their Ph.D. degrees in the social sciences and humanities and the professional schools, almost all of whom have subsequently developed career tracks dedicated to the study of Cuba. Read more.
The Program collaborates with the University of North Carolina Press monograph series “Envisioning Cuba” which is dedicated to the publication of innovative scholarship engaged with theoretical approaches and interpretive frameworks informed by multi-disciplinary methodologies. An estimated 30 scholarly monographs have been published by the Press, including a number of translations into English of Cuban scholarship including several that are part of the Consortium in Latin American and Caribbean Studies Latin America in Translation Series.
At present, the Cuba materials at UNC’s libraries comprise one of the most important collections of Cuban titles in the United States. Among these materials are books, periodicals, journals, and newspapers, as well as an extensive collection of official government documents. Many of these resources are the result of the direct Library-to-Library relationship between the University of North Carolina and the Biblioteca Nacional José Martí in Havana.
In 2008, Wilson Library hosted an exhibit of Cuban hand-made books and gallery talk, “Dreams and Creativity: Cuban Artists’ Books and Prints,” featuring Professor Linda Howe (Wake Forest University). The Catherine Murphy MAESTRA Collection consists of the original videotaped interviews and the audio, video, and transcript working files that Catherine Murphy and others created to produce the 2012 documentary film about young women who participated as teachers in the Cuban literacy campaign of 1961. There are also interviews with Murphy and documentation about the project’s archives. Most of the collection is available in digital form.