Gls 100/pol 300 Havana: a global city Spring 2012, Quarter 3

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GLS 100/POL 300

Havana: a global city

Spring 2012, Quarter 3

(with travel over spring break)
Professor Lisa Glidden

439 Mahar

Office hours: TTh 11 – 12, and by appointment

Course meets MW 1:50 – 2:45 in Mahar 111
Havana, the capital of Cuba, is the largest city in the Caribbean, and reflects its centuries’ – old heritage. Today in Havana one can have a history lesson in architecture, from baroque Spanish, to U.S. neo-Gothic and modern architecture, and Soviet functionalist architecture. The streets are full of Hyundais, Toyotas, Ladas, and still a few ’57 Chevys and Pontiacs.

Control of Havana and Cuba has been fought over for centuries. Initially a Spanish colony that faced attacks from and eventually briefly ruled by the British, Cuba’s fight for meaningful independence spanned almost one hundred years (1868 – 1959).

This course provides an examination and analysis of Havana and its role in global politics. We begin with a brief review of Cuba’s fight for independence, transference from Spain to the United States, and the Cuban Revolution. We will look at how other countries have influenced Havana, and also Havana’s influence on other countries. The main focus of the course will be on Havana since the fall of Soviet Union, with an emphasis on policy and social innovations—the hip-hop movement, civil society, organic farms in the city, and the increasing privatization of the economy.

Students have the option of registering for either GLS 100 or POL 300, but should be aware that POL 300 requires a research paper.

Required Readings:

Sweig, Julia E. (2009) Cuba: What Everyone Needs to Know Oxford University Press

“How to Travel in a Socialist Country” – on Angel reserves
Recommended book:

Miller, Tom (2008) Trading with the Enemy: A Yankee Travels Through Castro’s Cuba Basic Books

Grading GLS 100 POL 300
Map quizzes 30% 30%

Current events quiz 20% 20%

Travel journal 50% 20%

Research paper 30%

Course Outline

Mon, 1/23

Introduction to the course

Havana map distributed with notations

Wed, 1/25


Cuba before 1959

  • Read pages 1 – 35

Mon, 1/30

The Cuban Revolution

  • 36 – 56

Wed, 2/1

Map Quiz #1

The Cuban Revolution

  • 56 – 73

Mon, 2/6

U.S. – Cuba Relations

  • 74 – 103

Wed, 2/8

Cuba and the U.S. During the Cold War

  • 104 – 125

Mon, 2/13

The fall of the Soviet Union and the Special Period

  • 126 – 160

Wed, 2/15

No class

  • read about US Cuba policy in the 1990s 161 – 190

Mon, 2/20

No class

  • read about Cuba’s foreign policy since the fall of the SU

  • 191 – 205

Wed, 2/22

Political transition from Fidel to Raul Castro

  • 207 – 226

Mon, 2/27

Current events quiz

US Policy shifts post-Fidel

  • 227 – 244

Wed, 2/29

ALBA & Cuba’s recent foreign policy

  • 244 – 256

Mon, 3/5

Travel etiquette and rules for while we’re in Cuba

  • “How to travel in a socialist country”

Wed, 3/7

Map Quiz #2

Conclusions and travel reminders

***Tentative travel itinerary***

Sat, 3/10/11

Possible departure date JFK – HAV

Sun, 3/11/12

Walking tour of Old Havana

The role of sugar  Rum Museum

Hotel Caribbean o Residencia Academica …

Mon, 3/12

Jose Marti Memorial

University of Havana

Red bus tour of Havana

Conference at the Institute for the environment

Hospedaje Hotel Caribbean

Tues, 3/13

Museum of the Revolution

Morro for el Canonazo

Talk with Luis Rene Hernandez of UH about US- Cuban relations

Hospedaje Hotel Caribbean

Wed, 3/14

Cuba’s changing economy

Partagas tobacco factory

Optional: meeting with diplomats at US Interests Section to learn about the Foreign Service

Thurs, 3/15

Early pickup for excursion

Che memorial

Excursion to Buenavista Biosphere Reserve(?)

Hospedaje Villa San Jose del Lago (?)

Fri, 3/16

Buenavista Biosphere Reserve (?)

Hospedaje Villa San Jose del Lago (?)

Saturday, 3/17

Return to JFK

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