Tag Archives: independence

#CubAngola40 is Almost Here – What You Need to Know

CubAngola Program Cover

This Friday, the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CLACS), King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center (KJCC), Department of Spanish and Portuguese Languages and Literatures, and the Department of History at NYU have the pleasure of welcoming a diverse group of speakers to commemorate the fortieth anniversary of the Cuban military intervention in Angola’s war of independence.

The events of 1975 represented much more than a military intervention; they also had consequences for visual arts, music, anthropology, and other areas. The speakers presenting at this event are the leading scholars on the topic, and their diverse array of experience and academic study speaks to the complexity of the Cuban-Angolan connection.

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#CubAngola40: Rethinking the 1975 Afro-Cuban War

Poster of President Agostinho Neto and Fidel Castro after Angolan independence celebration.

Poster of President Agostinho Neto and Fidel Castro after Angolan independence celebration.

In November of 1975 the Cuban government made a major military intervention in Angola’s independence process. Forty years later we gather to commemorate this historical moment and its consequences with #CubAngola40  – a daylong symposium at New York University.

This event will be held at the King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center on Friday, November 6th, and will elapse from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.

The conference will have the participation of  Piero Gleijeses, Linda Heywood, Christabelle Peters, Adriano Mixinge, Tony Pinelli and Ned Subletteto to remember and reconsider the event, to illuminate its political and cultural consequences and rethink the relevance of this important chapter of Global South history.

What happened in November of 1975?

Forty years ago, the Cuban government launched Operation Carlota, a large-scale military intervention in Angola while this African country was on the eve of its independence from Portugal. The Cuban military victory over the forces supported by the United States and South Africa represented an explosive chapter  of the Cold War and of the African decolonization. The consequences were immediate and long-lasting, since the resulting defeat of South African troops contributed  to the end of the white-supremacist regime of Apartheid. In that context, the intervention of a small Latin American country into the two main geopolitical struggles of the time was not only unique, it represented an audacious South-to-South cooperation.

Nonetheless, this important historical fact still underrepresented.  A great deal of historical and cultural material remains open to exploration, discussion, and scholarship.  Hence, #CubAngola40  begins to redress the scant attention this event has received and will strive to answer many pertinent and suspended questions:

What did the internationalism behind this event mean,or what could it have meant to today’s racial politics of the African diaspora and to transnational solidarity?

What political role did the Bantu-based cultures shared by both countries since early slave trade bring to bear in the Angola-Cuba context?

In light of recent changes in US-Cuba relations, can we expect new narratives, revelations, or perspectives regarding the intervention?

Stay tuned for more information, programs and biographies that are coming. Also follow this link to RSVP.

Spring 2015 Colloquium: Latin American Independence in the Age of Revolution

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On February 23rd, CLACS inaugurates its Spring 2015 Colloquium Series “Latin American Independence in the Age of Revolution” with a lecture by Sergio Serulnikov, Director of the Graduate Program in History at the University of San Andres in Buenos Aires, Argentina. His talk, titled “La crisis del orden colonial en Hispanoamérica,” will address crucial theoretical and methodological issues in the political history of Latin American independence. Professor Serulnikov contests scholarly positions that point to 1808 as the starting point of the colonial crisis after the Napoleonic invasion of Spain. Serulnikov, who is also a researcher at the Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas de la Argentina (Conicet), maintains that in order to understand Hispanic America’s different responses to the Spanish Kingdom’s debacle one needs a local, integrated, and long term view of these processes. This lecture and the reception to follow will be held at the Deutsches Haus starting at 6pm.

This lecture is part of a Research Colloquium which combines a graduate level course with a lecture series. The event series brings top scholars from around the world to present current research to the NYU community as well as the general public. CLACS Faculty members Sinclair Thomson and Sybille Fischer are co-teaching and spearheading the Spring 2015 Research Colloquium.

The colloquium features an interdisciplinary approach that “explores Latin American independence through readings in political history, political theory, and cultural studies,” said Professor Thomson. Special attention will be given to “primary sources (including chronicles, philosophical disquisitions, pamphlets and propaganda, speeches, constitutions, travelers’ accounts) and the distinctive and complementary aspects of historiographic and literary approaches.” Thomson adds that, “a broad awareness of historical context and careful attention to historical texts can yield revealing new understandings of the past.”

The February 23rd talk will be followed by “When the New Conquered in Latin America: Newness and Value in the Era of Independence,” with Victor Goldgel- Carballo, Assistant Professor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, on March 2nd. Goldgel’s talk is also at the Deutsches Haus. On April 13th, the Colloquium moves to the KJCC Auditorium where Marlene Daut, Assistant Professor of English and Cultural Studies at Claremont Graduate University, will speak on “Race and the Transatlantic Print Culture of the Haitian Revolution, 1789-1865.” Two weeks later, on April 27th, novelist and professor at Goucher University, Madison Smartt Bell will give a lecture titled “Desalines Disembodied.” On May 11th, our closing lecture of the series will be “Bolívar as Slaveholder, the Image of 1815, and the Myth of Abolition,” by Michael Zeuske of Universität zu Köln, Iberische und Lateinamerikanische Abt./ Historisches Institut.

To register for the February 23rd lecture please click here. For more information about the Colloquium series, and other upcoming events, click here to join our mailing list for weekly updates.