Amanda Perry F'18
Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships 2018
New York University
The Cuban Revolution, Race, and Pan-Caribbean Futures
What does it mean to view the Cuban revolution as a Caribbean event? Using published and archival materials, this project examines the resonance of the revolution in the Anglophone and Francophone Caribbean in 1960s and 1970s, showing how an iconic generation of leftwing thinkers reimagined the futures of their societies in dialogue with Cuban intellectuals and the Cuban state. Adopting this perspective challenges the narrative that the revolution’s international influence declined in the 1970s, when political ties and cultural exchanges with the Caribbean increased dramatically. The resulting cross-Caribbean networks sought to overcome language barriers, but they remained marked by the tension between Marxist and black radicalist agendas. Bridging the concerns of postcolonial and Cold War studies, this project furthermore accounts for the tendency of Caribbean thinkers to disavow state repression in Cuba, including literary censorship, in order to uphold the revolution as a model for anti-imperialist struggle and sovereignty.