Cuba Research Network

Program Director

The Cuban Research Network brings together faculty and graduate students who are currently studying Cuba from a wide variety of disciplines and methodologies bridging the sciences, humanities and social sciences.

Our research focuses on the issue of the Cuban transition: Since presidents Obama and Raúl Castro announced the reestablishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries after almost six decades of hostilities, the island has undergone an unprecedented opening to the United States and to the rest of the world. In less than two years, Google and AirBnB have established a strong presence in Cuba, allowing hundreds of citizens to participate in a globalized economy. Art museums from around the world have turned their eyes to Havana, and foreign galleries like the Italian Galeria Continua have opened spaces in the capital.

But not all areas of Cuban society have embraced change. While areas of the economy open up, the public sector has remained entrenched in a socialist model.

One of the main areas of research for our group will be the status of freedom of expression in the island, especially in the cultural sphere. Some disciplines – like film – have enjoyed a large degree of freedom of expression, while others – literature – have been subject to heavy censorship. The rise of the Internet in the early 2000s and the emergence of a new generation of bloggers have opened up new avenues for expression and testing the limits of state control. 

Associated Faculty

Rubén Gallo (Principal Investigator), Spanish and Portuguese

Beatriz Colomina, School of Architecture

Maria Garlock, School of Engineering

Stan Katz, Princeton School of Public and International Affairs

Rachel Price, Spanish and Portuguese

Associated Visiting Faculty

Antonio José Ponte, Cuban novelist and essayist (PLAS fellow, fall 2016)

Eduardo Luis Rodríguez, Cuban architecture historian (PLAS fellow, spring 2017)

Reina María Rodríguez, Cuban poet (PLAS fellow, fall 2016)

Associated Graduate Students

Ingrid Brioso Rieumont, Spanish and Portuguese

Miguel Caballero, Spanish and Portuguese

Sarah Town, Music

Lizabel Villares-Plascencia, Spanish and Portuguese