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Martí versus Martí: Nationalism and Hegemony in Havana and Miami


H. Otley Beyer Museum Talk
20 February 2019, 10am
CSSP AVR, Palma Hall

“Martí versus Martí: Nationalism and Hegemony in Havana and Miami” by Prof. João Felipe Gonçalves


This lecture will discuss the celebration of and the dispute over Cuba´s national hero, José Martí – who shares several similarities with the Filipino national hero José Rizal – in the context of the political conflict between the island’s socialist state and its exiled opponents in the United States. Both political elites have long claimed to be Martí’s heirs and successors, placing him at the center of their political ideologies and cluttering the public cultures and spaces of their respective capitals – Havana and Miami – with imagery related to him. However, after six decades of conflict, the political visions defended by these elites have not attained hegemony in either of these cities, as Cubans in both of them are highly and increasingly critical of those ideologies. In contrast, this lecture will argue, the deep nationalistic assumptions shared by both political elites – like the common cult of the same hero – have come to enjoy uncontested currency and obtained a taken-for-granted quality for Cubans in both Havana and Miami today.

About the Speaker

João Felipe Gonçalves is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of São Paulo, Brazil. He holds an MA in Anthropology from Brazil’s Museu Nacional, an MA in History from Johns Hopkins University, and a Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Chicago. An urban and political anthropologist, his research focuses on the Caribbean, especially Cuba and Guadeloupe, and on issues such as historical memory, space, nationalism, and diasporas.