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Title: Cuba : representations of a quest for a hybrid identity
Author: Perera, Jennifer Ballantine
ISNI:       0000 0001 3483 6955
Awarding Body: University of Kent
Current Institution: University of Kent
Date of Award: 2005
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The debate surrounding Latin America within the postcolonial field is a continuing one informed by polarised views and the resistance in some Latin American academic quarters to a theory that is not historically relevant or sensitive to the differences between the colonial experiences in Latin America and those of India and Africa. My dissertation locates representations of Cuban cultural identity within a framework that views postcolonialism as part of an ongoing process of disengagements from colonialism and neo-colonialism. In a process that is constantly developing, fluidity and the opportunity to move away from fixed or polarised sites is created. This dissertation interrogates Cuban writings and artefacts, the strategies and manoeuvres adopted by intellectuals and writers around issues of race and cultural and racial hybridity within this postcolonial context. Using postcolonial concepts of hybridity, such as Homi Bhabha's and Salman Rushdie's as points of departure, I question these postcolonial theories within the Cuban context and alongside Cuban constructs of el mestizaje and syncretic theories of cultural and racial hybridity, as well as ideological constructs of cultural identity, to analyze their relevance to representations of Cuban cultural identity. I discuss a number of writers and artists through a variety of genre and media, and across emblematic events during the twentieth and opening years of the twenty-first century. In the first cluster of texts I investigate, I discuss Cuban concepts of racial and cultural hybridity though Fernando Ortiz's Cuban Counterpoint: Tobacco and Sugar (1940), Nicolás Guillén's performance before the Sociedad Femenina Lyceum (1932) and Alejo Carpentier's ¡Ecue-Yamba-O! ([1927] 1933). The next cluster of texts, art works are bridged by two films, Tomás Gutiérrez Alea's Memorias del subdesarollo (1968) and Mikhail Kalatozov's Soy Cuba/Ja Kuba( 1964). These are followed by Ana Menéndez's In Cuba I Was a German Shepherd (2001), Pedro Juan Gutiérrez's Trilogía sucia de La Habana (1999) and the ceramics of the Cuban artist Roberto Loreto Marin Rodriguez (2002). I examine the content and complexity of these linkages as a totality to see how connections work together. I examine the binaries of coloniser/colonised which underlie so much postcolonial theory against the presence, in the Cuban examples I interrogate, of multiple internal and external forces that impact on representations of cultural identity. In doing so I suggest how the Cuban example expands or complicates postcolonial concepts of hybridity and engage with the relevance of postcolonial studies to Cuba.
Supervisor: Innes, C. Lyn Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: P Language and Literature