Cuban Studies Program Seminar - Una familia criolla y sus esclavos en Saint-Domingue y Cuba: Una narrativa de una experiencia transatlántica

CGIS South, S-250, 1730 Cambridge Street, Cambridge
Monday, February 27, 2012 -
12:00pm to 2:00pm


In this seminar, Professor Iglesias will employ a “play with scale” (jeux d’échelles, to use the expression coined by Jacques Revel) between micro-historical analysis and the Atlantic long durée, to reconstruct a chain of events that links the lives of Europeans born on the French Atlantic coast, people from western and west-central Africa, and Caribbean Creoles. Due to a series of circumstances, some fortuitous and others contingent, the birth of a French man named Jean Despaigne in Bordeaux in 1725 foreshadowed, on the other side of the Atlantic, the death in 1912 of a black man with the same surname in a remote Cuban coffee plantation. Through the study of one family and their slaves and their descendants, Professor Iglesias will address the birth, grandeur, and death (in both cases at the hands of a revolution) of plantation slavery in two Caribbean colonial enclaves, and the complexities of the transition from slavery to citizenship in Cuba.


Marial Iglesias Utset is currently Visiting Researcher at the John Carter Brown Library at Brown University. Her current research project is entitled, “A Creole Family and Its Slaves in Saint-Domingue and Cuba: A Narrative of a Trans-Atlantic Experience” and narrates the Atlantic travels of a single family and its slaves that links the lives of Europeans born on the French Atlantic coast, people from west-central Africa, and Caribbean Creoles. Trained as a historian, she served as a professor in the Department of Philosophy and History at the University of Havana for over twenty-five years. Her most recent book, Las metáforas del cambio en la vida cotidiana: Cuba 1898-1902 (La Habana: Ediciones Unión, 2003) has won several prizes, including the Clarence H. Haring Prize from the American Historical Association.

*This event will be conducted in Spanish.*

Please feel free to bring your own lunch.

This event is co-sponsored with the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies

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