Major Field: Latin American and U.S. History
Adviser: Louis A. Pérez, Jr.
B.A. University of Wisconsin at Madison
MA University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2013
MA Thesis: “Exiling Expatriates: The Disappearing American Colony in Havana, 1959–1960”
My dissertation “Privileged Outsiders in Times of Revolution: Anglo-Americans in Cuba, 1952-1962” integrates substantial archival research in Cuba, the U.S. and England with around 70 oral histories to contribute to the fields of Latin American history, U.S. diplomatic history and cultural history. By studying Anglo-American (U.S., British and Canadian) residents of Cuba between 1952-1962, my work examines diverse manifestations of cross-cultural contact in times of revolution. This community of over 10,000 corporate managers, bankers, engineers, journalists, teachers, missionaries, farmers, ranchers, diplomatic officials, military personnel and gangsters, all maintained distinct relations with the Cuban elite, and with Cuban suffering. During the tumultuous decade between the Batista Coup of 1952 and the October Missile Crisis of 1962, Anglo-American subjectivities transformed in relation to the Cubans with whom they engaged. This work documents the reproduction of corporate and cultural privilege by the Anglo-American colony and also excavates evidence of complex and contradictory environments in which fragile solidarities were forged between privileged outsiders and disenfranchised insiders. Though intergroup contact typically sustains existing power relationships, in this work I explore sites of cultural contact (schools, missions, social clubs and marriages) where conditions allowed marginalized groups and privileged outsiders to collaboratively challenge socioeconomic structures.