LASA 2015 Dissident Sexualities, Culture and State in Late Socialist Cuba

Congreso LASA 2015

Congreso LASA 2015

#LASA2015 #LASASex #Cuba #queer #literaturacubana #politicaspublicas

29 de mayo, 12 mediodía, Caribe Hilton – Flamboyan

Abstract:

Are expressions of sexual dissidence possible in a national context where social, cultural and political engagement and identities have historically been managed by a strictly normative, albeit revolutionary, state? Would emergent non-normative, non-binary ways of thought and activism find a legitimate space within the state (e.g., CENESEX) and/or in Cuba’s emerging civil society? How do cultural and political expressions (e.g., film, literature, state policy frameworks) deal with non-normative forms of representation, particularly in the past twenty years? To what extent is it possible for dissidence to emerge when framed as being within or part of the Revolution? Finally, if queerness is considered to be anti-normative, how do we understand the possibility of queerness in late socialist Cuba? These are some of the questions we address on this panel, including through examinations of literature, political speech and state discourse.

Presentations: 

1- Queer (Im)possibilities in Cuba I

Lourdes Martínez-Echazábal, University of California/Santa Cruz

In his foundational and ubiquitous speech, “Words to the Intellectuals” (1961), Castro laid the foundations for both Cuba’s political culture and cultural politics. Effectively, he created a binary typology of the intellectual that left no room for any kind of “in-between” or beyond subject position. He typologized intellectuals as either “revolutionary” or “counter-revolutionary,” thus pathologizing those who were neither one nor the other. As per Castro’s typology, these politically and culturally unclassifiable yet “honest men” posed a real problem to the Revolution and were eventually stripped of all agency: they were ostracized, incarcerated, demonized, annihilated, or went into exiled. Today, this form of binary thinking continues to dictate the ethos of those state institutions/practices perceived as progressive within the Cuban context and beyond. Take, for instance, the work of CENESEX, an initiative linked to the Ministry of Public Health (MINSAP) that has developed under the stewardship of Mariela Castro, the female heir to power of the Castro family. While there is some skepticism with regard to the work of CENESEX, the fact is that in many activist and academic circles CENESEX has come to be synonymous with progressive GLBTIQ politics in Cuba. In light of this, my presentation seeks to frame the discussion of queer aesthetics and politics in Cuba, and to question the (im)possibility of queerness, perceived not only as an umbrella category encompassing all of anti-normative expression, but also, and most importantly, as an/other space in which dissent and sexual dissidents can exist and have agency, political and otherwise.

2- Sexualidad, colonialidad y mercado a partir de los 90

Ana Serra, American University

En los años 90, la escasez de papel, la apertura del sistema, y un decreto cubano que permitió publicar fuera del país motivaron una pequeña explosión de publicación de novelas cubanas en España. Mientras que algunas novelas trataban de desentrañar el sentido de los cambios introducidos en la isla, otras pretendían exorcizar los demonios del pasado con narrativas de tipo confesional, mientras que otras inauguraban una estética conceptualizada por muchos como una estética de lo soez, vulgar o sucio, que aún persiste. Este trabajo profundiza en la intersección entre las circunstancias del Período Especial en Cuba, la política editorial en España en un momento de acercamiento a Cuba y, las manifestaciones de sexualidades anti-normativas en novelas de Ena Lucía Portela, Pedro Juan Gutiérrez y Ronaldo Menéndez. Estos autores reconfiguran, desde el discurso de la sexualidad, la consabida sexualización del Caribe, y de forma mas puntual, la sexualizacion de la cultura cubana y las relaciones de mercado durante el Socialismo tardío.

3- Queer (Im)possibilities in Cuba II

Amy Lind, University of Cincinnati

Especially since the 2000s, Cuba’s state-based Centro Nacional de Educación Sexual (CENESEX) has visibly promoted LGBTI rights. This new visibility of LGBTI rights draws from and builds upon CENESEX’s historical trajectory rooted in sex education and scientific discourses of sex (e.g., sexology). It stems as well from shifts within state practices, including Mariela Castro’s own participation as the Director of CENESEX. New organizations have emerged and new political identities have become visible, primarily through the modernizing lens of late socialism in Cuba. In this paper I wish to examine and explore the conditions that shape and naturalize political subjectivities and their concomitant rationalities, and to understand in this case how the Cuban state’s recognition of LGBTI rights in itself contributes to (or not) queer possibilities. If we understand “queerness” as anti-normative, to what extent can any state, particularly a state that directly manages social mobilization and frames group identity, actually encourage or create queer possibilities? As certain kinds of identities are naturalized through state-based practices, does this give way to or erase other (queer) possibilities? To what extent does this opening actually challenge the heteronormative underpinnings of the socialist state, and how if at all is this any different from neoliberal heteronormativities or rationalities? I address these questions in the context of Cuba’s specific history and as a way to problematize the discussion of queerness, socialism and capitalism taking place in the context of Latin America’s purported shift to the Left and ongoing processes of neoliberalization.

4- En busca de Estraven III. Homofobia, feminismo y (homo)sexualidades en la ciencia ficción cubana del siglo XXI

Yasmín Silvia Portales Machado, GT AC&SE CLACSO

Este texto es un ejercicio de epistemología feminista en la ciencia ficción cubana: se aplica la “hermenéutica de la sospecha” para llamar la atención sobre las lógicas de la subordinación entre géneros y orientaciones sexuales en el cuerpo textual de la ciencia ficción cubana, poco abordado por la crítica literaria nacional o extranjera. El análisis cubre textos escritos entre 1991 y 2012. El análisis no será cronológico, sino temático: La producción de estxs personas –que considero imprescindibles en la CFC del periodo– se agrupa, de acuerdo al modo en que se alinean con diversos modelos de sexualidad, como patriarcales, feministas y queers.

Más sobre está investigación…

Resumen del articulo: Portales Sex CF Cuba siglo XXI

Abstract of the paper Portales Sex SF Cuba XXI century

Un comentario en “LASA 2015 Dissident Sexualities, Culture and State in Late Socialist Cuba

  1. Pingback: LASA 2015 “Dissident Sexualities” ocurrió | Mi vida es un fino equilibrio…

Deja una respuesta

Introduce tus datos o haz clic en un icono para iniciar sesión:

Logo de WordPress.com

Estás comentando usando tu cuenta de WordPress.com. Salir /  Cambiar )

Imagen de Twitter

Estás comentando usando tu cuenta de Twitter. Salir /  Cambiar )

Foto de Facebook

Estás comentando usando tu cuenta de Facebook. Salir /  Cambiar )

Conectando a %s