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Author's Forum Presents Broadcasting Modernity: Cuban Commercial Television, 1950-1960: A Conversation with Yeidy Rivero and Ruth Behar

Tuesday, September 29, 2015
12:00 AM
Harlan Hatcher Graduate Library, 913 S. University, Library Gallery, #100

The birth and development of commercial television in Cuba in the 1950s occurred alongside political and social turmoil. In this period of dramatic swings encompassing democracy, a coup, a dictatorship, and a revolution, television functioned as a beacon and promoter of Cuba’s identity as a modern nation. In Broadcasting Modernity, television historian Yeidy M. Rivero shows how television owners, regulatory entities, critics, and the state produced Cuban modernity for television. The Cuban television industry enabled different institutions to convey the nation's progress, democracy, economic abundance, high culture, education, morality, and decency. After nationalizing Cuban television, the state used it to advance Fidel Castro's project of creating a modern socialist country. As Cuba changed, television changed with it. Rivero not only demonstrates television's importance to Cuban cultural identity formation, she explains how the medium functions in society during times of radical political and social transformation.

Yeidy M. Rivero
is  professor of screen arts and cultures at the University of Michigan and her research centers on television history, media and globalization. She is the author of
Tuning Out Blackness: Race and Nation in the History of Puerto Rican Television (Duke University Press, 2005) and co-editor (with Arlene Dávila) of Contemporary Latino Media: Production, Circulation, Politics (New York University Press, 2015).

Ruth Behar is Victor Haim Perera Collegiate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Michigan. Her books include Translated Woman: Crossing the Border with Esperanza’s Story (a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, 1993), The Vulnerable Observer: Anthropology That Breaks Your Heart (1997), An Island Called Home: Returning to Jewish Cuba (2007), and Traveling Heavy: A Memoir in between Journeys (2013). 

The Author's Forum is a collaboration between the U-M Institute for the Humanities, University Library, & Ann Arbor Book Festival.