Bard College Hosts Bard-Cuba Conference

On Wednesday, April 18, 2012, there will be a stimulating conference at Bard College, in the Bertelsmann Campus Center; all events are free and open to the public. Activities include key note speeches, film screenings, roundtables, musical performances, a slide-show, a reception and a book-signing event.

From 12:00noon to 2:00pm, Cuban Bard students will talk of their cross-cultural experiences; Bard students who have studied in Cuba will show slides and talk of their experiences.

At 2:00pm in the MPR, along with free snacks, a strong Cuban music ensemble, led by José Sánchez, Carlos Valdez and Wyatt Bertz, will offer a demonstration of the history of Cuban music, addressing danzón, trova, and salsa, while a contingent from a Latin American cultural group will be present to help inspire possible outbreaks of dancing.

At 3:30pm in Weis Cinema (in the Campus Center), the filmmaker Brin-Jonathan Butler will be presenting excerpts of his film Split Decision. He will be in conversation with S.L. Price, senior editor at Sports Illustrated and frequent contributor to the New York Times, author of Pitching around Fidel. Butler’s film details the plight of Guillermo Rigondeaux, an Afro-Cuban amateur boxer considered the current champion and the best in the sport’s history, now living out the American nightmare in Miami, virtually owned by all the bankers who, in a modern-day version of the slave trade, invested in the young boxer’s defection from Cuba.

At 5:15pm outside Weis (in the Campus Center), there will be a small, free reception and a chance to peruse books by the panelists, courtesy of the Bard Bookstore.

At 5:30pm the keynote address, “A Personal Cuba”, will be given by Carlos Eire and Ruth Behar. Carlos Eire, a Yale professor, is the author of the acclaimed memoir Waiting for Snow in Havana. Ruth Behar, a MacArthur Fellow currently at the University of Michigan, is a groundbreaking anthropologist known, among many other accomplishments, for her work in Mexico and Cuba, as well as her investigations into Jewish Cuba.

At 6:30pm there will be a panel on Cuba’s present and future with S.L. Price, Carlos Eire, Ruth Behar and other guests, with a chance for questions afterward. The speakers represent a wide range of opinions on Castro’s Cuba, so there is sure to be an interesting contrapuntal discussion.

At 7:30pm, along with a reception, there will be a book-signing session with the guest writers.

For more information, you may write to or see

Image from

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s