Congratulations to Yeidy Rivero. Her book, Broadcasting Modernity: Cuban Commercial Television, 1950–1960 (Duke 2015) has just been awarded the prestigious Katherine Singer Kovacs Book Award of 2015, presented through the Society of Cinema and Media Studies. [Many thanks to Adriana Reguant Hernández—EthnoCuba—for spreading the news.]
Description: 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 associate professor of Screen Arts and Cultures at the University of Michigan. She is the author of Tuning Out Blackness: Race and Nation in the History of Puerto Rican Television, also published by Duke University Press.