Forthcoming Book: Race and Reproduction in Cuba

Bonnie A. Lucero’s Race and Reproduction in Cuba, examines the ways women confronted legal, medical, and institutional interventions into their reproductive lives in Cuba, from the early colonial period through the middle of the twentieth century. It is scheduled for release with the University of Georgia Press in Fall 2022. The author explains:

Race and Reproduction in Cuba is a longue durée study of women’s reproductive experiences in Cuba, from the onset of colonization through the early years of the Cuban Revolution. I argue that elite men including judges, physicians, philanthropists, and public officials intervened in women’s reproductive lives in racially-specific ways. Pronatalism defined interventions involving white women’s reproduction. Colonial authorities advanced this agenda primarily through patriarchal protection aimed at saving the lives of white infants and the harnessing the fertility of white mothers. When it came to women of color, interventions usually fell into two categories: exclusion and punishment. These two approaches defined both interventions aimed at extracting enslaved women’s reproductive labor and mitigating population increase among free women of color. The specific methods employed to control women’s reproductive lives did not always advance the overarching demographic goals in the most clear-cut ways. Nevertheless, this book shows how white supremacy shaped tangible differences in the treatment of women and their infants across racial lines, and those reproductive outcomes were crucial in sustaining racial hierarchies through moments of tremendous political, economic, and social change. The book is expected for release with the University of Georgia Press in Fall 2022.

Bonnie A. Lucero is a scholar of Latin America and the Caribbean. Thematically, her research centers on the historical intersections of race and gender in colonial and post-colonial contexts, especially in Cuba. She is co-editor of Voices of Crime: Constructing and Contesting Social Control in Modern Latin America (University of Arizona Press, 2016). She is also author of two monographs. Her first book, Revolutionary Masculinity and Racial Inequality: Gendering War and Politics in Cuba, 1895-1902 (University of New Mexico, 2018), explores the ways Cuban soldiers employed ideas about manhood to negotiate racial hierarchy during the Cuban War of Independence and subsequent US military occupation. Her second monograph, A Cuban City, Segregated: Race and Urbanization in the Nineteenth Century (University of Alabama Press, 2019) examines the lived experiences of men and women of African descent in Cienfuegos, a city founded as a white colony, during the long nineteenth century. [. . .]

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