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UA Commemorates 10th Anniversary of Alabama-Cuba Initiative with Research Trip

Some 35 University of Alabama faculty researchers are traveling to Cuba Feb. 5-11 for a series of academic meetings with their Cuban counterparts. The meetings mark the 10th anniversary of the Alabama-Cuba Initiative, which has brought UA and Cuban educators together to establish opportunities for graduate student research, teaching and formal course work for undergraduate students at Cuban academic institutions and has also allowed Cuban educators to come to UA for collaborative work.

The week-long series of meetings will take place at three Cuban educational institutions: the University of Havana, the Institute of Art (Instituto Superior de Artes), and the University of San Gerónimo. UA faculty members will be presenting proposals for future educational and research collaborations, and discussing project descriptions with Cuban educators working in comparable areas.

A milestone in the trip will take place at the University of San Gerónimo where Dean Olin will present a new book, La Habana Vieja/Old Havana, to Dr. Eusebio Leal Spengler, Cuba’s historian for Havana and director of the Old Havana restoration project. Authored by Chip Cooper, a faculty member in UA’s department of art and art history, and Néstor Martí, a photographer of the Havana Historian’s Office, La Habana Vieja, published by The University of Alabama Press this month, presents 200 pages of photographs of the people and places of Havana taken by both Cooper and Martí. The two photographers have been collaborating since 2008 to produce a body of photographs that capture the spirit of the city and its people during this pivotal time in Cuba’s development.

Cooper and Martí will discuss this research collaboration as part of the week-long events. Other  researchers and scholars will explore topics in history, chemistry, law, modern languages, poetry, art, music, theatre, literature, writing, anthropology, geography, biological sciences, cultural studies, engineering, human nutrition, and others.