Identifying (with) 'Carlota': myths, metaphors and landscapes of Cuban Africanía, 1974-1980

Peters, Christabelle A. (2010) Identifying (with) 'Carlota': myths, metaphors and landscapes of Cuban Africanía, 1974-1980. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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Abstract

The thesis expands the field of scholarly enquiry on the Cuban intervention in Angola beyond the frame of geopolitics into the area of cultural politics. It considers the relation between Africa as a cultural and political `territory' in the Cuban imaginary and the epic internationalist mission known as Operation Carlota. By focusing on representations and manifestations of 'Africanness' in discursive practices ranging from culture and the arts to domestic and foreign policy, the enquiry illustrates how the notion of Cuba as Latin-African evolved in relation to changes in revolutionary ideology during the period known as the quinquenio gris, and with regard to the swell of liberation movements throughout the African Diaspora.

My approach proceeds from Victor Turner's theory of liminality, which discusses how ritual behaviour and symbolism - rites de passage - may be used as concepts for an understanding of social structure and processes With this view in mind, I construct a theoretical framework that conjoins the notion of ritual in Cuba's Africa derived religious practices with the more general idea of war, or in this case internationalism, as a social ritual. In this way, I demonstrate that the Angolan Experience was essential to the transformation of Cuban collective identity from Latin American to Caribbean by the 1980s. This shift, I claim, was sponsored, on the international level, by the symbolism of the military mission as an epic re-enactment of the West African Diaspora/Caribbean myth of return, and, on the national level, by slave iconology. The methodological technique used combines a critical hermeneutic reading of cultural productions with postcolonial styles of social and cultural analysis.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Kapcia, A.M.
Millington, M.I.
Subjects: F United States local history. History of Canada and Latin America > F1201 Latin America (General)
H Social sciences > HM Sociology
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Arts > School of Modern Languages and Cultures
Item ID: 13226
Depositing User: EP, Services
Date Deposited: 26 Apr 2013 08:04
Last Modified: 13 Sep 2016 19:21
URI: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/13226

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