Centre for Research in Communication and Culture


26 October 2016

Sex, Race, and Revolution: Cuba in Soviet Media and Memory

Presented By Anne Gorsuch, University of British Columbia
  • 1-2 pm (part of the CRCC Seminar Series)
  • Brockington U1.22

About this event

This talk explores the longings, desires, and anxieties underpinning the early Soviet-Cuban relationship. It focuses on the place of Cuba in Soviet media – print, television, film – but also considers the cross-cultural experience of Soviet and Cuban citizens traveling for love, work, and education. The dominant metaphor of the relationship in the early 1960s was passion, a Soviet romantic passion for the Cuban revolution and a concomitant nostalgia for an idealized Soviet past. There was also mistrust and perceived danger. This was particularly evident in Soviet discourses about the gendered and racialized Cuban body, including the virile Cuban man, the consumptive pleasures of sex associated with Cuban women, and the impoverished black body believed to be in special need of Soviet assistance. It was in the realm of sexuality, as well as in norms and experiences concerning race, that Cuba most challenged Soviet expectations, values, and modes of expression. The project intervenes in three historiographical conversations: the history of late socialism; the history of the global 1960s; and the history of relations between the Soviet Union and the Third World.

This event is part of the CRCC Seminar Series.