UM has an extensive list of faculty with expertise on a variety of Cuba-related subjects. Many of these subjects will be relevant at the time of a transition or when a change in power is announced. In addition to these experts, the University houses the Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies and the Cuban Heritage Collection, which both have authorities on academic research and culture on Cuba. UM also recently founded the Center for Hemispheric Policy.
The Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies (ICCAS) serves as a world-class academic center for the research and study of Cuban and Cuban-American topics. Housed in Casa Bacardi on the UM campus, it organizes seminars and lectures, publishes academic research, and offers a special summer program on Cuba for U.S. and foreign students.
Led by its director, UM history professor Jaime Suchlicki, ICCAS sponsors academic and outreach programs, including events at Casa Bacardi, and the Cuba Transition Project, an important project to study and make recommendations for the reconstruction of Cuba once the post-Castro transition begins in earnest. The project started in January 2002 and is funded by a grant from the U.S. Agency for International Development.
ICCAS offers courses on Cuban history and culture, produces publications, and sponsors original research on a variety of topics. It also serves as an educational link between the University, the Cuban exile community, and the South Florida community at-large.
Casa Bacardi at the Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies is an interactive center highlighting Cuba’s history and culture. The institute is well regarded in government circles and has been awarded a United States Agency for International Development (USAID) grant for the past three years.
One of the University of Miami’s jewels is the Cuban Heritage Collection (CHC). Housed in the Roberto C. Goizueta Pavilion on the second floor of the Otto G. Richter Library, the collection is an invaluable source of primary and secondary research materials for Cuban and Cuban-American studies, with materials dating from colonial times to the present that document Cuba's history and culture as well as the experience of Cuban exiles and Cuban-Americans outside the island.
The holdings of the CHC include a collection of approximately 50,000 volumes of rare and contemporary books; periodical publications from Cuba; Cuban exile periodicals or "periodiquitos," published around the world; manuscript collections of personal and corporate papers including that of former Cuban president Fulgencio Batista; and collections of photographs, posters, maps, postcards, and other materials.
Esperanza de Varona, the director of the CHC, has been awarded an endowed faculty chair in recognition of her leadership as a professional archivist. A prominent figure in the community, de Varona continues to work to attract more Cuban documents and artifacts to the collection.
The Center for Latin American Studies (CLAS) is an interdisciplinary organization through which faculty and students from the University of Miami can meet and discuss issues relevant to Latin America and the Caribbean. CLAS aims to foster research collaboration across diverse departments and schools at the University of Miami, and to build bridges from the University to the region.
To contact CLAS Director Prof. Steve Stein, please call 305-284-1854.
Established in 2005, University of Miami’s Center for Hemispheric Policy (CHP) examines critical issues affecting countries in the Western Hemisphere through its policy discussions on economic and political developments, business and trade, U.S. policy and security issues.
Under the leadership of Latin America expert Susan Kaufman Purcell, the CHP has become one of the premier venues for conferences, panel discussions, and seminars on the region, drawing top community and business leaders to its events.