Visiting Assistant Professor of Africana Studies Reynaldo Ortiz-Minaya gave the opening remarks at the Third Biennial Undergraduate Student Research Conference held at the State University of New York at Binghamton on March 12. The theme of the conference was “¿Quiénes somos? Who are we? Qui sommes-nous? Kisa nou ye? Moving, Crossing, and Living In Multiplicity.”
Ortiz-Minaya was one of the creators of the conference, started in 2012 as a means to prepare undergraduate students for both graduate school and professional development.
Ortiz-Minaya also spent part of spring break in Havana where he presented during a special congress of the Institute of History on “Cuba, Finance Capital, and Global Neo-Liberalism in the 21st Century: The Cuban Revolution Revisited.
The Embassy of the Dominican Republic also held a joint congress titled “Changing Nature of the Caribbean Economy: Cuban Tourism and the Future.” Ortiz-Minaya presented part of his ongoing research on the impact of the Cuban economy, given market developments, on the rest of the Caribbean economies.
By special request, Ortiz-Minaya joined Casa de Las Américas and the Consortium for Advanced Studies Abroad Program (CASA-Cuba). Since its founding in 1959, Casa de Las Américas has been the Cuban government’s premier research institution for Caribbean and Latin American studies, Cuban culture and the arts.
CASA is a collaborative initiative involving several U.S. universities: Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, Northwestern, the University of Pennsylvania and Vanderbilt. Ortiz-Minaya is interested in making study in Cuba available to Hamilton students through the consortium.
Ortiz-Minaya toured Cuba in preparation for an upcoming delegation of the Kellogg Fellows Leadership Alliance, a diverse, transnational network of leaders, activists, innovators, thinkers and doers. He will return to the island later with a group of 36 U.S. university professors and administrators to learn about the changing Cuban market relations and ways to increase awareness of Cuban realities.
He also visited the Archivo Nacional de la República de Cuba and the Biblioteca Nacional José Martí where he conducted research for his ongoing work on Cuban and Caribbean sugar production and slave resistance in the 19th century.