Monday, July 13, 2020

"From the Castros to COVID: An ASCE Virtual Conference" Interview Series: Dr. Prof. Sylvia Pedraza, ASCE President, Speaks to Cuban Outbound Migration Since 1959 and the Cuba-Venezuela Connection

For July and early August 2020, and in the run up to the Association for the Study of the Cuban Economy (ASCE) conference From the Castros to COVID: An ASCE Virtual Conference (13-15 August 2020; Concept Note HERE), ASCE will be organizing a series of interviews of individuals who will be participating in the upcoming conference.

The interviews explore in more detail some of the issues that will be presented at the Conference and also will introduce some of ASCE's key actors. The object is to get to know us better as well as to begin to engage in some of the more important issues facing Cuba, Cuba-US relations, and the regional situation in the Caribbean.  Larry Catá Backer hosts the interviews. All interviews may be accessed free of charge.  They are posted to the ASCE YouTube Channel, and may be accessed as well on the Coalition for Peace and Ethics YouTube Channel. They may also be accessed by scanning the QR Code on your mobile phone or other device.

Our next interview is with Dr. Prof. Sylvia Pedraza, professor of Sociology and American Culture of the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor). Her research interests include the sociology of immigration, race and Ethnicity in the U.S., as well as the sociology of Cuba's revolution and exodus. We spoke about her experiences growing up that led from her childhood immigration experiences to sociology at the University of Michigan and how that shaped her research. She speaks then to the sociology of Cuban migration, focusing on the five distinct ways of migration out of Cuba, from the group who left at the time of the revolution (whom she calls "those who wait") to those who have been leaving now ("those who walk") literally describing the experiences of Cuban migrants walking from South America to the U.S. border (See her marvelous book, Political Disaffection in Cuba's Revolution and Exodus (2007)). Lastly she talks about the parallels and divergences between the experiences of Cuba and of Venezuela and what sociological research has begun to reveal). It was a truly fascinating discussion.

Please enjoy the interview with Larry Catá Backer. Professor Pedraza's short bio follows.

A short video sneak peek of the interview may be accessed HERE.

The entire interview (English only) is available HERE

            Silvia Pedraza is Professor of Sociology and American Culture at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Her research interests include the sociology of immigration, race, and ethnicity in America, as well as the sociology of Cuba's revolution and exodus.  Her research seeks to understand the causes and consequences of immigration as a historical process that forms and transforms nations. She is the author of several books, including Political Disaffection in Cuba's Revolution and Exodus (Cambridge University Press, 2007), and has a forthcoming book on Revolutions in Cuba and Venezuela: One Hope, Two Realities, together with Carlos A. Romero, Universidad Central de Venezuela (University of Florida Press).

In the American Sociological Association (ASA), Silvia Pedraza was Chair of several Sections: the Latina/o Sociology, Race and Ethnic Minorities, and the International Migration Sections. She also served on the Council. 

At the University of Michigan, she teaches courses on American Immigration: Historical and Sociological Perspectives, and Latinos in the U.S.: Social Problems and Social Issues, among others.

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