Contested Community

Identities, Spaces, and Hierarchies of the Chinese in the Cuban Republic


In Contested Community, the authors analyze the Chinese immigrant community in Cuba between the years 1900–1968. While popular literature of the era portrayed the diasporic group as a closed, inassimilable ethnic enclave, closer inspection instead reveals numerous economic, political, and ethnic divisions. As with all organizations, asymmetrical power relations permeated Havana’s Barrio Chino and the larger Chinese Cuban community. The authors of Contested Community use difficult-to-access materials from Cuba’s national archive to offer a unique and insightful interpretation of a little-understood immigrant group.

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Miriam Herrera Jerez, MA, Instituto Juan Marinello, Universidad de Murcia, is a researcher at the Department of Cultural Heritage, Mayabeque Province, Cuba. The recipient of numerous research awards, she has several publications on the Chinese community.

Mario Castillo Santana, MA, University of Havana, is a researcher at the Cuban Institute of Anthropology. In addition to his work on Chinese migration to Cuba, he has also published on such topics as Afro-Cuban identity and Argentine social activism.

David L. Kenley, PhD, University of Hawaii, is Professor of Chinese History at Elizabethtown College in Pennsylvania, USA. He is the author of New Culture in a New World (Routledge 2003) and several other works dealing with Chinese migration and identity.

Charla Neuroth Lorenzen, PhD, University of Texas-Austin, is Associate Professor of Spanish at Elizabethtown College where she coordinates the Spanish Education program and conducts research on fostering multiliteracy in linguistically diverse classrooms.
Map of Cuba frontispiece
Acknowledgments ix
List of Figures and Tables xi
List of Images xiii
Note on Names and Romanization xv

Introduction 1
Chapter 1 Capitalist Expansion, Republican Legislation, and Chinese
Immigration 17
Chapter 2 Commercial Relations in the Chinese Community of Havana 36
Chapter 3 Chinese Institutions in Havana: Community and Ethnic Identity 59
Chapter 4 Alternatives to the Monopoly of Ethnic Identity: The Forgotten
Chinese 87
Chapter 5 Economic Crisis and World War: Group Protection and Integration
Strategies, 1931–1949 111
Chapter 6 Between Two Revolutions: The Politics and Economics of the Chinese
Community, 1949–1959 145
Chapter 7 Political Crisis and Institutional Change: The Cuban Revolution in the
Chinese Community of Havana, 1959–1968 160
Conclusion 171

Appendix: Timeline of the Chinese in Cuba (1900–1968) 177
Bibliography 197
Index 210
All interested in Chinese migration as well as those individuals concerned with Cuban history, Carribean studies, or ethnic studies.
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