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Devyn Spence Benson

Assistant Professor of Africana Studies, Latin American Studies
Ph.D. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Primary Research Interests

Afro-Latin American and Caribbean history, politics, and culture; 19th-20th century Latin America with a focus on race and revolution in Cuba. Benson's new book, Antiracism in Cuba: The Unfinished Revolution (UNC Press, 2016) is based on more than 18 months of field research in Cuba where she has traveled annually since 2003. In the book she examines the steps and missteps in Fidel Castro's 1959 anti-discrimination campaign by giving particular attention to how Afro-Cubans experienced, participated in, and challenged the revolution's approach to antiracism. She also has published articles and reviews in the Hispanic American Historical Review, Journal of Transnational American Studies, Journal of Cuban Studies, World Policy Journal, and PALARA: Publication of the Afro-Latin / American Research Association.

Video Clips

  • Historical Roots of Differing Perspectives on Race Between Cubans and Americans

    Prof. Devyn Spence Benson shares insights into notable historical differences between Cuban and American perspectives on race.

  • Events in the United States Continue to Shape Cuba’s Racial Politics and Perspectives

    In the 1960s and today, Cubans take lessons from the American political discourse around race.

  • Emerging Cuban Economic Opportunities Disenfranchise Afro Cubans

    What do renewed diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba mean for Cuban politics, socioeconomics and race relations?

  • Contradictions Between Anti-Racism and Racism in Cuban and American Society

    How do racial politics shape current events in the United States and Cuba, and what do contradictions between racist attitudes and anti-racism efforts indicate for human development in the 21st century?

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