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Contacting Dean Mendoza

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III Seminar Of The Euroafrican And Eurolatinamerican Comparative Studies Group:
"The Decolonisation Of Present-Day Relalations Among
Europe, Africa And Latin America" - La Havana and Matanzas, November 20-26, 1998

Department of Afro-Cuban Studies

The University of Matanzas

The University of Matanzas has been the scene of a number of workshops given by Afrocuba de Matanzas and Los Muñequitos on percussion, dance, and singing. Such courses have been given on university grounds and at times students have been able to stay in rooms at the university, which have air conditioning.

The person on the university side responsible for organizing this is Angel Mendoza Torriente, an Afro-Cuban who is Dean of the Facultad Ingeneria Industrial y Economia. Dean Mendoza is able to provide the same kind of arrangements for workshops with other groups or individuals in Matanzas.

So far as we have been able to determine, there is no one at the University who is researching the African cultures in Matanzas. This parallels the Cuban educational system in general, which to date has not seen that much in the way of scholarship on Afrocuban culture.

A new department of Afro-Cuban Studies

Dean Mendoza is interested in developing more programs at the university and in establishing a department of Afro-Cuban studies which could work with the community. He will need support in this as funds are scarce. Remains to be seen under what form such support can be provided: it should probably come from countries other than the US in order not to run afoul of US legislation, although there may be ways of bending the rules and obtaining exceptions from Treasury. But then US universities have many international contacts and perhaps some will be creative in arranging quid pro quos.

The potential payoff is very large, given the many treasures of African culture still living in Matanzas, both in the city andin the province. After all, Perico, south of Matanzas, is where Lydia Cabrera obtained a great deal of material for her work.

Contacting Dean Mendoza

Lic Angel Mendoza Torriente
Decano Facultad Ing. Industrial y Economia
Universidad de Matanzas
Carretera Varadero Km 3 1/2
Matanzas, Cuba


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