Cuba: Complexity, Community  and Change

Course Overview & Description

On December 17, 2014 Presidents Obama and Castro announced historic and fundamental changes in the relationship between the United States and Cuba. After over fifty years of political and economic antagonism and isolation, Cuba and the U.S. publically started on a path towards the “normalization” of relations. Despite these announced changes many questions remain: what will these changes mean for the internal politics and government of Cuba? What will be the impact of lifting trade sanctions and trade liberalization on Cuban people? Will Cuban Socialism survive despite the pressures of globalization? What does the Cuban Revolution mean with the 21st century?    

Cuba:  Complexity, Community and Change examines the complex intersection of the past and present in relation to current political, economic, social, and environmental changes in Cuba. Despite the recent changes in diplomatic relations with the U.S, there remain many misconceptions regarding both the internal and external dynamics of Cuba. Through in-class and in-country activities we will analyze various historical and contemporary perspectives regarding Cuba and the Cuban Revolution. Special emphasis will be given to grassroots changes occurring at the community level through various old and new social actors. The course is designed to give student participants a unique and interdisciplinary introduction to Cuba’s history, political system, socio-economic conditions and composition, and environmental policies. Through this course, we will be able to develop critical analytical skills related to both U.S. perceptions about Cuba as well as domestic and foreign Cuban policies. By combining readings, class discussion, in-country community engagement, and research, students will develop their own capacity to critically assess and appreciate the contemporary complexity of Cuba in its various political, economic, social, and environmental aspects.        


Course & Travel Dates

This course is held in fall semester and includes 7 on-campus classes and a one week intensive in Cuba over fall break. The course is a result of collaborative efforts between the Lowell Bennion Community Service Center, the Office of Global Engagement and Learning Abroad and the Departments of Political Science and Public Administration.

Travel date:  October 8-15, 2017


More information and application available on the Learning Abroad website.

Instructions on how to use the Learning Abroad application system.



Cuba: Complexity, Community, and Change Fall 2014

Last Updated: 12/18/17