Published! College faculty member, department chair, contributes to “Navigating the Cuban Ideological Divide: Research on the Independent Libraries Movement”
Dr. Marisela Fleites-Lear, Chair of the Spanish Department at Green River College, has published her article ''Navigating the Cuban Ideological Divide: Research on the Independent Libraries Movement'' in the collection Taking Risks: Feminist Activism and Research in the Americas (SUNY University Press, 2014; paperback 2015). This volume—edited by Julie Shayne and part of the SUNY Series, Praxis: Theory in Action—offers a creative, interdisciplinary approach to narrating the stories of activist scholarship by women. The articles are based on the textual analysis of interviews, oral histories, ethnography, video storytelling, and theater.
In her article, Dr. Fleites-Lear describes the complexities of Cuban Studies on the island and in the diaspora. Reading Fleites-Lear, we understand how biases on both sides of the divide only prevent scholars from learning from each other, and designing projects that benefit everyone. More importantly, her article focuses on stories about literacy and literature through her analysis of underground libraries in Cuba and award winning Cuban ''desk drawer novels.'' The anthology contributors come from many disciplinary backgrounds, including theater, history, literature, sociology, feminist studies, and cultural studies. Other topics range from femicide in Juárez, community radio in Venezuela, video archives in Colombia, exiled feminists in Canada, memory activism in Argentina, sex worker activists in Brazil, rural feminists in Nicaragua, to domestic-violence organizations for Latina immigrants in Texas. Each essay addresses two themes: telling stories and taking risks. The authors understand women activists across the Americas as storytellers who, along with the authors themselves, work to fill the Latin American and Caribbean studies archives with histories of resistance. In addition to sharing the activists' stories, the contributors weave in discussions of scholarly risk taking to speak to the challenges and importance of elevating the storytellers and their histories.