Office of International Programs
WKU celebrating International Year of Cuba
- Tuesday, August 28th, 2018
Cuba will take center stage at WKU during the 2018-19 International Year Of… (IYO) program. Replete with opportunities to learn about this neighboring Caribbean country and its history, culture and longstanding and complex relationship with the U.S., the International Year of Cuba calendar of events will include art exhibitions, a film festival, culinary demonstrations, lectures, dance performances and more.
Administered by the Office of International Programs, the IYO is a yearlong exploration of a single country that provides the WKU community with a deeper understanding of and appreciation for the world around them. Brought to life by academic departments, on-campus partners and community organizations, the IYO takes the form of both internationalized courses featuring Cuban-centered content and co-curricular programming.
To launch WKU’s fifth IYO program, Dr. Andrew McMichael, Associate Dean of Potter College of Arts & Letters, and Dr. Marc Eagle, Associate Professor of History, will present an overview of Cuba titled, Cuba 101, at 4 p.m. Tuesday (Sept. 4) in the Gary Ransdell Hall Auditorium.
Other IYO Cuba events that are scheduled for the year include:
- Cuban Film Festival: An exploration of Cuban cinema; each screening will include a guided discussion. 7 p.m. Sept. 11, 12, 18, 19, 25 and 26 at Cherry Hall, room 125
- Guest Scholar: Louis Pérez: A talk by Dr. Louis Pérez, (History, University of North Carolina), titled “Cuba from the Nineteenth Century to Now.” Oct. 8; time and location TBD
- The Island of My Love: The Faces and Stories of: An exhibition featuring the stories of art, artists, teaching and a photo documentary (Project Simple) curated by Miwon Choe (Art) and Jesús Molina (Director of Experimental Art School in Havana, Cuba). Jan. 25- April 5, Ivan Wilson Fine Arts Center’s Main and Corridor Galleries
- Author Visit: Julia Cooke: A talk by the author of The Other Side of Paradise: Life in the New Cuba. 7 p.m. March 14; location TBD. Visit wku.edu/iyo to participate in the associated book club.
The five faculty who participated in the associated Zuheir Sofia Endowed International Faculty Seminar (ZSEIFS) to Cuba this past spring will also take lead in populating this year’s calendar and contributing to students’ learning of Cuba. Each has plans to infuse their first-hand knowledge of Cuba into their courses and provide programming that complements the curriculum.
ZSEIFS participant Julie Shadoan (Legal Studies), who set out to explore Cuba’s legal system, intends to host a Cuban lawyer next spring and introduce students to Cuba’s ever-changing legal landscape. Shadoan saw her time in-country as an opportunity to make sense of a country that is often blurred by its mystique.
“This seminar allowed me to develop my own lens for the exploration and investigation of the Cuban experience,” Shadoan said. “It has provided me an invaluable social, cultural and economic backdrop for a comparative study of the development of our two legal systems as well as the values and ethics encompassed in the practice of law in both countries."
Like her fellow ZSEIFS participants, Shadoan will integrate Cuba into several of her courses and leverage her new knowledge and connections to develop robust programming.
Following the IYO Cuba, WKU will dedicate a year to re-engaging with past target countries. Dubbed the IYO Revisited, the 2019-20 academic year will support sustained international engagement while facilitating educational events that reconnect the university community to past countries (Ecuador 2014-15; South Africa 2015-16; South Korea 2016-17; Bosnia and Herzegovina 2017-18) and open opportunities for country-to-country comparisons.
The IYO Revisited will be followed by a spotlight on Kenya in 2020-21.
For information and events, visit wku.edu/iyo
About the ZSEIFS: The Zuheir Sofia Endowment was created to facilitate the mission of the Office of International Programs, which endeavors to provide leadership in the development of a strong international profile. Zuheir Sofia, a 1969 WKU graduate and 2014 Honorary Doctorate recipient, is chairman, president and CEO of Business Bank of Florida Corp.
About the Office of International Programs: The Office of International Programs supports the internationalization agenda of the university by creating opportunities for faculty and staff development in a global context and supporting the development of meaningful co-curricular programming for student, campus and community audiences.
Contact: Lauren Reyes, (270) 745-3975