The University of Tampa announced on Saturday that it has been named as the first U.S. affiliate of the Center for José Martí Studies (Centro de Estudios Martianos), based in Havana.
The Center for José Martí Studies (CEM) is an accredited research institution under the Ministry of Culture in Cuba whose mission is to promote the life, work and thought of Cuba’s greatest hero, José Martí. Prior to Saturday, there were 33 CEM affiliates, mainly housed within Latin American universities.
For the past three years, CEM has hosted UT students in Havana for May Term courses on the history of Cuba-U.S. relations. This CEM affiliation will allow continued academic exchange opportunities that will be beneficial to UT students and faculty as well as the larger Tampa Bay community. The affiliation will stimulate the study and analysis of the life, work and thought of José Martí and other important Latin American intellectuals.
Academic, scholarly and commemorative activities related to José Martí will be held as part of the affiliation, including conferences, lectures, book presentations, documentary screenings and exhibitions, as well as expanded course offerings, travel and scholarships.
David Stern, UT provost, said he looks forward to the scholarly opportunities for UT faculty and students that will arise by bringing Martí scholars together.
“This a wonderful opportunity to recognize the continued relevance of Martí’s work in a city that Martí held dear,” Stern said. “Plus, we are honored to be the first U.S. affiliate of such a prestigious institution.”
Martí traveled to Tampa on at least 20 occasions in the years 1891–1894 and established the foundation of the Cuban Revolutionary Party, which was dedicated to uniting all Cubans in the fight for independence from Spanish colonial rule, among the cigar workers and immigrants of Ybor City and Key West. He called Tampa “el pueblo fiel” — the faithful ones.
Since 1977 CEM has sponsored graduate research and academic conferences, published scholarly work through its academic journal Anuario and publishing house, and overseen the editing and printing of Martí’s collected works.
The establishment of this affiliation was made possible through a long-standing scholarly relationship with James López, UT professor of Spanish. The CEM affiliate will be housed in UT’s College of Arts and Letters.
The announcement was made during the UT-USF International Conference on José Martí, which was held April 14–16 on the USF and UT campuses – See more at: http://www.ut.edu/UT-Named-First-US-Affiliate-Of-Cubas-Center-For-Jose-Marti-Studies.aspx#sthash.GEw5dP7b.dpuf