2019 NEH Summer Institute, The Center for José Martí Studies Affiliate at the University of Tampa: "The Cultural World of the Cigar Worker" with Kendra Dworkin

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The University of Tampa
Starting in the mid-1880s and becoming fully effective by the 1930s, the “curriculum of culture” Tampa’s Latin immigrant, cigar-making enclaves circulated in the spaces they and residents occupied regularly—the cigar factory, mutual aid society, the coffeehouse, and the theater (also in homes and the union hall). These Cuban (and Spanish and Italian) cultural and social values were passed on from one generation to the next, and even to non-Cubans, via reverse assimilation. The outcome was an ethnic American identity whose impact thoroughly transformed living and working spaces in a segregated, Jim Crow space, and fundamentally reshaped its landscape, foodways, and identity. Our purpose will be to examine this “curriculum of culture,” a culturally and socially situated set of values that conveyed knowledge, beliefs, and behaviors, and was contingent upon community-defined and redefined competencies regarding how not only to survive and thrive in the host society but also to be agents of their own lives and mediate social class and cultural differences. We will analyze this culture as it flourished in the abovementioned spaces and also in homes and union halls, all through historical evidence, translated theatrical excerpts, and oral histories.
Please click on YouTube Video link above to stream the presentation.
Cigar industry--Florida--Tampa, Cuban Émigrés, Tabaqueros, Cultural spaces