Professor Alexandrina Deschamps

Professor Ann Ferguson

Women's Studies, 208 Bartlett, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA. 01003
Office: Bartlett 7B » Office Hours: Mo 1:30-4:00pm & By Appointment
Telephone: (413) 545-1958 » Fax: (413) 545-1500 » Email:

Women's Studies, 208 Bartlett, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA. 01003
Office: Bartlett 370 » Office Hours: Wed 4:00-5:00pm; Thu 2:30-4:00 & By Appointment
Telephone: (413) 545-5802 » Fax: (413) 545-1500 » Email:

Womensst 491/591H Gender & Development in Cuba & Anglophone Caribbean Fall 2003
  Tu: 2:30-5:00pm at Herter 102  

Course Information


This course will provide an interdisciplinary and trans-disciplinary lens of analysis to the field of the Politics and Issues of Gender and Development in the Caribbean with emphasis on Cuba and the Anglophone Caribbean. With respect to Cuba, the focus will be on the role of the Cuban revolution and its treatment of women against a history of colonial and neo-liberal development policies. A gendered analysis of the Anglophone Caribbean will focus on the resistance and responsibility of Caribbean Women in the interplay of economic globalization and "post" colonial development policies. Some of the discourse will be centered on women's employment; education and health, women's movements versus feminist movements; the public/private dichotomy; family, sexuality and gendered violence; race/ethnicity and class/caste systems; gender justice and economic justice.


There will be four (4) components in the course requirements for 491H. Graduate students will be expected to complete these four (4) components for 591, and in addition (1) coordinate a group project and (2) present a class report on an optional reading.

  1. Class Participation (25%): Students will be expected to attend class regularly and be prepared to participate in discussions. There will be both in and out of class questions, exercises, and occasional assignments. Since class meets once a week, it will be difficult to make up for missed classes.
  2. Short Papers (30%): There will be three short papers, each 2-3 pages, each counting 10% of your grade. The papers will involve a critical discussion of a topic from previous weekly seminars.
  3. Term Paper (25%): The term paper will be a research paper, with relevant and appropriate references and citations from books, articles and the internet. Your papers should both summarize the information discovered as well as provide your own critical analysis and application of the research theories, gender issues, development goals or plans as they relate to your particular topic which should involve a comparative study of Cuba vs. the Anglophone islands. Some critical topics to think about include but are not limited to health, education, sex work, alternative development theories or paradigms, contemporary social and political issues, resistance activities and strategies, violence against women. Be sure to caucus with us if you have other suggestions for your paper. Term Paper Due Tuesday, December 2nd.
  4. Group Projects (20%): Students will do group research on a particular topic related to the class themes and will present a group report in the last two seminars of the semester. Recommended Topics are:

Academic Honesty and Other Undergraduate Policies

Our assumption is that students are generally honest. You are responsible for knowing and following the University of Massachusetts Academic Guidelines. Please read and familiarize yourselves with the University Policy Statement on Academic Honesty, Course Requirements, Attendance, Religious Observances, and other relevant policies, in the Undergraduate Rights and Responsibilities Booklet or at website Necessary action, in compliance with official guidelines, will be taken against students who commit academic dishonesty. Caucus with us about resources for learning needs.

Required Books

Patricia Mohammed & Catherine Shepherd:
Gender in Caribbean Development. Center for Gender and Development Studies, University of the West Indies. University of Oklahoma Press Book Distribution Center, 2nd Edition, 1999.
Maria de los Reyes Castillo Bueno Reyita:
The Life of a Black Cuban Woman in the 20th Century. Durham: Duke University Press, 2000.
Lois M. Smith & Alfred Padula:
Sex and Revolution: Women in Socialist Cuba. New York: Oxford University Press, 1996.
Xeroxed Reader available at Collective Copies

Recommended Books

Kamala Kempadoo:
Sun, Sex, and Gold: Tourism and Sex Work in the Caribbean. Sun, Sex, and Gold: Tourism and Sex Work in the Caribbean.
Eudine Barriteau:
The Political Economy of Gender in The Twentieth Century Caribbean. Palgrave Press, 2001.
Patricia Ellis:
Women, Gender, & Development in the Caribbean: Reflections and Projections. Zed Books (Distributed in the U.S. by Palgrave Press), 2003.
Maria Lopez Vigil:
Cuba: Neither Heaven Nor Hell. Washington D.C.: EPICA 4, 1999.

Books are available at Food For Thought Bookshop, 106 North Pleasant Street, Amherst and also on reserve in the library.

Course Calendar

Tue September 09

Introductions, Overview, Expectations, Syllabus, Requirements

Demographics: Social, Cultural, Geo-political

Colonialism, Slavery and Resistance

Tue September 16

History of Cuba: Colonialism, Slavery, Three Revolutions, Relations with the U.S., and Two Development Strategies (Ann)


[Handout]-Selections from Maria De Los Reyes Castillo Bueno, Reyita: Life of a Black Cuban Woman in the 20th Century, Chapter 6.

[Required Text]-Smith and Padula, Ch. 1 & 2.

[Reader]-Margaret Leahy, Development Strategies and the Status of Women: A Comparative Study of United States, Mexico, Soviet Union, Cuba, Ch. 6.


[Recommended Text]-Maria Lopez Vigil, Ch. 1 & 2, skim.

[Reader]-Margaret Leahy, Ch. 5.

Perez, Cuba: Between Reform and Revolution, selections: pp. 315-331; 369-374; 381-394.

Tue September 23

The Complexities And Multi-Disciplinary Gender Issues that Challenge Feminism in the Anglophone Caribbean (Alex)


[Handout]-Peggy Antrobus, The Rise and Fall of Feminist Politics in the Caribbean Women's Movement.

[Recommended Text]-Eudine Barriteau:

   › Mapping The Terrain, pp. 1-19.

   › Theorizing the State and Gender Systems in the Twentieth Century Caribbean, pp. 20-44.

[Required Text]-Mohammed and Shepherd: Lucille Mathurin Mair, Women's Studies in an International Context, pp. 3-10.


[Recommended Text]-Eudine Barriteau, op.cit., Constructing Gender Containing Women: Promoting Gender Equity in Caribbean States, pp. 74-94.

Tue September 30

Socialism and the Woman Question in Cuba, Socialism vs. Feminism, Global and Anti-Capitalist Feminism (Ann)


A. Women and Revolution in Cuba:

  [Reader]-Sheryl Lutjens, Remaking the Public Sphere: Women and Revolution in Cuba.

  [Handout]-Isabel Larguia and John Dumoulin, Towards a Science of Women's Liberation: An Analysis from Cuba.

  [Required Text]-Smith and Padula, Chs. 3 & 4.

B. Socialism vs. Feminism:

  [Reader]-Fidel Castro, The Revolution within the Revolution.

  [Reader]-Maxine Molyneux, State, Gender, and Institutional Change: The Federacion de Mujeres Cubanas.


  [Recommended Text]-Eudine Barriteau, op.cit., Constructing Gender Containing Women: Promoting Gender Equity in Caribbean States, pp. 74-94.

  [Recommended Text]-Maria Lopez Vigil, Ch. 5.

  Margaret Randall, Cuban Women, Twenty Years Later, Ch. 1.

  Carolina Aguilar and Alicia Chenard, Is There a Place for Feminism in the Revolution? Kuppers, ed.

  Communist Party of Cuba, Thesis: On the Full Exercise of Women's Equality, Stone, ed. Women and the Cuban Revolution.

  Maloof, ed. Voices of Resistance, Ch. 1-8.

  Vilma Espin, The Early Years, from Stone, ed.

Tue October 07

Gender and Development: Models and Theories in the Anglophone Caribbean (Alex)


[Required Text]-Mohammed and Shepherd:

   › Norman .P. Girvan, Notes on the Meaning and Significance of Development, pp. 13-22.

   › A. Lynn Bolles, Theories of Women in Development in the Caribbean: The Ongoing Debate, pp. 23-34.

   › Peggy Antrobus, Women in Development Programmes: The Caribbean Experience, (1975-1985), pp. 35-50.

   › Patricia Ellis, Mechanisms and Strategies for the Advancement and Empowerment of Women, pp. 92-116.

[Required Text]-Mohammed and Shepherd: Lucille Mathurin Mair, Women's Studies in an International Context, pp. 3-10.

***1st Short Paper Due***

Tue October 14

Race, Gender and Culture: Racism, Sexism and the State: Counter Cultural Movements


The Anglophone Caribbean:

  [Required Text]-Mohammed and Shepherd:

     › Briget Brereton, General Problems and Issues in Studying the History of Women, pp. 119-135.

     › Rosina Wiltshire-Brodber, Gender, Race and Class in the Caribbean, pp. 136-148.

     › Kathleen Drayton, Transmissions Through Language Policy in the Education System, pp. 290-299.


  [Required Text]-Mohammed & Shepherd: Gordon Rohlehr, Images of Men and Women in the 1930s Calypsoes; The Sociology of Food Acquisition in a Context of Survivalism, pp. 223-289.


  [Reader]-Nancy Morejón, Grounding the Race Dialogue: Diaspora and Nation, from Pedro Pérez Sarduy and Jean Stubbs, eds.

  [Reader]-Carlos Moore, Race Relations in Socialist Cuba.

  [Reader]-Margot Olavarria, Rap and Revolution: Hip Hop Comes to Cuba.


  Guillermina Ramos Cruz, Grupo Antillano and the Marginalization of Black Artists, from Pedro Pérez Sarduy and Jean Stubbs, eds.

  Terry Cannon and Johnnetta Cole, Free and Equal: The End of Racial Discrimination in Cuba, skim.

  Aline Helg, Our Rightful Share: The Afro-Cuban Struggle for Equality, 1886-1912, chs. 5-8, skim.

  Perez Sarduy and Stubbs, eds., skim.

Tue October 21

Health, Motherhood and Reproductive Rights


The Anglophone Caribbean:

  [Required Text]-Mohammed and Shepherd:

     › Christine Barrow, Men, Women and Family in the Caribbean: A Review, pp. 149-163.

     › Patricia Mohammed, The Caribbean Family Revisited, pp. 164-175.

  [Handout]-Elsa Leo- Rhynie, Barbara Bailey, Christine Barrow, Gender: A Caribbean Multi-Disciplinary Perspective, 1997, Ian Randle Publishers:

     › Joycelin Massiah, Researching Women's Health, pp. 252-258.

     › Caroline Allen, Researching Sexually Transmitted Diseases in the Caribbean, pp. 259-276.


  [Reader]-Margaret Randall, Women as Mother: the Right to Free and Complete Childbearing Attention, Ch. 3 of Women in Cuba, Twenty Years Later.

  [Required Text]-Smith and Padula, chs. 5 & 6.


  Germaine Greer, Politics-Cuba, in Women: A World Report.

***2nd Short Paper Due***

Tue October 28

Education and Employment: The Triple Shift Problem


The Anglophone Caribbean:

  [Required Text]-Mohammed and Shepherd:

     › Ralph Henry, Jobs, Gender and Development Strategy in the Commonwealth Caribbean, pp. 176-196.

     › Joycelin Massiah, Researching Women's Work: 1985 and Beyond, pp. 197-220.

     › Marjorie Thorpe, Feminism and the Female Authored West Indian Novel: Paule Marshall's Brown Girl, Brownstones, pp. 303-313.

     › Elaine Savory FIFO, Where Do we Go From Here? Literature in English and the Women's Studies Program at UWI, pp. 314-323.


  [Reader]-Isabel Larguia and John Dumoulin, Women's Equality and the Cuban Revolution, from Nash and Safa, eds.

  [Required Text]-Smith and Padula, ch. 7.


  Jane Flax, The Cuban Family Code, in Z. Eisenstein Socialist Feminism and the Case for Women's Liberation.

  Carol Bengelsdorf, Emerging from Underdevelopment: Women and Work in Cuba, from Eistenstein ed.

  Marta Nunez Sarmiento, Cuban Strategies for Women's Employment in the 1990s: A Case Study of Professional Women.

  Helen Safa 1989. Women, Industrialization and State Policy in Cuba.

Tue November 04

Sexuality, Prostitution and Sex Work in the Caribbean


The Anglophone Caribbean:

  [Recommended Text]-Kamala Kempadoo:

     › Julia O'Connell Davidson and Jacqueline Sanchez Taylor, Fantasy Islands: Exploring the Demand for Sex Tourism, pp. 37-54.

     › Beverly Mullings, Globalization, Tourism, and the International Sex Trade, pp. 55-80.

     › Joan L. Phillips, Tourist-Oriented Prostitution in Barbados: The Case of the Beach Boy and the White Female Tourist, pp. 183-200.


  [Recommended Text]-Kamala Kempadoo, "Continuities and Change: Five Centuries of Prostitution in the Caribbean", pp. 5-33.


  [Reader]-Georgina Herrera, Poetry, Prostitution and Gender Esteem, from Pedro Pérez Sarduy and Jean Stubbs, ed.

  [Reader]-Amalia Lucia Cabezas, Discourses of Prostitution: The Case of Cuba, from Kempadoo and Doczema, eds.

  [Reader]-Marilyn Bobes, Somebody Has to Cry, Mirta Yanez, ed. Cubanas.


  Coco Kusco, Hustling for Dollars: Jineterismo in Cuba, from Kempadoo and Doczema, eds.

  Young Gays Under the Cuban Revolution, skim.

***3rd Short Paper Due***

Tue November 11

Holiday - Veterans Day

Tue November 18

Caribbean Feminist Alternative Development Strategies: Case Studies from the Anglophone Caribbean (Alex)

Film/Excerpts or Guest Speaker


[Required Text]-Mohammed & Shepherd:

   › Joan French, Women and Health: A Sistren Participatory Workshop, pp. 327-331.

   › Patricia Mohammed, A Sistren Participatory Workshop - An Analysis of the Method, pp. 332-336.

[Recommended Text]-Patricia Ellis:

   › Strategies to Increase Gender Sensitivity, pp. 161-168.

   › Women, Gender, Poverty and Violence, pp. 117-145.

   › Men's Issues and the Issues of Men, pp. 146-156.


[Recommended Text]-Eudine Barriteau, "Rethinking Gender and Development for the Twenty First Century", pp. 151-178.

Tue November 25

Caribbean Feminist Alternative Development Strategies: Cuba (Ann)

Guest Speaker on Cuban Health System


[Reader]-Sonia Alvarez "Women's Movements and the State".

[Reader]-Carmen Diana Deere "Rural Women and Agrarian Reform in Peru, Chile, and Cuba," in Nash and Safa, eds.

[Handout]-Ann Ferguson "Practical vs. Strategic Interests: The Case of Nicaragua and Cuba".

[Reader]-Gita Sen and Caren Grown, Development, Crises and Alternative Visions, Ch. 3.

November 26-30

Thanksgiving Recess

Tue December 02

Group Reports

***Term Paper Due***

Tue December 09

Group Reports