Cuba has long occupied a vital place in the Caribbean and continues to be the object of metropolitan competition and imaginings. This seminar introduces students to the history and culture of Cuba since its wars of independence in the late 19th century. It focuses on the development of Cuban nationalism with relation to concepts of race, paying particular attention to music and religious practice as arenas in which issues of historical memory, forms of identity and political organization have been contested. It traces intersections between Cuba and other countries, both in the movement of people across borders and relations with major powers. A wide variety of materials will be used, including primary documents, film, and audio. Students will write two papers and make a presentation.