Cuba: An Introduction to Old Havana with Dr. Teofilo Ruiz

Cuba: An Introduction to Old Havana with Dr. Teofilo Ruiz


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Cuba’s capital, Havana, is an unusual city with its mix of artistic and political movements, colonization processes, and migration influxes. In this conversation, we will discuss the city of La Habana (Havana), placing it in a historical context, but emphasizing the Old City dating from 1519.

With a focus on its old colonial core, this conversation will examine Havana’s colonial past, its role in the expansive Spanish Empire in the Americas, and its transition to Independence after 1902. We’ll trace the history of the city through 500 years, examining in detail Havana’s role in the revolutionary struggle.

We’ll also discuss its social, political, and economic distinctiveness in relation to the rest of the island (one of the reasons for the revolution), and the contrast between a renewed Old City under the auspices of UNESCO and most of the rest of the city which, after sixty years of neglect, has fallen into hard times. Regardless of whether the pristine historical center or the rest of the city, La Habana remains, like Venice, a transcendentally beautiful and engaging city.

Led by a Cuban-born historian, Dr. Teofilo Ruiz, this seminar will awaken participants to the intriguing history of the UNESCO World Heritage site, Havana. Designed to inform curiosity and educate, this conversation will deepen our understanding of this fascinating city.

Teo F. Ruiz, PhD is a Cuban-American medieval historian and a Distinguished Research Professor at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). He was awarded the National Humanities Medal by President Barack Obama. He is the author of 15 books.

Not suitable for children under age 13 (sensitive content).

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

Customer Reviews

Based on 16 reviews
75%
(12)
19%
(3)
0%
(0)
6%
(1)
0%
(0)
S
Sally Powell (Sacramento, US)
Dr. Ruiz is fascinating

Dr. Teófilo Ruiz is an amazing teacher. He has such a breadth of knowledge that he brings a great richness to his subject. The personal experiences that he shared with us added greatly as well.

S
Susan G (Wilmette, US)
Outstanding

A fantastic seminar on Cuba and, specifically on Havana ... historical background coupled with the sites, sounds and soul of Havana. Dr. Teo Ruiz's great love and passion for the country and city are so heartwarming and compelling. The seminar was well organized and filled with fascinating information. Outstanding!

J
John Sikora (Barrington, US)
Great intro to Habana and its history

A very enjoyable talk about Habana and the history of the country, city, and its peoples. Makes you want to help open up access as quickly as possible.

O
Oliva Espin (San Diego, US)
No title

Excellent, lively, in-depth. Liked the maps and the photos and the outlines. One of the best presentations on Cuba I have ever been part of... and I have attended many in different venues. I absolutely loved it.

L
Laurie B (Bryn Mawr, US)
Wonderful Talk

This was a wonderful talk, with helpful background history and great maps and slides. Dr. Ruiz was born in Cuba and his insights into the country he left (and misses so much) were interesting. Learned a lot and enjoyed it immensely! Thank you.

Customer Reviews

Based on 16 reviews
75%
(12)
19%
(3)
0%
(0)
6%
(1)
0%
(0)
S
Sally Powell (Sacramento, US)
Dr. Ruiz is fascinating

Dr. Teófilo Ruiz is an amazing teacher. He has such a breadth of knowledge that he brings a great richness to his subject. The personal experiences that he shared with us added greatly as well.

S
Susan G (Wilmette, US)
Outstanding

A fantastic seminar on Cuba and, specifically on Havana ... historical background coupled with the sites, sounds and soul of Havana. Dr. Teo Ruiz's great love and passion for the country and city are so heartwarming and compelling. The seminar was well organized and filled with fascinating information. Outstanding!

J
John Sikora (Barrington, US)
Great intro to Habana and its history

A very enjoyable talk about Habana and the history of the country, city, and its peoples. Makes you want to help open up access as quickly as possible.

O
Oliva Espin (San Diego, US)
No title

Excellent, lively, in-depth. Liked the maps and the photos and the outlines. One of the best presentations on Cuba I have ever been part of... and I have attended many in different venues. I absolutely loved it.

L
Laurie B (Bryn Mawr, US)
Wonderful Talk

This was a wonderful talk, with helpful background history and great maps and slides. Dr. Ruiz was born in Cuba and his insights into the country he left (and misses so much) were interesting. Learned a lot and enjoyed it immensely! Thank you.