Music and Crisis in a Changing Island: Punk Culture in Cuba


Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships


Romance Languages


Cuban punk appeared in the early 1990s, some fifteen years after bands like the Sex Pistols made it famous in England and the US. Emerging as a response to the collapse of the Soviet bloc, this culture offers a unique look back to the last three decades of the country’s history, shedding new light on the geopolitical and social trends of contemporary Cuba. This project argues that the late blossoming of Cuban punk is symptomatic of the failure of the Cuban Revolution's socialist project. Through the analysis of an original corpus of music and oral testimonies, it exposes the discrepancies between the rhetoric of a socialist regime that resists change, and the lived mutability of a Cuban people raised under the colliding influences of a collapsed economy, an Americanized global culture, and a colonial heritage defined by race, gender, and class inequalities.