This year’s Stroum Lecturer on May 18 & 20, 2015, is Dr. Ruth Behar, a Cuban-born anthropologist and writer. Here is a biography and a set of multi-media links to help our readers find out more about this outstanding scholar before she visits campus this spring!
Dr. Ruth Behar is the Victor Haim Perera Collegiate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Michigan. Acclaimed for her scholarship and teaching, her honors include a MacArthur “Genius” Award, a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, a Distinguished Alumna Award from Wesleyan University, and an Excellence in Education Award from the University of Michigan. She is also the recipient of a Doctor of Humane Letters from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion.
Known for her writing about the search for home in our global era, her books include The Presence of the Past in a Spanish Village; Translated Woman: Crossing the Border with Esperanza’s Story, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year; and The Vulnerable Observer: Anthropology That Breaks Your Heart. Ruth frequently visits and writes about her native Cuba and is the author of An Island Called Home: Returning to Jewish Cuba and Traveling Heavy: A Memoir in between Journeys. She is the editor of the pioneering anthology, Bridges to Cuba, and co-editor of The Portable Island: Cubans at Home in the World.
She has written editorials about Cuba for the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, Jewish Week, and the Huffington Post. Her documentary film, “Adio Kerida/Goodbye Dear Love: A Cuban Sephardic Journey,” distributed by Women Make Movies, has been shown in festivals around the world. Also a creative writer, her poetry and short fiction have appeared in several anthologies.
For further exploration of Dr. Behar’s fascinating perspectives on Cuba and Jewish identity, here is a list of recent articles and media appearances, many of which feature discussion of the latest developments in the Cuban-American diplomatic relationship. Be sure to book your seats for Dr. Behar’s Stroum Lectures at the UW on May 18 & 20, 2015!
- “The Fantasy of a Cuba Where Time Stood Still” (Jan. 2015, Huffington Post)
- “Goodbye, Camadre” (Jan. 2015, Chronicle of Higher Education)
- “My Parents are Cuban Exiles. Here’s what Obama’s Decision Means to Us” (Dec. 2014, Washington Post)
- “What Now for the Jews of Cuba?” (Dec. 2014, The New York Jewish Week)
- Sabiduria: Ruth Behar, MacArthur Genius, on Cuba – via LatinoUSA (Feb. 2015)
- Ruth Behar Interview, from the Island: Cuba and Re-establishing Ties (Feb. 2015) – via LaBloga
- “UM Professor and Daughter of Cuban exiles on new policy toward Cuba” – Interview with Cynthia Canty at Michigan Radio (Jan. 2015)
- “Jewish Cuba: A First-Hand Account” – Interview with Sebastian Schulman at the National Yiddish Book Center (April 2013)
Links for Further Exploration
- UW Stroum Lecture Archive – View videos of Stroum Lectures from years past