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October 20, 2023 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

In-Person: An Evening with Jennifer Cearns


October 20, 2023
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm


Books & Books in Coral Gables
265 Aragon Ave
Coral Gables, FL 33134
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Books & Books and FIU’s Cuban Research Institute present…



Circulating Culture: Transnational Cuban Networks of Exchange (New World Diasporas) 

(University Press of Florida, $45.50)

Friday, October 20th, 7:00 PM | Books & Books, Coral Gables


Books & Books and FIU’s Cuban Research Institute are thrilled to present an evening with Jennifer Cearns discussing her interesting book: Circulating Culture: Transnational Cuban Networks of Exchange (New World Diasporas) (University Press of Florida, $45.50).

This event is FREE and open to the public and books will be available for purchase the night of the event! Please RSVP only if you intend to join us.

About the Book:

Exploring the movements of Cuban material objects and digital content across borders

Despite decades of diplomatic hostilities and economic sanctions, the border between Cuba and the United States–arguably one of the most politicized in the world–is in a state of constant flux. Tracing the flows of people, material items, and digital content between Havana and Miami, as well as between Cuba and Panama, Guyana, and Mexico, Circulating Culture explores how and why these circuits are a part of everyday life for millions of Cubans who negotiate extraordinary circumstances daily.

Drawing on extensive ethnographic research in these locations, Jennifer Cearns highlights groups of Cuban society that are often overlooked, considering what Cuban culture and identity mean in a transnational setting. Weaving evocative vignettes into her discussion of these larger questions, Cearns pieces together the story of the creators of an emerging and dynamic network that punctures geopolitical boundaries and has outlasted a period of rapid social change–from the Obama administration through the death of Fidel Castro and into the Trump administration.

Ultimately, by focusing on everyday objects and the strategies used to move them across borders, this book reveals how new cultural forms can develop from the cracks in societies often seen as “broken.” It demonstrates the worldmaking of marginalized Cuban communities who have long been building their own infrastructures of possibility.

A volume in the series New World Diasporas, edited by Kevin A. Yelvington Publication of this work made possible by a Sustaining the Humanities through the American Rescue Plan grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.


About the Author:

First and foremost, Jennifer Cearns is an Anthropologist. She has conducted ethnographic research in Brazil, Cuba, the U.S., Guyana, Panama, Mexico, Spain, and the U.K., and her first book will be published in Spring 2023 by the University of Florida Press. It’s about networks of circulation between socialist Cuba and the capitalist Cuban diaspora, and follows mulas (smugglers) back and forth as they navigate all the complexities these geopolitical borders present. She’s also an Associate Fellow of the Alan Turing Institute, and has recently started a new research project, looking at the role of AI in digital mental healthcare.

She applies these research skills in the private and public sectors as a UX Researcher, and has worked in government and diplomacy, healthcare, publishing, education, and tech/ product design, advocating for people-centred design and policy.

Ultimately, she’s interested in people, and in storytelling: whether that’s across languages, through a camera lens, through song, or through ethnographic vignettes, it all boils down to stories.

​So please do get in touch if you want to tell her a story!