Cuba General Program Information

Field Study in Afro-Cuban Culture and Performance

May 9 – May 18, 2013

Sponsored by
the University of Louisville Department of Theatre Arts
the College of Arts & Sciences

Cuba1.jpgCuban children playing on Calle Animas y VirtudesHighlights

Havana is renowned as a vital wellspring of African diasporic culture, a leading center of modern Latino arts and, since 1959, the capital of one of the world’s longest-running experiments in socialism. This program offers an opportunity to witness the city’s rich artistic and political legacies.

Students will enroll in TA 555: Field Study in Afro-Cuban Culture and Performance or ML 500: Study Abroad for the Summer 1 2013 term and will participate in three class meetings on May 6th, 7th, and 8th before departing for Havana for a field study from May 10th – May 18th.

Program features include:

  • Artist-hosted discussions at music, dance and cultural centers
  • Guided neighborhood walking tours
  • Visits to el Callejon de Hamel and the village of Guanabacoa
  • Performances of rhumba and the Conjunto Folklorica de Regla

Academic Program

Old Havana

TA 555 / ML500: Field Study in Afro-Cuban Culture and Performance – 1 Cr. Hour

This one-credit course will explore the African roots of Cuban culture and performance.  The study abroad component of the course will focus on the role that the practice of Santeria and other African-based spiritual traditions play in contemporary Cuban life.

The course will meet for three two-hour sessions on May 6th - 8th to discuss the cultural, social, and political history of Cuba in the twentieth century. In Havana, we will learn first-hand about the role of the Santeria in Cuban society. We will become familiar with the fabric of daily life in Havana by exploring the city’s neighborhoods, visit a variety of history and art museums for a better understanding of Cuban culture, and learn about the current role of artists and performers through visits to schools and organizations that teach, present, and support the performing and visual arts.

Conjunto Folklorico de Cuba in performanceDancer performing at Cuban Institute for Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP)Housing and Meals

Participants will be housed in double guest rooms at a four-star hotel in Old Havana. Breakfast is included in the program fee, as are most lunches and several dinners. For meals not included in the program fee, participants can choose from an abundance of inexpensive restaurants and cafes in the city’s many neighborhoods.

Excursions and Activities

Castillo de la Real Fuerza fortress
  • Tour Havana’s neighborhoods, including Habana Vieja, Cuyo Hueso, and Regla
  • Explore the city’s many museums, including the Museum of Fine Arts, the Centro Cultural Fresa y Chocolate, the Museum of Music, and the Museum House of Africa
  • Discover Afro-Cuban arts and culture at the Callejón de Hamel and the Museum of Regla
  • Learn more about contemporary visual art scenes at the studios of painter José Fuster, the Taller Experimental de Gráfica de La Habana, and the Cuban Film Institute

Home of visual artist, Jose Fuster in HavanaWomen relaxing on a porch in Al Comunitario Muraleando  (The Community of Murals)  © Photo Courtesy RamImages.comProgram Fee


The program fee includes housing, airfare, on-site activities and transportation, breakfast, and some group meals. Additional costs include some meals and incidental expenses. A complete estimated cost of attendance is available here.

Scholarships and Financial Aid

Students who are enrolled full-time may become eligible for additional financial aid based on their increased cost of attendance. Most University of Louisville financial aid and scholarships can be applied to tuition, fees, and expenses associated with the program. For information on your aid eligibility, please contact the Office of Student Financial Aid.


The program is open to University of Louisville sophomores, juniors, and seniors, and graduate students who meet the following criteria:

  • good academic and disciplinary standing
  • cumulative GPA of 2.7
  • no language prerequisite

University of Louisville staff and faculty may also enroll.


Santa María del Mar beach

For more information

Nefertiti Burton, Associate Dean
Associate Professor of Theatre Arts
502-852-7802 or 852-8576