Department of Global Development Studies


Global Development Studies

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Karen Dubinsky

Karen Dubinsky

Jointly appointed to the Department of History and Department of Global Development Studies

PhD History, Queen's University

Phone:  613-533-6000, ext 74374
Fax:  613-533-2986

Mackintosh Corry Hall A401
Global Development Studies
Queen's University
Kingston, ON K7L 3N6

Office hours:
By Appointment

Research Interests

Canadian-Global South relations particularly Cuba; Cuban musical cultures; global childhood issues (adoption/migration history and the politics of childhood), transnational historical perspectives.

I am trained as a Canadian historian and teach in both Development Studies and the History Department. I have varied research interests, including global childhood issues (such as adoption and migration conflicts), Canadian/global south relations, and Cuban musical cultures. I co-teach an undergraduate course on Cuban culture, which takes Queen's students to Havana for a field school in May. Through this work, I have developed a sub field of research on music as a form of political language in contemporary Cuba.

Current Projects

I’m researching a book on Cuban-Canadian cultural and non-governmental relations including topics such as development assistance, educational ties, musical and other cultural exchanges.

I co-host a podcast on this topic called Cuban Serenade, about Cuban musicians in Canada. Available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and Soundcloud.

Supervisory Interests

Most of my graduate supervisions are in the History Department but I occasionally supervise graduate students in Global Development Studies and Cultural Studies.

Topics I have recently supervised include PhD dissertations on: aboriginal decolonization movements in the 1960s, Canadian Cuban dance relations, the global politics of poverty in Canada, the history of lesbian and gay parenting in Canada, , a comparative study of children's rights in Canada and India, the transnational history of gay rights journalism, and the history of tourism.

Other Appointments

Jointly appointed to the Department of History and the Department of Global Development Studies.


DEVS 306 and DEVS 307:  Cuban Culture and Society I and II (taught at Queen's University and the University of Havana)

DEVS 492:  Foreign Policy Without States – Popular Diplomacy

HIST 865:  Empires and Intimacies



Karen Dubinsky. Cuba Beyond the Beach (Toronto: Between the Lines Press, 2016)
Karen Dubinsky, Sean Mills and Scott Rutherford (eds.) Canada and the Third World: Overlapping Histories (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2016)
Karen Dubinsky, Adele Perry and Henry Yu (eds.) Within and Without the Nation: Transnational Canadian History  (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2015.)
Caridad Cumana, Karen Dubinsky and Xenia Reloba (eds.)  My Havana: The Musical City of Carlos Varela  (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2014)
Karen Dubinsky, Caridad Cumana and Xenia Reloba (eds) Habáname: La Ciudad Musical de Carlos Varela (La Habana, Centro Pablo de la Torriente Brau, 2013)
Babies Without Borders: Adoption and Migration Across the Americas (University of Toronto Press and New York University Press, 2010)
Karen Dubinsky, Catherine Krull, Susan Lord, Sean Mills and Scott Rutherford (eds.) New World Coming: The Sixties and the Shaping of Global Consciousness  (Toronto: Between the Lines Press, 2009)
The Second Greatest Disappointment: Honeymooning and Tourism at Niagara Falls (Toronto: Between the Lines and New Brunswick New Jersey: Rutgers University Press, May, 1999)
Improper Advances: Rape and Heterosexual Conflict in Ontario, 1880-1929 (University of Chicago Press, 1993) 


Cuba Beyond the Beach Book Cover
Canada and the Third World Overlapping Histories Book Cover Within and Without the Nation Book CoverMy Havana Book Cover