Department of Global Development Studies


Global Development Studies

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Study in Cuba

DEVS 305 Cuban Society and Culture

Cuban Culture and Society is a full 6.0 unit undergraduate course. It is part of an exchange agreement between Queen's and the University of Havana, and has been offered since 2008. The aim is to introduce students to some of the main events and highlights of Cuban society, history, politics, and culture, with a focus on the period from the Cuban revolution (1959) to the present.

The course is open to all eligible Queen's students and it counts towards degree requirements in the departments of Film and Media, Sociology, Languages, Literatures and Cultures, Gender Studies and History. Fourth year students can use the course towards their degree requirements and still graduate on time.

It is also open to graduate student auditors and, in special circumstances graduate students can take it for credit as a reading course.

It is also open to students from other universities. 

The course is held in the Winter and Spring terms. During the Queen's portion, we will meet in a seminar grouping and follow a structured reading list. The Cuba portion of the course takes place at the University of Havana in Cuba.

DEVS 305 Participants in Havana enjoy a night of music and culture.

For more photos and information about the Havana portion of this course, see our facebook page at:

Session Dates 2019-2020

Queen's ON CAMPUS session dates: 

  • Regular Winter Term starting Thursday January 9, 2020 (Three hours weekly - Eight weeks)
  • Queen's Intensive Pre-Departure Sessions:  April 27 to May 1, 2020

Havana session dates:  Sunday May 3, 2020 to Sunday May 17, 2020

Sample topics of the campus-based seminars include:

  • the Cuban Revolution, its roots, critics, and legacies
  • Cuba around the world (including a section on 

    Cuban/Canadian relations)
  • "normalization" with the US and the future of the country
  • art, film, music and the representation of identities

In Havana we work with colleagues at the University of Havana to present students with an active daily program of study, which will include lectures by Cuban scholars, films as well as visits to art galleries, museums, and other sites of historical and cultural interest. The following are some sample topics/visits from previous years:

  • Cuba's Foreign Policy with Professor and former Diplomat Carlos Alzugaray
  • National Art Gallery and talk with curator Danys Montes de Oca
  • Panel discussion with former Literacy teachers.
  • International School of Medicine and discussion of Cuban health care system.
  • Masculinity in Cuba with Professor Julio Cesar Gonzalez Pages
  • Instituto Superior de Arte (ISA) and talk with Professor Mario Mas Vidal

As well as University of Havana professors, we speak with artists, filmmakers and musicians.  Previous artists have included musicians Carlos Varela, X Alfonso and Telmary Diaz, filmmakers Mariyln Solaya, Gloria Rolando, and Alejandro Ramirez Anderson.