Michael Bustamante

Michael Bustamante's picture
Primary field of interest: 

Latin America



Michael J. Bustamante is a Ph.D. candidate in Latin American and Caribbean History. His dissertation, “Cuban Counterpoints: Memory Struggles in Revolution and Exile,” excavates public spectacle, rare press, private correspondence, and visual media to track clashes over Cuban collective and historical memory in the wake of the 1959 Revolution. Moving between the island and its diaspora, the project explores how political leaders and average citizens understood the Revolution’s roots and commemorated key episodes in its history. Whether in Havana or Miami, the past constituted a fraught battleground on which Cubans for and against Fidel Castro sought to consolidate and sustain rival political projects.

Michael has conducted archival research in Cuba through the auspices of the Instituto de Historia de Cuba and Casa de las Américas, where he has presented portions of his work. He is the recipient of pre-prospectus and graduate resident fellowships from the Cuban Heritage Collection at the University of Miami (FL), a MacMillan Center Dissertation Research Grant, and a Mrs. Giles Whiting Foundation Dissertation Fellowship. In the spring of 2014, he taught an undergraduate seminar on the Cuban Revolution as a Part-Time Acting Instructor. With Jennifer Lambe (Brown University), he was co-organizer of the international conference “New Histories of the Cuban Revolution,” held at the Whitney Humanities Center in October 2014, with support from the Kempf Memorial Fund.

His essays on Cuban history and Latin American affairs have appeared in Foreign AffairsPerspectives on History, NACLA Report on the Americas, Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social ScienceCurrent History, Wilson QuarterlyMilken Institute ReviewEspacio Laical (Cuba), VIA: Valors, Indees, Actituds (Spain), and Política Externa (Brazil). A scholarly article on Agrupación Abdala, a little known Cuban exile student group in the 1970s, is forthcoming in the Journal of American Ethnic History.

Prior to graduate school, Michael served as Research Associate for Latin America Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, D.C. He received a B.A. in History and International Studies from Yale College. Feel free to contact him with questions concerning graduate studies at Yale.

Recent Publications/Writings

“Anti-Communist Anti-Imperialism?: Agrupación Abdala and the Shifting Contours of Cuban Exile Politics, 1968-1986,” Journal of American Ethnic History 35:1 (Fall 2015, forthcoming).

“Cuban Comrades: the Truth about Washington and Havana’s New Détente,” Foreignaffairs.com, December 21, 2014.

“Cuba’s Customs Crackdown,” NACLA Report on the Americas 47:3 (Fall 2014)

¿Qué Pasa, U.S.A.?: una Comedia Bilingüe Cubano-Americana Entre lo Nacional y lo Particular, la Parodia y el Silencio,” in Latinidad en Encuentro: Experiencias Migratorias en los Estados Unidos, eds. Ana Niria Albo Díaz and Antonio Aja (Havana: Casa de las Américas, 2014). 

 “Cuban Memory Wars,” Perspectives on History (September 2014)

 “Visions of Freedom, el Nuevo Libro de Piero Gleijeses: Reseña y Reflexión,” Espacio Laical (Havana, Cuba) 10:37 (January-March 2014)

 “Cuba After Communism,” with Julia E. Sweig, Foreign Affairs 92:4 (July/August 2013)