Conceiving Cuba: Reproduction, Women, and the State in Post-Soviet Cuba

By Elise Andaya | Go to book overview

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

My heartfelt thanks go out to all the people and institutions who nurtured this project over the many years from its conception to fruition. First, I am deeply grateful to the people in Cuba who welcomed me, trusted me, and thereby made my research possible. My affiliation with the Centro Juan Marinello would not have come about without the support of Ana Vera Estrada, who became a trusted friend and mentor through the professional and personal obstacles of research in Cuba. I thank Pablo Pacheco and Elena Socorrás, then- director and vice- director of the Center, whose intellectual openness and interest in international exchange provided me with a crucial institutional home. I am also appreciative of the help and insight provided by scholars associated with the Working Group on the Family. My deepest gratitude, however, goes to the many women and men, friends and neighbors, who allowed me into their homes and their lives, and who trusted me with their stories. While they cannot be named, I wish to single out a few using their pseudonyms in this book: Dr. Janet Torres and Dr. Marisa Sánchez welcomed me into their clinics and helped me understand both the rewards and burdens of practicing medicine in post- Soviet Cuba; Teresa Villa became both friend and guide to her neighborhood; and Carlos Novoa provided me and my husband with research assistance, loyal friendship, and incisive (often humorous) insights into Cuban life. Special love and gratitude go to Celia Peña, who calls me “daughter” and without whom Cuba would not be the same. Finally, I thank the network of Cuban friends and neighbors who helped us survive our first hurricanes and navigate Cuban bureaucracy, introduced us to people in their networks, provided a running commentary about changes in Cuban policy and its effects on social life, and in many other ways shared their lives with us and made our time in Cuba so much richer.

I am also deeply appreciative of the various institutions and intellectual communities in the United States that have sustained and inspired me over the long course of this project. At New York University, Rayna Rapp has been a mentor par excellence. Her longstanding intellectual and political commitment to studying the lives of women has been critical in influencing my own thinking on feminism and the anthropology of reproduction, while her ongoing support testifies to the fact that the work of nurturance is never done. I also thank Aisha

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