An Army of Teachers: Cuban Women in Political Education, from the Literacy Campaign to Yo Sí Puedo Public Deposited

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  • March 20, 2019
  • Halbert-Brooks, Ann
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of History
  • My dissertation examines the role of women in the Cuban Revolution through the lens of the 1961 Literacy Campaign. Using archival sources, print media, oral histories, and other primary source accounts, I argue that the Campaign was a key formative period for the nascent revolutionary state and for the 250,000 teachers who worked in it. Beginning in the guerrilla insurgency of the 1950s, the 26th of July Movement invested in education and described political education as a central component of its proposed changes to Cuban society. After 1959, this institutional emphasis on education facilitated the political mobilization of women and the creation of mass organizations like the Comités de Defensa de la Revolución and the Federación de Mujeres Cubanas. Individual women engaged critically with propaganda for the Literacy Campaign, volunteering to teach with the expectation that their professional horizons would be expanded through their work. In the decades that followed, their work also influenced their relationship with the revolutionary project.
Date of publication
Resource type
Rights statement
  • In Copyright
  • French, John
  • Radding, Cynthia
  • La Serna, Miguel
  • Pérez, Louis A.
  • Chasteen, John Charles
  • Doctor of Philosophy
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Graduate School
Graduation year
  • 2017

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