Mala Lengua  
  Home - Portal | Music - Música | Authors - Autores | Arts - Artes 
  Site Map - Mapa del Sitio | News - Noticias | Search ACW - Buscar en ACW 
  Mala Lengua
Ada Ferrer

Ada Ferrer

Ada Ferrer is Professor of History, Latin American and Caribbean Studies at NYU and the author of Insurgent Cuba: Race, Nation, And Revolution, 1868-1898.
To order ==>

"In the late nineteenth century, in an age of ascendant racism and imperial expansion, there emerged in Cuba a movement that unified black, mulatto, and white men in an attack on Europe's oldest empire, with the goal of creating a nation explicitly defined as antiracist. This book tells the story of the thirty-year unfolding and undoing of that movement.

Ada Ferrer examines the participation of black and mulatto Cubans in nationalist insurgency from 1868, when a slaveholder began the revolution by freeing his slaves, until the intervention of racially segregated American forces in 1898. In so doing, she uncovers the struggles over the boundaries of citizenship and nationality that their participation brought to the fore, and she shows that even as black participation helped sustain the movement ideologically and militarily, it simultaneously prompted accusations of race war and fed the forces of counterinsurgency.

Carefully examining the tensions between racism and antiracism contained within Cuban nationalism, Ferrer paints a dynamic portrait of a movement built upon the coexistence of an ideology of racial fraternity and the persistence of presumptions of hierarchy."

Her current research centers on the intellectual, political, and social impact of the Haitian Revolution (1791-1803) in Cuba and the Atlantic World. She has written Freedom's Mirror: Cuba and Haiti in the Age of Revolution (2014) and co-authored El rumor de Haití en Cuba: Temor, Raza y Rebeldía (2004).


“Visionary Aponte: Art and Black Freedom” at the King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center—Feb. 23-May 4  2/1/2018 NYU: "The artists include: José Bedia (Miami), Leonardo Benzant (New York), Juan Roberto Diago (Havana), Édouard Duval-Carrié (Miami), Alexis Esquivel (Havana), Teresita Fernández (New York), Emilio Martínez (Miami), Nina Angela Mercer (New York), Clara Morera (North Carolina), Glexis Novoa (Miami), Vicki Pierre (Miami), Marielle Plaisir (Miami), Asser Saint-Val (Miami), JeanMarcel Saint-Jacques (New Orleans), and Renée Stout (Washington, D.C.)."

These Artists Re-Imagined The Artwork of an Afro-Cuban Revolutionary  12/7/2017 OK Africa: "To date, the court testimony of José Antonio Aponte, a free black man thought to be of Yoruba origin and eponym of the doomed 1812 anti-slavery rebellion in Cuba that bears his name, is the only evidence of an unusual historical artifact, a so-called libro de pinturas or "book of paintings," found hidden in his home by colonial authorities. Though the book remains lost, the 72 images that Aponte describes, many of which depict an evocative vision of black history, continue to exist in the imagination of scholars and artists alike. Now, more than two centuries later, a group of artists have attempted to recreate Aponte's revolutionary "book of paintings," as part of a new exhibition entitled, "Visionary Aponte: Art and Black Freedom."

Expertos analizan el futuro de Cuba en conferencia de FIU  2/27/2015 Nuevo Herald: "En la sesión plenaria del evento, organizado por el Instituto de Estudios Cubanos, se presentaron investigaciones sobre distintos aspectos del tema racial en Cuba, eje central del evento. La historiadora de la Universidad de Nueva York, Ada Ferrer, ofreció una relectura de la figura de José Antonio Aponte –condenado a la horca por encabezar una rebelión abolicionista en los inicios del siglo 19–, mientras el también historiador Alejandro de la Fuente, profesor de la Universidad de Harvard, analizó los aportes del Grupo Antillano y su posterior olvido en la historia cultural del país. Andrea Queeley y Danielle Clealand, ambas profesoras de FIU, presentaron algunas conclusiones sobre sus trabajos de investigación en Cuba acerca del prejuicio racial y la conciencia de la negritud, respectivamente. Otros paneles que discutieron el tema abordaron la problemática racial desde el movimiento de los derechos civiles en Cuba, la integración social, la identidad nacional, la literatura, el cine y la rumba, entre otros."

FIU conference focuses on race in Cuba  2/27/2015 Miami Herald: "Ada Ferrer, Historian at the University of New York, proposed a rereading of Jose Antonio Aponte - a man condemned to be hung for leading an abolitionist rebellion at the start of the 19th century. At the same time, Alejandro de la Fuente, a professor at Harvard University, analyzed the contributions of the Antillano Group and delved into how forgotten it is in Cuba's cultural history. Andrea Queely and Danielle Clealand, both professors at FIU, presented some conclusions about their investigative efforts in Cuba about racial prejudice and negro consciousness respectively. Other panels involving similar topics included the development of the racial problem since the time of civil rights movement in Cuba, social integration, national identity, literature, cinema and dance, among others."

An Interview with Ada Ferrer  2/23/2015 Cambridge Academic Books, YouTube: "Ada Ferrer, the author of FREEDOM'S MIRROR, explains the relationship between Haiti and Cuba at the dawn of revolution."

CHC Recommends: Freedom’s Mirror by Ada Ferrer on March 2nd  2/17/2015 University of Miami: "Freedom’s Mirror follows the reverberations of the Haitian Revolution in Cuba, where the violent entrenchment of slavery occurred at the very moment that the Haitian Revolution provided a powerful and proximate example of slaves destroying slavery. By creatively linking two stories – the story of the Haitian Revolution and that of the rise of Cuban slave society – that are usually told separately, Ada Ferrer sheds fresh light on both of these crucial moments in Caribbean and Atlantic history."

Dark Specters and Black Kingdoms: An interview with historian Ada Ferrer  2/6/2015 Public Archive: "What we had not appreciated in the past is the extent to which the Spanish army on the Saint-Domingue border was actually composed of troops and officers from Cuba. So, in effect, you have men from Cuba dealing with Toussaint Louverture, Jean François, Georges Biassou, and other leaders of the black rebellion. One of the Cuban officers, the Marques de Casa Calvo, who would later be the last Spanish governor of Louisiana, and who owned two sugar plantations and an unknown number of slaves in Havana, actually started a business with the rebels—buying sugar equipment from them and then sending it to Havana. He became the godfather of Jean-François and even flirted and danced with his wife."

Dark Specters and Black Kingdoms: An interview with historian Ada Ferrer  2/6/2015 The Public Archive: interview with Ada Ferrer, NYU

American Historical Review: Haiti and antislavery; empire and the law  3/6/2012 Indiana University: "Historians have tended to argue that early leaders of the Haitian Republic did little to promote antislavery elsewhere in the region. Ada Ferrer presents evidence to the contrary in the latest issue of the American Historical Review. In "Haiti, Free Soil, and Antislavery in the Revolutionary Atlantic," Ferrer explores the ways in which notions of freedom among slaves were shaped not only by the example of the Haitian Revolution but also by the actions of the Haitian state after independence. She argues that a little-known 1817 case reveals how the government of Haitian President Alexandre Pétion did in fact project its antislavery influence abroad, thus participating in the international debates on both slavery and freedom."


Insurgent Cuba: Race, Nation, And Revolution, 1868-1898, 352 pgs, 9/29/99, University of North Carolina Press
Table of Contents
Introduction. A Revolution the World Forgot
Part 1. War
Chapter 1  Slaves, Insurgents, and Citizens: The Early Ten Years' War, 1868-1870
Chapter 2  Region, Race, and Transformation in the Ten Years' War, 1870-1878
Chapter 3  Fear and Its Uses: The Little War, 1879-1880
Part 2. Peace
Chapter 4  A Fragile Peace: Colonialism, the State, and Rural Society, 1878-1895
Chapter 5  Writing the Nation: Race, War, and Redemption in the Prose of Independence, 1886-1895
Part 3. War Again
Chapter 6  Insurgent Identities: Race and the Western Invasion, 1895-1896
Chapter 7  Race, Culture, and Contention: Political Leadership and the Onset of Peace
Epilogue and Prologue. Race, Nation, and Empire
To order ==>

"Esclavitud, ciudadania y los limites de la nacionalidad cubana: La Guerra de los Diez Anos, 1868-1878," Historia Social 21 (1995): 101-25.

"Fidel's History, History's Fidel: Recent Writings on Castro and the Cuban Revolution," Michigan Quarterly Review 33 (fall 1994).

"Social Aspects of Cuban Nationalism: Race, Slavery, and the Guerra Chiquita, 1879-1880," Cuban Studies 21 (1991): 37-56.

For other listings, see below in Curiculum Vitae

Curiculum Vitae

Ada Ferrer

Present Employment

Assistant Professor, Latin American and Caribbean History, Department of History, New York University, January 1995-present


Ph.D., University of Michigan, History, May 1995
M.A., University of Texas at Austin, History, August 1988
B.A., Vassar College, English, May 1984

Awards and Fellowships

Lewis Hanke Prize, Conference on Latin American History, 1997
American Philosophical Society, Travel Grant, 1997
NEH Scholar in Residence, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York, 1996-1997
Berkshire Fellowship, Bunting Institute, Radcliffe College, Summer 1996 (declined)
Poder Latino, New York University, Distinguished Service Award, 1995
Honorable Mention, Distinguished Dissertation Prize, University of Michigan, 1996
Fulbright/U.S. Dept. of Education, Dissertation Research Abroad Fellowship, Spain, 1992-1993
Social Science Research Council, Doctoral Research Fellowship, Cuba, 1992-1993
Mellon Candidacy Fellowship, University of Michigan, 1992
Johns Hopkins University, SAIS, Cuban Studies Program, Fellowship for Study in Cuba, 1992
Rackham Merit Fellowship, University of Michigan, 1991, 1993-1995
University Fellowship, University of Texas at Austin, 1986-1987
Hotel, Bar, and Restaurant Workers’ Union, Local 6, Scholarship, 1980-1984



Insurgent Cuba: Race, Nation, and Revolution, 1868-1898 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, forthcoming, 1999).

Articles in Journals and Books:

"Cuba, 1898: Rethinking Race, Nation, and Empire," Radical History Review, January 1999.

"Rustic Men, Civilized Nation: Race, Culture and Contention on the Eve of Cuban Independence," forthcoming in Hispanic American Historical Review, November 1998.

"The Silence of Patriots: Racial Discourse and Cuban Nationalism, 1868-1898," in José Martí’s Our America: From National to Hemispheric Cultural Studies (Durham: Duke University Press, forthcoming, 1998).

"Esclavitud, ciudadanía, y los límites de la nacionalidad cubana: la guerra de los diez años, 1868-1878," Historia Social (Valencia), 22 (1995): 101-25.

"Fidel’s History, History’s Fidel: Recent Writings on Fidel Castro and the Cuban Revolution," Michigan Quarterly Review, 33 (Fall 1994): 892-900.

"Social Aspects of Cuban Nationalism: Race, Slavery, and the Guerra Chiquita, 1879-1880," Cuban Studies, 21 (1991): 37-56.

Co-Author with Rebecca Scott, "Introduction" to Cuban section of Societies After Slavery, 1830-1930: An Annotated Research Bibliography, edited by Rebecca Scott, Leslie Rowland, et al., (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, forthcoming).

Book Reviews:

Robin Moore, Nationalizing Blackness: Afrocubanismo and Artistic Revolution in Havana, 1920-1940, forthcoming in Hispanic American Historical Review.

Jay Kinsbruner, Not of Pure Blood: Free People of Color and Racial Prejudice in Nineteenth-Century Puerto Rico and Kimberly Hanger, Bounded Lives, Bounded Places: Free Black Society in Colonial New Orleans, 1769-1803, in Colonial Latin American Research Review, 7 (1998): 146-48.

Joan Dayan, Haiti, History, and the Gods, in The Historian, 59 (1997): 873-74.

Lorna Valerie Williams, The Representation of Slavery in Cuban Fiction, in Hispanic American Historical Review, 75 (1995): 673-74

Robert Paquette, Sugar is Made with Blood: The Conspiracy of La Escalera and the Conflict over Slavery in Cuba, in Ethnohistory, 39 (1992): 84-87.

Robert Levine, Cuba in the 1850s, in Hispanic American Historical Review, 71 (1991) 898.

Miscellaneous Publications:

Contributor, Societies After Slavery, 1830-1930: An Annotated Research Bibliography, edited by Rebecca Scott, Leslie Rowland, et al., (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, forthcoming).

Translator, Oscar Zanetti, "American History: A View from Cuba," Journal of American History, 79 (1992) 530-31.

Conference Papers and Invited Lectures

"Writing the Nation," Latin American Colloquium Series, Dickinson College, April 1, 1999. Also presented at the Conference on States, Networks, and Culture," New School University, March 5, 1999.

"Race, Empire, and the Politics of Civilization," Swarthmore College, March 4, 1999. Also presented at "Despues del 98: Identidad y Nación en España, Cuba, Puerto Rico y Filipinas," Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Spain, November 1998.

"Rethinking 1898: Race, Nation, Empire, and the Writing of History," Tufts University, History Department Colloquium, April 14, 1998; also presented in lecture series: "Circa 1898," King Juan Carlos Center, New York University, March 2, 1998.

"Soldiers, Armies, Colonies, and Empires: Cuba 1898," Conference on Culture, Popular Participation, and the Spanish-American War, City University of New York, Graduate Center, March 27, 1998.

"Reflections on Writing about Race in Cuba from the United States," Taller de Historia, Universidad de la Habana, March 11, 1998.

"Rustic Men, Civilized Nation: Race, Culture, and Contention on the Eve of Cuban Independence," American Historical Association Meetings, Seattle, January, 1998; Taller de Historia, Archivo Provincial, Cienfuegos, Cuba, March 1998; and Seminar on Race and Ethnicity in Latin America, Department of History, University of Michigan, October, 1997.

"Cuba Between Racism and Anti-Racism," First Annual Cuban Research Institute, Florida International University, October, 1997.

"Race, War, and Nation: Cuban History in the Perspective of the Caribbean," Caribbean Crossroads: An Interdisciplinary Conference on the Emergence of a Field," New York University, May 1997.

"The Black Insurgent in the Prose of Independence, 1886-1895," Colloquia on Social History and Biography, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, March 6, 1997.

"Race, Region, and Gender in Rebel Cuba: Quintín Bandera and the Question of Political Leadership in Cuba," Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, State University of New York at Stony Brook, November 20, 1996; and Workshop on Race and Politics in Turn of the Century Cuba," Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, New York University, April 12, 1996.

"The Silence of Patriots: Racial and National Discourses in Cuba, 1868-1898," Our America and the Gilded Age: José Martí’s Chronicles of Imperial Critique, University of California, Irvine, January, 27-28, 1995.

"Imposters and Patriots: Race, Identity and the Cuban War of Independence, 1895-1898," Latin American Studies Association, Atlanta, March 10-12, 1994.

"The Black Insurgent and Cuban National Identity," Seminario de Historia de Cuba, Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona, March 25-26, 1993.

"Estudios sobre sociedades esclavistas y postesclavistas: el caso del imperio español," with Christopher Schmidt-Nowara, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Madrid, February 2, 1993.

"Education and Nationality: Cuban Public Schooling during U.S. Occupation," American Historical Association, Washington, D.C., December 28-30, 1992.

"Slave Rebellion in Nineteenth-Century Cuba," Symposium on African Slave Revolts in the New World, Museum of African American History, Detroit, April 1991.

Selected Professional and University Service

Faculty Member, "Caribbean Summer School Program," Centre de Recherche sur les Pouvoirs Locaux dans la Caraïbe, Universite des Antilles et de la Guyane, Martinique, July 13-29, 1898

Workshop on 1898, Social Science Research Council/American Council of Learned Societies, Cuba Working Group, Washington, D.C., August 2-8, 1998

Manuscript Reviewer, Comparative Studies in Society and History, Hispanic American Historical Review, Latin American Research Review, New West Indian Guide, Cuban Studies, and Ethnohistory.

Program Committee, 11th Annual Berkshire Conference on the History of Women, 1997-present.

Grant Reviewer, MacArthur Foundation, 1997

Advisory Board, Cuban Regional Archives Project, University of Michigan, 1997-present

Co-organizer (with Karen Kupperman and Sinclair Thomson), Atlantic History Workshop, New York University, 1998-1999

Co-organizer (with James Fernández), "Circa 1898: Colonies, Nations, Empires" Lecture Series, King Juan Carlos Center, New York University, Spring 1998

Latin American Studies Association, Task Force on Scholarly Relations with Cuba, Cuban History Working Group, 1994-1997

Adviser, "Cuban Roots, Bronx Tales," (Documentary film), 1995-1997

Mentor, Leadership Alliance Summer Program, New York University, 1997, 1998

GSAS Opportunity Fellowship Selection Committee, New York University, Spring 1998

Latin American History Search Committee, New York University, History Department, Spring 1995, 1995-1996, 1997-1998

Admissions Committee, New York University, History Department, 1997-1998

Minority Recruitment and Retention Committee, New York University, History Department, 1995-1996, 1997-1998

Courses Taught

History of Latin America and the Caribbean (undergraduate history survey)
World Cultures: Latin America (undergraduate interdisciplinary survey)
History of the Caribbean (advanced undergraduate survey)
African Slavery in Latin America and the Caribbean (undergraduate seminar)
Literature of the Field: Modern Latin America (graduate readings course)
Race and Ethnicity in Latin America (graduate readings course)
Independence Movements in Latin America (graduate readings course)
Nineteenth-Century Caribbean (graduate readings course)
Ph.D. Methods Seminar in Comparative and Transnational History (with Karen Kupperman)


American Historical Association
Conference on Latin American History
Latin American Studies Association
Association of Caribbean History

Contacting Ada Ferrer

Department of History
2 Washington Square Village, #15F
New York University New York, New York 10012

Office Address: King Juan Carlos Center, Room 410
Phone: 212.998.8680


Bio on NYU site

Contacting AfroCubaWeb

Electronic mail [replace _AT_ with @]

[AfroCubaWeb] [Site Map] [Music] [Arts] [Authors] [News] [Search this site]

Copyright © 1997 AfroCubaWeb, S.A.