Studies of the Americas

Aesthetics and the Revolutionary City

Real and Imagined Havana

Authors: Kent, James Clifford

  • Examines the global politics of representation of Havana through visual culture
  • Challenges existing representations of various recognizable spaces of Havana and interrogates the diverse forces which have shaped them in the global imaginary
  • Provides original case studies in the form of textual analyses that develop key theoretical debates surrounding the city and the imaginary
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eBook £47.99
price for United Kingdom (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-64030-3
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover £59.99
price for United Kingdom (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-64029-7
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
About this book

Aesthetics and the Revolutionary City engages in alternative ways of reading foreign visual representations of Havana through analysis of advertising images, documentary films, and photographic texts. It explores key narratives relating to the projection of different Havana imaginaries and focuses on a range of themes including: pre-revolutionary Cuba; the dream of revolution; and the metaphor of the city “frozen-in-time.” The book also synthesizes contemporary debates regarding the notion of Havana as a real and imagined city space and fleshes out its theoretical insights with a series of stand-alone, important case studies linked to the representation of the Cuban capital in the Western imaginary. The interpretations in the book bring into focus a range of critical historical moments in Cuban history (including the Cuban Revolution and the “Special Period”) and consider the ways in which they have been projected in advertising, documentary film and photography outside the island. 

About the authors

​James Clifford Kent is Lecturer in Hispanic Studies at Royal Holloway, University of London, UK.

Reviews

“James Clifford Kent offers a superb evaluation of the ways in which images of Havana have been constructed in the Western imaginary. In his exploration of a series of exemplary case studies, he shows how notions of the real and imagined city have been forged, and scrutinizes the problematic nature of such notions. In an engaged and engaging study, Kent convincingly demonstrates how and why we have come to see the city in the way we do. He also illustrates how new conceptualizations of the city feed off and recycle pre-existing versions, notwithstanding important manifestations of social, economic and political change.”(Philip Swanson, Hughes Professor of Spanish, University of Sheffield, UK)

“James Clifford Kent offers a novel and enlightening approach to reading foreign visual representations of Havana through advertising images, documentary film and photography. With the author’s theoretical insights, this book offers a comprehensive introduction to, and an in-depth analysis of, Cuban visual culture with incisive and new connections. An innovative and beautifully researched study which will be an invaluable resource for scholars and students of Hispanic and Cultural Studies, as well as experienced lay readers with a special interest in the representation of Cuba and its capital city.” (Brígida M. Pastor, Honorary Research Fellow, Swansea University, UK, and Researcher, CSIC, Spain)

“James Clifford Kent provides an entertaining kaleidoscope of new ways of gazing at the so-called ‘Paris of the Caribbean,’ ranging from Walker Evans’s haunting pre-revolutionary photography, Burt Glinn’s exuberant snaps of the Revolution as it was happening all around him, and even David Bailey’s poised glimpses of Havana after the Special Period. There’s a chapter on advertising Cuban rum and another on the larger-than-life story of Buena Vista Social Club, and the time the Manic Street Preachers’ went to Havana. This is a bold and well-researched book, and it will appeal as much to Cuban specialists as those intrigued by the role played by photography, film and music in our modern, mediated world.” (Stephen M. Hart, Associate Dean (Research), and Professor of Latin American Film, Literature and Culture, University College London, UK)


Table of contents (7 chapters)

  • Introduction: Real and Imagined Havana

    Kent, James Clifford

    Pages 1-9

  • Mapping the City: Walker Evans in Havana

    Kent, James Clifford

    Pages 11-42

  • Burt Glinn, Magnum Photos and the Cuban Revolution

    Kent, James Clifford

    Pages 43-81

  • David Bailey’s Havana and the “Post-Special Period” Photobook

    Kent, James Clifford

    Pages 83-116

  • Advertising the City: “Nothing Compares to Havana”

    Kent, James Clifford

    Pages 117-148

Buy this book

eBook £47.99
price for United Kingdom (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-64030-3
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover £59.99
price for United Kingdom (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-64029-7
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Aesthetics and the Revolutionary City
Book Subtitle
Real and Imagined Havana
Authors
Series Title
Studies of the Americas
Copyright
2019
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s)
eBook ISBN
978-3-319-64030-3
DOI
10.1007/978-3-319-64030-3
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-319-64029-7
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XI, 226
Number of Illustrations
4 b/w illustrations, 3 illustrations in colour
Topics