It was my great pleasure to have recently attended a public lecture at the University of Florida by Professor Jean Stubbs, who is currently in residence here at the Center for Latin American Studies as the Spring 2011 Bacardi Family Eminent Scholar. Jean’s lecture, “The Havana Cigar Goes Global,” was an engaging tour of the research that’s been occupying her attention for some time. You can find a recent scholarly expression of that work in: “El Habano and the World It Has Shaped: Cuba, Connecticut, and Indonesia,” Cuban Studies 41 (2010): 39-67.
Jean’s lecture was, to paraphrase her own comments, an entertaining romp around the world following the Havana cigar. It would be well enough, I suppose, to simply show some of the engaging images that accompanied the lecture. I thought, however, that your enterprising reporter might take a moment to highlight some of the most intriguing aspects of Jean’s work on the Havana cigar. I choose three and–still better!–asked Jean to briefly respond to my comments. My comments and questions follow, with responses interspersed.