Teaching Revolution: Black Women Primary School Teachers, Socio-economic Transition and Race in 21st Century Cuba
Angela Crumdy

About the research


NAEd/Spencer Dissertation Fellowship

Award Year



The Graduate Center, City University of New York

Primary Discipline

Cuba is globally renowned for its widely successful 1961 Literacy Campaign, competitive student achievement and for maintaining a near 100% literacy rate. What is lesser known, however, is that the country has struggled with a teacher shortage for over a decade. Although teacher shortages are not specific to Cuba, this case is unique in that the economic turmoil of the 1990's Special Period intensified race and class-based cleavages to the point that disparities are reminiscent of times prior to the 1959 Revolution. This dissertation research uses a mixed-method approach to investigate how Black women primary school educators in Havana, Cuba navigate their work and home lives during the country's contemporary teacher shortage. Utilizing discourse analysis, oral history and participant observation, this ethnographic study addresses gaps in the existing literature, which often only considers teachers as it relates to their interactions with students and largely fails to address Caribbean women's labor that is in service of anyone other than foreigners. This study nuances understandings of formal education in Cuba by decentering nationalist discourse and utilizing an intersectional framework. Additionally, results from this study will inform understandings of teacher identity and teacher shortages in ``post`` socialist contexts.
About Angela Crumdy
Angela Crumdy is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Anthropology at the Graduate Center, City University of New York (CUNY). Generally, she is interested in historiography, gender and social reproduction as it relates to Latin America and the Caribbean. Her dissertation research is focused on how recent socio-economic shifts impact the experiences of Black women primary school educators in Cuba during the country's teacher shortage. In addition to the NAEd/Spencer Dissertation Foundation Fellowship, she previously received a Dissertation Fieldwork Grant from the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research to support the data collection phase of her project. Angela is the Secretary/Historian for the American Educational Research Association's Graduate Student Council. As a Presidential Magnet Fellow at the Graduate Center, she supports underrepresented undergraduate students in the CUNY system as they navigate the graduate school preparation and application process. Previously, she was an Advanced Research Collaborative Student Fellow and also served as a member of the Anthropology Now Findings Collective. Prior to graduate school, she served as a high school English teacher in Dallas, Texas. Angela holds a B.A. in Anthropology and Latin American and Caribbean Studies from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

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