HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Scholar: hurricanes helped shape Cuban culture, history

CHAPEL HILL -- When hurricane season in the Caribbean officially ends Friday, (Nov. 30) many Cubans, especially farmers, will probably breathe a sigh of relief. They survived Hurricane Michelles wrath earlier this month, but the fallout was five deaths and ruined crops, wrecked sugar mills and destroyed homes.

Hurricanes are a fact of life in Cuba, which has historically been hard-hit during the annual four-month Caribbean season. Some may grow accustomed to dealing with the recurring storms, but in a new book, historian Dr. Louis A. Perez Jr. contends that the hurricanes have significantly affected the culture and its people.

My premise is that historians focus a great deal on what people do together, but now and then, the forces of nature overwhelm a culture and affect how cultures become what they are, said Perez, J. Carlyle Sitterson professor of history at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Nature opens up a new dimension -- weather, calamity -- to historical research.

In Winds of Change: Hurricanes and the Transformation of Nineteenth-Century Cuba (UNC Press, 2001), Perez, a New York native whose grandfather was born in Cuba, examines questions about national character and recurring calamities. What makes the French French? What makes Americans Americans? One factor is environment -- weather patterns, famine, harsh climates, earthquakes, floods are all assimilated into cultural characteristics, he said.

This argument is true of any community facing a recurring threat of calamity, he added. People who live under the shadow of volcanoes or monsoons live in a culture of calamity. Whats fascinating to me is how these cultures begin to adapt to the possibility of catastrophe and to assimilate the peril into their everyday lives.

In Cuba, Perez said, hurricanes have created an overriding sense of being subjected to forces beyond ones control. Many people say, Why spend too much time thinking about the future?
'"/>

Contact: David Williamson
david_williamson@unc.edu
919-962-8596
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
29-Nov-2001


Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. DuPont introduces in-home personal protection from dangers of hurricanes
2. NASA data shows hurricanes help plants bloom in ocean deserts
3. Ecosystem bounces back from hurricanes
4. Big fish not always best, sounds might mean hurricanes and Hawaii tsunami safety
5. Sea Grant news: Shipworms, ozone, hurricanes
6. Studies: Floyd, other major hurricanes of 99 caused significant changes in nations largest lagoonal estuary
7. Specialized brain helped ancient reptiles fly and hunt
8. Cognitive therapy for schizophrenia: Hope for those whom drugs havent helped
9. Chronic Lyme disease symptoms not helped by intensive antibiotic treatment
10. University of Georgia professor writes first book on phylogeography--a field of study that he helped found
11. Molecular staples shape a cancer killer

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:8/15/2017)... LLC , a medical device company focused on improving the safety ... ISO 13485 Certification, the global standard for medical device quality management ... ... for the early detection of IV infiltrations. ... "This is an important milestone for ivWatch, as it validates our ...
(Date:6/14/2017)... IBM ) is introducing several innovative partner startups at VivaTech ... startups and global businesses, taking place in Paris ... will showcase the solutions they have built with IBM Watson ... France is one of the most dynamic ... in the number of startups created between 2012 and 2015*, ...
(Date:5/6/2017)... RAM Group , Singaporean based ... in biometric authentication based on a novel  ... to perform biometric authentication. These new sensors are based on ... Ram Group and its partners. This sensor will have ... and security. Ram Group is a next generation ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:9/19/2017)... ... , ... VetStem Biopharma ’s CEO and founder, Dr. Bob Harman DVM, MPVM, is featured ... Cell Therapy: A Rising Tide". Dr. Harman and Dr. Riordan met in 2003 and ... in the potential of stem cell therapy and a fast friendship was formed. , Dr. ...
(Date:9/19/2017)... , Sept. 19, 2017 ValGenesis Inc., the ... is pleased to announce the strategic partnership with VTI ... clients with validation services using the latest technology available ... will provide clients with efficient and cost-effective validation services ... partner for the ValGenesis VLMS system. ...
(Date:9/19/2017)... ... September 19, 2017 , ... ... of Financial Services (NYS DFS) cybersecurity regulations have transitioned into full ... insurance organizations operating in the state (“Covered Entities”) to conduct an annual, ...
(Date:9/18/2017)... ... September 18, 2017 , ... ... the move of the SPIE Digital Library ( http://www.spiedigitallibrary.org ) on 15 August ... create an improved user experience and incorporate a number of enhancements and new ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: