Ann Halbert-Brooks

  • Fellowship year:2016-2017
  • University: University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill
  • Dissertation Topic/Category: Gender and Women's History
  • Dissertation Title: Revolutionary Teacher's: Women and Gender in the Cuban Literacy Campaign of 1961.
  • Ann's dissertation examines the role of Women in the Cuban Revolution through the lens of the 1961 Literacy Campaign. She argues that the Campaign was a key formative period for the nascent revolutionary state and for the 250,000 teachers who worked in it. Beginning in the guerrilla insurgency of the 1950s, the 26th of July Movement invested in education and described political education as a central component of its proposed changes to Cuban society.
    After 1959, this institutional emphasis on education facilitated the political mobilization of women and the creation of mass organizations, such as the Comites de Defensa de la Revolucion and the Federacion de Mujeres Cubanas. Individual women engaged critically with propaganda for the Literacy Campaign, volunteering to teach with the expectation that their professional horizons would be expanded through their work. In the decades that followed, their work also influenced their relationship with and sense of ownership over the revolutionary project.