T/RACING BELONGING THROUGH CUBAN TOURISM:

L. KAIFA ROLAND

ABSTRACT

Because Cuban "race“ operates on a flexible black–white continuum, with performance and social markers like class and foreign-ness affecting racial assignment, the very category itself remains unstable. I examine this instability in Cuban touristic practice, focusing on the way in which questions of belonging and origin, as well as perceived differences between "us“ and "them,“ mark and assign racial identity in different ways. I became aware of such dynamics through my own subjectivity—as a black, female foreigner whose body was frequently interpreted as Cuban—and through my simultaneous status as a researcher, engaging in participant observation of Cuban touristic practice.