Professor Jean Stubbs spent nineteen years in Cuba where she researched Cuban history and contemporary development. Professor Stubbs is the author of various articles and books on Cuba.
Jean is Co-Director of the Commodities of Empire British Academy Research Project (2007-2017), in collaboration with the Open University’s Ferguson Centre for African and Asian Studies; Associate Fellow of the Institute of the Americas, University College London, and Bader International Study Centre (BISC-UK), Queen’s University, Canada; and Professor Emerita of London Metropolitan University, where she directed the Caribbean Studies Centre (2002-2009). The recipient of Rockefeller, Ford, and McArthur funding as a visiting scholar at the University of Florida, Florida International University, University of Puerto Rico, and City University of New York, she returned to the University of Florida as the Center for Latin American Studies 2011 Bacardi Family Eminent Scholar. She was Fall 2012 Semester Scholar-in-Residence at BISC-UK, convening the special topics course ‘Global Issues of the 21st Century: Commodities, Globalisation and Migration in Comparative Perspective’, and returns there in Winter 2014. She was elected member of the Academy of History of Cuba (2012) and awarded the UNESCO Toussaint L’Ouverture Medal (2009) for her services in combating racism and promoting diversity, and she served as president of the Caribbean Studies Association (2002-3) and chair of the U.K. Society for Caribbean Studies (1993-5). She was the founding editor of the International Journal of Cuban Studies (2008-9) and guest-editor with Dr Catherine Krull (Queen’s University, Canada) of the themed women and gender issue of Cuban Studies 42 (2011); and has published widely on Cuba, her specialist interests spanning tobacco, labour, gender, race and migration. She is currently completing research on ‘the offshore Havana cigar’ and is co-researcher with Dr Krull on The New Cuban Diaspora in Canada and Western Europe (2011-2014), a collaborative project funded by the Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.
Jan DeCosmo is a retired Professor of Humanities in the Department of Visual Arts, Humanities & Theatre at Florida A&M University, where she taught for 37 years. Her undergraduate and master’s degrees were in International Affairs, and her Ph.D. at FSU in 1987 was in Humanities. Her research and publications include two books, a film and numerous articles on a variety of subjects related to the Caribbean, Bahia (Brazil) and Southwest Louisiana. In addition to humanities survey courses, she taught art history classes, Caribbean Religion & Culture, and African Humanities. After traveling to the Bahamas in 1996 and locating FAMU student practitioners, she founded the FAMU Rhythm Rushers Bahamian Junkanoo group that led to the creation of a Junkanoo group in Atlanta and another in Orlando. As founder and grants writer for the Center for Caribbean Culture at FAMU, DeCosmo received over $¼ million in funding for a variety of public programs, including film festivals, performing groups, concerts, conferences, and music festivals. She has led group trips to Havana, Cuba since 2001. She is an avid collector of music, film and art (primarily from Haiti, Cuba, and Bahia). Her Cuban collection of over 35 works of art is currently on display at “Jan’s Gallery” in Railroad Square Art Park in Tallahassee. DeCosmo is currently the director of the non-profit organization, Cross-Cultural Coalition of South Side Tallahassee, Inc.