Ted Henken


Ted Henken's new book, Cuba: A Global Studies Handbook (ABC-CLIO, 2008), is a comprehensive overview and reference guide to the island's history and culture.

He has also written extensively about the development of micro-enterprise and the underground economy in socialist Cuba, which was the subject of his Ph.D. dissertation, “Condemned to Informality: Cuba’s Experiments with Self-Employment during the Special Period” (2002).  He has published articles about Cuba in the journals the on-line Cuban journal Contodos, Cuban Studies, Latin American Research Review, Latino Studies, Encuentro de la Cultura Cubana, and Cuba in Transition.  He has also published many book reviews and book articles including, "Vale Todo: In Cuba's Paladares, Everything is Prohibited but Anything Goes," in A Contemporary Cuba Reader: Reinventing the Revolution (2008). He is frequently interviewed by leading newspapers and media outlets on Cuba, having been a consultant for CNN and the U.S. Department of State.

Professor Henken holds a Doctorate in Latin American Studies from Tulane University. He is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Black and Hispanic Studies Department at Baruch College, City University of New York. Henken also holds a joint appointment in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology.

Henken specializes in courses on contemporary Cuban culture and society, Latinos in the U.S., Race and Ethnic Relations, the Sociology of Religion, International Migration, and comparative urban studies courses on Havana, New York, and New Orleans.

Currently, Henken's research focuses on the Internet in Cuba, assessing the depth, breadth, representativeness, and social impact of the Cuban blogging phenomenon. His project, “In Search of Generacion Y: Citizen Journalism, The Cuban Blogosphere, and the Future of Cuban Civil Society,” is particularly interested in how Cuban bloggers are connected to other new autonomous cultural and social projects and movements in today’s Cuba and how they might together contribute to the strengthening of Cuban civil society. Henken began following the blog√≥sfera cubana two years ago, initially drawn in by Yoani Sanchez’s innovative blog Generacion Y. Since then, he has travelled to Cuba to interview Sanchez.

As part of this on-going research project and in order to contribute to this growing on-line dialogue and debate about Cuba, Henken started his own blog, "El Yuma", in October of 2009.

Check out Professor Henken's blog, "El Yuma".

In December, 2009, Henken appeared at “The Inter-American Dialogue” in Washington, D.C. as part of the symposium, “Cuba and New Technologies”.

Video streaming of the event is available on C-Span.

Henken is a fellow of the Cuba Project at the Bildner Center for Western Hemisphere Studies (CUNY, Graduate Center) where he helps coordinate the Center’s Cuba Project. The Bildner Center recently published Henken's Directory of Cuban Related Organizations and Websites. He is also a former member of the board of directors of the Association for the Study of the Cuban Economy (ASCE).

He has promoted scholarly and cultural exchanges with Cuba through Tulane University’s Cuban and Caribbean Studies Institute and the non-profit cultural exchange group CubaNOLA Arts Collective. In the mid-1990s, he worked for Catholic Social Services in Mobile, Alabama, helping to resettle Cuban refugees from the U.S. Naval Station at Guant√°namo Bay.

Henken lives in New York City.  He travels frequently to New Orleans, Louisiana, where he leads groups of CUNY students on an annual spring break service learning project. He has visited Cuba more than a dozen times since 1997.

Travelling to Cuba yourself?

Click here to download Professor Henken's underground guide to the island, "Notes from the Underground."