Reading Ché Guevara’s "new man" through the praxis of misfitting: towards a revolution for "people like us"

Putnam, Bryan Rodrigues, author
Cespedes, Karina, advisor
Souza, Caridad, committee member
Sagás, Ernesto, committee member
Velasco, Marcela, committee member
Aragon, Antonette, committee member
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This study incorporates reflections from five Cuban participants about the contemporary status of Ernesto Ché Guevara’s “new man” in Cuba. Grounded in the Marxist tradition of praxis as philosophy, the thesis integrates Pan American articulations on the theme of Latin American liberation alongside interview data. In light of research findings pertaining to the “new man,” I evoke Rosemarie Garland-Thomson’s feminist materialist disability concepts of “fitting” and “misfitting” alongside Tobin Siebers’ assertion that by way of “misfitting” one produces critical knowledge revealing the “blueprints of power” that have constructed exclusionary reality for some and a contingent fit for others. I argue that the state imposed ideal of the “new man” failed to create the proper channels within which everyday misfit knowledge could be elevated to the level of social theory. However, the “new man” as a set of embodied values and mechanisms for social integration did succeed at various levels, which are explored throughout the chapters.
2016 Spring.
Includes bibliographical references.
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