Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Christopher McRae, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Mariaelena Bartesaghi, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Frederick Steier, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Margarethe Kusenbach, Ph.D.


Identity Performance, Emplacement, Situatedness, Latinidad, Cubanidad, Cubaness


Bestowed to the Cuban government in 1956, The Parque Amigos de José Martí in Ybor City, FL is a historical site intended to symbolize the relationship between Tampa and Cuba that facilitated Cuba’s independence. Cuban cultural identity and the sense of Cubaness are confounded by the history of exile and the constraints of the United States Embargo. This project articulates the experience of the Cuban exile community and their descendants through descriptive accounts of visiting the Parque Amigos de José Martí. Visiting a place is framed as a means of identity performance and a method of performance ethnography, enabling discursive, situated, and constitutive acts to reinforce the visitor's sense of Cubaness and the park's import as a cultural site. With pending renovations to the park, this project serves as a heuristic in understanding the conditions that impact peoples’ expressions and sense of Cubaness, and as an intervention to reconsider how the proposed park design speaks to the interests and values of the Tampa Cuban community. This project seeks to elevate the voices of those that want to bridge political divides to enhance the cultural connections that helped establish both places.