Lisa Jarvinen, Ph.D.


This article considers the merits of oral history as a method of research for Lasallian history. It employs a case study of the District of the Antilles during the 1960s to suggest that the method has a unique ability to examine how the bonds of community and sense of mission are formed within a specific historical context and, for Lasallian Partners, to engage them more deeply in understanding of the Institute’s history and mission. The oral history project that serves as a case study examines the impact of the Cuban Revolution on the De La Salle Brothers of Cuba, the diaspora that formed after the Brothers left Cuba in 1961, and the renewal of the District of the Antilles in an expanded presence in the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico and a later return to Cuba. The article concludes that the process of creating an oral history project can create opportunities for dialogue within the Lasallian community.

Full Text

Oral History as a Lasallian Research Method: A Case Study of the District of Antilles during a Revolutionary Era


oral history; Cuba; Dominican Republic; mission; Cold War; Vatican II; Cuban Revolution

About the Author

Lisa Jarvinen is an associate professor in the Department of History and associate dean in the School of Arts and Sciences at La Salle University, Philadelphia. She studies the history of social and cultural relations in the Americas. She is the author of The Rise of Spanish-Language Filmmaking: Out from Hollywood’s Shadow, 1929-1939 (Rutgers) and co-editor of Cinema from Latin America to Los Angeles: Origins to 1960 (Rutgers). She is the co-producer, writer, and translator of the website “Revolution, Diaspora, and Return: the Journey of the De La Salle Cuban Brothers.” Most recently, she published “The “School Question” in an Imperial Context: Education and Religion during and following the Occupations of Cuba and Puerto Rico” in the History of Education Quarterly. She holds a Ph.D. in History from Syracuse University and an MA in Cinema Studies from New York University.

ISSN: 2151-2515
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