Alexander is Postdoctoral Fellow of the Society of Fellows at Dartmouth College with a specialization on the diaspora in Latin American and the Caribbean. He is interested in how public opinion is formulated, expressed and circulated, in particular among marginalized communities that have not historically had full access to citizenship and print media. His dissertation, titled “Binding Freedom: Cuba’s Black Public Sphere, 1868-1912,” examines the evolution and legacy of the discourse of colorblindness from the struggle for national independence through the abolition of slavery and the early civil rights movement. He maps the alliances Caribbean people of African descent forged and the networks of communication that existed across the Atlantic and between freed and enslaved peoples.
His interest in print culture and the formation of collective identities bridges his scholarship on surfing where he focuses on travel writing and the social history of international surf tourism. Alex is currently working on an article about the organization of surf tourism within the Guantanamo Naval Base and its links with larger processes of globalization and US intervention in Cuba.
His research has received support from the Fulbright Commission, the U.S. Department of State, the California Teachers Association, the Cuban Heritage Collection at the University of Miami and the CLIR Mellon Fellowship for Dissertation Research in Original Sources. He has published articles on the black press, antislavery narratives and black veterans in Cuba’s wars of independence.
“Paving the Way to Pavones: Property Wars, Narratives of Discovery and the Fantasy of Surfing Paradise.” (under review)
“Binding Consumption: Cuba’s Early Black Press and the Struggle for Legitimacy, 1879-1886.” Siglo diecinueve (literatura hispánica) 21 (2015): 29-46.