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Laura-Zoë Humphreys Assistant Professor Department of Communication Tulane University

Laura-Zoë Humphreys

Assistant Professor

219 Newcomb Hall, Office D


University of Chicago, PhD


Professor Laura-Zoë Humphreys completed a Joint Ph.D. in Anthropology and Cinema and Media Studies and her research reflects this dual training, combining interests in cinema and the public sphere, digital technologies and media piracy, media anthropology, and post/socialism. Her first book, Fidel between the Lines: Paranoia and Ambivalence in Late Socialist Cuban Cinema, draws on over a decade of ethnographic fieldwork, textual analysis, and archival research to track the changing dynamics of social criticism and censorship in late socialist Cuba. Fidel between the Lines shows how Cuban filmmakers have historically turned to allegory to communicate an ambivalent relationship to the Revolution, and how such efforts came up against new forms of suspicion in the 1990s and the twenty-first century. Offering insights that extend beyond Cuba, this book reveals what happens to public debate when freedom of expression can no longer be distinguished from complicity and how combining anthropology with film studies can shed light on cinema's broader social and political import. She is currently working on her second book project, tentatively entitled Pushing Culture: Digital Media Piracy and the Politics of Entertainment in Cuba. Pushing Culture examines how Cubans are turning to new forms of digital media piracy and transnational entertainment genres to negotiate changing values in the midst of intensified economic reform and contested relations with the United States.

Selected Publications

  • “Copying and COVID-19 in Havana, Cuba.” Mediapolis: A Journal of Cities and Culture, 2020.
  • Fidel between the Lines: Paranoia and Ambivalence in Late Socialist Cuban Cinema. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2019.
  • “Paranoid Readings and Ambivalent Allegories in Cuban Cinema,” Social Text 132 35.3 (September 2017): 17-40.