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Projects Endangered by OFAC

Publication Suspended or Cancelled in the United States

  • The University of Alabama Press (UA Press) suspended the publication of Dialogues in Cuban Archaeology, a discussion among leading Cuban and American archaeologists. American and Cuban archaeologists have had few opportunities to exchange information in recent decades, and the draft manuscript had been applauded by peer reviewers as a breakthrough for the field. 
  • UA Press also suspended publication of A Colossus on the Sand: The Slave Revolt of 1825 in Guamacaro and the Atlantic World, by a Cuban scholar. Based on otherwise inaccessible material in the Cuban National Archives, the book would have provided an unprecedented opportunity for Americans to learn about a previously unstudied slave rebellion led by three African men in Cuba, which had a lasting influence on slavery and the resistance movement throughout the region.
  • Mathematical Geology, the journal of the International Association for Mathematical Geology, cancelled the publication of a paper by geologists at Shiraz University in Iran. The paper describes a novel methodology to facilitate the geophysical interpretation of mapping data that aims to advance earthquake prediction. 
  • The Smithsonian Institution Press suspended its plans to publish an English/Spanish edition of The City of Columns, by the acclaimed Cuban novelist and cultural writer Alejo Carpentier, which considers the unique historic architecture of Havana. The bilingual version would have combined the text with photographs by prominent American and Cuban photographers, an essay by a well-known Cuban cultural critic, and a preface by a prominent American architect.
  • The plans of Cornell University Press (CU Press) to reprint its Field Guide to the Birds of Cuba, a successful international collaboration that combined text authored by Cuban ornithologists with illustrations by an American artist and innovative designs devised by CU Press, are endangered by OFAC’s regulations. The Field Guide is an important resource for understanding bird species found in Cuba and the fragile ecosystems they inhabit, as well as the migration patterns of birds along the eastern coast of the Americas. 
  • Northwestern University Press has put on hold a project supported by PEN involving the translation and promotion of a selection of twelve short stories written in Cuba during the past decade by young writers, some of whose works have not circulated freely because of political constraints. The book would include an introduction by the editors (two American comparative literature scholars) to help American readers more fully appreciate the translated works. 
  • The OFAC Regulations also threaten The PEN Anthology of Contemporary Iranian Literature, which PEN has sponsored and Arcade has plans to publish. The anthology will contain writings by leading Iranian writers, poets, and critics created since the Iranian Revolution, many of which reflect the turmoil and repression of recent years. The PEN Anthology is a collaborative effort between Americans and Iranians; for example, the American scholar and editor Nahid Mozaffari is adding biographical and explanatory notes and an introductory essay for the book, providing historical and literary context to help American readers more fully appreciate the translated works. 
  • Temple University Press decided to forgo an exciting project, an Encyclopedia of Cuban Music, because of the OFAC Information Regulations. The Encyclopedia would have been the definitive work in its field and the product of the Cuban author’s thirty-year study of the subject. 

Works Unknown

Valuable books, articles, and scientific research may never reach Americans while the chilling effects of OFAC’s claims of authority over First Amendment materials remain. These works could include Cuban scientists’ medical research, especially in infectious diseases; memoirs by political dissidents in Iran, Cuba, and Sudan; and primary accounts of environmental disasters, religious and civil strife, and famine by residents of the Sudan.

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מיר פֿירן אַריבער די עיקרדיקע ראָלע פֿון אַ גלאָבאַלער געמיינשאַפֿט פֿון פֿאַרלעגערס, װאָס זייער מיסיע איז פֿאַרזיכערן אַקאַדעמישע אויסגעצייכנקייט און קולטוװירן דאָס װיסן. 

— AUPresses Mission Statement in Yiddish