TAMPA, Fla. (Oct. 27, 2015) — The University of South Florida will host a talk on the emergence of Latin identity and culture in Tampa post-World War II. The event will be led by 2015 Patrick Riordan Memorial Research Fellowship award winner Brad Massey, whose research delves deeply into this subject.
The event, titled “Lingering Smoke, Laboring Women, and Latin Identities”, will take place at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 4, located in the Grace Allen Room on the fourth floor of the USF Tampa Library. Light refreshments will be served, and questions will be taken after the 45-minute talk. This event is free and open to the public.
Massey, a current history PhD candidate at the University of Florida and a full-time faculty member at Polk State College, will focus on Ybor City during the 1950s to the 1970s, during which there was a noticeable attempt at trying to market the “Latin” identity of the area, including elements that do not coincide with its history.
Massey has coined the term “interindustrial” to describe the transition that occurred in Tampa post-WWII, and the term refers to a space that incorporates elements of pre-WWII industry with the emergence of a tourist- and consumer-based economy after the war. Prior to the 1920s, the cigar industry was seen solely as a commodity, and that was the main economic focus of Ybor in particular. However, especially beginning in the 1950s, the idea of marketing the cigar industry, Latin American cuisine, señoritas and possible bull fighting were meant to appeal to visitors.
The Patrick Riordan Memorial Research Fellowship award is given by USF’s Libraries’ Florida Studies Center in Tampa, Fla., each year to a graduate or PhD student whose research focuses on a Florida studies topic. The winner receives $2,500 and a month-long, in-residence time period to work on their project at USF and use the USF Special Collections at the library to further their research. Massey finished his in-residence period during the summer, and used Special Collections’ Sam Gibbons Papers, the Pizzo Collection and other archives.
While Massey’s project has a large focus on Ybor, the cigar industry and “Latinness”, his overall PhD research focuses on Tampa’s development after WWII. This includes the efforts to lessen pollution in Tampa Bay’s waters, the phosphate industry and residential and suburban development.
The University of South Florida is a high-impact, global research university dedicated to student success. USF is a Top 50 research university among both public and private institutions nationwide in total research expenditures, according to the National Science Foundation. Serving nearly 48,000 students, the USF System has an annual budget of $1.5 billion and an annual economic impact of $4.4 billion. USF is a member of the American Athletic Conference.