Please join the Center for Latin American Studies and the Department of Spanish and Portuguese on Thursday, March 16, from 2:30-4:30 in the Mortara Center for Dr. B. Christine Arce's talk, "El son de la negra: Invisible Blackness and the Makings of Mexican Culture."
Dr. Arce is Assistant Professor of Latin American Literature and Culture at the University of Miami and works on issues of race, gender and non-Western epistemologies in the cultural production of Mexico, Brazil and the Caribbean. Dr. Arce's book, México’s Nobodies (2017), this year’s winner of the Victoria Urbano Award, explores the long obviated contributions of women and blacks to Mexican culture and history.
From colonial discourses of black magic to the underlying rhythms of son jarocho, blackness in México has been excised from the national imaginary. Notwithstanding the interim poll conducted in 2015, in which 1.38 million Mexicans identified as Afro-descendant, in concert with the burgeoning scholarly attention unearthing the black presence in México, Afro-Mexicans are not considered relevant despite their continued presence since the Spanish Invasion. Blackness has at best been exceptionalized as a product of Caribbean migration, or at worst, criminalized and summarily disappeared. Mexican cultural production, in turn, is not only an incredible artifact of the African presence, but also witnesses the living cultural and social practices that constitute a specifically black contribution to Mexican culture and history. In short, this presentation will trace the importance of Afro-Mexicans in Mexican history through a look at their representation in, and contribution to, the arts.
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