Racial impersonation is an act of occupation where one takes literal and figurative possession of the other. This symposium engages investigations of performances of racial parody across Latin America and the Caribbean including blackface, yellowface, redface, and passing. We ask: what do parodic representations of blackness, indigeneity, Asianness and racial others tell us about race and racial formation in Latin America and the Caribbean? What function do they serve in the constitution and dissemination of regional ideologies of racial democracy, mestizaje, mesticagem, and creole nationalism? We study acts of impersonation in visual and popular culture across the Hispanophone, Lusophone, and Anglophone nations of the region.
Participants in this symposium include:
is Associate Professor of American Studies & Ethnicity at the University of Southern California. She is author of Where Memory Dwells: Culture and State Violence in Chile (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2009), The Extractive Zone: Submerged Perspectives and Decoloniality (Forthcoming, Duke University Press, Spring 2017), and co-editor, with Herman Gray, of Towards a Sociology of a Trace (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press). She is also co-editor of Las Américas Quarterly a special issue of American Quarterly (November 2014) and Decolonial Gestures, E-mísférica (May 2014). Macarena was Fulbright Research Fellow and Visiting Professor in the Department of Sociology and Gender at FLACSO-Quito 2014-2015, and taught in the Department of Social and Cultural Analysis at New York University as a Visiting Associate Professor. Macarena teaches on social and cultural theory, comparative Indigeneities, decolonial theory, visualities, and Latinx American cultural thought.
Ana Paulina Lee
is Assistant Professor of Luso-Brazilian Studies at Columbia University. Lee is also affiliated faculty with the Institute for Research on Women, Gender, and Sexuality. Prior to joining the Department of Latin American and Iberian Cultures, Lee was a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at the Stone Center for Latin American Studies at Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Fulbright Commission, in Lisbon, Portugal, and the Fundação Luso-Americana have supported her research. Most recently, she co-edited a special issue, “Memory and Migration” for Asian Diasporic Visual Cultures on visual cultures of Asian and Latin American convergences.
Zelideth María Rivas
is an Assistant Professor of Japanese at Marshall University. Her research focuses on the conception of race through literature written by Asian immigrants in the Americas, as well as the representation of race in Japan in post-World War II literature and film. She has received fellowships and awards from the Ford Foundation, Fulbright-Hays, West Virginia Humanities Council, and National Endowment for the Humanities. Her work has appeared in Comparative Literature Studies, Journal of Intercultural Studies, Journal of Asian American Studies, and Asian American Literary Review. Her co-edited volume Imagining Asia in the Americas is currently in press with Rutgers University Press. She is currently completing a book manuscript, Caught In-Between: Interstitial Identities in Japanese Brazilian Cultural Productions, which uses an interdisciplinary approach to examine historical documents alongside novels, television dramas, poetry, memoirs, and films that depict Japanese immigrants to Brazil and Japanese Brazilians returnees in Japan, spanning 1908-present.
Cuban born performer and researcher,
Yesenia Fernandez Selier
is currently a Media, Culture and Comunication PhD student at New York University. Yesenia is the recipient of fellowships from CLACSO, CUNY Caribbean Exchange Program, Cuban Heritage Collection and the organization “Save Latin America”. Her work on Afro Cuban culture, encompassing dance, music and race identity has been published in Cuba, United States and Brazil. She has worked alongside artists like Coco Fusco, Ivan Acosta, Septeto Nacional de Cuba, Jane Bunnett, Melvis Santa, Venissa Santi, Wynton Marsalis, Chucho Valdés, Pedrito Martinez, Roman Diaz. She produced the theater play “ Women Orishas” for Miami Cuban Museum (2013), the show “Cuba en Clave” for the New York Cuban Cultural Center (2014) and the performance- procession "Dia de Reyes" during the display of Teresita Fernandez sculptures " Fata Morgana at Madison Square Park (2015).
The symposium is organized by
completed doctoral studies in NYU's department of Spanish and Portuguese where she defended her dissertation "Inca Drag Queens and Hemispheric Blackface: Contemporary Blackface and Drag performance from the Andes to Jamaica" in 2015. Her research develops the concept of hemispheric blackface to name a network of racial and gender parody operating across Latin America and the Caribbean that relies on regional myths of racial democracy or colorblindness to escape critique. A native of Kingston, Jamaica, Roper’s work engages questions of impersonation in performance and visual art, queer theory, and critical race theory in Latin America and the Caribbean. She completed her M.A in Performance Studies at NYU in 2009 and is also a former Thomas J. Watson fellow.
Sponsored by: Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center, Department of Spanish and Portuguese at NYU, Asian/Pacific/American Institute at NYU, Hemispheric Institute for Performance and Politics, Caribbean Initiative at CLACS Program.