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Afro/Indigenous Perspectives, Race and Racism: Towards a New View of Latin American Studies

Angela Ramos Castellá

This symposium was held April 13-14, 2023. Recordings of the keynote addresses by Dr. Paul Joseph López Oro and Dr. Tatiana Flores are now available (see below).  

The symposium brought together scholars of Afro and Indigenous Latin American and Caribbean studies to engage with new perspectives on race and racism in Latin America, past and present. Topics will focus on African descendants and people indigenous to the Americas both separately and together, examining also relationships between these groups with the purpose of thematically paving a pathway towards understanding Afro-Indigeneity as it relates to Latin American, Caribbean and U.S. Latinx communities.    

Advisory committee:
Monika Gosin (former LAS Director and committee chair), Carlos Rivera Santana, Michael Iyanaga, Richard Turits, Liz Morán, Rio Riofrio, Fernando Galeana-Rodriguez, and Fabrício Prado.  

Schedule :  

Thursday April 13:    
6:00 pm, Tucker Hall 127A

Keynote presentation: “Hemispheric Entanglements of Indigenous Blackness and AfroLatinidad." Paul Joseph López Oro, Associate Professor of Sociology, Hunter College, The City University of New York.

Link to video presentation you can find HERE.

Dr. Paul Joseph López Oro is a transdisciplinary Black Studies scholar whose research and teaching interests are at the intersections of African Diaspora Studies, Latin American, Caribbean, & Latinx Studies, and Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies. His forthcoming book Indigenous Blackness: The Queer Politics of Self-Making Garifuna New York is a critical ethnography of how transgenerational Garifuna New Yorkers of Central American descent negotiate, perform, and articulate their multiple subjectivities as Black/Indigenous/Caribbean Central Americans. 

Friday April 14:   Angela Ramos Castellá

10-12 am,  James Blair Hall 206
Panel A: Afro-Indigenous Enslavement, Spiritual Resistance
•      “Embodying Africa, Forgetting Enslavement: Alternative Discourses on Caboclo Veneration in Bahia, Brazil.” Michael Iyanaga, Associate Professor of Music and Latin American Studies, W & M. 
•      “Slavery’s Transformation in 16th-Century Santo Domingo.” Richard Turits, Associate Professor of Africana Studies, History, and Latin American Studies, W&M.                                                                                                                                                                       •  "(Anti-)Racist Acculturation: Understanding Slavery's Legacies and Indigenous Integration in the 20th Century." Theodore Cohen, Associate Professor of Africana Studies and History, Southern Illinois University.

•    Commentator:  Theodore Cohen, Associate Professor of Africana Studies and History, Southern Illinois University

12 – 1 pm  Lunch (provided)
1-3 pm, Blow Hall 332
Panel B: Afro-Indigeneity, Critical Fiction, and Art  
Belkis Ayón, La cena (The Supper), 1991, collagraph, 54 3/8 × 118 1/8". © Collection of the Belkis Ayón Estate.•    “Fugitive Serigraphy: Critical Fiction and the Traces of Marronage in Mexico.Adela Amaral, Assistant Professor, Anthropology, W&M.
•    “Visualizing Sacred Memory: Africa in the Works of Cuban and Haitian Artists.” Elizabeth Morán, Jane Williams Mahoney Associate Professor of Art History, W&M. 
•    "Afro-Indigenous representation and the Birth of Race: The First Afro-indigenous Depiction in Los tres mulatos de Esmeralda (1599)". Carlos Rivera Santana, Assistant Professor, Hispanic Studies, W&M.  

•  Commentator: Tatiana Flores, Professor in the Departments of Latino and Caribbean Studies and Art History, Rutgers University.

4:00 pm , Washington Hall 201

Keynote presentation: Un-Suturing the White Supremacist Gaze in PostRevolutionary Mexican Art." Tatiana Flores, Professor in the Departments of Latino and Caribbean Studies and Art History at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, and Director of Rutgers’ Center for Women in the Arts and Humanities.

Link to video presentation you can find HERE.

She is the author of the award-winning book Mexico’s Revolutionary Avant-Gardes: From Estridentismo to ¡30-30! (2013) and curator of the critically acclaimed exhibition Relational Undercurrents: Contemporary Art of the Caribbean Archipelago (2017). A 2017-18 Getty Scholar, Flores received the 2016 Arts Writers book prize from the Andy Warhol Foundation and was the 2007-2008 Cisneros Visiting Scholar at the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies at Harvard University. She previously served as president of the Association for the Study of the Arts of the Present (ASAP) and is co-editor of the forthcoming volume The Routledge Companion to Decolonizing Art History. 


Sponsored by the Program in Latin American Studies, the Program in Africana Studies, and the Omohundro Institute for Early American History and Culture. The symposium is also made possible by generous grants from: the Diversity Endowment through the Office of Diversity & Inclusion; the Arts & Sciences Assistant Dean for Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion; and the Arts & Sciences Faculty Grant Fund.

Maîtress La Sirène of the Sweet Waters (c. 1964), by the Haitian artist André Pierre