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Entangled Crossings: Afro-Latino Migrations Between Race and Empire - Research Colloquium
WhenTuesday, Apr. 3, 2018, 4 – 5:30 p.m.

Entangled Crossings: Afro-Latino Migrations Between Race and Empire

with José Fusté 

This talk explores the role that U.S. imperialism played in cementing political wedges between Latin@s and Black Americans at the turn of the 20th century and beyond. Historically, dominant notions of racial normativity in the U.S. have pressured Latin@s—particularly those seen as Black—to disidentify with their Black American counterparts. In recent decades, activists have attempted to summon an “Afro-Latin@” body politic with the hopes of reversing that pattern and generating more unity between these two groups. I argue that Afro-Latinidad has historically floundered as a political rallying banner, in part because of how U.S. imperialism pressured Black Cubans and Puerto Ricans to choose between anti-imperialist nationalisms and Latin@ pan-ethnic solidarities that eschewed Black anti-racist critiques, and pan-Africanist solidarities that failed to account for relationships of colonial/imperial power within the Black diaspora. I trace the manifestation of these entanglements in and through the works of several Black-identified Cuban and Puerto Rican male activist intellectuals who lived and travelled between the Hispanic Caribbean and the U.S. between the 1890s and the 1930s. As individuals who could not escape being racialized as Black once they entered the U.S., these figures often acknowledged their commonalities with Black Americans and expressed interest in their Black Nationalist ideas and projects, yet they also avoided aligning themselves with Black American anti-racists that either ignored U.S. (neo)colonialism in the Caribbean, or failed to make anti-imperialism a central part of their politics. As they faced the challenge of reconciling their compound racial and imperial subalternities, these men wavered between competing masculinist imaginaries that disavowed the hierarchies of gender, class, and sexual power that cut across their entangled racial, ethnic, and national identities. Thus, this talk reframes Afro-Latinidad, not as a consciousness that is there waiting to be “realized,” but as a protean and precarious identity project that has always been difficult to activate because of how it attempts to group together individuals and communities with conflicting ways of being “othered” within and beyond the United States.

Discussant: Dr. Ileana Rodriguez-Silva, Associate Professor of History, UW Seattle

This presentation is part of  IAS' 3 talk series Research Colloquium. For more information please click HERE>>

The IAS Research Colloquium provides a forum for graduate students, faculty, and external partners to learn about interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research practices, and to think critically and creatively about the implications of different forms of research design.

All sessions are open to the campus-community and general public: No RSVP required.

Campus locationUW Bothell UW1
Campus roomUW1 - Room 280 (Rose Room)
UW Bothell Event typesAcademics, Lectures/Seminars
Event typesAcademics, Lectures/Seminars…
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