Works Progress Austin (“Casta” by Adrienne Dawes)

Posted in Arts, Caribbean/Latin America, Forthcoming Media, History, Mexico on 2017-12-04 04:46Z by Steven

Works Progress Austin (“Casta” by Adrienne Dawes)

Salvage Vanguard Theater
1110 Barton Springs Road
Austin, Texas 78704
Telephone: (512) 474-7886
2017-12-22, 20:00-21:30 CST (Local Time)

Casta a new play by Adrienne Dawes

Casta is inspired by a series of casta paintings by Miguel Cabrera, a mixed-race painter from Oaxaca. Casta paintings were a unique form of portraiture that organized racial mixtures of the New World according to a hierarchy defined by Spanish elites. How do Old World anxieties about ambiguous racial identity reflect contemporary biases?

This is the third WPA workshop for Casta. In this current draft of Casta, the creative team is incorporating puppetry, expanding music by composer Graham Reynolds and exploring bilingual text. After a week of developing these new elements, audiences are invited to witness the piece in its current form.

For more information, click here.

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How Anti-Chinese Propaganda Helped Fuel the Creation of Mestizo Identity in Mexico

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Interviews, Media Archive, Mexico on 2017-11-27 01:56Z by Steven

How Anti-Chinese Propaganda Helped Fuel the Creation of Mestizo Identity in Mexico

Remezcla
2017-06-13

Freddy Martinez
Brooklyn, New York


Chinese Mexican pilgrims march to the Basilica de Guadalupe, Mexico’s holiest shrine. Courtesy of Pilar Chen Chi.

Like most revolutions, the one Mexico fought at the beginning of the 20th century was brutal. Over a million people, both civilian and revolutionaries alike, died in the span of ten years. And although, by its end, a new constitution guaranteeing indigenous civil rights was enacted, life was still no better: assassination, disease, and violence left the Mexican state nearly ruined.

Yet even the bloodiest revolution has its icons. Mexico’s quintessential revolutionaries, Pancho Villa and Emiliano Zapata, have become so recognizable today that it’s easy to take their politics at face-value and romanticize what they fought for. Jason Oliver Chang, an assistant professor at the University of Connecticut, wants to change that. Speaking in late May at the Museum of Chinese in America, he gave a lecture prepared from his most recently published book, Chino: Anti-Chinese Racism in Mexico, 1880-1940.

Uncovering the forgotten history of anti-Chinese propaganda and violence documented in the years around the revolution, the book reads like a dossier of state secrets. In one chilling example, you’ll read how Pancho Villa gave orders to execute 60 Chinese prisoners by throwing them down a mineshaft. Magonistas, along with many other revolutionary parties on the left and right, used antichinismo — anti-Chinese rhetoric and policy making — to popularize their own movements. But those incidents pale in comparison to the massacre that occurred in Torreón, Coahuila, during one of the first battles of the revolution. There, 303 Chinese men, women, and children were killed — some even butchered — by both civilians and soldiers, marking the bloodiest incident of anti-Chinese violence ever recorded in the Americas

Read the entire article here.

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Chino: Anti-Chinese Racism in Mexico, 1880-1940

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Books, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive, Mexico, Monographs on 2017-11-27 01:09Z by Steven

Chino: Anti-Chinese Racism in Mexico, 1880-1940

University of Illinois Press
April 2017
278 pages
6.125 x 9.25 in.
12 black & white photographs, 2 line drawings, 7 maps, 2 tables
Cloth ISBN: 978-0-252-04086-3
Paper ISBN: 978-0-252-08234-4
Ebook ISBN: 978-0-252-09935-9

Jason Oliver Chang, Assistant Professor of History and Asian American Studies
University of Connecticut

The politics of racial difference amid the tumult of modern Mexican history

From the late nineteenth century to the 1930s, antichinismo–the politics of racism against Chinese Mexicans–found potent expression in Mexico. Jason Oliver Chang delves into the untold story of how antichinismo helped the revolutionary Mexican state, and the elite in control of it, build their nation.

As Chang shows, anti-Chinese politics shared intimate bonds with a romantic ideology that surrounded the transformation of the mass indigenous peasantry into dignified mestizos. Racializing a Chinese Other became instrumental in organizing the political power and resources for winning Mexico’s revolutionary war, building state power, and seizing national hegemony in order to dominate the majority Indian population. By centering the Chinese in the drama of Mexican history, Chang opens up a fascinating untold story about the ways antichinismo was embedded within Mexico’s revolutionary national state and its ideologies.

Groundbreaking and boldly argued, Chino is a first-of-its-kind look at the essential role the Chinese played in Mexican culture and politics.

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“We Are Not Used to People Thinking We Are Beautiful”

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Arts, Caribbean/Latin America, Media Archive, Mexico on 2017-06-08 00:49Z by Steven

“We Are Not Used to People Thinking We Are Beautiful”

The New Yorker
2017-06-02

Jonathan Blitzer


Photograph by Cécile Smetana Baudier

It was a toothache that brought the Franco-Danish photographer Cécile Smetana Baudier to Costa Chica, on the Pacific Coast of Mexico. She was in Oaxaca at the time, for a project on women’s fashion, when she visited a dentist with a special reputation among cash-strapped local photographers. He accepted payment in the form of photographs. His waiting room, in Oaxaca City, was like a gallery, with framed images along the walls and piles of art books cascading over tables. There, just before getting a molar pulled, Baudier came across a series of photos of reedy men with fishing rods and nets, lolling in boats and along the banks of lagoons. She was surprised, given the fact that the men were black, to learn that the photographs had been taken in Mexico, in the remote southern states of Oaxaca and Guerrero. It was the first time she had ever seen images of Afro-Mexicans, and she decided to try to contribute some of her own. A few weeks later, she set out for El Azufre—a secluded coastal fishing village with a large Afro-Mexican population—where she spent five weeks living in a tent pitched on the front yard of an acquaintance’s house.

The African presence in Mexico dates back to the early sixteenth century, when Spanish conquistadors and colonialists arrived; with them came the slave trade. As many as two hundred and fifty thousand African slaves were transported Mexico, according to academic estimates*. At the turn of the nineteenth century, ten per cent of the population had African origins, but Mexican independence ignited a new national dialogue that downplayed race and elevated, instead, the idea of common citizenship. Even though some of the country’s most iconic freedom fighters and early politicians had African roots, their accomplishments fed a celebration of the broader mestizo culture. The history of Afro-Mexicans ever since has been one of erasure and marginalization. Today, there are 1.4 million citizens of African descent in Mexico, but the government did not recognize them officially until a 2015 census count…

Read the entire article here.

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Degrees of Mixture, Degrees of Freedom: Genomics, Multiculturalism, and Race in Latin America

Posted in Anthropology, Books, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Media Archive, Mexico, Monographs, Social Science on 2017-05-03 02:22Z by Steven

Degrees of Mixture, Degrees of Freedom: Genomics, Multiculturalism, and Race in Latin America

Duke University Press
2017-05-05
328 pages
Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-6358-3
Paperback ISBN: 978-0-8223-6373-6
12 illustrations

Peter Wade, Professor of Social Anthropology
University of Manchester

Race mixture, or mestizaje, has played a critical role in the history, culture, and politics of Latin America. In Degrees of Mixture, Degrees of Freedom, Peter Wade draws on a multidisciplinary research study in Mexico, Brazil, and Colombia. He shows how Latin American elites and outside observers have emphasized mixture’s democratizing potential, depicting it as a useful resource for addressing problems of racism (claiming that race mixture undoes racial difference and hierarchy), while Latin American scientists participate in this narrative with claims that genetic studies of mestizos can help isolate genetic contributors to diabetes and obesity and improve health for all. Wade argues that, in the process, genomics produces biologized versions of racialized difference within the nation and the region, but a comparative approach nuances the simple idea that highly racialized societies give rise to highly racialized genomics. Wade examines the tensions between mixture and purity, and between equality and hierarchy in liberal political orders, exploring how ideas and scientific data about genetic mixture are produced and circulate through complex networks.

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Exploring Mexico’s African Heritage with Dr. Marco Polo Hernández

Posted in Articles, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive, Mexico on 2017-04-29 22:38Z by Steven

Exploring Mexico’s African Heritage with Dr. Marco Polo Hernández

Los Afro-Latinos: A Blog Following the Afro-Latino Experience
2012-12-09

Nicolle Morales Kern

“We need to look deeper into our Africanness to understand ourselves,” says Dr. Marco Polo Hernández, a professor of Spanish and Afro-Hispanic studies at North Carolina Central University, in a recent phone interview. Mexico’s African heritage is not normally discussed or highlighted in conversation, or even education. But, Dr. Hernández, who holds a Ph.D. in Hispanic and Italian Studies from the University of British Columbia, a M.A. in Spanish Language and Peninsular and Latin American literatures, and a B.A. in General Studies & Spanish language and literatures from Portland State University, says that is slowly starting to change.

Growing up in Mexico City, Dr. Marco Polo Hernández Cuevas was not raised in a household or a society that highlighted the African influence on Mexico. While Father José María Morelos, who led the Independence movement from 1811 to 1815, is talked about, his African heritage is not. In school, everyone was told that they were mestizos (racially mixed), as most Latinos believe they are because the country’s African roots are rarely discussed…

Read the entire article here.

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The Strange Career of William Ellis

Posted in Biography, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive, Mexico, Passing, Texas, United States, Videos on 2017-04-15 23:40Z by Steven

The Strange Career of William Ellis

C-SPAN
2017-04-08

Karl Jacoby talked about his book, The Strange Career of William Ellis: The Texas Slave Who Became a Mexican Millionaire. He spoke at the 5th annual San Antonio Book Festival.

Watch the video (00:45:45) here.

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The forgotten history of Chinese immigrants in this Mexican border town

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Asian Diaspora, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive, Mexico, United States on 2017-04-02 15:27Z by Steven

The forgotten history of Chinese immigrants in this Mexican border town

Fusion
2016-10-13

Nidhi Prakash


Erendira Mancias/FUSION

MEXICALI, MexicoMexicali has all the obvious signs of being a border town: roads pointing the way to the United States, car after car lined up at crossing points from early morning through the blistering hot day and well into the night—currency exchange places dog-earing every corner.

But there’s something about this place that sets it apart in the borderlands. You might notice it first in the Chinese restaurants dotting the streets, in the elaborate pagoda that sits at the border with Calexico, or in the doorways downtown with subtle, sometimes faded, Chinese lettering.

This dusty northern Mexican city of around 690,000 was largely developed by an often-overlooked community of Chinese immigrants, whose roots here trace back to the late 1800s. Tens of thousands of immigrants, mostly from Canton (now Guangzhou), arrived to the area between the mid–1800s and the 1940s, crossing by ship from southern China, often first to San Francisco, sometimes to other Mexican cities like Ensenada and Guadalajara, before choosing Mexicali. Many stayed for generations after and helped build this city into what’s become.

The Chinese-Mexican community here remains very much a part of Mexicali—especially downtown, a historic center of the city’s rich history. There’s a stretch of several blocks called La Chinesca which, after decades of semi-abandonment and disrepair, is seeing the beginnings of a revival as newer generations reconnect, and for some, discover for the first time, their lasting impact on Mexicali culture…

…Junior Chen, 36, is a quiet, business-like man at first, who talks animatedly when we get to the subject of his plans for downtown Mexicali, where he was born and raised. He said he’s been working on projects to try to reactivate the city center since he was 16 years old. But starting a historical tour of La Chinesca, and thinking more about his Chinese heritage (his great-grandfather came to Mexico from Canton some time in the mid–1800s) has been more recent for him.

“I have some Chinese roots, I’m mestizaje [mixed]. I’m always sincere with people who know me. To be honest I never had an interest in Chinese culture before. I never wanted to get involved in the Chinese Association. But my mother always wanted to be connected to the community, to have Chinese friends,” he told me. “But what I’m trying to say is that for me I started to get involved with all this and it changed me.”…

Read the entire article here.

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Mestizos Come Home! Making and Claiming Mexican American Identity

Posted in Anthropology, Books, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Latino Studies, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Mexico, Monographs, United States on 2017-03-31 18:36Z by Steven

Mestizos Come Home! Making and Claiming Mexican American Identity

University of Oklahoma Press
2017
336 pages
Illustrations: 8 color illus.
6″ x 9″
Hardcover ISBN: 9780806157191

Robert Con Davis-Undiano, Neustadt Professor and Presidential Professor of English
University of Oklahoma

Uruguayan writer Eduardo Galeano has described U.S. and Latin American culture as continually hobbled by amnesia—unable, or unwilling, to remember the influence of mestizos and indigenous populations. In Mestizos Come Home! author Robert Con Davis-Undiano documents the great awakening of Mexican American and Latino culture since the 1960s that has challenged this omission in collective memory. He maps a new awareness of the United States as intrinsically connected to the broader context of the Americas. At once native and new to the American Southwest, Mexican Americans have “come home” in a profound sense: they have reasserted their right to claim that land and U.S. culture as their own.

Mestizos Come Home! explores key areas of change that Mexican Americans have brought to the United States. These areas include the recognition of mestizo identity, especially its historical development across the nineteenth and twentieth centuries; the re-emergence of indigenous relationships to land; and the promotion of Mesoamerican conceptions of the human body. Clarifying and bridging critical gaps in cultural history, Davis-Undiano considers important artifacts from the past and present, connecting the casta (caste) paintings of eighteenth-century Mexico to modern-day artists including John Valadez, Alma López, and Luis A. Jiménez Jr. He also examines such community celebrations as Day of the Dead, Cinco de Mayo, and lowrider car culture as examples of mestizo influence on mainstream American culture. Woven throughout is the search for meaning and understanding of mestizo identity.

A large-scale landmark account of Mexican American culture, Mestizos Come Home! shows that mestizos are essential to U.S. national culture. As an argument for social justice and a renewal of America’s democratic ideals, this book marks a historical cultural homecoming.

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William Ellis: The Former Slave Who Became a Mexican Millionaire

Posted in Audio, Biography, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Interviews, Media Archive, Mexico, Passing, United States on 2017-03-31 00:50Z by Steven

William Ellis: The Former Slave Who Became a Mexican Millionaire

Houston Matters
Houston, Texas
2017-03-29

Guillermo Eliseo was a wealthy Mexican banker and broker who lived in New York City in the early 20th Century.

But, Eliseo had a secret. He was actually born into slavery on a cotton plantation in southern Texas, and his real name was William Ellis.

Maggie Martin talks with historian and author Karl Jacoby, who wrote a book about Ellis. It’s called The Strange Career of William Ellis: the Texas Slave Who Became a Mexican Millionaire.

Jacoby talks about why Ellis made the move to Mexico, the ways his secret life cut him off from his family and the lessons from his life.

Listen to the interview here (00:09:05).

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