Mulata Nation: Visualizing Race and Gender in Cuba

Posted in Books, Caribbean/Latin America, Forthcoming Media, History, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Monographs, Women on 2018-08-10 02:18Z by Steven

Mulata Nation: Visualizing Race and Gender in Cuba

University Press of Mississippi
2018-08-15
248 pages (approx.)
58 color illustrations
6 x 9 inches
Hardcover ISBN: 9781496814432

Alison Fraunhar, Associate Professor of Art and Design
Saint Xavier University, Chicago, Illinois

A vivid exploration of the key role played by multi-racial women in visualizing and performing Cuban identity

Repeatedly and powerfully throughout Cuban history, the mulata, a woman of mixed racial identity, features prominently in Cuban visual and performative culture. Tracing the figure, Alison Fraunhar looks at the representation and performance in both elite and popular culture. She also tracks how characteristics associated with these women have accrued across the Atlantic world. Widely understood to embody the bridge between European subject and African other, the mulata contains the sensuality attributed to Africans in a body more closely resembling the European ideal of beauty.

This symbol bears far-reaching implications, with shifting, contradictory cultural meanings in Cuba. Fraunhar explores these complex paradigms, how, why, and for whom the image was useful, and how it was both subverted and asserted from the colonial period to the present. From the early seventeenth century through Cuban independence in 1899 up to the late revolutionary era, Fraunhar illustrates the ambiguous figure’s role in nationhood, citizenship, and commercialism. She analyzes images including key examples of nineteenth-century graphic arts, avant-garde painting and magazine covers of the Republican era, cabaret and film performance, and contemporary iterations of gender.

Fraunhar’s study stands out for attending to the phenomenon of mulataje not only in elite production such as painting, but also in popular forms: popular theater, print culture, later films, and other media where stereotypes take hold. Indeed, in contemporary Cuba, mulataje remains a popular theme with Cubans as well as foreigners in drag shows, reflecting queerness in visual culture.

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Miscegenating Racial Representations: Critical Mixed Race Strategies and the Visual Arts

Posted in Arts, Live Events, Media Archive, United States on 2014-02-13 02:46Z by Steven

Miscegenating Racial Representations: Critical Mixed Race Strategies and the Visual Arts

College Art Association 102nd Annual Conference
Hilton Chicago
720 South Michigan Avenue
International South, 2nd Floor
Chicago, Illinois 60605
2014-02-15, 14:30-17:00 CST (Local Time)

Chairs:

Laura Kina, Associate Professor Art, Media and Design
DePaul University

Margo Machida, Associate Professor of Art History and Asian American Studies
University of Connecticut

This session will examine critical mixed race strategies for the miscegenation of racial representation in the visual arts. The 2000 U.S. Census was first to allow individuals to self enumerate as more than one race. Making multiracial populations visible both expanded the borders, blurred and posed a potential threat to existing monoracial categories. Beginning in the early 2000s there was a simultaneous neoliberal and conservative push for a postidentitarian/ postracial moment posed against the putative ossification of multicultural racial identity constructs. Curatorial frameworks and studio practices centered on race as a locus of investigation were challenged if not rendered invisible and seemingly obsolete. And yet race and attendant cultural issues have demonstrably remained pertinent for artistic production and analysis. A double tension has resulted in moves to both recognize the continuing importance of race and the critical push to reframe and disarticulate categories that cannot contain the complexity of increasingly miscegenated peoples, histories, and subjectivities. We will consider how dominant conceptions of race have changed (or not) in the visual arts as a result of the mounting discourses and bodies of artistic production that bring forward mixed race identity in various domestic, transnational and international contexts.

Beyond the Bronze Venus
Alison Fraunhar, Associate Professor of Art and Design
Saint Xavier University

Sensory Miscegenations: Representing Multiracial Bodies
Sita Kuratomi Bhaumik, California College of the Arts

Lacuna
Maya Isabella Mackrandilal, Independent Artist

Liminal Embodiments
Zavé Martohardjono, Independent Artist

Risky Subjectivity: Select Works by Korean Adoptee Artists
Eun Jung Park, Independent Scholar

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