CLACS Alumnus Publishes Book Debunking the Myths of the Old West

CLACS Alumnus D.H. Figueredo '88 with his newest book Revolvers and Pistolas

CLACS Alumnus D.H. Figueredo ’88 with his newest book Revolvers and Pistolas

Written by CLACS Master’s Candidate Patrick Moreno-Covington

Does historical reality influence popular narrative or can popular culture construct its own historical reality? In his newest book, Revolvers and Pistolas, Vaqueros and Caballeros: Debunking the Old West, CLACS alumni D.H. Figueredo challenges commonly held perceptions of the American West to reveal the fundamental role of Mexican entrepreneurs, farmers and indeed heroes in settling the American frontier. In a conversation with the CLACS Blog, Mr. Figueredo chronicled the writing of the book and the role that his CLACS education has played in his professional and writing career.

As a small child, D.H. loved Westerns. He can remember reading the great Western novels by Karl May and attending films starring John Wayne, Randall Scott and Gary Cooper and thinking that if he were cast in these movies it would not be as a heroic cowboy but one of the nameless villains fated to be ignored in the background. As he grew older, D.H. began to discover that there was indeed a rich legacy of Mexican cowboys, important businesswomen and miners throughout what is commonly thought of the American Old West. To uncover their stories, D.H. knew that he would need to reject the stereotypes found in popular culture and document the true lives of the Latino figures who shared their knowledge and money in populating the West.

D.H. attributes this drive to view narratives from multiple angles to his time at CLACS. When Mr. Figueredo entered the CLACS Master’s Program, he was already a successful librarian helping to create the Newark Public Library’s Sala Hispanoamericana. Figueredo sought out CLACS to advance in his curatorial and library career but also to combine his interest with history with his passion for literature and popular culture. Beyond the education, Figueredo credits CLACS with helping to develop a strong professional and personal network of friends, scholars and colleagues that continued to challenge him after he graduated with an MA in Latin American Studies in 1988. This professional network would prove to be instrumental as D.H. composed an Encyclopedia of Caribbean Literature and Encyclopedia of Cuba: People, History, Culture as well as A Brief History of the Caribbean.

California Pioneer Juana Briones

California Pioneer Juana Briones

In Revolvers and Pistolas, Figueredo departs from the style of his previous works to tell the story the Latino West in an accessible and page-turning style. Part of the excitement stems from some of the important discoveries he is able to bring to light. Stories of powerful businesswomen like Juana Briones whose large estate helped to found San Francisco or Mifflin Kennedy who directed her husband to purchase and settle much of southern Texas. He recounts the Latino origins of the 1848 California gold rush which was spurred on by the expertise of the Mexican, Chilean and Peruvian miners who taught the first Eastern settlers in the region how to pan for gold. Figueredo was also able to challenge the stereotypes surrounding Mexican soldiers and trace the Mexican roots of popular figures like Zorro and the Cisco Kid. In doing so, Figueredo is able to debunk the myths that cloud our vision of the Old West and restore the proud legacy that Latinos shared constructing the American Southwest.

CLACS congratulates Mr. Figueredo on his recent publication. The Newark Public Library will be hosting a meet and greet with Mr. Figueredo on May 30th at 2 pm at 5 Washington Street, Newark. To RSVP or for more information please call 973–733–7772 (Sala Hispanoamericana) or email ibetancourt@npl.org.

Stay up to date with CLACS events, ongoing research and alumni announcements on our Facebook and Twitter Pages. 

Aponte and His World Conference Dives into A Radical Vision of Slave Uprising

serres-havana1

Dominique Serres, The Capture of Havana, 1762: Taking the Town, 14 August, c. 1775, oil on canvas

Written by CLACS MA Candidate Constanza Ontaneda Rehman-Khedker

Coming soon, on Friday May 8th and Saturday May 9th, NYU will be proud to host a one-of-a-kind two-day conference centered on the leader of the 1811-1812 massive slave rebellion in Cuba. “José Antonio Aponte. José Antonio Aponte and His World: Writing, Painting, and Making Freedom in the African Diaspora,” will feature more than twenty renowned scholars from NYU, and other distinguished institutions in the U.S. and abroad, who will discuss the visionary leader, his legendary “book of paintings,” and the future direction of “Apontian” scholarship.

Over the past fifteen years, scholars have shown a renewed interest in the political and historical legacy of José Antonio Aponte (?-1812), a free man of color, carpenter, artist, and alleged leader of a massive antislavery conspiracy and rebellion in colonial Cuba in 1811-1812. Aponte was also the creator of an unusual work of art—a “book of paintings” full of historical and mythical figures, including black kings, emperors, priests, and soldiers that he showed to and discussed with fellow conspirators. Aponte’s vision of a black history connected a diasporic and transatlantic past to the possibility of imagining a sovereign future for free and enslaved people of color in colonial Cuba. Although the “book of paintings” is believed to be lost, colonial Spanish officials interrogated Aponte about its contents after arresting him for organizing the rebellions, and Aponte’s sometimes elaborate, always elusive, descriptions of the book’s pages survive in the archival trial records.

vincent_oge-1

Gilles-Louis Chrétien after a drawing by Fouquet, Potrait of Vincent Ogé, 1790, engraving

From myriad academic backgrounds in the humanities, historians, anthropologists, philosophers, literary scholars, and art historians explore the figure of Aponte as artist, intellectual, revolutionary, and theorist. In addition to this scholarly interest, Aponte has also been re-enshrined as a national figure in contemporary Cuba, following a 2012 bicentennial that commemorated his death at the hands of colonial authorities. However, given the recent scholarly and public focus on Aponte, there has not yet been a conference dedicated to the interdisciplinary scholarly perspectives that have sought to advance the study of the singular “book of paintings” and its visionary creator.

“José Antonio Aponte. José Antonio Aponte and His World: Writing, Painting, and Making Freedom in the African Diaspora,” brings together scholars to discuss the current state of “Apontian” studies and suggest future directions for scholarship. It includes, as well, scholars doing work on questions of historical memory, the intellectual history of the enslaved, and the relationship between text, image, and politics in other settings in order to put Aponte’s history in conversation with a wider world, much, indeed, as his own “book of paintings” tried to do.

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For the conference program click here.

To register for the conference, please click here.

Join us for this conference at the King Juan Carlos Center at New York University, 53 Washington Square South. Click here for a Google map. The closest subway is the West 4th station where the A, B, C, D, E, F trains stop. For more information, please contact lmr273 [@] nyu [.] edu.

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Sponsorship for the conference has been generously provided by the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty, Arts, Humanities and Diversity, the Caribbean Initiative of the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, the Department of History, the Reed Foundation, and the Department of Art History.

CLACS Hosts Series on the Legacy of Brazilian Slavery

João Reis, Where Slaves Were Slaveholders, Poster

João Reis, Where Slaves Were Slaveholders, Poster

Written by CLACS MA Candidate Constanza Smita Ontaneda Rehman-Khedker

Tomorrow, Thursday April 30th, CLACS will be proud to host a series of events on Brazilian Quilombos, with a live performance by Rio de Janeiro’s Maga Bo and BNegão. These two consecutive events are part of a larger series that focuses on the history, culture, and current affairs of the African Diaspora in the Americas.

Starting at 5pm, distinguished historian João José Reis (Universidade Federal da Bahia), will discuss the history of slave-owning slaves in Brazil in a presentation titled “Where Slaves were Slave Owners, the Case of 19th Century Bahia.”  

Born in Brazil, João José Reis received his PhD in History from the University of Minnesota.  He has been a Visiting Professor at the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor), Princeton University, Brandeis University, the University of Texas (Austin), and École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (Paris).  Reis has also been a Research Fellow at the University of London, Center for Advanced Studies in Behavioral Sciences (Stanford), and the National Humanities Center.  Currently he is a Professor of History at the Universidade Federal da Bahia.  Reis’ books include Slave Rebellion in Brazil: the 1835 Muslim Revolt in Bahia (The Johns Hopkins University Press) and Death is a Festival: Funeral Rites and Rebellion in Nineteenth-Century Brazil (North Carolina Press), among others.  This lecture is co-sponsored by the Africa Diaspora Forum at NYU and Fordham University.

Quilombo do Presente e do Futuro, Poster

Quilombo do Presente e do Futuro, Poster

Later at 7pm, Maga Bo and BNegão will present “Quilombo do Futuro: The Contemporary Social and Cultural Resonance of Brazil’s Maroon Communities.”  Their performance will use the notion of runaway slave communities as an onset for the interaction of traditional and contemporary music in the country.  Runaway slave communities known as quilombos, were a fixture in Brazil during the colonial and early imperial eras.  Even after emancipation in 1888, quilombos remained part of the Brazilian social and cultural landscape.  Following the 1988 Constitution, which granted quilombo descendants land rights, they also became formally acknowledged communities with their own self-managed territories, a public recognition of a centuries-old settlement pattern.  Today’s comunidades quilombolas serve as gathering points for current practitioners of Afro-Brazilian culture as well as reminders of Brazilian historical development.   Maga Bo and BNegão will be joined by Professor Mariléa de Andrade (Universidade Estadual de Campinas) who will situate the artists’ work in a social context by addressing some of the contemporary challenges and successes of the quilombo movement in present-day Brazil.

The globetrotting U.S.-born, Brazil-based Maga Bo cranks out music that’s often described as transnational bass.  It’s just as heavy on the low-end as it is melodic in its use of traditional acoustic instrumentation and street recordings.  With well over a decade of production experience from his mobile studio that he has set up all across Africa, South America, India, and Southeast Asia, Maga Bo has released genre-bending, mind-blowing albums on venerable labels like Tru Thoughts, Post World Industries, and Soot.  He has worked and performed in over 40 countries including performances at WOMEX, Mundial and Transmediale.  His latest project, record label and compilation series Kafundó, is bringing to light Brazilian bass music essentially unknown to outside its home country – an effort that earned praise from Vice Media.

BNegão is a versatile vocalist and songwriter who was instrumental in Planet Hemp, one of Brazil’s pioneering hip-hop ensembles.  He later struck out on his own to form BNegão & Os Seletores de Frequencia, something like a Brazilian Bad Brains — their albums jump from punk to dub to hip-hop to soul just like the DC band did back in the day.  BNegão won the Orilaxé Prize for best black music singer in Brazil back in 2004.  His band’s 2012 album, Sintoniza Lá, won the MTV Video Music Brasil award for best album.  Later in 2012, he was part of the official Rio de Janeiro cultural delegation to the London Summer Olympic Games, where he performed in the closing ceremony in homage to the Afro-Brazilian musician Chico Science.  He and his band are currently recording their third album.

Maga Bo Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/magabo

BNegão & Seletores de Frequência: http://bnegaoseletores.com.br/

African Diaspora in the Americas as the Focus of Upcoming CLACS Events

Written by William Ramirez, NYU CLACS MA Candidate

In April and May CLACS will be featuring a series of exciting events focusing in the history, culture, and current affairs of the African Diaspora experience in the Americas. These will feature insightful discussions with distingished scholars, performances by renowned artists, and experts on the topics of the Haitian Revolution, 19th Century Afro Brazilian history, the resonance of today’s Quilombos, and the figure of Cuban slave revolt leader and artist Jose Antonio Aponte.

On Monday April 27th, the Spring 2015 Colloquium series Latin American Spring Colloquium, PosterIndependence in the Age of Revolution will feature professor Madison Smartt-Bell (Goucher College) who will discuss his upcoming biography on Jean-Jacques Dessalines, one of the fathers of the Haitian Revolution, and his growing significance in Haiti. His lecture is titled “Dessalines Disembodied.”

Thursday April 30th, CLACS hosts two events on Afro Brazilian history and current affairs. Starting at 5pm,  distinguished historian João José Reis (Universidade Federal da Bahia), will discuss the history of slave-owning slaves in Brazil in a presentation titled “Where Slaves were Slave Owners, the Case of 19th Century Bahia.” This lecture is co sponsored by the Africa~Diaspora Forum at NYU and Fordham University.

Later at 7pm, on the second event of the night, Maga Bo, both a DJ and producer residing in Brazil, and BNegão, a vocalist and composer recognized for his Afrocentric hip-hop, dub, funk, and punk music, will present “Quilombo do Futuro: The Contemporary Social and Cultural Resonance of Brazil’s Maroon Communities.” A performance which uses the notion of runaway slave communities as an onset for the interaction of traditional and contemporary music in the country. Brazilian scholar Mariela de Andrade (Universidade Estadual de Campinas), will situate their performance in the larger scope of the current challenges and success of the quilombo movement in Brazil. This event is co sponsored by The Consulate General of Brazil, The Brazilian Studies Center and ILAS at Columbia University.

Friday May 8th and Saturday May 9th, a one-of-a-kind two-day conference hosted by NYU, centered on the leader of the 1811-1812 massive slave rebellion in Cuba. “José Antonio Aponte and His World: Writing, Painting, and Making Freedom in the African Diaspora,” features renowned scholars from NYU, and other distinguished institutions in the U.S. and abroad, will discuss the visionary leader, his legendary “book of paintings,” and the future direction of “Apontian” scholarship.

Aponte Symposium, Poster
All of the above mentioned events will be held at the King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center at NYU (map) For more information on these and other upcoming events, visit the CLACS website. You can also find the latest information on the events on Facebook and Twitter under the hashtag #ClacsEvents.

Yasmin K’illpa Raymimanta Parlariwanchik

Yasmin Calizaya Quispe Bolivian Quechua Tupiza Sucre Rimasun CLACS AT NYU Bolivia Yasmin G. Calizaya Quispe 28 watayuq, pay Tupiza jap’iymanta Sucre-Bolivia suyumanta kachkan. Kay podcaspi K’illpa raymimanta parlariwanchik. Kay raymiqa sapa iskay wata jatunpi raymichakun. Chanta kay raymiqa chiri mit’allapi raymichakun imaraykuchus kay pachapi Apus, wak’as uywakunamanta yurarikusqankurayku. Kay raymiqa phichqa p’unchaw junt’ata raymichakun. Yasmin ñiwanchik kay raymichayqa may allin kasqanta, mana raymichakusqanraykullachu mana chayqa takiykuna, aqha, mikhuna may allin kaq kasqa. K’alaparita mikhuq kasqanku, kay mikhunaqa lluch’usqa sarayuq, llama aychayuq, pupusayuq, chachakumayuq, uchuyuq chanta lluphi rumiyuq ima. Yasminqa wawa kachkaspa kay raymikunaman riyta yachaq kasqa. Chanta pay kutiyta munanman kay k’acha raymiman.
Gladys Camacho Riosqa CLACS-NYUpi Maestríamanta juk yachakuq. Pay kay podcasta Boliviapi, 2014 watapi grabarqa, imaptinchus pay karusuyumantapacha Rimasunpaq llamk’achkarpa.

Yasmin G. Calizaya Quispe tiene 28 años es de Tupiza. Actualmente vive en Sucre-Bolivia. En este podcast, nos habla de la fiesta “K’illpa” la más festejada cada dos años en Tupiza. Esta fiesta se festeja durante el invierno ya que se cree que en estas épocas los Apus (Dioses) Wak’as (Lugares sagrados) se recuerdan de los animales. Esta fiesta se celebra durante 5 días. Yasmin nos dice que esta festividad es muy agradable no solo las costumbres tradicionales sino también la música, la bebida y la comida (K’alapari) plato tradicional preparado con mote pelado, carne de llama, pupusa, chachacoma, ají y piedras volcánicas. Ella participaba de estas fiestas cuando era niña y le encantaría volver a su comunidad para participar de esta fiesta.
Gladys Camacho Rios es una estudiante de maestría en CLACS-NYU. Ella grabó este podcast en Bolivia en 2014 como correspondiente internacional de Rimasun.

Yasmin G. Calizaya Quispe is 28 years old. She is from Tupiza, Bolivia, and she currently lives in Sucre, Bolivia. In this podcast, she tells us about the “K’illpa,” a festivity celebrated every two years in her town. This festivity is celebrated during the winter because people believe that Apus (Gods) and Wak’as (sacred spirits) call out to the animals during this time. This festival is celebrated throughout five days. Yasmin tells us that this festival is very pleasant not only because of the traditional customs but also because of the music, drink and food consumed throughout the festival, for example the “K’alapari” a traditional dish prepared with peeled cooked corn, llama meat, pupusa, chachacoma, chili and volcanic rocks. When she was a child, Yasmin would participate in these festivities. She hopes to return to her community one day to participate once again in these festivities.
Gladys Camacho Rios is an MA student at CLACS-NYU. She recorded this podcast in Bolivia in 2014 as international correspondent of Rimasun.


Subscribe to Rimasun via iTunes or via another podcast service
Suscríbete a Rimasun a través de iTunes o a través de otro servicio de podcast
Download this episode (right click, save link as…) / Guarda este episodio

Spring Colloquium 2015 – Marlene Daut and the Racial Discourse of Haitian Print Culture

Marlene Daut and her new book Tropics of Haiti:  Race and the Literary History of the Haitian Revolution in the Atlantic World, 1789-1865

Marlene Daut and her new book Tropics of Haiti: Race and the Literary History of the Haitian Revolution in the Atlantic World, 1789-1865

Written by CLACS MA Student Patrick Moreno-Covington

As scholars, there is always a hint of uncertainty as to where the fruits of our research will take us. We can so easily start from one time period, community or region and end up “across the world” two or three centuries removed. That is certainly the case for next Monday’s installment of the fascinating Spring 2015 Colloquium Series – Latin American Independence in the Age of Revolution featuring Marlene Daut Associate Professor of English and Cultural Studies at Claremont Graduate University. So how did Daut, an English professor, end up speaking on the print culture in the period following the Haitian Revolution in a series focused on the Atlantic Revolutions of the 18th and 19th centuries?

Daut’s path to her academic subject of interest and to completing her upcoming book, Tropics of Haiti: Race and the Literary History of the Haitian Revolution in the Atlantic World, 1789-1865 certainly was unorthodox but has been instrumental in the development of her interests. Graduating from Loyola Marymount University with a double B.A. in French and English, Marlene thought she could combine her two interests by studying the literature of francophone Louisiana in the antebellum period as part of the University of Notre Dame’s English department. Building on the links she found between a newly independent Haiti and the francophone culture in the American south, Marlene began digging into a vast body of Haitian fiction that emerged to fictionalize the the events of the Haitian revolution.

But were these works of fiction? Despite containing what were clearly fictionalized accounts of actors integral to the revolution and especially Toussaint Louverture, Daut began to find that the authors of these novels all claimed that the events and descriptions of the Revolution not as fiction but as accurate histories. In particular, elements of the stories describing the racial taxonomies present in Haiti at the time of the uprising and the enlightenment roots of the Revolution were related as truth in the plays, fiction and even the journalism of the time.  As Marlene began to follow these these stories from their circulation in the Antilles and across the Atlantic to Europe, she found clear indications that many of these “histories” were being wholesale reprinted and retold by authors around the world. Daut groups these repeated tropes into to narrative categories – the “mulatto” vengeance narrative and the Enlightenment narrative.

Each of these narratives, while seemingly opposed, worked in conjunction with each other to define the racial discourse of the Revolution and beyond. In many ways, Daut’s work points to the beginnings of a sense of biological racism – defined by the proponents use of “scientific” veracity – that defined the post-independece era of race relations. The investigations into Haitian print culture and its lasting influence on racial discourse can serve as a critical key to revealing some of the silences around the Haitian Revolution that are beginning to be exposed with a new surge in Haiti scholarship.

It is here that the potential impact of Dauts work can extend far beyond discussions of history and literature of the 19th century and into the present day. In light of some of the many comments from public figures that emerged following the 2010 Hatian earthquake Daut can see the racialized tropes of the 1800’s begin to rear their ugly head once again. In a time where it is so easy to click ‘share’ and ‘retweet’, Daut’s work asks us to examine what language we copy and replicate and their implications.

Join CLACS Monday, April 13th at 6 pm in the King Juan Carlos Center Auditorium for Marlene Daut’s talk on Race and the Transatlantic Print Culture of the Haitian Revolution 1789-1865.

Follow CLACS on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date on all CLACS events and goings on in Latin America. 

Tata Virgilio Chakanamanta Willariwanchik

Bolivian Quechua, Cochabamba Quechua, Virgilio Panozo, Chakana, Incas, Conocimientos ancestrales, UNIBOL, Chimore, Universidad Indigena, Cultura de la Nacion QuechuaTata Virgilio Panozoqa Aiquile ayllupi, Cochabamba-Boliviapi paqarisqa. Pay Quechua Casimiro Huanca Jatun Yachaywasipi yachachiq.Kay Audiopi pay Chakanamanta parlariwanchik. Kay Chakanaqa unaymanta pacha tiyasqa chanta raymichakusqa ima ñin. Chantapis, españoles chayamuptinku kay raymiqa chaqrukusqa chanta wak raymipi tukusqa, kunan p’unchawtaq chay raymita “Santa Vera Cruz tatala” ñisqa sutiwan riqsikun. Manaraq españoles chayamuchkaptinkuqa, kay chakanaqa jatun tatakunanchikman ñanta rikuchiq ñin. Chanta unay jatun tatakuna tawa chhiqamanta qhawaq kasqanku. Tawa yuyaykuna kasqa ñin: munay, yachay, ruway, atiy.
Gladys Camacho Riosqa CLACS-NYUpi Maestríamanta juk yachakuq. Pay kay podcasta Boliviapi, 2014 watapi grabarqa, imaptinchus pay karusuyumantapacha Rimasunpaq llamk’achkarpa.

Virgilio Panozo nació en la provincia de Aiquile, Cochabamba-Bolivia. Es docente en la Universidad Indígena Quechua Casimiro Huanca. En este audio nos explica sobre la fiesta de la Chakana o también llamada “La cruz andina” Se dice que la fiesta de la Chakana existía y se celebraba desde hace muchos años atrás. Sin embargo, con la llegada de los españoles se ha mezclado y se ha convertido en una fiesta cristiana que hoy en día se conoce como la fiesta de “Santa Vera Cruz”. Antes de la colonización, la Chakana era la cruz que guiaba a nuestros antepasados, quienes podían observar desde cuatro ángulos. Se habla de cuatro formas de pensar: “querer, saber, hacer, poder”.
Gladys Camacho Rios es una estudiante de maestría en CLACS-NYU. Ella grabó este podcast en Bolivia en 2014 como correspondiente internacional de Rimasun.

Virgilio Panozo was born in the province of Aiquile, Cochabamba-Bolivia. He is a lecturer at the Quechua Casimiro Huanca Indigenous University in Chimoré. In this podcast he explains the Chakana festivity, also called “The Andean Cross.” The Chakana festivity existed long before the arrival of Spaniards, who blended this festival with another Christian one. Nowadays it is known as the “Santa Vera Cruz” festival. Before colonization, the Chakana was the cross that guided our ancestors, who could observe it from four angles: To want, to know, to do, to be able to.
Gladys Camacho Rios is an MA student at CLACS-NYU. She recorded this podcast in Bolivia in 2014 as international correspondent of Rimasun.


Subscribe to Rimasun via iTunes or via another podcast service
Suscríbete a Rimasun a través de iTunes o a través de otro servicio de podcast
Download this episode (right click, save link as…) / Guarda este episodio