Agnes Lugo-Ortiz, Portraiture and Enslavement: Reflections on a Transatlantic Archive

October 3, 2014 - 3:00pm to 5:00pm

This talk will focus on the individualized portrayal of enslaved people from the time of Europe’s full engagement with plantation slavery in the late sixteenth century to its official abolition in Brazil in 1888. While this period saw the emergence of portraiture as a major field of representation in Western art, “slave” and “portraiture” as categories appear to be mutually exclusive. On the one hand, the logic of chattel slavery sought to render the slave’s body as an instrument for production, as the site of a non-subject. Portraiture, on the contrary, privileged the face as the primary visual matrix for the representation of a distinct individuality. Agnes Lugo-Ortiz will reflect upon the conceptual challenges that emerge from the juxtaposition of these seemingly antithetical notions of "enslavement" and "portraiture"and on the particularities of its archival endeavor. Please click here for the flyer.

Agnes Lugo-Ortiz is associate professor of Latin American and Caribbean Literatures and Cultures at the University of Chicago. She is the author of Identidades imaginadas: Biografía y nacionalidad en el horizonte de la guerra (Cuba, 1860-1898)(University of Puerto Rico Press, 1999) and co-editor of Herencia: The Anthology of US Hispanic Writing (Oxford UP, 2001), En otra voz: Antología de la Literatura Hispana de los Estados Unidos,Recovering the US Hispanic Literary Hertiage, volume V (both with Arte Público Press, 2002 and 2006 respectively), and Slave Portraiture in the Atlantic World (Cambridge UP, 2013), as well as of numerous essays.

Location and Address

602 Cathedral of Learning (Humanities Center), University of Pittsburgh