On the Edge of Citizenship: Inclusion in the Modern Nation State

Thursday, February 5, 2015
3:30pm – 4:45pm
Race Conference Room 201, Lavin-Bernick Center (LBC)
Moderated by: Dr. Justin Wolfe, Department of History, Tulane University

El Paraíso de las Mujeres: Women’s Suffrage in Ecuador, 1895-1929
Robert Franco, Duke University

This paper is on the women’s suffrage movement in Ecuador from the Liberal Revolution of 1895 to the successful enfranchisement of women in 1929. Most importantly, it challenges the dominant historical narrative that Ecuadorian suffrage was a tool used by a conservative regime to co-opt women’s votes. Instead, it proposes an alternative reading of women’s suffrage as a compromise between reformers, who hoped for broad social change, and the state, which attempted to limit such change. It places Ecuadorian suffrage in the context of post-World War I social reforms, and uses Ecuador as a lens to explore variations in strains of feminism, women’s enfranchisement, citizenship, and labor reforms in the early twentieth century. Additionally, this paper explores varied forms and degrees of citizenship in order to place women’s suffrage in the longer history of indirect exclusion employed by Ecuador’s dominant political parties. In the end, the vote benefitted only a select group of women – mainly urban, educated middle- and upper class women. Most indigenous and Afro-Ecuadorian, lower-and working-class women remained formally disenfranchised until the second half of the twentieth-century. However, the history of women’s suffrage can play an important role in linking Ecuador’s period of nation-building to the large-scale social movements of the 1980s and 1990s and catalyze new debates as to the meanings of nation, citizen, and democracy in Latin America during the early twentieth century.

This Modern Mining City: Corocoro, Bolivia, 1900-1940
Elena McGrath, University of Wisconsin

Building on the first chapter of my dissertation, my paper explores early twentieth-century dreams of cosmopolitanism and urban development in Corocoro, a small copper mining town in Bolivia. Using court records of two moments of anti-foreign agitation during the 1930s and 1940s, I emphasize the articulation of ideologies of resource nationalism, social welfare, and modern development that enabled the Revolutionary Nationalist Movement (MNR) party to create a viable political project supported by both working-class and middle-class voters in provincial mining centers such as Corocoro prior to the 1952 Revolution. Given Bolivia’s history of periodic indigenous uprisings, several of which involved communities near Corocoro, Bolivian revolutionaries and their political allies had to confront the specter of imagined indigenous tendencies toward violence and race war. The political actors of the 1940s and 1950s differed from earlier generations, seeing indigenous Bolivians as redeemable through conversion into western categories of subjects: workers, farmers, and urban residents. These reformists and aspiring revolutionaries resolved the “problem” of indigenous difference by privileging the Bolivian mining family as a model for creating a new kind of citizen, and mining towns as crucial sites of change.I show how these visions were created out of the struggles of the Great Depression and Chaco war, but also were crucial to the way peripheral cities imagined themselves as generative centers of Bolivian modernity. Of course, even as this narrative of transformation allowed for a more expansive notion of Bolivian citizenship based on the valorization of working class men, it also rendered peripheral indigenous communities themselves from the imagined nation of laborers and citizens. My paper thus also works recuperate the exclusions written into this narrative of modern urbanity, using court cases to highlight the moments of social and cultural friction in this period.

A Cause for Reflection: Imagining Brazil at 100 Years of Independence
Joseph Pendergraph, Vanderbilt University

The first aerial crossing of the Southern Atlantic Ocean (from Lisbon to Rio) and the state visit of the Portuguese president António José de Almeida to Brazil to help commemorate the centennial of independence from Portugal both occurred in 1922. Newspaper coverage of these two events, along with telegrams and speeches from both sides of the Atlantic indicate, I argue, that this was the pinnacle of conflicting racialized discourses regarding Brazilian national identity. Several scholars have show that Brazilian elites of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries attempted to emulate Northern European high culture and called for European immigration in trying to mask the mixed-race heritage of their tropical country. Scholars of race in Brazil also hold that São Paulo’s Semana de Arte Moderna (also in 1922) was a key moment for reasserting the positive impact of racial mixing on Brazilian society. Neither group of scholars is off the mark in these observations, but my research indicates that an important element has gone completely unconsidered. The presidencies of Epitácio Pessoa (Brazil, 1919 – 1922) and Almeida (Portugal, 1919 – 1923) saw a high-water mark of cordiality in the history of Luso-Brazilian relations, and this cordiality hinged on the fact that both countries were young republics and the particularly strong republican sentiments of these two men. This attempt to fashion a historical narrative that downplayed important moments of conflict between the two places should be understood as a calculated move to discard the emphasis that had been placed on Northern European cultural inheritance, which at this late date held little sway, and exchange it for a more authentic connection to Brazil’s Portuguese past. In this way, Brazilians were encouraged to maintain their focus on their country’s status as a modern, European, essentially white nation; indigenous people and Afro-descendants still found no purchase in this conceptualization. This was the actual conservative platform against which the modern artists rebelled in São Paulo in 1922.

Identity in Art: Constructions and Negotiations of Race

Friday, February 6, 2015
10:30am – 11:45am
Rechler Conference Room, Lavin-Bernick Center (LBC)
Moderated by: Dr. Mia Bagneris, Department of Art History, Tulane University

The Other Shore: reviewing the exodus of Cuban visual artist within the Mariel boatlift
Jimena Codina, Tulane University

In 1980, between the months of April and October, about 125,000 Cubans emigrated legally from Cuba to the United States through the port of Mariel. This event impacted not only the history of Cuba but also the history of Cuban immigration, and the relations between the United States and the island. Among the thousands of Cubans who emigrated, many were artists: writers, musicians, and visual artists (mainly painters). Some of these visual artists became visible in the context of galleries, art exhibitions and journals in the United States, specifically in Miami. Despite the differences in the background and scope of these artists, and despite the contrasts in their respective careers once they emigrated to the United States, they were bound together by the common experience of immigration to the U.S. through Mariel, they all came to form the Generation of Mariel, and this, in turn, impacted the content of their work and their artistic career. Considering the processes and effects of the Mariel boat-lift on the Cuban artist community will help to understand better the intersection of grand historical processes and the production of culture, and how these artists negotiate both the grand historical narratives and their own migratory experiences through their work.

100 Years of Lies: Images of Brazil’s Unified Black Movement
Briana Royster, Ohio University

Using posters created by Afro-Brazilian activists in 1988, this presentation will provide a preliminary investigation into the U.S. influences on the Unified Black Movement (MNU), while revealing Brazil’s unique history of race relations and how activists captured that history within its political posters. Scholars have studied the U.S. Civil Rights Movement from many perspectives, including its leaders, the role of women and students, and its place as a catalyst for later movements in the U.S. like the Women’s Rights Movement and the Chicano Movement. Less studied are the transnational effects of the Civil Rights Movement in other countries such as Brazil. Brazil and the United States have a history of cross-cultural exchange, one that includes the social and political movements of people of African descent. African American activists in the United States were one inspiration for the Unified Black Movement (MNU) during the last quarter of the twentieth century in Brazil. Brazil’s contemporary black movement began in the 1970s in an effort to end the myth of Brazil as a “racial democracy.” A key component to the MNU’s strategy involved visually representing the importance of black heritage and culture. With a reliance on their rich African history and images from the US Black Power Movement, Afro-Brazilian activists created posters and artwork to foster a consciousness about the racial problems in Brazil. Although motivated by what they saw in the United States, activists also remained aware of many other movements, including African independence movements. The MNU developed an artistic campaign unique to Brazil’s history of racial hegemony and worked diligently to improve the conditions of Afro-Brazilians. Using interviews and artwork (mostly in the form of posters) this presentation will elaborate on the similarities and differences between the two sets of images, giving rise to an analysis of the movements themselves.

Dissecting Identity through Dissolution: Guillermo Gomez-Pena and the Performance of the Poetic Overstatement
Alexandra Santana, Tulane University

The purpose of this project is to examine how contemporary performance artist Guillermo Gómez-Peña uses a mixture of invented language and aesthetic media as deconstructive instruments in his artwork in order to question rigid notions of social identity. The project is also an examination of his use of the internet as an aesthetic medium, both literally and figuratively, in his performances. The use of the non-identity (or anonymity) of a digitized subject in his work allows for a more reflective examination of subaltern and marginalized social identities, and thus provides a possible space for the mobilization of marginalized artistic audiences. More specifically, however, I question if the conceptual fracture of social identity through digital means truly attempts to “fight against cultural, artistic, and political isolationism”? (La Pocha Nostra) Through a formal analysis of several key performances, I argue that Guillermo Gómez-Peña’s use of an imagined, yet recognizable poetic cyberlanguage dissolves the borders, both physical and intangible, between traditional boundaries of cyberculture and social identity.

Splintered Consciousness: Literary Relationship between Self and Nation

Friday, February 6, 2015
12:00pm – 1:15pm
Race Conference Room 202, Lavin-Bernick Center (LBC)
Moderated by: Dr. Fernando Rivera, Department of Spanish and Portuguese, Tulane University

Secondary Characters and the Politics of Personal Memory in the Southern Cone Post-dictatorship Generation Novel
Sarah Bruni, Tulane University

As the first generation of authors who came of age after the dictatorship years of the 1970s and ’80s in the Southern Cone begin publishing works of literature that engage directly with questions of how we remember and process the period of state violence and repression that casts its long shadow on the present, it is increasingly necessary to interrogate how the narrative techniques they employ to depict the postdictatorial environment are correlated with a culture of forgetting that fragments and obscures sites of memory and the history they conjure up. With the transition into democracy, neoliberal policies swept under the rug any lingering signs of former state repression including the repurposing of sites of memory within the urban spaces where human rights atrocities occurred. Unlike the authors producing literature in the immediate aftermath of the dictatorships, those who were children during the period of state violence in their respective countries must rely more readily on formative experience and social memory to conjure a period of time that governments have striven to erase from public consciousness. The aims of this paper, then, are twofold: I propose to examine the way that such policies of forgetting have fragmented the urban landscape in which many of these writers have grown up, and then analyze the way that a new generation of authors’ narratives respond to this fragmentation. I will take as one of my key case studies of revisions of public space Punta Carretas prison in Montevideo, Uruguay, which was repurposed as Punta Carretas shopping mall in 1994. The key literary texts I will explore include Alejandro Zambra’s (Chile, b. 1975) Formas de volver a casa, and Patricio Pron’s (Argentina, b. 1975) El espíritu de mis padres sigue subiendo en la lluvia, both published in 2011.

The Afro-Caribbean Family, Citizen Consciousness and the Nation-State in Earl Lovelace’s While Gods Are Falling
Cherif Diatta, Tulane University

Early narratives among Afro-Caribbean writers have emphasized the tribulations in the establishment of contemporary Afro-Caribbean communities. Earl Lovelace’s fiction is not an exception. This paper examines the portrayal an Afro-Caribbean community and its significance in Earl Lovelace’s first novel, While Gods Are Falling. The novel explores the interconnected relationship between the individual, the family, the community and the nation-state. I argue that Lovelace’s focus on the Afro-Trinidadian family and community expresses the reality of the Trinidadian political landscape, and emphasizes the paramount necessity of the individual’s sense of responsibility in his community that I call citizen consciousness. The analysis demonstrates how, through the portrayal of Afro-Caribbean family, Lovelace illustrates the emergence and evolution of the People’s National Movement (PNM) and the implication of black political leadership implications in Trinidad and the Caribbean in general. The analysis most fundamentally examines the significance of the individual’s responsibility and participation in the community as citizen consciousness. The concept of citizenship and good citizen has been built around property ownership, class status, social freedom, judicial and administrative responsibilities, and suffrage. In the fiction of Lovelace, the notion of citizen implicates more than these criteria that reinforce class segregation and exclude some human categories. For Lovelace, indeed, citizenship necessitates will, acceptance and desire of belonging to the community or nation as well awareness of both one’s rights and duties.

Revolutionary Fictions: A Critical Reading of the Zapatista Short Story Series Don Durito de la Lacandona
Mark Fitzsimmons, Indiana University

“Since its official inception when it boldly introduced itself to the world on 1 January 1994, the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) has been heavily defined and characterized by its diverse wealth of written texts. The EZLN is peculiar, and perhaps unique, among Latin American insurgent revolutionary groups in the 20th and 21st centuries in the central role that written texts have played not only in defining critical moments in their movement, but also in gaining an international base of support, sympathy, and solidarity. The texts produced by the EZLN occupy a broad range of styles and genres, from explicitly subversive political writings that seem modeled after the manifesto genre to highly literary short fiction and poetry. As an insurgent guerrilla organization that has openly declared war on the Mexican national government, the centrality of original literary production to the EZLN may appear confounding or even counterintuitive. The Zapatista movement, however, has consistently and decidedly fought as much if not more a battle of ideological and discursive reappropriation than of armed conflict.  In this paper, I analyze the series of short tales that focus on the fictional scarab beetle Don Durito de la Lacandona and the fictionalized autobiographical portrayal of Marcos. I argue that these stories are as subversive in their content and ideas as in their form, style, and aesthetics. In large part precisely because of their literary form and aesthetics, they form a fundamental part of what the EZLN has established as an alternative political voice in a national and global dialogue that continually marginalizes alternative discourses and rhetorical forms.”

Changó el gran putas de Zapata Olivella: la irrupción de una raza y su cultura en el debate cultural hispánico

Antonio Jimenez Morato, Tulane University

Desde la sugerencia de llevar africanos a América para librar de las tareas pesadas a los indígenas de fray Bartolomé de las Casas, y su posterior arrepentimiento que no suele ser recordado con la misma frecuencia, no hay apenas documentos literarios que giren en torno a la «cuestión negra» en la cultura hispanoamericana. Sorprende frente a la profusión de textos existentes relacionados con la «cuestión india». Manuel Zapata Olivella, afrocolombiano, reparó en ese vacío y desarrolló una labor antropológica a lo largo de las décadas centrales del siglo XX que se ve plasmada en su monumental novela Changó el gran putas, publicada en 1983. Allí se lanza a la ambiciosa tarea de 1) esbozar una mitología para la población negra de las Américas, 2) trazar una historia alternativa a la oficial desde su cosmovisión y costumbres y, 3) visibilizar la cultura negra en la literatura hispanoamericana donde había sido silenciada desde sus inicios. El resultado es la que, posiblemente, sea la novela más relevante de la literatura colombiana del siglo XX, casi siempre situada en segundo plano respecto a Cien años de soledad, paradigma de la perspectiva eurocéntrica frente a la mirada de raíces africanas que ofrece Zapata Olivella. Y, sobre todo, se trata de un ejemplo de puesta en práctica de la teoría de Walter Benjamin sobre la reelaboración de la Historia de los vencidos y la irrupción en el escenario político de toda una cultura preterida durante siglos que puede ser descrita y comprendida desde la producción ensayística de Hannah Arendt. Más que exaltar o resumir la novela, la idea de la ponencia pasa por enfatizar la relectura de la historia e inclusión en el debate político de la cultura afroamericana en el mundo hispánico que pone en práctica la novela.


On the Move: The Construction of Cultural Identities

Friday, February 6, 2015
4:00pm – 5:15pm
Rechler Conference Room 202, Lavin-Bernick Center
Moderated by: Dr. Josefa Salmón, Department of Languages and Cultures, Loyola University

Ride to Live, Live to Ride: Motorcycle Dispatches from Maceió
Katherine Layton, University of Texas at Austin

Though motorcycles are commonly associated with risk taking behavior, male aggression and rebellious independence, the truth is much more complex. These are totalizing tropes constructed through state and other majority attitudes towards motorcyclists, which in fact reveal underlying social anxieties about counter-hegemonic attempts to engage with normative structures. The ubiquity of these stereotypes contributes to transnational imaginaries and subsequent physical infrastructure that marginalizes motorcycles, among other non-automobiles, on and off-the-road. Over several months of field work, I investigated the ways motorcyclists in the Northeastern city of Maceió – AL, Brazil negotiate the city space in the face of these prejudices, in a daily struggle to stay alive. I collected anecdotal testimonials about on and off-the-road structures that influence motorcycling practice in Maceió and the reciprocal tactics that motorcyclists employ in order to navigate them. I engaged in participant observation and conducted interviews among motorcyclists (motorcycle clubs, motoboys & mototaxistas, riders in general) as well as individuals otherwise related to motorcycling practice (officials from police, health, agriculture, and labor sectors).
Using the information I gathered and an anthropological theoretical framework, I explore two major struggles for citizenship and survival in which these motorcyclists are engaged: (1) the guarantee of free mobility, access, safety, security, and inclusion on Maceió’s roads and highways; and (2) the legalization of professional motorcycling activities including delivery and taxi services (motoboy & mototaxi), which are currently permitted by federal law in Brazil, but titularly prohibited at state and municipal levels in Maceió, Alagoas (though still widely practiced). This paper discusses the alternative realities of motorcycling, and the unconventional assertions of citizenship that their riders employ, in the face of normalized exclusion.

Reinterpreting Regionalisms: The Use of the Terms “Kolla” and “Camba” in a Rural, Andean Town in Bolivia
Jennifer North, University of Miami

The Andes today is a region in motion, as people permeate regional divides and images slip through borders. Migration and international media force contact between the urban and the rural, between different ethnic groups, socioeconomic classes, and nationalities. This study considers the interpretation of a Peruvian ethnic comedy program, El Cholo Juanito y Richard Douglas, in a rural Quechua community in Bolivia as a tool for understanding the construction of ethnic identities in this dynamic context. El Cholo Juanito y Richard Douglas, produced in Cuzco, Peru, comically portrays the conflict-ridden relationship between a Quechua migrant to the city and a self-declared non-indigenous urbanite. Despite its ethnic slurs and portrayal of the very real discrimination many indigenous migrants face, the program enjoys widespread popularity in Andean Bolivia. By considering the ways by which Quechua-speaking villagers in Bolivia judge and interpret this program, this study illuminates the continued negotiation of ethnic, regional, and national identities in the region. Specifically, the use of the Bolivian regional identifiers “Kolla” (highlander) and “Camba” (lowlander) is examined. In the Andes, ethnic groups are crossed by national borders, and each nation is further divided by deep regionalisms. This study reveals the ways in which Quechua-speaking Bolivians expand and adapt the Bolivian regional identifiers “Kolla” and “Camba” to interpret their own and others’ ethnic identities on both a transnational and localized scale.

Canto y pluma: Mexican Corridos Amid the Great Depression (1929-1949)
Michelle Salinas, University of California, Los Angeles

This study attempts to create a more holistic historical account of the Mexican and Mexican American communities’ experiences in the United States during Great Depression (1929-1939). Abraham Hoffman contextualizes the Great Depression in the Mexican and Mexican American community by discussing the repatriation. He describes repatriation as an initiative led by both federal and private community committees that organized to send immigrants back to their countries as a supposed attempt to relieve public resources and the labor market (1974). I center Mexican and Mexican American perspectives as expressed through alternative media such as Mexican-origin music and Spanish language publications to discuss a less visited account of the Great Depression in the United States. Thus, I analyze six corridos written between (1929-1949) found in the Strachwitz Frontera Collection of Mexican and Mexican American Recordings digital archive. I define corridos as a traditionally Mexican song form reinterpreted in the United States Southwest to express the Mexican diasporic experience. In addition, I explore relevant articles from the Los Angeles local Spanish language newspaper La Opinión. I examine these primary sources through Lindsay Perez Huber’s (2010) Latina/o critical theory (LatCrit) and the concept of racist nativism to demonstrate how this alternative media provides collective historical counterstories to the mainstream accounts given by government and Anglo American media. Time can be rewritten: critical archaeology, onto-politics, and the un-extirpation of idols

The Foreign Gaze: Reimagining Culture and Identity

Friday, February 6, 2015
4:00pm – 5:15pm
Race Conference Room 201, Lavin-Bernick Center (LBC)
Moderated by: Dr. Annie Gibson, Stone Center for Latin American Studies, Tulane University

Black Faces: uma reflexão comparada entre o Cavalo-Marinho (Pernambuco- Brasil) e os Zulus do Mardi Gras de New Orleans (EUA)
Beatriz Brusantin, Universidade Católica de Pernambuco

Neste texto construiremos um estudo comparado entre a manifestação cultural do Cavalo-Marinho (Bumba-meu-Boi) realizada na zona da mata norte de Pernambuco (Brasil) e o Mardi Gras (EUA). Em estudo realizado, dialogamos com as pesquisas de Reid Mitchell (2005) sobre o carnaval afro-creole em New Orleans e aprofundamos uma análise entre os personagens Mateus, Bastião e Catarina do folguedo Cavalo-Marinho e os Zulus do desfile do Clube Zulu de Ajuda Mútua e Diversão no século XX. Os personagens brasileiros e americanos trazem significações da cultura africana e esteticamente se utilizam do rosto pintado de preto para ridicularizar estereótipos brancos numa repetição e revisão das formas culturais brancas. Assim, aprofundaremos considerações a respeito dos processos de “crioulização” e “transculturação” dos povos africanos na América, compreendendo suas formas de (re)significar seu cotidiano e reinventar sua realidade através de expressões culturais como o Cavalo-Marinho e o Mardi Gras (Rei dos Zulus). Para desenvolver tal perspectiva analítica utilizaremos como base teórico-metodológica os estudos em História Social, como de Reid Mitchell e Robert Slenes, os estudos dos historiadores britânicos E.P. Thompson e Peter Burke sobre cultura popular e as reflexões sobre a cultura africana na América de Mintz e Price e Lovejoy.

The Victory of the Baianas and FIFA: a look at the opening of political opportunities in wake of the 2014 World Cup
Vanessa Castañeda, Tulane University

Baianas de acarajé are often referred to as “the postcard of Salvador”. These almost exclusively female street vendors are ubiquitously found within Salvador, Brazil, wearing turbans, white blouses and rounded skirts complimented with colored beaded necklaces. They are regarded as traditional and authentic icons of Afro-Bahian identity. Baianas have been selling their West African foods (acarajé) on the streets and beaches of Salvador da Bahia since the 19th century, originally as wage-earning slaves. In 2004 Baianas de acarajé were officially recognized as symbols of national Brazilian heritage and cultural patrimony. In 2013, FIFA announced for the first time in the history of the World Cup, permission for Baianas de acarajé to sell their historical and infamous fritters in the arenas of Salvador during the Confederation and World Cup games. This research paper is an interdisciplinary and intersectional study that examines how and why the Baianas were able to achieve this victory. I examine the historical relationship between Baianas and the local and federal governments, Brazil’s articulation of both a national and regional identities in the first half of the twentieth century and the emergence of a vibrant Afro culture, including cultural civil society groups and black intellectuals. I argue that Baianas were successful in achieving the victory as the first street vendors to sell within the FIFA games because of their official national status as cultural patrimony, the political opportunities afforded to them from the local and federal governments and the kinds of resources presented to them at this particular time in history. Using a mostly quantitative research method of historical and sociological methodology, I argue that this victory was possible because of the specific circumstances of the political environment during that time which partially explains the Baianas’ continuous struggle to address larger social movement agendas.

Sociolinguistic Coloniality and Decolonization in Haiti’s Political and Educational Institutions
Heather Frost, Tulane University

While former colonies often have complicated linguistic relationships with their colonial, indigenous, and creole languages, in Haiti, these relationships have been further complicated in the last hundred years. In the twentieth century, notably since the American occupation of Haiti from 1915 to 1934 during which French was established as the sole official language of the Caribbean nation, the dynamics between Haiti, its former colonizer, France, and the United States have shifted. Today, these international dynamics reflect the complicated web of dependence, exploitation, and cultural hegemony which continuously renews and displaces political, economic, and linguistic bonds between the three nations. As language has been and continues to be one of the principal tools of cultural hegemony, in this paper I examine how the marginalization of the Haitian Creole language in Haiti is perpetuated by Haitians based on a colonial model in order to limit social mobility and to preserve elite privilege, particularly in political and educational institutions. Additionally, I examine how foreign influence comes into play in this sociolinguistic policy. I explore what is at stake in linguistic policies and practices that marginalize the language spoken by the majority and evaluate alternative policies and practices that have been proposed in terms of the extent to which they work towards the decolonization of Haiti’s political and educational institutions.

Indigenous, Afro-descendent, and Mestizo: Tourism Development and National Narratives
Gabriela Galeano, George Mason University

The national narratives espoused by Central American governments have historically been based on a mestizo (defined here as indigenous-white mixed) image, notorious for homogenizing indigenous and afro-indigenous identities in an attempt to assimilate minority groups into the dominant society. However, recent scholarship points to a shift from mestizaje to a celebration of multiculturalism in the telling of national narratives, where previously marginalized minority groups – such as indigenous and afro-descendant populations – are now pressed to emphasize their cultural difference, particularly for tourist consumption. The Garifuna afro-descendant communities of Honduras represent one such population currently engaging with the rapid growth of tourism development as well as redefining citizenship and civic participation. My initial fieldwork on tourism development and land rights among the Tornabe Garifuna community in Tela, Honduras focused on the process through which the community organized and obtained an agreement with the Honduran national government and national/international investors regarding the development, construction, and management of a nearby, large-scale tourism resort. Interviews with community members at the time pointed to a successful collaborative relationship, though interviews and participant-observation conducted two years later exposed more complex dynamics between the major actors and during a different – more tense – sociopolitical and economic context. Thus, while the overall objective of my research still consists of analyzing the ways in which the Tornabe Garifuna community in the Tela Bay area of Honduras is resisting and adapting to the growing tourism industry (e.g. socio-political organization and framing of interests), I also seek to explore the potential role Garifuna communities could play (and have played) in the Honduran economy as well as bring into question the long-held perception that Afro-Hondurans and other minority groups are not contributors (or are marginal) to the mestizo-based ideal of Honduran citizenship.

Embodying the Beauty of a Nation: negotiating identifications in the Miss Haiti competition
Eva Heppelmann, University of California Los Angeles

Beauty Pageants, particularly national and international pageants, offer insight into representations of the nation and femininity. In the case of the Miss Haiti beauty pageant, contestants participate in a performance of citizenship. Competing to represent Haiti on a national and later on an international stage, the women negotiate personal opinions of beauty and comportment with international perceptions. The pageant serves as a platform that illustrates tensions surrounding cultural values, identifications, and aesthetics, demonstrating a corporeal enactment of these questions of identification. By comparing competitions in several Caribbean countries as well as competitions in the United States, I will investigate the intersection of pedagogic and performative narratives of nationality. What does it mean to embody or represent a nation? In past competitions, contestants who have lived most of their lives outside of Haiti have been selected to represent the nation. In the most recent 2014 Miss Haiti competition, contestants choose to answer questions in Kreyol rather than French, causing shock and admiration among the audience. Finally, how does the fact that these contests were founded and now run by western nations influence the presentation of nationality and beauty? I will analyze past and recent contestants’ performances, the structure and customs surrounding the competitions, as well as the politics of the competition to investigate representations of nationality on an ‘international’ stage.