Fictive Kin: Renderings of Afro Latinos in Literature


A post by Peter Jordens.

Lecture: Fictive Kin: Renderings of Afro Latinos in Literature

Maria Thomas (Cultural Anthropology, University College London)

Thursday, March 2, 2017, 6:30 – 8 pm

150 Richard Hoggart Building

Department of English and Comparative Literature, Goldsmiths, University College London

Intersectionality begets cultural and social gridlock as writers Piri Thomas, Edwidge Danticat and Junot Diaz make manifest Afro Latino characters in the world of literature.

Depicted in genres of fiction and memoir, how does African heritage, stratified by gender, migration, class and nationhood shape these literary figures and reveal a world so kaleidoscopically composed?

Prefaced by an exploration of the development of the term Afro Latino, the precarious nature of the term, and complexities faced by those who make up this largely underrepresented and often-marginalized peoples, I will share how these literary readings and various personal experiences inspired the autoethnographic work in progress “Fictive Kin.” More than a travel narrative, this is a search for figurative consanguinity as an Afro Latina only to find that, consequently, there is no motherland.

Maria Thomas is an Associate Lecturer in the Anthropology department for Ethnography of Africa. Her background is in the humanities teaching Latin American, African American and Western Literature.

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