Keynote Lectures

Leading scholars and practitioners are invited to each Encuentro to give keynote lectures that conceptually frame our discussions, situate the Encuentro topic within specific social contexts, and expand the theoretical debates in the field. Simultaneous translation is provided to the audience so that they can be available to participants in English, Spanish and Portuguese. These lectures have also been featured in special issues of our online journal, e-misférica.

This keynote explored transdisciplinary strategies of critical urbanism that integrate artistic modes of thought and action to create contexts of resistance and transform reality.

Alejandro Meitin: Artistic Initiatives in Community Organizing, and their Metaphorical and Juridical-Social Dimension

Human rights and memory discourses must be robustly linked with each other to add a necessary dimension of futurity to memory and of history to human rights politics. Drawing on the early modern notion of natural rights, this paper asks to what extent ‘rights of nature’ need to be considered to nurture the sustainability of human rights as social rights.

Andreas Huyssen: Natural Rights, Civil Rights and the Politics of Memory

As a capstone to an event series celebrating visual artist Gertrudis Rivalta’s show at the Thomas Nickles Gallery and her residency at the Hemispheric Institute, scholar Jacqueline Loss interviews Rivalta in a sprawling conversation about her life and work. They touch on topics such as: Rivalta’s family and childhood in Santa Clara; representations of Blackness in her work and in Cuban culture more broadly; her relationships and missed connections with other figures in the art world, such as Kevin Power, Chris Ofili, Yinka Shonibare, and Cindy Sherman; the historicist use of mass media in her art; her use of materials such as varnish and sequins; the relationship between “cure” and “curation”; and various series of Rivalta’s, such as her “little theater” (“teatrillo”) dioramas and her reimaginings of Walker Evans photographs. They also discuss works of hers such as “Quinceañera con Kremlin”; “Mulata Tropical”; and “Mami llévame pa San Lázaro”. In one particularly emotional moment, Rivalta describes the reaction to her exhibition “Fantasmas de azúcar” (“Phantoms of Sugar”) of a Holocaust survivor, who compared the Cuban sugar plantations shown in her work to concentration camps.

Gertrudis Rivalta: The Cutting Image. Sovereign Dreams and Black Cuban Imaginaries

The fundamental issue still pending in Colombia—unresolved in theory, as in action—is the very special relationship between politics and violence in the fabric of its memories and history. It is the density of violence that unfolds throughout the history of what Paul Ricoeur calls the structures of the terrible, those "forces" of instinct and exploitation inscribed in politics from its foundation.

Jesús Martín Barbero: Arts of Memory and Regimes of Visibility

What will the world look like linguistically a hundred years from now? The use and distribution of languages across the planet is changing so quickly that even experts cannot answer this question. This lecture will discuss some of the processes of change that are under way, including language death, language migration, and the formation of lingua francas and interlanguages.

Mary Louise Pratt: Language Ecology, Language Politics-Towards a Geolinguistic Imagination

Without relinquishing the sociopolitical force of its struggles against gender discrimination, feminist theory today also defines itself as cultural critique. This allows feminism's emancipatory potential to encompass imaginary and symbolic configurations of subjective economies that exceed those categories of "identity" and "difference" preconfigured by the sociology of gender.

Nelly Richard: Feminism's Right to Be an Other to Itself

During her residency at the Hemispheric Institute, music historian Rosa Marquetti engaged in this virtual conversation with Licia Fiol-Matta & Alexandra Vázquez. Here Marquetti provides examples of what Vázquez calls “the Marquetti Method,” including how she recovers the history of Afrocuban music in the face of anti-Black archival practices and how she makes the most of limited sources to produce an account of music as a communal phenomenon.

Rosa Marquetti: Listening to the Forgotten: Archival Methods in Music--A Conversation with Rosa Marquetti

This keynote offered a reading of the iconography of Guamán Poma de Ayala (17th century) and Melchor María Mercado (19th century) as exponents of a theorization of Andean reality in colonial and republican times, focusing on their use of images. These images constitute a hidden text that reveals aspects not directly addressed in their writings. Building on these reflections, the speaker will argue the need to consider non-alphabetic forms of Andean discourse as a path toward understanding colonial and postcolonial experience in the Andes.

Silvia Rivera Cusicanqui: Sociology of the Image. A View from Andean History

Over the last two decades, a compulsion to archive has seized a large part of the globalized territory of art, from academic research to art exhibitions based on archives, provoking harsh disputes among collections over acquisitions. Among the privileged objects of analysis are the artistic proposals developed in Latin America during the 1960s and 70s, when politics became enmeshed in poetics. What has caused this desire for the archive to emerge in the present context? What are the politics of desire driving these initiatives and their modes of presentation?

Suely Rolnik: Archive Mania

A discussion that addressed the theme of citizenship from the standpoint of anarcho-feminism, framing citizenship as an ancient, efficient, subversive, and ludic construction.

Ximena Castilla: Anarcho-Feminist Citizenship