Thursday March 7th, 2013 at 6pm in 513 Fayerweather Hall.
John D. Arthur Professor of Hispanic Studies
‘Miraculous Images, Votive Texts, & Collaborative Control in Mexican Catholicism’
This article provides an analytical overview of votive texts offered to miraculous images in Mexican Catholic churches. These texts include petitions, expressions of gratitude, and testimonies in multiple formats: typescripts and manuscripts on paper, notes written on photographs, inscribed objects and documents, collages with text, devotional graffiti, and subscripts on votive paintings (retablos). The themes pursued include petitionary devotion, the nature of miracles, autonomous and external agency, catharsis through votive writing, and collaborative control.
Undocumented Stories: Writing Africa and Latin America across the Disciplines (2012-2013)
This seminar series aims to bring together scholars interested in reconstructing the history and experiences of people in Africa and Latin America (including indigenous communities in contemporary Southwestern U.S.) through mostly non-written records using methodologies from a range of disciplines. The scarcity of written records and/or of conventional archives necessitates an inter-disciplinary approach, drawing on linguistic, ethnographic, archaeological, music, and art-historical evidence alongside oral traditions, literature and history. While on the one hand the product of necessity, the resulting methodological approach is a rich one that can effectively serve to develop an alternative narrative by drawing on the quotidian objects and words used by ordinary people. The primary intention of this seminar is to facilitate conversations between scholars in these various disciplines in order to bring new and productive perspectives to bear on this endeavor. Departments and disciplines involved include history, anthropology, archaeology, music, linguistics, women’s studies, and art history, across Columbia University, Barnard College, New York University, and City University of New York.