Michelle Murray, "Migration, Slavery, and the Black Mediterranean"
Thursday, February 25, 2021 - 12:00pm to 1:30pm
Speaker(s):Dr. Michelle Murray
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Format: This talk will take place as part Dr. Lamonte Aidoo’s undergraduate seminar, “Brazil, Race, Sex and the Body” but is open to broader publics through the From Slavery to Freedom Lab at the Franklin Humanities Institute. After introductory remarks by Dr. Aidoo, Dr. Murray will present her most recent research on the legacies of slavery in the Mediterranean. The presentation will be followed by a response by Anna Tybinko, Ph.D. Candidate in Romance Studies, and time for Q&A.
Description: This talk theorizes the Black Mediterranean through two examples. The first is the underwater sculpture “The Raft of Lampedusa” by British artist Jason deCaires located in Lanzarote. Combining critiques of ocean pollution and migrant deaths, Murray contends that the groundbreaking (or sea-breaking) artwork manifests an unprecedented engagement with ecological and racial justice. The second example is the Barcelona statue of the wealthy impresario Antonio López y López located in the plaza of the same name; this monument was removed on March 4, 2018 as the Barcelona city council stated it could no longer pay homage to someone who benefited from the slavery of others. Both examples build and enhance the work of Paul Gilroy and his theory of the “Black Atlantic” as an important space of Black cultural production. However, they also call into question the so-called “tyranny of the Atlantic” (Allen), to make space for a new approach to that rich legacy—one that is far less bound specific geographies and national traditions.
About the speaker: Michelle Murray's research and teaching focus on contemporary Spanish literature and film. Her first book, Home Away from Home: Immigrant Narratives, Domesticity, and Coloniality in Contemporary Spanish Culture, (UNC Press for North Carolina Studies in Romance Languages and Literatures, 2018) studies representations of immigrant women as domestic workers in contemporary Spain. She is currently working on a manuscript entitled Migrant Markets; this book explores migration, political economy, and trafficking in the Southern Mediterranean.
This event is presented by the From Slavery to Freedom Lab at the Franklin Humanities Institute and cosponsored by the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, the Department of Romance Studies, and the Kenan Institute for Ethics.
The FS2F Lab is based at the FHI with support from the Mellon Foundation’s Global Engagement Fund in the Duke Office of Global Affairs.
jrz10 for From Slavery to Freedom Lab
Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CLACS), Franklin Humanities Institute (FHI), Kenan Institute for Ethics, Romance Studies