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In the last decades, several scholars have analyzed the semiotics of La Mulata's ubiquitous presence in Cuban popular culture. Those visual and literary analyses have centered on the Island's national production, leaving aside transnational renditions. Yet the icon of La Mulata traveled with the exile of Cuban minstrel theater after 1869 to Mexico and Puerto Rico, among other circum-Caribbean nations, adopting local themes and slang. La Mulata was already recognizable in Latin American popular culture by the 1920s and gained new levels of dissemination with the development of Latin American cinema. This lecture will partially map out the itinerary of La Mulata avatar in Latin American films and contemporary cultural practices. It will pay close attention to the intersection of the performers'race and the scenic discourses they enact, theorizing the functions of this translation and analyzing the relevance of the repertoire of La Mulata in today's Latino visual and popular culture.
Yesenia Fernandez Selier is a Cuban-born performer and researcher. She is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University. She also holds an M.A. in Latin American Studies from New York University and a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Havana. She has received fellowships from CLACSO, the CUNY Caribbean Exchange Program, and the Cuban Heritage Collection of the University of Miami Libraries. Her work on Afro-Cuban culture, encompassing dance, music, race, and identity has been published in Cuba, the United States, and Brazil. She is a recipient of the 2017 Dfaz-Ayala LibraryTravel Grants at FIU.
View Part 1 and 2 of lecture here:
Latin American Studies
Fernandez Selier, Yesenia, "La Mulata in the Spanish Caribbean From Stage to Films Lecture by Yesenia Fernández Selier" (2017). Cuban Research Institute Events. 421.
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