[FS2F Lab] Dr. Michelle Murray, “Migration, Slavery, and the Black Mediterranean"
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, followed with 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.
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.