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Kiley Acosta and Gisela Arandia
Kiley Acosta and Gisela Arandia

Kiley Guyton Acosta
UC Santa Barbara
 

Kiley Guyton Acosta is a cultural curator, performer, and professor of Black Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her unique undergraduate seminars, including Afro-Cuba and Afro-Latin@s in the United States: Creating Identity on the Color Line, bring critical attention to the often invizibilized history, culture, identity politics, and lived experiences of Afro-descendants in Latin America and Afro-Latin@s in the U.S. Kiley holds an M.A. in Hispanic literature and a PhD in Spanish and Portuguese from the University of New Mexico and is the recipient of fellowships from the Ford Foundation, the Smithsonian Institution, Title IV FLAS, and the University of California. She has been recognized for her innovative methods of integrating academics, art, and activism into engaged research, teaching, and community outreach.

Currently, Kiley is working together with Afro-Cuban folkloric performance groups and community activists in Havana on a post-doctoral project entitled, "Rumba Epistemology from Guaguancó to Hip-Hop: Performing Ethos, Memory, Community, and Resistance in Afro-Cuban Folkculture". In May 2014, she had the honor of joining forces with an inspiring cohort of Cuban scholars, artists, poets, filmmakers, and activists as the bilingual interpreter for Afro-Cuban Voices (2014), a groundbreaking symposium organized by Pedro Pérez Sarduy with Casa de las Américas. The program united the island's foremost experts on Afro-Cuban history and culture to discuss their work in dialogic exchange with international colleagues. The principal objective of Afro-Cuban Voices is to bring critical attention to the resurgence of anti-black racism in the context of the drastic socio-economic changes occurring in post-special period revolutionary Cuba, and to further advance the collective efforts of Cuban citizens and the state to address race-based issues and establish anti-racism policies.

As a member of the Smithsonian Folklife Festival curatorial team for Colombia: the Nature of Culture (2011), Kiley served as cultural interpreter and bilingual presenter for artisans and musical groups of Colombia's Atlantic and Pacific coasts. Her ethnographic work on Afro-Latina identity has been incorporated in the Smithsonian Latino Center's Latino DC History Project ("The Cuban Presence in DC" 2011), and she has collaborated on the PBS series Black in Latin America as a research consultant ("Mexico and Peru: The Black Grandmother in the Closet"). Her provocative writing on Cuban underground hip-hop, Dominican-American diaspora literature, and Brazilian cinema has been published in peer-reviewed journals including Ciberletras, Brújula, Jenda: A Journal of Culture and African Women's Studies, and Palgrave Macmillan's Latino Studies. With an insatiable passion for the arts, Kiley is also a dedicated student of dance and percussion, and enjoys performing with the California-based Afro-Brazilian dance company Bahia Magia.

 

 

Azúcar negra: (Re)Envisioning Race, Representation and Resistance in the Afrofeminista Imaginary, PhD thesis, 6/13

 

Kiley develops the transnational theory of "Hemispheric Feminism" as an intersectional perspective that maps de-colonial New World feminism(s) from the position of black and brown women in former slave societies throughout the Americas. In her dissertation Azúcar negra: (Re)Envisioning Race, Representation and Resistance in the AfrofeministaImaginary, she locates contemporary theorizations of black feminisms (afrofeminismos) by Latina women of African descent in Cuba, Brazil and Dominican diaspora communities of the U.S. Specifically, she examines how Afro-Latina subjects theorize afrofeminismo and memorialize their experiences through creative expression including poetry and prose, hip-hop music, visual displays of the body, and digital media. Her research contextualizes the evolution of (mis)representations of Afro-descendent women, looking closely at how black and brown female bodies are scripted and (re)inscribed over time. The main objective of Azúcar negra is to shed light on the manifold ways contemporary cultural products respond to historic (mis)representations of the mujer negra (black woman) and the mulata (mulatto woman) in the post-colonial cultural imaginary. Drawing from a critical evolutionary overview of black feminist thought, she argues that in the digital age, afrofeminista epistemology becomes a conduit for recovering historically invisibilized voices from the margins, resisting dominant narratives of race and gender representation, and (re)envisioning what it means to be black and Latina in the New Millennium. Overall, this study ruptures and re-maps existing discursive boundaries to create an aperture for the theorization of black feminism as transnational and diasporic.

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

INRODUCTION ...................................................................................1

CHAPTER 1 INSCRIPTIONS OF RACIAL (MIS)REPRESENTATION: THE BLACK FEMALE BODY IN HISPANIC CARIBBEAN AND BRAZILIAN LITERATURE
...........................................................................................................17

CHAPTER 2 TRANSNATIONAL DIALOGUES: THEORIZING AFROFEMINISMO, FROM THE BLACK FEMINIST MOVEMENT TO THE BIRTH OF HIP-HOP .....................................68

CHAPTER 3 RAPPING RACE AND RESISTANCE: A BREAKDOWN OF THE CUBAN UNDERGROUND HIP-HOP MOVEMENT
..........................................................................................................111

CHAPTER 4 AFRO-CUBAN COUNTERPOINT: BLACKNESS AND BLANQUEAMIENTO IN THE HIP-HOP FEMINIST IMAGINARY

...........................................................................................................161

CHAPTER 5 BLACK LIKE US: NEGOTIATING RACE, REPRESENTATION, AND RESISTANCE IN THE DOMINICAN DIASPORA OF THE UNITED STATES ............................................................................................219

CONCLUSION ..................................................................................291

REFERENCES ...................


Articulos/Articles

 

Writing Back to the Island: Revisionist Historiographies in Dominican-American Fiction  1/15/2012 UC Davis 

Connecting Global Communities through Meaningful Cultural Interactions: Reflections on the 2011 Smithsonian Folklife Festival from a Presenter’s Perspective  8/6/2011 Smisthonian Institution: "I also found it remarkable how Xiomara's traditional hair-braiding demonstration drew interest and admiration from an incredibly diverse public, many of them familiar with similar hairstyling and cornrowing techniques despite geographic, cultural and linguistic disparities. For nearly three hours, I watched festival goers watch Xiomara as she methodically reproduced her award-winning design La chirimía chocoana; a hairstyle inspired by the traditional chirimía band of El Choco that featured braided sculptures of the five major musical wind and percussion instruments. In particular, African-American women in the audience nodded their heads in agreement and understanding as Xiomara answered a constant flow of questions about her hair-braiding process and the materials she uses. The familiarity of her craft fostered a sense of camaraderie that traversed linguistic borders, and by the end of the demonstration several observers had personally invited Xiomara to visit renowned local hair-braiding salons in the D.C. area to exchange styling techniques and ideas."

Lúcia Murat’s Brave New Land as an Anti-Foundational Fiction  2005 CUNY: "The textual complexity of Lúcia Murat’s filmatic portrayal of the clash between the Guaicuru Indians of the Mato Grosso Pantanal and the Portuguese explorers of the Brazilian frontier in Brave New Land (2000) manifests a myriad of past and contemporary notions regarding the representation of the Indigenous and European/white subject as well as the conflictive nature of their initial contact."

 

 

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