ALARI Seminar Series Inauguration Lecture with Aurora Vergara: Afro-Colombian Studies in the Year of Freedom (2021) / Estudios Afrocolombianos en el año de la libertad (2021)


Friday, September 17, 2021, 12:00pm to 2:00pm

This event is virtual, to register click here.


2021 was declared the Year of Freedom by the Colombian Ministry of Culture. It commemorates 200 years of the law of freedom of the bellies and 170 years of abolishing slavery in the country. This context coincides with the second year of the COVID19 pandemic and the wave of social mobilizations of April 28 - July 28. In this conference, we will analyze the significance of these historical events for Afro-Colombian studies.

El 2021 fue declarado como el Año de la Libertad por el Ministerio de Cultura de Colombia. Se conmemoran 200 años de la ley de libertad de vientres y 170 años de la abolición de la esclavitud. Esta coyuntura coincide con el segundo año de la pandemia del COVID19 y con una ola de movilizaciones sociales que ocurrieron entre abril 28 y julio 28 aproximadamente. En esta conferencia analizaremos la importancia que tienen estos eventos históricos para el desarrollo del campo de los estudios afrocolombianos.


Speaker: Aurora Vergara-Figueroa, Associate Professor of Sociology, Universidad Icesi, Cali, Colombia; Mark Claster Mamolen Fellow Fall 2021
Moderated by: Alejandro de la Fuente, Robert Woods Bliss Professor of Latin American History and Economics; Professor of African and African American Studies, Director, Afro-Latin American Research Institute, Chair, Cuba Studies Program

Aurora Vergara-Figueroa is an Afrocolombian scholar who holds a PhD of Sociology from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. In 2016, she was nominated as one of the 20 best leaders in Colombia Fundación Liderazgo y Democracia. Dr. Vergara-Figueroa currently works as Director of the Center for Afrodiasporic Studies (CEAF) and professor of Sociology at Icesi University (Cali, Colombia). Dr. Vergara was the winner of the Martin Diskin Dissertation award from LASA (Latin American Studies Association) for the best PhD dissertation integrating activism and rigorous knowledge production (2014). She is an anthologist, author, and compiler of books such as: Decolonizing worlds: Contributions of Black Intellectuals to Colombian Social Thought (2017, CLACSO) (Original in Spanish), Afrodescendant Resistance to Deracination in Colombia: Massacre at Bellavista-Bojayá-Chocó (2017, Palgrave Macmillan), I Demand my Freedom: Black Women and their Strategies of Resistance in Nueva Granada, Venezuela and Cuba, 1700-1800 (2018, Editorial Universidad Icesi; Original in Spanish). In 2020 this book received the Monserrat Ordóñez Award in the LASA Colombia section for the best book about gender and women's studies in Colombia. Her latest publications are: Zuluaga, Blanca, Marianella Ortiz & Aurora Vergara-Figueroa (2021). Twice as Hard to Get Half as Far? Differences in Sheepskin Effects Between Afro-Colombian and Non-Afro-Colombian Women, Peabody Journal of Education, DOI: 10.1080/0161956X.2021.1905352. “Race in Global Perspective.” In Oxford Bibliographies in Sociology, ed. Lynette Spillman (New York: Oxford University Press. 2020).

Presented in collaboration with Afro-Latin American Research Institute at the Hutchins Center