Distinguished Latin American scholar to visit Penn State

October 01, 2018

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — George Reid Andrews, distinguished professor of history at the University of Pittsburgh, will deliver a lecture titled “To Count or Not to Count: Latin American Censuses, 1776-2020” at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 4, in 162 Willard Building. This event is free and open to the public.

Andrews will discuss efforts to either include or exclude racial designations in Latin American censuses from 1776 to the present. At the beginning of census taking, colonial officials were vitally interested in racial identities; however, national governments gradually eliminated race from national censuses in the 1800s and the first half of the 1900s. Over the past 30 years, black and indigenous movements have demanded the inclusion of racial data in the census — data which raises new questions about black and indigenous life in the region and how the legacy of colonialism and racial discrimination still affects their lives, according to Andrews.

Andrews is an award-winning, Afro-Latin American history scholar whose research focuses on African-descended peoples in Latin America. He has written several books, including "Blackness in the White Nation: A History of Afro-Uruguay and Afro-Latin America: Black Lives, 1600-2000." His most recent work, "Afro-Latin American Studies: An Introduction," co-edited with Alejandro de la Fuente (2018), features leading scholars in the field discussing a variety of topics including literature, music, dance and religions in Latin America. The book traces the impact of the region’s long history of slavery to the major political, economic, social and cultural developments since emancipation. 

Andrews’ visit is part of the Racial Disposability and Cultures of Resistance Sawyer Seminar Series sponsored by the Penn State Department of African American Studies. The seminar seeks to identify and examine ways that marginalized racial subjects in the Americas disrupt the logic of disposability creatively, politically and intellectually using practices of organized resistance and an everyday politics of refusal. It is funded through a grant provided by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Additional information about the series can be found at this website or by contacting Cynthia Young, associate professor and head of the Department of African American Studies at cay9@psu.edu.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated October 08, 2018