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The Ups and Downs of Whiteness: The Chameleonic Body of Ramón Emeterio Betances

Thursday, March 31, 2011
4:00 AM
1644 School of Social Work Building, 1080 South University Avenue

María del Carmen Baerga Santini, University of Puerto Rico--Río Piedras, will analyze the racial representations of the well-known abolitionist Ramón Emeterio Betances, deployed by twentieth-century historiography, and contrasts them with the racial notions conveyed by contemporaries of the Betances family in the nineteenth-century. While twentieth-century historiography typifies Betances as black or mulatto, contemporaries and friends of the Betances family in the nineteenth-century regarded them as having attained the position of whites, both in the Dominican Republic, from where they had migrated, and in Puerto Rico, where they had established in the early nineteenth-century. Such discrepancies are explained in terms of the divergent racial notions that existed on the island in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Co-sponsored by the Latina/o Studies Program.