Associate Professor in the Department of Black Studies @ University of California
Roberto Strongman is Associate Professor in the Department of Black Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He received his Ph.D. in Literature from the University of California, San Diego in 2003. Dr. Strongman's interdisciplinary approach encompasses the fields of Religion, History, and Sexuality in order to further his main area of research and teaching: Comparative Caribbean Cultural Studies. Dr. Strongman's trans-national and multi-lingual approach to the Caribbean cultural zone is grounded in La Créolité, a movement developed at L'Université des Antilles et de La Guyane in Martinique, where he studied as a dissertation fellow.
Geographical location : California, Santa Barbara
Research Area and Interest : Comparative Caribbean Cultural Studies
- Summary: Does the work of Cuban-American painter Harmonia Rosales Africanize classical European portraiture or does it seek to approximate Black mythologies to Western ideals? Is her work politically transformative or assimilationist? In this talk I will argue that both impulses coexist in her portraiture. Instead of trying to resolve opposing identities and contradictory agendas, Rosales’ work establishes a system of associations between European and African referents as well as between acculturation and deculturation in a way that can be best described as Creolization: the Afro-diasporic strategy of survival through resignification, mimicry and subterfuge.