September 07, 2011

Ben Vinson III

By Kathryn Kopchik

LEWISBURG, Pa. — Ben Vinson III will give the talk, "Black Synergies: Surveying Afromexican History with African American Linkages," on Tuesday, Sept. 20, at 7 p.m. in the Forum of the Elaine Langone Center at Bucknell University.

The talk, which is free and open to the public, is the 25th Annual Black Experiences Lecture, sponsored by the Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity and Gender (CSREG).

According to Vinson, this talk aims to provide a historical overview of the African presence in Mexico from the period of the Conquest through the independence era.

Beginning with the advent of the new Mexican republic in the 1820s, dynamic interactions began with the United States, which marked a turning point in black history.

The convergence of transnational experiences — the emergence of a form of transnational blackness — will be highlighted. The presentation concludes by exploring the synergies between African-American history and Afromexican history.

Colonial Mexico expert
Vinson is the Herbert Baxter Adams Professor of Latin American history and Vice Dean of Centers, Interdisciplinary Programs, and Graduate Education at Johns Hopkins University.

An expert on colonial Mexico, Vinson has focused his research on Latin America, the African Diaspora and the experiences between African-Americans and Latinos. He has published dozens of scholarly articles and several books, including Bearing Arms for His Majesty: The Free-Colored Militia in Colonial Mexico (2001); Flight: The Story of Virgil Richardson, A Tuskegee Airman in Mexico (2004); Afromexico (2004); African Slavery in Latin America and the Caribbean (with Herbert Klein, 2007), and Black Mexico: Race and Society from Colonial to Modern Times (with Matthew Restall, 2009).

Vinson joined the Johns Hopkins faculty in 2006 after serving as a faculty member at Penn State University and Barnard College. The recipient of a bachelor's degree from Dartmouth College and a doctorate from Columbia University, he has held fellowships from the Fulbright Commission, National Humanities Center, Social Science Research Council, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and the Ford, Rockefeller and Mellon foundations.

This lecture also spearheads the Social Science Colloquium, "Shades of Black and Brown: Afro-Latino/a Interactions." Other speakers in the series will include Sagrario Cruz-Carretero, Universidad Veracruzana on Nov. 7; Monika Gosin, William & Mary, on Feb. 23; Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, Duke University on March 22; and Patricia de Santana Pinho, SUNY Albany, on April 5.

While at Bucknell, Vinson will participate in a faculty lunch colloquium where he will discuss his paper, "Decoding Caste in Colonial Mexico."

Contact: Division of Communications
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