Middlebury College Museum of Art

Thursday, October 20

Understanding Migration through Latinx Art

Illustrated Lecture
Time: 4:30pm
Location: Dana Auditorium, Sunderland Language Center

Charlene Villaseñor Black, Professor of Art History and Chicana/o Studies, University of California, Los Angeles


Charlene Villaseñor Black

Can art effect political change, and if so, how? Can it move us to action, empathy, and hope? Professor Villaseñor Black considers these questions as she investigates Chicanx (Mexican American) artists’ responses to global migration, in particular, Los Angeles artist Sandy Rodriguez (born 1975). Rodriguez’s 2019 installation You Will Not Be Forgotten, comprised of twenty works, was created with traditional Indigenous materials and techniques. Featuring an unusual series of portraits, it commemorates seven Central American child migrants who died in US Customs and Border Protection during 2018 and 2019. Professor Villaseñor Black considers the portraits in the context of practices of memorialization, both contemporary and historical, secular and sacred. Why talk about art in the face of such heart-wrenching injustice?

Dr. Villaseñor Black’s research focuses on the art of the early modern Ibero-American world as well as contemporary Chicanx visual culture.

Sandy Rodriguez, Felipe Alonzo Gómez
Sandy Rodriguez, Felipe Alonzo Gómez (age 8), from You Will Not Be Forgotten, 2019, hand-processed watercolor on amate paper, 22 1/4 × 15 1/3 inches. Image courtesy of Charlie James Gallery.

This talk is organized by the American Studies Department and Middlebury College’s chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, the nation’s oldest academic honor society.

Free and open to the public. Read about Middlebury College’s COVID-19 guidelines.