Middlebury College Museum of Art

Wednesday, October 5

The Representation of Japanese Culture in Comic Books from the Americas: From Orientalist Narratives to New Globalized Aesthetics

Illustrated Lecture
Time: 4:30pm
Location: Franklin Environmental Center, The Orchard-Hillcrest 103

Enrique García, Associate Professor of Hispanic Visual Culture, and Chair, Luso-Hispanic Studies Department


Japanese manga narratives (comic books) are currently among the most influential Asian cultural products in the world. They promote Japanese culture through the financial and critical success of their franchises and their global influence in other media industries such as animation (anime), live-action films, toys, and videogames. This presentation—part of the Carol Rifelj Faculty Lecture Series—focuses on how comic books from some of the countries in the Americas portrayed Japanese culture before and after the boom of Japanese manga distribution around the world. We will see how the visual and narrative representation of Japanese culture evolved from early 20th-century stories that were influenced by Orientalist literature and “yellow peril” tropes to more complex appropriations from artists of Japanese descent and non-Japanese artists that have been influenced by manga narratives. The talk will include samples from Mexico, USA, Brazil, and Puerto Rico originally published in Spanish, English, and Portuguese.

Dr. García’s research focuses on international Hispanic/Latinx genre cinema and comic books.

cover of issue one of the comic book Monica Adventures, by Mauricio de Sousa
Cover of the Brazilian comic book Monica Adventures, by Mauricio de Sousa

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

Tuesday, October 11

Asian Imprints in Latin American and Caribbean History and Culture

Illustrated Lecture
Time: 4:30pm
Location: Alexander Twilight Hall 101 (Auditorium) and on Zoom

Dr. Kathleen López, Associate Professor, Department of Latino and Caribbean Studies and Department of History, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey


Kathleen Lopez

Asians have maintained a longstanding presence in Latin American and Caribbean history. Whether they came as sailors or settlers, contract laborers or transnational merchants, Asian migrants became a key component in the development of Latin American and Caribbean economies and societies and debates on their place in nation-building. With a focus on migrants from China, Japan, and India and their locally-born descendants, this lecture will address themes such as integration, discrimination, language, foodways, culture, and identity.

Dr. López specializes in the historical intersections between Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean.

In-person event: Assisted Listening Devices will be available.

This lecture will be simulcast on Zoom. Those who wish to view remotely can register for the Zoom session here. The Zoom version of this talk will be auto-captioned.

Accessibility Questions? Contact Mikki Lane at mlane@middlebury.edu or 802.443.2309.

Lion Dance performance in Cuba
Lion Dance performance in Cuba

This talk is co-sponsored by the Luso-Hispanic Studies Department and the Greenberg-Starr Department of Chinese Language and Literature. It is offered in conjunction with the exhibition No Ocean Between Us: Art of Asian Diasporas in Latin America & the Caribbean, 1945–Present, on view at the Middlebury College Museum of Art September 15–December 11, 2022.

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

Tuesday, October 18

Exhibition Celebration: “No Ocean Between Us: Art of Asian Diasporas in Latin America & the Caribbean, 1945–Present”

Exhibition Celebration
Time: 5:00pm
Location: Middlebury College Museum of Art and Lower Lobby, Mahaney Arts Center

Join our first in-person exhibition celebration since 2020! Mingle with fellow art lovers over drinks (cash bar) and complimentary hors-d’oeuvres. MCMA Chief Curator Jason Vrooman ‘03 will offer brief remarks at 5:30pm. Student guides will be on hand to talk about highlights from the exhibition.

Assisted Listening Devices will be available.

Tomie Ohtake, Untitled
Tomie Ohtake, Untitled, 1968, oil on canvas. © OAS AMA | Art Museum of the Americas Collection.

No Ocean Between Us: Art of Asian Diasporas in Latin America & the Caribbean, 1945–Present is on view at the Middlebury College Museum of Art September 15–December 11, 2022. The exhibition features approximately 70 works by Latin American and Caribbean artists of Asian heritage that explore cross-directional global dialogues between the artists, their Asian cultural heritages, their Latin American or Caribbean identities, and their interaction with major artistic movements.

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

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.

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.

Monday, October 24

“Tres veces apátrida”: Redefining World Literature through the Work of Contemporary Asian/Latin American Writers

Illustrated Lecture
Time: 4:30pm
Location: Conference Room, Robert A. Jones ’59 House (148 Hillcrest Road)

Paula C. Park, Associate Professor of Spanish, and Chair, Latin American Studies, Wesleyan University


Paula C Park

The history of migration from Asia to the Americas is long and profound. Yet the production and reception of literature by Asian migrants in Latin America is a fairly recent phenomenon. This, in part, is due to the difficulty of situating their work in neatly bound national categories. This lecture will offer an overview of twentieth- and twenty-first-century East Asian-Latin American writers, among them Siu Kam Wen, Julia Wong, Kyoung Park, and Moisés Park, who reflect on their condition as perpetual outsiders in the Americas and beyond. Engaging with the concepts of “serial migration” (Lok Siu) and “rhizomatic diaspora” (Kyeyoung Park), which refer, respectively, to the extended transnational crossings of Chinese and Korean migrants in the Americas, the work of these writers will be presented as postnational literature as well as one that invites us to rethink our approach to world literature.

Dr. Park’s research and teaching interests are Latin American literature/culture and Philippine literature in Spanish and English from the twentieth century. She focuses on exile writers, Orientalism, Asian diasporas, transpacific studies, sound studies, and diplomatic archives documenting the Pacific.

Assisted Listening Devices will be available.

This talk is co-organized by the Museum of Art and the Luso-Hispanic Studies Department. It is offered in conjunction with the exhibition No Ocean Between Us: Art of Asian Diasporas in Latin America & the Caribbean, 1945–Present, on view at the Middlebury College Museum of Art September 15–December 11, 2022.

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