Puerto Rico Winter Institute

by | Jan 9, 2005

A view of San Juan. Photo by Josianne Peltier

“Culture at the Crossroads” will be the theme of the inaugural program of the Puerto Rico Winter Institute January 10-28, 2005 in San Juan. Each year the Institute, a joint collaboration of the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies at Harvard University and the University of Puerto Rico, will focus on a different academic area.

The Institute seeks to stimulate research, collaboration and intellectual exchange between Harvard and key institutions of higher learning in Puerto Rico. This seminar is the brainchild of Doris Sommer, a faculty member in the Department of Romance Languages at Harvard. Her goal was to put Puerto Rico on the research map of mainland academics and increase visibility for the rich cultural, political and social heritage of Puerto Rico.

Each week, two distinguished professors, one from Harvard and one from Puerto Rico or the diaspora, will co-teach a seminar on a topic related to the theme, this year, that of transnational culture. Seminar participants will include faculty from Harvard and Puerto Rican institutions. Harvard and Puerto Rico faculty, as well as Harvard and Puerto Ricobased graduate and professional students, are eligible to apply. This institute is made possible by a generous grant from the Wilbur Marvin Foundation and the contributions from the Universidad de Puerto Rico (UPR), the Centro de Estudios Avanzados de Puerto Rico y del Caribe (CEA) and Escuela de Artes Plásticas (EAP).



Thomas Cummins is Dumbarton Oaks Professor of the History of Pre-Columbian and Colonial Art at Harvard. His latest book, Toasts with the Inca: Andean Abstraction and Colonial Images on Kero Vessels (University of Michigan Press, 2002) examines ways in which the colonization process modified indigenous forms and objects.

Enrique Vivoni, Professor at the School of Architecture and Director of the Architecture and Construction Archives at UPR, has curated more than 15 architectural exhibitions and published multiple essays. He is the recipient of an NEH grant for his project “Hispanophilia: the Spanish Revival in Architecture and Life in Puerto Rico, 1900-1950.”

Davíd Carrasco teaches anthropology and religious history at Harvard. He is Editor in chief of the Oxford Encyclopedia of Mesoamerican Cultures. He is the author of City of Sacrifice: The Aztec Empire and the Role of Violence in Civilization. His latest book Alambrista looks at art and culture among immigrants in border areas.

Juan Flores is Professor in the Department of Black and Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College (CUNY) and in the Sociology Program at the CUNY Graduate Center. He is the author of The Insular Vision (winner Casa de las Americas award), Divided Borders: Essays on Puerto Rican Identity, and From Bomba to Hip-Hop: Puerto Rican Culture and Latino Identity.

James Lorand Matory, Professor of Anthropology and of African and African American Studies at Harvard, studies the diversity of African, African American, and Latin American cultures. His publications include Sex and the Empire that Is No More (1994) and the upcoming The Trans-Atlantic Nation: Tradition, Transnationlism and Matriarchy in the Afro-Brazilian Candomblé.

Angel G. Quintero Rivera is a researcher and lecturer at the Centro de Investigaciones Sociales of the University of Puerto Rico. His publications include ¡Salsa, sabor y control! Sociología de la música «tropical» (1998) y Vírgenes, magos y escapularios. Imaginería, etnicidad y religiosidad popular en Puerto Rico (1998).



“The Architectural Grammar Of Conquest”
Thomas Cummins (Harvard) & Enrique Vivoni (UPR)

“Popular Culture, Religiosity and the Latino Imaginary: Varieties and Continuities”
Davíd Carrasco (Harvard) & Juan Flores (CUNY)

“Diasporic Countercurrents: Latinos and Yorubas”
James Lorand Matory (Harvard) & Angel Quintero-Rivera (UPR)

Fall 2004/Winter 2005Volume III, Number 1

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