Federico Navarrete

Racial mixture and the dominance of Whiteness, the paradoxes of racism in Latin America

Welcome to the LNUC Concurrences and the Cluster for Colonial Connections and Comparisons' Annual Lecture!

Fe Navarrete Linares, Instituto de Investigaciones Históricas, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

I am Federico/Fe Navarrete, a non-binary person, my pronouns are he/she. For over 30 years I have done research and written history books and essays about the European colonization of Mexico and the Americas, and the responses of Amerindian and Afro-American groups to colonialism. Recently I published two books that present a new interpretation of the events of the so-called conquest of Mexico: ¿Quién conquistó México? (2019), and Malintzin, o la conquista como traducción (2021). I have also published extensively on Amerindian visual histories, generally known as codices, and their conceptions of temporality and history, analyzing particularly how they interpreted the process of colonization from an Indigenous point of view, and how they incorporated Western elements. In 2021 I took part in the first German edition of Codex Mendoza. 

From this concern about the deep history of colonization at a global level, has arisen my research on the history of racism in Mexico and Latin America. Besides academic articles on the subject, I have written two political essays Mexico racista (2016) and Alfabeto del racismo mexicano (2017) which have been influential on the growing national debates about this subject. More recently, my gender identification has led me to reflect more and more on the relations between racism and gender, and to carry out a deconstruction of the male-centered narratives of colonial domination in order to explore the significance of other genders in these processes. I am a member of Poder Prieto, an intersectional anti-racist collective of Mexican artists and actors who fight for broader representation in the media. 

I also do extensive work in public history. I write historical fiction novels for younger readers and recently I have directed several high impact public history projects, such as Noticonquista (2019-2021), Pintar el Lienzo de Tlaxcala (2017-22), and El racismo en el cuerpo y en el mundo (2022). 

I work as a professor at the Instituto de Investigaciones Históricas of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, and as a speaker for the International Graduate College Temporalities of Future, a partnership between German and Mexican universities. I have been visiting professor in Costa Rica, Brazil, Germany, and the US.

Racial mixture and the dominance of Whiteness, the paradoxes of racism in Latin America

This talk will explore how in Mexico, Brazil and Colombia, and other Latin America countries the prevalence of national identities centered on the ideology of mestizaje or mestiçagem, that is racial mixing, has actually enabled the continuation of the supremacy of Whiteness in the social and political order. This will help explain how racism in the region works very differently from North America, but also how all societies of the continent share a racial order inherited from European colonization.

The seminar will be held in English.

Please send an email to concurrences@lnu.se if you want to participate via Zoom.

Linnaeus University Centre for Concurrences in Colonial and Postcolonial Studies

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