Oct. 23, 2018 – Michele Reid-Vazquez

Michele Reid-Vazquez’s presentation, “Countering Disposability: Black Mobility and Resistance in the Age of Revolution,” will take place in 160 Willard on Tuesday, October 23, 2018, at 5:30 P.M. This event is co-sponsored by the Africana Research Center and the Department of French and Francophone Studies.

Description: Reid-Vazquez will discuss the ways people of African descent countered disposability in the revolutionary era. From the onset of the Haitian Revolution to the closing of the Latin American wars for independence in the early nineteenth century, men and women of African heritage laid claim to the insurgent ideologies of liberty and equality – ideas that were not meant to apply to them. Black soldiers, refugees, and migrants used geopolitical warfare in the Caribbean basin to craft counter-discourses of freedom and citizenship. This turbulent space also fostered new assemblages of mobility that linked multiple geographies in the quest for racial equality. By engaging these combined modes of resistance, people of African descent envisioned and demanded an alternative reality to enslavement and colonialism.

Michele Reid-Vazquez is an Associate Professor in the Department of Africana Studies at the University of Pittsburgh. Her research and teaching specializations are the African Diaspora in the Caribbean and Latin America and Afro-Latinos in the U.S. She holds a secondary appointment in the Department of History, and is affiliated faculty with the African Studies Program, the Center for Latin American Studies, the Global Studies Center, and the Center for Urban Education. She also directs the Afro-Cuban History and Culture Study Abroad Program.

Dr. Reid-Vazquez is the author of The Year of the Lash: Free People of Color in Cuba and the Nineteenth-Century Atlantic World (2011). In addition, she has published articles in the following edited volumes and journals: Afro-Latin America: Rethinking Identity, Politics and Culture (forthcoming 2018), Africans to Colonial Spanish America (2012); Documenting Latin America: Gender and Race, Empire and Nation (2010); The Yoruba Diaspora in the Atlantic World (2005); and the Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History (2004). She is completing her second monograph, Black Mobilities in the Age of Revolution: Comparative Politics, Migration, and Freedom in the Caribbean. Her current project, El Caribe in the Rust Belt, examines issues of race, gender, culture, and identity among Cuban, Dominican, and Puerto Rican communities in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Illinois.

Overall, Reid-Vazquez’s scholarship seeks to challenge existing perceptions and reveal new historical interpretations of diasporic mobility, resistance, adaptation, and sociopolitical agency at the intersections of Africana Studies and Latin American Studies.


By Michele Reid-Vazquez: