William Calvo-Quiros, Assistant Professor, Department of American Culture and Latino Studies, University of Michigan, and Mellon Resident Scholar, SAR
Narco saints and skeletons in hats. Mexican martyrs and executed rapists. What type of saints are these, and what do they really represent in the US-Mexico borderlands? William Calvo-Quiros spent ten years tracing the movement and evolution of meaning of popular saints from Mexico to the United States. Using a chronological approach, Calvo-Quiros analyzes five vernacular saint figures (Jesús Malverde, Santa Olguita, Juan Soldado, Toribio Romo, and La Santa Muerte) within broader discourses: the construction of masculinity and the state; the long history of violence against women in the region; the erasure of women from history; the major US demographic and religious shifts generated by the influx of new Catholic Latinx immigrants; the discrimination against nonnormative sexualities; and the United States’ and Mexico’s formal and informal control of religiosity in relation to migration. This presentation unveils not only the politics and struggles behind border popular religiosity, but also its sophisticated role in envisioning a future beyond oppression.
This event is free and open to the public. The presentation will take place in the Eric S. Dobkin Boardroom on the SAR campus. Advanced registration is encouraged.