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Yomaira  Figueroa-Vásquez

Yomaira Figueroa-Vásquez is an Afro-Puerto Rican writer, teacher, and scholar from Hoboken, NJ. She earned her M.A. and Ph.D. in Comparative Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Berkeley and her B.A. in English, Puerto Rican and Hispanic Caribbean Studies, and Women’s and Gender Studies at Rutgers University, New Brunswick. She is Associate Professor of English at Michigan State University and the author of the award-winning Decolonizing Diasporas: Radical Mappings of Afro-Atlantic Literature (Northwestern, 2020) and the forthcoming The Survival of a People (Duke University Press). Her published work can be found in Hypatia, Decolonization, CENTRO, Small Axe, Frontiers, Hispanofilia, Contemporânea, Post 45 Contemporaries, SX Salon, Dialogos, and other scholarly journals and public forums. She is a founder of the MSU Womxn of Color Initiative, #ProyectoPalabrasPR, the Mentoring Underrepresented Students in English recruitment program (MUSE), and the DH project Electric Marronage. Dr. Figueroa was Duke SITPA Fellow, a Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow, and most recently, a Cornell University Society for the Humanities Fellow. She is the PI of the Mellon Diaspora Solidarities Lab ( a $2M project focused on Black feminist digital humanities initiatives that support solidarity work in Black and Ethnic Studies. 

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The Survival of a People: Afro-Boricuas and the Reparation of the Imagination

In her talk, Dr. Figueroa-Vásquez will discuss parts of her forthcoming book, The Survival of a People (Duke University Press) which traces the disappearances and excesses of Afro-Puerto Ricans in the colonial archive and in contemporary cultural memory from the late 19th century to the present. 

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