Latin American Speakers Series 2022: Dr. Kency Cornejo

Latin American Speaker Series Presents: Dr. Kency Cornejo

Against a War on Mobility: Central American Art on Migration & Diaspora 

On Thursday, April 21,  invited scholar Kency Cornejo joined us for a keynote lecture where she discussed US intervention in Central America from 1980-1990s which resulted in mass migration from Central America to North America. In more recent years, ongoing migration from the isthmus received visibility once again, as Central America became a target of anti-immigrant rhetoric in US politics. In this lecture, Dr. Cornejo centers the artistic response from Central America and its diaspora on the ongoing displacement and migration. She analyses how such artistic practices produce counter-cartographies, alternate modes of storytelling, and gestures of resistance against coloniality and empires’ war on mobility. 

Dr. Kency Cornejo was born in Los Angeles to Salvadoran immigrant parents and raised in Compton, California.  She is an associate professor at the University of New Mexico where she teaches Contemporary Latin American and Latinx Art Histories. She holds a PhD from Duke University, an MA from UT Austin, and BA from UCLA. Her teaching, research, and publications focus on contemporary art of Central America and its US-based diaspora, art and activism in Latin/o America, and decolonizing methodologies in art. Some of her publications on Central American art can be found in the Journal of Latin American and Latinx Visual CultureJournal of Commonwealth and Postcolonial Studies; Aztlán: A Journal of Chicano Studies; Art and Documentation; FUSE Magazine; and Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Literatures, along with various chapters in edited books. Her first book manuscript, forthcoming with Duke University Press, analyses thirty years of art and decoloniality in Central America. Her work has been supported by the Fulbright and Ford foundations, an Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant, and a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Faculty Award Grant.    

Co-presented with Positionality: A Symposium on Latin American & Latinx art in Canada

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