2022 Sophia Lecture: Emma Velez
February 11, 2022
Emma Velez: Assistant Professor of Gender and Women’s Studies at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
Heretical (Re)Visions of La Virgen de Guadalupe
This talk engages themes of decoloniality, religion, and gender through the lens of Latinx decolonial feminisms and the complex figure of La Virgen de Guadalupe. Emerging out of the aftermath of the conquest, La Virgen de Guadalupe is deeply intertwined with the continued legacy of coloniality in the Americas. Yet, despite this colonial history La Virgen has been embraced and resignified by feminist and queer Latinx artists toward resistant and decolonial ends. Appealing to Sylvia Wynter’s sense of heresy, this talk focuses on two heretical reclamations of La Virgen de Guadalupe: Alma López's iconic piece of Chicana visual art "Our Lady" and Pepe Romero's semi-autobiographical play Fancy Lupe. I argue that through these revelatory, heretical (re)visions of La Virgen we gain insights not only of the semiotic machinations of coloniality but also germinative possibilities for decolonial feminist acts of resistance capable of unraveling coloniality.