Emmanuel Ortega, Ph.D. (aka Babelito from Latinos Who Lunch)

Colorism in Latin America

In this presentation, Dr. Ortega will deconstruct the politics of colorism in Latin America by analyzing the visual culture of the colonial period and the politics behind the caste system. By way of a careful analysis of class and race classification in Spanish America, Ortega will explore the ways in which those categories continue to define difference in popular media today.

Emmanuel Ortega (Ph.D., Art History, University of New Mexico) is a curator, podcaster and a Visiting Professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Ortega has lectured nationally and internationally on the topics of images of autos-de-fe, nineteenth-century Mexican landscape painting, and visual representations of the New Mexico Pueblo peoples in Novohispanic Franciscans martyr paintings. In 2015, Ortega partnered with the Museo de Arte Religioso Ex-Convento de Santa Mónica in Puebla México to curate two art exhibitions based on recently restored paintings from their collection, one of which is now part of their permanent galleries. He is a recurrent lecturer for Arquetopia Foundation for Development, the largest artist residency in México. An essay titled "Hagiographical Misery and the Liminal Witness: Novohispanic Franciscan Martyr Portraits and the Politics of Imperial Expansion," was published by Brill in the fall of 2018.