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March 23, 2010

Scholar Frances Aparicio will visit NIU to discuss Latina culture

DeKalb, Ill. — As part of NIU’s celebration of Women’s History Month, scholar Frances Aparicio will deliver two upcoming public lectures on Latina culture.

The first talk, “The Cultural Politics of Salsa Dancing in Chicago: A Gender Perspective,” will be held from noon to 1 p.m. on Wednesday, March 31, in the Carl Sandburg Auditorium of Holmes Student Center.

As television shows such as “Dancing with the Stars” have gained popularity, so has public interest in salsa dancing. Aparicio’s lecture will focus on the ways that dance can be seen as a performance of cultural and gender identity. Using interviews she conducted with both Puerto Rican and Anglo women, she will demonstrate the changes and tensions that occur on the dance floor between different cultural groups and between men and women.

Her second talk, “The Latina Body as Spectacle,” will introduce participants to some of the more current research on U.S. Latinas and their representation in the media. This talk will take place at 3 p.m. Wednesday, March 31, in the NIU Latino Center at 515 Garden Road.

Aparicio is the author of “Exposed Bodies: Media and U.S. Puerto Ricans in Public Space,” a chapter in the book, “None of the Above: Puerto Ricans in the Global Era” (Palgrave, 2007). She is also co-editor and contributor to “Musical Migrations: Transnational and Cultural Hybridity in Latin/o America” (Palgrave, 2002), and author of “Listening to Salsa: Gender, Latin Popular Music, and Puerto Rican Cultures” (Univ. Press of New England, 1998), which won the 1999 Katherine Kovacs Singer Award for the best book in Hispanic Studies from the Modern Language Association.

Aparicio holds a Ph.D. in Spanish from Harvard University. She is currently a professor of Latin American and Latino Studies and director of the Underrepresented Faculty Mentoring Program at the University of Illinois-Chicago. Her talks at NIU are sponsored by the Women’s Studies Program, Graduate Colloquium Committee, Latino Resource Center, Latino and Latin American Studies Program and departments of Kinesiology and Physical Education and Foreign Languages and Literatures.

For more information, e-mail womenst@niu.edu or call the Women’s Studies Program at (815) 753-1038.

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Media Contact: Rebekah Kohli, NIU Women’s Studies Program
Phone: (815) 753-1038
Email: womenst@niu.edu