Afro-Latin American Studies Project | African American & African Diaspora Studies

Afro-Latin American Studies Project

Afro-Latin American Studies Project

Proyecto de Estudios Afrolatinoamericanos 

Photo: CACE conference, Nodia Mena speaking as part of a roundtable.

Focusing on Latin America and the African Diaspora in the Atlantic World

To create a vibrant space for faculty and students to engage through research, coursework, conference panels, workshops, and public lectures in the histories, cultures, and societies of Afro-Latin America.

Centrado en América Latina y la Diáspora Africana en el mundo Atlántico

Crear un espacio vibrante para que el profesorado y los estudiantes se dediquen, a través de la investigación, los cursos, los paneles de conferencias, los talleres y las charlas públicas, a las historias, las culturas y las sociedades de la América Afro-latina.

Coordinator Dr. Omar Ali


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AADS, along with colleagues from across the university, shines a light on the African Diaspora in Latin America in a number of ways:

  • CACE conference programing — Roundtable discussions and presentations on Afro-Latin America

  • NEW CLASS — AADS 306  “Afro-Latin American Art, Politics, and the Law,” Co-taught by Monica Carrillo and Omar Ali. Past classes — AADS Special Topics “Afro-Latin America: Africa, Iberia, and the Americas”

  • Recent public talks — UCLA scholar Nohora Arrieta Fernandez “Black Women Artists in Latin America”

  • Publications by faculty members — ReVista article “African and Afro-Indian Rebel Leaders” and Atlantic Biographies Brill chapter “Benkos Biohó“), including the work of Omar Ali, Nodia Mena, and Ana Paula Höfling

  • Co-hosting Afro-Peruvian visiting fellow Monica Carrillo in partnership with Lloyd International Honors College

  • Working with Goldsboro, H.S., Department of History chair, Afro-Latina Stephanie Orosco, who serves as part of the Wayne County Public School’s Social Studies Super Core, around Afro-Mexican history and culture.



Afrolatinidad in North Carolina, Raleigh, NC

El Pasado Mio/My Own Past: Afrodescendant Contributions to  Cuban Art, Cambridge, MA

Afro-Atlantic Histories, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.


Image above: ‘Casta painting’ with partial set of 16 casta combinations (a racial classification in the Spanish colonies in the Americas)


Background: During the sixteenth century Africans and their descendants outnumbered Europeans and their descendants in Lima, Mexico City, and Salvador da Bahia–the three principal cities of colonial Latin America. Over the next three centuries millions of Central Africans and West Africans were forcibly migrated to work the plantations, mines, and in the cities of Spanish and Portuguese settlers. While resistance to slavery took place at first point of contact in Africa, continuing throughout the Middle Passages and in the Iberian colonies themselves (in the form of armed rebellions and maroon settlements, among other strategies), many enslaved Africans and their descendants assimilated into the existing colonial systems and Native American communities helping to shape societies across the Americas. 


Photo above: Participants in CACE Afro-Latin American/Latinx Studies.


Selected Publications:



Some UNCG faculty and affiliated researchers working on or teaching aspects of Afro-Latin American and Afro-Latinx cultures and histories:


Omar H. Ali, Ph.D.  (AADS/History/Honors; Colombia and Peru) 


Monica Carrillo Zegarra, MFA (Honors; Peru)


Robin Gee, MFA (Dance; West Africa, Mali)


Cerise Glenn Manigault, Ph.D. (Communication Studies/AADS)


Dominick Hand, M.A. (AADS)


Ana Paula Höfling, Ph.D. (Dance; Brazil)


Nodia Mena, M.A. (School of Education; Honduras)


Linda M. Rupert, Ph.D. (History; Early Modern Caribbean)


Stephanie Orosco (AADS alumna, Department of History Chair, Goldsboro H..S., North Carolina)