Date: Wednesday, October 29th
Admission: $8 ( Tickets Here )
Location: The Morbid Anatomy Museum; 424A Third Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11215
Presented by Salvador Olguín, Morbid Anatomy “Death in Mexico” Scholar in Residence, co-sponsored by the Mexican Cultural Institute of New York.
Full list of events here
In order to understand what’s so special about Day of the Dead, or the Days of The Dead, as Claudio Lomnitz calls them, it is essential to examine Mexico’s troubled past, from the time of the Conquest to the emergence of the modern Mexican State in the 20th century. In this lecture, professor Lomnitz will provide us with a glance into said past. The lecture is based on Lomnitz’s book (available for sale and signing at the Museum) “Death and the Idea of Mexico,” the first social, cultural, and political history of death in a nation that has made death its tutelary sign.
Based on a wide range of sources —from missionary testimonies to newspaper cartoons, from masterpieces of artistic vanguards to accounts of public executions and political assassinations—”Death and the Idea of Mexico” moves beyond the limited methodology of traditional historiographies of death to probe the depts. Of a people and a country whose fearless acquaintance with death shapes the very terms of their social compact.
Claudio Lomnitz is Campbell Family Professor of Anthropology and the Director of the Center for Mexican Studies at Columbia University. His books include include Evolución de una sociedad rural (Fondo de Cultura Económica, 1982); Exits from the Labyrinth: Culture and Ideology in Mexican National Space (University of California Press, 1992); Modernidad Indiana: nación y mediación en México (Planeta, 1999); Deep Mexico, Silent Mexico: An Anthropology of Nationalism (University of Minnesota Press, 2001); Death and the Idea of Mexico (Zone Books, 2005); El antisemitismo y la ideología de la Revolución Mexicana (Fondo de Cultura Económica, 2010) and, with Friedrich Katz, Una conversación sobre México, su revolución y su historia (Edicioines Era, 2011). His most recent book is The Return of Comrade Ricardo Flores Magón (Zone Books, 2014)..
Lomnitz is also the author of a number of journalistic essays, and writes a bi-monthly column for the Mexico City newspaper La Jornada. He also wrote an historical play that received Mexico’s National Drama Award. Lomnitz served a 6-year term as editor of the journal Public Culture, and is currently co-editor of the books series Umbrales published by Fondo de Cultura Económica. Claudio Lomnitz was a Fellow at the Wissenchaftskolleg zu Berlin for 2011-12, and is a regular visiting scholar during the summers at CIDE (Mexico City).
Salvador Olguín is October’s Morbid Anatomy Museum “Death in Mexico” scholar in residence. A writer and researcher born in Monterrey, Mexico, currently based in Brooklyn, he holds a MA in Humanities and Social Thought from NYU. He also leads the annual Morbid Anatomy Day of the Dead field trip. His work has been published in magazines and journals in Mexico, the US and Spain. He has worked extensively with cultural artifacts connected to the representation of Death, and has developed critical studies on post-humanism and the relation between literature and photography. In 2010 he received the Carmen Alardin Poetry Award granted by Mexico’s National Council for Culture and the Arts for his book La Carabela Portuguesa. Olguin is the founder and director of Borderline Projects.