Skip to main content
Experiencing the postcolonial museum: Space, (re)presentation, and praxis in the Latino New South project
Southern Anthropological Society - Annual Conference
  • Marlene Arellano, Davidson College
  • Colleen M Truskey, The College of William and Mary
  • Carrie B Douglass, University of Virginia
  • Brian A Hoey, Marshall University
Organized Session, Workshop or Roundtable Title
Migrating Identities: Defining Selves, Others, and Places
Participation Type
Organized Session
Participant Type
Organized Session, Workshop or Roundtable Abstract

This session has been convened by the Southern Anthropological Association.

Carrie B. Douglass, SAS Convener
Type of Session
Presentation #1 Abstract

The southeastern United States saw its Latino population grow nearly sixty percent between 2000 and 2010, making it now the fastest growing Latino region in the country. In light of this, how do local spaces, namely museums, respond to demographic changes in their community, with particular attention to the growing visibility of these marginalized peoples? This paper reexamines James Clifford’s 1997 concept of “museums as contacts zones” with the ¡NUEVOlution!: Latinos and the New South exhibit at the Levine Museum of the New South in Charlotte, North Carolina, as a case study. As the museum works to be both an educational space and an experience through its collections and exhibitions, it aims to extend and complicate the South's black-and-white history while creating conversations about learning to live and re-negotiate space in a post-World War II South. In conjunction with post-colonial narratives being produced about and within museum studies, my research aims to unpack how the Levine Museum structures itself and its programming to institutionally collaborate and consult with the Latino community it attempts to “authentically” historicize in its newest exhibit, noting a large disjunction in the power dynamics between collaboration and consultation.

At-A-Glance Bios- Participant #1

Marlene Arellano is a junior anthropology and Latin American studies double major from Chicago, IL.

Presentation #2 Title
Multicultural Festivals and Conceptions of Diversity in American Communities
Presentation #2 Abstract

According to the Migration Policy Institute and the U.S. Census Bureau, the immigrant population in the United States in 1970 numbered 9.6 million. In 2013, that number more than quadrupled to 41.3 million. Thanks to this influx of individuals with global roots, cultural and ethnic diversity in America has become a far more visible and widespread phenomenon. In response to these changing demographics, many towns in recent years have seen discussions develop about diversity. Multicultural festivals have proven to be significant, highly visible additions to these dialogues in many communities, even those not generally considered to be hubs of “multiculturalism.” More than just amusements, festivals serve as a means for communities to negotiate, highlight, reaffirm, and reflect upon shared values. Additionally, they provide a way to examine how local populations are adapting to and incorporating America’s new cultural multiplicity. Four multicultural festivals in Virginia and West Virginia were visited during the summer of 2015 in order to learn more about who is organizing, participating in, and coming to these festivals in addition to observing their underlying structure and organization. By describing the dynamics of these festivals, I hope to ultimately contribute to the conversation of how national trends are reinterpreted in local contexts and gain a better understanding of modern multiculturalism in America as a result.

At-A-Glance Bios- Participant #2

Colleen Truskey is a current junior at the College of William & Mary majoring in anthropology and minoring in public health. Her experiences growing up in Roanoke, Virginia resulted in a strong interest in local issues, particularly in the areas of community dynamics, identity, and narrative-building.

Presentation #3 Title
Bullfights Banned in Catalonia 2012. Catalonia votes to leave Spain 2015.
Presentation #3 Abstract

In 1997 I published my first book, Bulls, Bullfights and Spanish Identities, based on many years of fieldwork across the many regions of Spain. The thesis was that Spaniards used the corrida de toros as a vehicle to talk about Spanish “ identities.” In 2010, after three years of study and discussion, the Catalan Parliament banned bullfighting in the Autonomous Community of Catalonia. The ban came into effect on 1 January 2012. The reaction of the rest of Spain was to drill down on their support for the corrida. Later when Catalan nationalists held an unofficial (and constitutionally illegal) vote in November, 2014, 80% of those who voted backed independence. In November 2015 the Catalan regional parliament voted to start the secession process, declaring they were pushing ahead with a historic plan for an independent state within 18 months. Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has gone to the Constitutional Court to suspend the resolution. I contend that the bullfight ban was a precursor to, and statement about, Catalonia’s sense of self. It is not “Spanish.”

At-A-Glance Bios- Participant #3

Socio-cultural anthropologist working in Spain since 1983. I began my work on Spanish bullfights and then progressed to other issues. Many years later I return to the cultural significance of the bullfights.I taught at Mary Baldwin College for two decades before moving to the University of Virginia.

Presentation #4 Title
Rebounds and Reversals: Where will be American’s Next ‘Local’
Presentation #4 Abstract

In this presentation, I will briefly outline key explanatory models born of research into what has been called “non-economic migration” occurring since the early twentieth century. Trends in American migration—including what I call lifestyle migration—may highlight changes in how some appear to negotiate calculations of personal and collective quality of life motivated by the effects of an emerging economic order based on principles of flexibility and contingency experienced not only by individuals and families but also entire communities. Some who have looked at historical trends in American migration refer to today’s inchoate patterns of internal migration as a “fifth migration.” My research suggests that it may be distinguished not by a singular pattern of where migrants choose to go— exurban, suburban, or urban—but rather by shared motives for relocating, ways in which they frame their decisions, and by lifestyle commitments they make for starting over in these destination communities, wherever they may be. Understanding these motives and commitments will be essential for communities across America who seek to reinvent and reinvest in their local.

At-A-Glance Bios- Participant #4

Brian Hoey is an associate professor of anthropology in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Marshall University. His ethnographic research explores social, cultural, and personal impacts of economic restructuring through the lens of migration and community development. In addition to his work in the United States and Indonesia on the role of place attachment and displacement in the construction of individual and group identity, Hoey has longstanding interests in a broad range of environmental factors that may positively or negatively affect physical and psychological health. Hoey has published widely on these topics including a recent book Opting for Elsewhere: Lifestyle Migration in the American Middle Class.

Start Date
4-9-2016 8:30 AM
End Date
4-9-2016 10:00 AM
Citation Information
Marlene Arellano, Colleen M Truskey, Carrie B Douglass and Brian A Hoey. "Experiencing the postcolonial museum: Space, (re)presentation, and praxis in the Latino New South project" (2016)
Available at: