Roger Thayer Stone Center For Latin American Studies

Tulane University

An evening of contraband prose with the Librotraficantes

November 2nd, 2012

Casa Borrega, 1719 Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard

The following is a Press Release from the Librotraficantes describing their Nov. 2 event:

Imagine the New Orleans School Board banning African American books. Well, the equivalent of this happened just this year in Tucson where the Latino population is comparable in size to that of African Americans in New Orleans.

In January 2012 the Tucson Unified School Board banned Mexican American ethnic studies. This means no history, prose, fiction or other forms of Mexican American culture can be taught in the schools. This includes classics like Bless Me Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya and The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros. This anti-constitutional book ban is part of a curriculum change to avoid “biased, political and emotionally charged” teaching, CNN reported.

In response to this law, the Librotraficante Caravan to Smuggle Banned Books Back to Tucson grew and blossomed into a movement. In March of 2012, the group organized six cities, smuggled over 1,000 “wet-books” donated from all over the country, and opened four Under Ground Libraries.

According to their website, “The Librotraficante movement is the tip of the pyramid. It stands on the base created by its parent organization Nuestra Palabra: Latino Writers Having Their Say. Nuestra Palabra has been promoting Latino literature and literacy in Houston, Texas since 1998. “

The original Librotraficante and founder of Nuestra Puebla is professor and writer Tony Diaz, the author of novel The Aztec Love God, which was selected as the 1998 Nilon Award for Excellence in Minority Fiction. Ishmael Reed called Diaz “Relentlessly brilliant.” Diaz has just completed his second novel The Children of the Locust Tree.

According to the New York Times, “Mr. Diaz is the impresario behind an inspiring act of indignation and cultural pride.” Tony explains, “My first job as a child was to translate the outside world for my parents. Now, I translate our culture for the rest of the world.”

Tony and fellow Librotraficantes Liana Lopez and Bryan Parros are travelling the country to raise awareness sharing their mind altering prose, news, and writing-before it is confiscated.

With its growing Latino population, Greater New Orleans has been desperately in need of a gathering place to celebrate the cultural life of this important ethnic group. Casa Borrega intends to fill the gap, and this event serves as a sneak preview for the venue, which will open later this year.

Casa Borrega will have an altar installed to celebrate Dia de los Muertos.

For more information see:,,,, Casa Borrega




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Upcoming Events

Dennis A. Georges Lecture in Hellenic Culture

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Join Dr. Emily Greenwood as she will be speaking about Greek language/literature, slavery, and the “politics of the human” when she delivers the Dennis A. Georges Lecture in Hellenic Culture.

Emily Greenwood is Professor and Chair of the Classics Department at Yale University where she also holds a joint appointment in African American Studies. She is one of the pre-eminent thinkers on Greek historiography of her generation as well as the leading figure in re-evaluating the legacy of Graeco-Roman culture in colonial and post-colonial contexts. In addition to her book Afro-Greeks: Dialogues Between Anglophone Caribbean Literature and Classics in the Twentieth Century (Oxford 2010) [Joint winner of the Runciman Prize], she has published over a dozen articles and book chapters that investigate the rich and nuanced reception of ancient Greek literature in the African Diaspora, especially in Caribbean literature.

Africana Studies Brown Bag Lecture with Prof. Dan Sharp

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“Naná Vasconcelos: Afro-Brazilian Percussion in Paris and New York City”

Dan Sharp is currently research for a book that revolves around the 1980 album Saudades by Afro-Brazilian Naná Vasconcelos. The book will situate Naná‘s reimagining of percussion and voice in the context of his itinerant life in New York, Europe and Brazil in the 1970s and 1980s. Snacks provided!

Why Marronage Still Matters: Lecture with Dr. Neil Roberts

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What is the opposite of freedom? Dr. Neil Roberts answers this question with definitive force: slavery, and from there he unveils powerful new insights on the human condition as it has been understood between these poles. Crucial to his investigation is the concept ofmarronage—a form of slave escape that was an important aspect of Caribbean and Latin American slave systems. Roberts examines the liminal and transitional space of slave escape to develop a theory of freedom as marronage, which contends that freedom is fundamentally located within this space.In this lecture, Roberts will explore how what he calls the “post-Western” concept and practice of marronage—of flight—bears on our world today.

This event is sponsored by the Kathryn B. Gore Chair in French Studies, Department of French and Italian.
For more information contact Ryan Joyce at or Fayçal Falaky at

Newcomb Art Museum to host María José de la Macorra and Eric Peréz for Gallery Talk

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Join us at the Newcomb Art Museum in welcoming Mexican artists María José de la Macorra and Eric Peréz for a noontime gallery talk as they discuss the current exhibition Clay in Transit: Contemporary Mexican Ceramics (which features works by María José de la Macorra) and the focus and process of their work. The talk is free and open to the public.

The Newcomb Art Museum is featuring two ceramic exhibitions entitled Clay in Transit featuring contemporary Mexican ceramics and Clay in Place featuring Newcomb pottery and guild plus other never-before-exhibited pieces from the permanent collection.The exhibit presents the work of seven Mexican-born sculptors who bridge the past and present by creating contemporary pieces using an ancient medium. The exhibit will feature works by Ana Gómez, Saúl Kaminer, Perla Krauze, María José Lavín, María José de la Macorra, Gustavo Pérez, Paloma Torres.

Exhibition curator and artist Paloma Torres explains, “In this contemporary moment, clay is a borderline. It is a material that has played a critical role in the development of civilization: early man used clay not only to represent spiritual concerns but also to hold food and construct homes.” While made of a primeval material, the exhibited works nonetheless reflect the artists’ twenty-first-century aesthetics and concerns as well as their fluency in diverse media—from painting and drawing to video, graphic design, and architecture.

The exhibit will run from January 18, 2018, through March 24, 2018. For more information on the exhibit and the artists, please visit the Newcomb Art Museum’s website.

Clay in Transit is presented in collaboration with the Consulate of Mexico.

The exhibition is made possible through the generous support of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Jennifer Wooster (NC ’91), Lora & Don Peters (A&S ’81), Newcomb College Institute of Tulane University, Andrew and Eva Martinez, and the Newcomb Art Museum advisory board

Bate Papo! Practice your Portuguese and enjoy some Brazilian treats: kibe

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Bate Papo! Try a bit of Brazil’s Middle Eastern flavor with these kibe treats. This event is sponsored by TULASO and the Stone Center for Latin American Studies. Admission is free. All levels welcome. For more information, please contact Megwen at

Bate Papo! Practice your Portuguese and enjoy some Brazilian treats: bolo de aipim

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Bate Papo! Drop by the LBC mezzanine floor for a slice of manioc sponge cake. We will be spread out across the green couches so come by to take a load off and chat for a bit. This event is sponsored by TULASO and the Stone Center for Latin American Studies. Admission is free. All levels welcome. For more information, please contact Megwen at