Northwestern Events Calendar


Danny Mendez "How to Get Away with Privilege...

When: Tuesday, November 18, 2014
5:00 PM - 6:00 PM CT

Where: University Hall, Hagstrum Room, 201, 1897 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public

Contact: Jane Holt   (847) 467-2156

Group: Latin American and Caribbean Studies

Category: Academic


Danny Méndez, Associate Professor, Michigan State University

“How to Get Away with Privilege: Charytín Goico and the Politics of Race in the Dominican Republic”

This presentation explores the complex relationship between race and class in the formation of a very specific and enduring notion of Dominican televisual stardom stemming from the late 1970s. My point of analysis centers on Charytín Goico (known affectionately as “the blond bombshell of America”), whose career as a singer, actress and television personality commenced in the Dominican Republic in the early 1970s and then continued in Puerto Rico and, subsequently, Miami. Throughout this presentation I explicate how Goico’s rise to fame was, to some degree, made possible by the political and social media framework set in the Dominican Republic under the presidential administrations of Joaquín Balaguer. Paying particular attention to Charytín’s evolution as a televisual persona, I argue that her television personality is a site of contradictory interpretation if we are to understand the specific places of power, race and class that have been afforded to her.

Danny Méndez earned his Ph.D. in Caribbean literatures from the University of Texas at Austin. He is an Associate Professor of Spanish in the Department of Romance and Classical Studies and a Core-Faculty of the Program of Global Studies in Arts and Humanities (GSAH) at Michigan State University. The author of Narratives of Migration and Displacement in Dominican Literature (New York: Routledge, 2012), his research focuses on contemporary narrative representations of Dominican migrations to the United States and Puerto Rico, analyzing the particular ways in which these narratives challenge conceptions of Latin American literature and Latino Studies.

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