The Research Cluster on Comparative Inequality and Inclusion draws on expertise from across disciplines to gain international and comparative perspectives on how to extend cultural membership to the greatest number in society, to better understand the social and cultural processes behind recognition gaps, and to determine how social scientists and policy makers can respond to help make societies more inclusive.
Cary Aileen García Yero is a cultural historian in the interdisciplinary field of Afro-Latin American Studies, her research broadly explores how the arts shape transnational racial formation processes that involve Afro-Latin America within a global context. Her work is driven by a central quest: To grasp the limitations and power of the arts to create social change on issues of race in order to understand what makes the arts a unique realm to combat racism.
Cary's upcoming book Colors of Dissent: Race, Nation, and the Arts in Cuba, 1938-1963, proposes a new way of understanding the role of the arts in Latin American societies whose social and political spheres are restricted by ideologies of racial harmony. In pre-revolutionary Cuba, unsavory visions of nationhood, such as white supremacy, could not be pursued through formal politics for they were deemed divisive and antipatriotic. Racial tension therefore shifted to the domain of culture. The arts, she argues, were a privileged domain for the articulation of racial tension and for the construction of white supremacist discourses.
She is now starting work on her second book project, Black Art in Cold War: Race, Politics, and the Cuban-Eastern European Socialist Bloc Art Exchanges, 1961-1989, which develops her doctoral research temporally, geographically, and methodologically. It builds on her studies of Afro-Latin American art, race, and nation, toward transnational and Cold War history while experimenting with oral history and microhistory methods. The project studies the government-initiated music and visual art exchanges between Cuba and the Eastern European Socialist Bloc (EESB) through the lens of race, rethinking the Cold War through the Afro-Latin American perspective.
In addition, García Yero is currently part of several working groups, such as the Leibniz University Hannover Arts of the Black Atlantic project, the Harvard University ALARI Afro-Latin American Arts Traveling Seminar, and the upcoming University of Chicago Working Group on Slavery and Visual Culture colloquium, to develop the field of Afro-Latin American Arts via workshops and seminars.