African Cultural Studies is proud to co-sponsor Nave Visiting Scholar Marc Hertzman, Professor of History at the University of Illinois – Urbana-Champaign.
His presentation, What’s in a Name? Searching for the African Origins of ‘Samba’ and ‘Zumbi’ in Brazil, will explore the contours and significance of prolonged searches for African origins of two of Brazil’s most cherished, recognizable symbols: samba music and Zumbi, the last leader of the famous 17th-century quilombo (runaway slave community). Bridging his last and current book projects, Hertzman’s talk asks why and how scholars “etymologized” two unique forms of cultural-national patrimony—one intangible (samba) and the other a person and his legend—and what these searches for linguistic (and cultural, genealogical, etc.) origins may tell us about the creation of modern Brazil.