Five College Consortium

The Homoerotics of Abjection: The Gaze of Leonard Nadel’s Bracero Photographs

Tue, Feb 7 2017 - 4:00pm to 5:00pm
Pruyne Lecture Hall (Fayerweather 115)

The Bracero Program recruited more than 4.5 million temporary Mexican male laborers to work in the agriculture industry in the U.S. from 1942-1964.  As this program represented one of the largest influxes of Mexican male migrants into the United States, those workers were subject to bodily inspections and fumigation with toxic chemicals before entering the U.S. and were subject to the whims of their employers.  Contrary to a broader narrative of victimization, this presentation provides a queer account of the gaze embodied in Leonard Nadel’s 1956 Bracero photographs for the ways in which they display and register desire, sexuality, and longing out of an abject subject position.  If we read these photographs as a means of registering queer diaspora, what does this tell us about the affective and emotive registers of men who traveled, worked, loved, drank, and gambled together in highly homosocial and homoerotic spaces?

Amherst College
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Free and open to the public
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Julie Howland
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