June 8, 2011: Announcement: Festive Devils / Diablos Festivos is online! / Festive Devils of the Americas is online!

diablosfestivos.orgThe working group on Festive Devils of the Americas is a consortium of scholars, activists and practitioners dedicated to the study of the devil figure in popular fiesta, carnival and religious manifestations throughout the American hemisphere.

In 2008, at the “Fiesta, Politics and Nation,” conference in Bogotá, Colombia, the research project on Festive Devils was initiated by Zeca Ligiéro (UNI-RIO), Angela Marino Segura (NYU) and Paolo Vignolo (National University of Colombia, Bogotá) as a proposal to form a tri-lingual working group on the devil figure in fiesta.  Having expanded, this group has now collaborated in five different international gatherings: 1) a mini-Encuentro and Board meeting of the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics, Chicago, October, 2008; 2) the Latin American Studies Association annual meeting, Rio de Janeiro, June, 2009; 3) The Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics bi-annual Encuentro, Bogotá, August, 2009;  4) The American Society for Theater Research (ASTR) annual meeting, San Juan, November, 2009, and 5) a retreat with the Editorial Board of the volume on Festive Devils of the Americas in Chiapas, Mexico, August, 2010, in which we evaluated submissions, and structured both the Introduction and closing Section III of the book. The range of these meetings reflects the breadth of our topic:  linking Latin American theater and performance research to anthropological and cultural studies with a particular focus on politics, economies and popular culture.

At the 2009 Encuentro of the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics in Bogotá, the research group formalized the following objectives:

  • To evaluate the academic, artistic and political activities of the research group over the past year
  • To provide an opportunity to share and discuss practical and theoretical proposals of each participant
  • To articulate the subject of the festive devils with the debate on cultural rights, immaterial and material heritage, and citizenship
  • To collectively imagine new initiatives as a group

In 2010, the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics offered a small grant to help support the initiatives of the group, namely the web site and edited volume. In addition to these funds, support has been received from the National University of Colombia, Bogotá and University of California, Berkeley.