What’s in a Name?: Searching for the African Origins of “Samba” and “Zumbi” in Brazil

Marc Hertzman

Professor of History
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Wednesday, November 30, 2016
3:30 – 5:00 PM
8417 Social Science

This presentation explores 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 my last and current book projects, the 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.

Sponsors: Anthropology, African Cultural Studies, Department of History, Latin American Caribbean & Iberian Studies, Nave Fund, and the International Division.

Click to view event poster (pdf)