"Hispanic or Cuban/ Mexican/ Colombian/etc.? Doing Culture in South Florida"
Sarah J. Mahler (Florida International University)
Sarah J. Mahler, an anthropology professor and former director of the Center for Transnational and Comparative Studies at Florida International University, spoke on October 21, 2014, about Hispanic culture in South Florida, focusing on her recent research regarding intra-Hispanic diversity and why it is so understudied in both South Florida and the United States.
Mahler teaches in FIU’s interdisciplinary social science department – Global & Sociocultural Studies. For most of her career, her research and publications have focused on Latin American and Caribbean migration to the United States and the development of transnational ties between migrants and their home communities. She and colleagues pioneered bringing gender into this transnational perspective. In recent years, she has returned to an early inquietude about enculturation, addressing the “nature” of culture by emphasizing how young children acquire culture and how this understanding can and should dramatically impact how we study and also do culture. To pursue this passion she read widely and “undisciplinely” compiling a wide array of knowledge and perspectives into a reader-friendly format in her newest book Culture as Comfort (2013) and its companion website: cultureascomfort.com. Most recently she and collaborators are analyzing results from research regarding intra-Hispanic diversity and why it is so understudied in both South Florida and the U.S. as a whole.
Founded in 1903, Ransom Everglades School is a coeducational, college preparatory day school for grades 6 - 12 located on two campuses in Coconut Grove, Florida. Ransom Everglades School produces graduates who "believe that they are in the world not so much for what they can get out of it as for what they can put into it." The mission of Ransom Everglades School is to provide an educational environment in which the pursuit of honor, academic excellence and intellectual growth is complemented by concern for the physical, cultural and character development of each student. The school provides rigorous college preparation that promotes the student's sense of identity, community, personal integrity and values for a productive and satisfying life, and prepares the student to lead and to contribute to society.