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Malgorzata Oleszkiewicz-Peralba
Malgorzata Oleszkiewicz-Peralba

UTSA professor discusses Black Madonna in history

By Ashley Harris
Public Affairs Specialist

(Dec. 10, 2007)--Malgorzata Oleszkiewicz-Peralba, UTSA associate professor of modern languages and literatures, will present a lecture, "Transformations of the Black Madonna Around the World," and booksigning from 6:30 to 8 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 11 at the San Antonio Museum of Art, 200 West Jones Ave. Sponsored by the Friends of Latin American Art, the event is free and open to the public.

In her latest work, "The Black Madonna: Tradition and Transformations," Oleszkiewicz-Peralba examines the role of the Virgin of Guadalupe and the creation of the mestizo identity in Mexico.

Additionally, she explores the iconography and function of the Black Madonna throughout history in such countries as Poland, Mexico, Brazil and China, and in the American Southwest.

Often seen as a symbol of national identity, resistance against oppression and female empowerment, the book investigates the cross-cultural comparisons of the Madonna's influence on local and national traditions, the Black Madonna as a form of the sacred dark feminine and the icon's place as the symbol of motherhood and protection.

Oleszkiewicz-Peralba joined the UTSA faculty in 1995. She earned bachelor's and master's degrees in Spanish and Portuguese from Queens College, a magister in Iberian and Latin American studies from Warsaw University, and a Ph.D. in Latin American literature and culture from New York University.

For more information, call (210) 978-8100.

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