- Marimer Barbarena
Marimer Berberena Alonso earned her PhD from the Africology and African American Studies department at Temple University. Her dissertation focused on the retention of African culture in Puerto Rico, observing the cultural continuity from ancient Egypt, its transfer to various Central and West African ethnic expressions, and their historical legacy in the Caribbean. Her Master’s thesis, from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, explored the Gagá (Rara) in New York City and the initiative of the hermandad cultural Gagá Pa’l Pueblo as a means of healing, community, and resistance by mainly Dominican migrants in the United States (https://academicworks.cuny.edu/gc_etds/170/).
Her academic interests include the African contributions to Latin America and the Caribbean such as Santería, Gagá, Rastafari livity, Anansi stories, culture-making processes, political-spiritual manifestations, and social history theory. She has conducted research using multidisciplinary methodologies with a comparative cultural, historical, epistemological, symbolic, and ethnographic approach. Her current work focuses on the variations of traditional African tales in the Caribbean and Latin America, and in expanding Marimba Ani’s Matrix of Cultural Entity to the Caribbean. She also continues to study the Ancient Egyptian mores and folkways and their relevance in today’s modern society as well as the “African personality” in Puerto Rican culture.
Dr. Berberena has taught undergraduate courses on Caribbean culture and society, Latin American Studies, Sociology, Criminology, and Africology at Hostos Community College, SUNY Old Westbury, Lehman College, and Temple University. She is currently an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Lehman College in the Latin American and Latino Studies and the Africana Studies departments. Aside from her academic work, she has also been involved in artistic and cultural initiatives such as Gaga Pa’l Pueblo, Mexicanos de Rostros Desconocido, and smArt Action.